Personal style journal: How to do a wardrobe scan

A wardrobe scan, is when you go through your wardrobe/closet in your mind, item by item. You can start by visualizing yourself standing in front of your closet. Then, go through each item in your mind and pay attention to how you feel about it. Do you feel excited to wear it, or does it make you feel bored or indifferent?

Learning to do a wardrobe scan is a great way to take inventory of your clothing and assess your personal style. It can help you identify items you love, those you don’t wear often, and those that may no longer fit or match your current aesthetic.

You can also ask yourself questions like, “When was the last time I wore this?” or “Does this still fit me well?” This can help you decide whether to keep or donate certain items.

As you go through your wardrobe, you may also start to notice patterns in your clothing preferences. For example, you might realize that you tend to gravitate towards certain colours or styles. This can help you develop a better sense of your personal style and make more intentional clothing purchases in the future.

A wardrobe scan can be a helpful tool for practicing mindfulness, decluttering your closet, and cultivating a wardrobe that truly reflects your style and personality.

Woman in a red dress, red shoes and red sunglasses, walking. Accompanies the blog post on doing a wardrobe scan

20 reasons you may want to do a wardrobe scan

Here are 20 reasons why you might want to do a wardrobe scan and look through all the clothes in your wardrobe and assess them:

  1. You may have outgrown certain items, either physically or in terms of your personal style.
  2. Some items may no longer fit or be comfortable to wear.
  3. You may have duplicate or similar items that could be consolidated.
  4. Certain items may be damaged or in need of repair.
  5. You may have items that are outdated or no longer in fashion.
  6. Some items may have sentimental value but are no longer practical to wear.
  7. You may have items that don’t suit your current lifestyle or career.
  8. You may have items that don’t match or coordinate well with other pieces in your wardrobe.
  9. Some items may have been purchased on impulse and never worn.
  10. Certain items may be uncomfortable or unflattering but are being kept out of guilt or obligation.
  11. You may have items that are too formal or too casual for your current needs.
  12. You may have items that were gifts or hand-me-downs that you don’t particularly like.
  13. You may have items that were purchased for a specific occasion but are no longer needed.
  14. Some items may no longer reflect your current values or personal aesthetic.
  15. Certain items may be taking up valuable space in your closet or drawers.
  16. You may have items that are no longer in good condition but are being kept anyway.
  17. Some items may be too similar to each other and not offer enough variety in your wardrobe.
  18. You may have items that are no longer in season or appropriate for the current weather.
  19. Certain items may be too trendy and not have lasting appeal.
  20. You may have items that are no longer in alignment with your personal and professional goals.
Green silk dress with multicoloured embroidery hanging on a wire hanger. Accompanies the blog post on how to do a wardrobe scan

When to do a wardrobe scan

You can do a wardrobe scan whenever you want, but there are particular times in your life when doing a wardrobe scan may be of the greatest benefit or help to you.

  1. At the change of seasons: As the weather starts to change, it can be a good time to assess your wardrobe and decide what items you need for the upcoming season. A wardrobe scan can help you identify any gaps in your wardrobe and make a plan for what to purchase or repurpose.
  2. After a major life change: Any major life change, such as a new job, a move, or a significant weight loss or gain, can also be a good time to do a wardrobe scan. You may find that your clothing needs have shifted and that some items are no longer serving you.
  3. When you’re feeling stuck in a style rut: If you’re feeling bored or uninspired by your wardrobe, a wardrobe scan can help you identify what’s not working and give you a fresh perspective on your style.
  4. Before a big event or trip: If you have a big event or trip coming up, a wardrobe scan can help you plan your outfits and ensure that you have everything you need. It can also help you pack more efficiently and avoid overpacking.
  5. When you’re trying to simplify your life: If you’re trying to live a more minimalist or intentional lifestyle, a wardrobe scan can help you pare down your belongings and create a more streamlined wardrobe. It can also help you identify items that you no longer need and decide whether to donate or sell them.

A wardrobe scan can be beneficial any time you want to take stock of your clothing and make more intentional choices about what you wear. By assessing what you have, you can make sure that your wardrobe reflects your personal style, values, and lifestyle.

Questions to ask yourself when you do a wardrobe scan

Here are some questions you could ask to help yourself think more deeply about your choice:

  1. Why did you choose this item or outfit as your favourite?
  2. What emotions or feelings does it evoke when you wear it?
  3. What occasions or events do you typically wear this item/outfit to?
  4. How does it make you feel about yourself when you wear it?
  5. What elements of the item/outfit do you find most appealing (e.g. colour, style, fit, fabric)?
  6. How does this item/outfit fit into your overall personal style?
  7. Have you received compliments or positive feedback when wearing this item/outfit?
  8. How does wearing this item/outfit affect your confidence and self-esteem?
  9. Is there a particular memory or experience associated with this item/outfit?
  10. Would you say this item/outfit reflects who you are as a person?

These questions can help you reflect on why you are drawn to certain styles or pieces and what that says about your personality and values. It can also help you identify key elements of your personal style and develop a better understanding of what you look for in clothing.

white dress on a mannequin on a white background. Accompanies the blog post on how to do a wardrobe scan

What do you want to throw away or never wear again?

Asking yourself what you want to throw away or never wear again from your wardrobe can help you identify items that are no longer serving you or that you may have outgrown. Here are some questions you could ask to help yourself think more deeply about your choice:

  1. What about this item or outfit makes you want to get rid of it?
  2. Have you worn this item/outfit recently, and if so, how did it make you feel?
  3. When was the last time you wore this item/outfit, and why did you choose it at that time?
  4. Does this item/outfit fit well, or is it uncomfortable or unflattering?
  5. Does this item/outfit reflect your current personal style, or do you feel like you’ve outgrown it?
  6. Are there any negative emotions or memories associated with this item/outfit?
  7. Have you received negative feedback or criticism when wearing this item/outfit?
  8. Are there any elements of the item/outfit that you do like or that you might want to salvage?
  9. What value or purpose does this item/outfit serve in your wardrobe or life?
  10. Would you say this item/outfit is truly reflective of who you are as a person?

These questions can help you reflect on why you are no longer drawn to certain styles or pieces and what that says about your evolving personal style and values. It can also help you identify what you want to avoid in future clothing purchases and develop a better understanding of what does and doesn’t work for you.

Becoming a better version of yourself

Assessing your wardrobe and decluttering items that no longer serve you can help you become a better version of yourself in several ways:

  1. It can help you develop a better understanding of your personal style and preferences.
  2. It can help you identify key pieces that you love and wear often.
  3. It can help you make more intentional clothing purchases in the future.
  4. It can help you feel more organized and in control of your belongings.
  5. It can reduce feelings of guilt or obligation around keeping items that don’t suit you.
  6. It can free up space in your closet or drawers and make it easier to find and access the items you do want to wear.
  7. It can help you cultivate a wardrobe that reflects your current values and lifestyle.
  8. It can reduce clutter and create a more peaceful and relaxing living space.
  9. It can help you feel more confident and put-together in your personal and professional life.
  10. It can help you practice mindfulness and gratitude for the things you do have and use.

If you like this post then you may also like:

3 hidden benefits of journaling for self care
How to stop negative self talk with journaling
The 6 steps to wardrobe journaling: How to create empowering self beliefs

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