Weekly Wardrobe Challenge – Put Clothes in “Purgatory”

Wardrobe challeng

Want to enhance your style without buying new clothes?  My weekly wardrobe challenges help you maximize the style quotient of your current collection without spending a dime. 

In popular culture, the term “purgatory” has become a common metaphor, describing the state of being in-between two fates, unsure where you will land.

Metaphorically-speaking, purgatory is a powerful tactic to keep your wardrobe streamlined and organized. Not certain if a garment is worthy of a spot in your first-rate collection?Remove it from your closet and find a temporary, out-of-site place to store it. If you don’t find yourself running to wear it over the next few weeks or months, you’ll know that you made the right decision to eliminate it from your finely curated wardrobe and can donate it without any second thoughts.

Your wardrobe challenge this week is to put at least three garments in purgatory. 

Step 1: Identify a storage place for garments you no longer love or seldom wear. This can be a secondary closet in your home, storage containers under your bed or neatly folded in boxes in your basement. If you absolutely have no other options, you can create a neat pile in a low-utility, hard-to-access section of your main closet, such as an out-of-reach high shelf.

Step 2: Pull items from your wardrobe that you haven’t been wearing lately or no longer feel inspired by. These might be:

  • Garments that have lost their lustre, but still hold a special place in your heart
  • Clothes you rather like but never find an occasion to wear
  • Garments that don’t make you happy, but seem to practical, utilitarian or wasteful to get rid of
  • Out of season garments that you know you’ll love again, but won’t be wearing for several more months

Step 3: Remove these garments from their prime real estate in your closet and enjoy the benefits of a streamlined closet containing only clothing that you truly love and wear.

If, over the next few days, weeks or months, you find yourself running back to a purgatory item, then its clear you either need to bring it back to its permanent home in your main closet or replace it with something better that fills the same wardrobe need.

If you don’t miss your temporarily stored items and appreciate your closet more without them, you can give them to a friend or donation store with full confidence that you won’t regret it.

How does this challenge improve your personal style?  In a fast fashion culture, we’re conditioned to over-consume and under-critique our purchases. We accept pieces of low quality that don’t fit perfectly or compliment our body shape. A closet stuffed with underwhelming garments hurts your personal style by making it effortful to coordinate a flattering outfit each day.

2 thoughts on “Weekly Wardrobe Challenge – Put Clothes in “Purgatory”

  1. I have done this for years and it works well. I tend to keep my clothes for years but some years I am just tired of them. So instead of being hasty and getting rid of something that has served me well, I put it away for the season to give it a rest. When the next season comes around, if I am still sick of the piece, I let it go. And sometimes I am glad to have a tried and true piece back in my closet.


    1. I love this, Jen! It’s such a great way to keep a streamlined closet without making hasty decisions.

      Like you, I too have fallen back in love with pieces I had set aside for awhile. Moving the pieces around this way requires us to give each piece due consideration, which can inspire new enthusiasm and ways to wear it.

      Thanks for the comment!


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