Owner Nicky Charman’s Tips On How To Conduct a Wardrobe Detox

“Life is too short to hold onto clothes you don’t wear!”

When someone says, “Oh, you should do a wardrobe detox!” alarm bells go off, your heart might start palpitating and you could quite possibly get dizzy! Even the fact that this saying is a normal 21st century phrase is very scary, do you think back in the 1700’s they would have known what a Wardrobe Detox is? I think not!

All those perfectly good (and probably expensive) clothes you’ve collected over the years that you have happily carted from your first apartment to a new house, to a friend’s home while house sitting or into a new boyfriend’s unit and then back into your apartment, feeling that yes one day I will wear that pair of gold platforms you bought on sale for 80% off but are two sizes too small for you and other sentimental items that don’t touch your body for years should stay in your possession! You could keep kidding yourself and say, “But I will wear them one day!” But let’s face it – your feet are not going to magically shrink overnight are they?

But don’t fear my simple step by step guide and ‘questions to ask yourself’ will make this a pain free and cathartic exercise, you might actually end up surprising yourself and make this a yearly routine!!!

Plus, what’s the point having all of these clothes, shoes and accessories that you never wear and still having the problem of stamping your feet and saying every morning “I have nothing to wear!” and “I need a bigger wardrobe!”


Ok. You need to set a whole day aside for this exercise. A whole day you say? Don’t worry – you will be thanking me later I promise. And make sure you have 3 things with you: snacks, music and wine. We need to be as comfortable as possible right? And we need to be cut throat. Alcohol can help this. And sometimes hinder, it depends on how much you drink.

First of all, you need to clear absolutely everything, I. MEAN. EVERYTHING. Every single item needs to be placed on your bed. Yes, your bed because it gives you an incentive to get the job done in one day – otherwise you will be sleeping on the floor tonight. Turn on some of your favourite tunes – loud!

Make sure you also go to the spare room and drag out any ghastly old bridesmaid dresses, heavens forbid – a school uniform or a bad flammable ra-ra skirt from the 90’s. Yep, drag it into your bedroom. You have to face the facts, look reality in the eye and make some tough decisions today.

I want you then to give the wardrobe space a great clean, vacuum, wipe down, dust, just so you have the shell of your wardrobe spotless – this goes for drawers, cubby holes that you stuff scarves in, hat racks etc. Wherever your clothes lie needs to be clean – a blank canvas.

Ok, you can have a sip of wine now. And a snack.



Get ready to make 4 piles – Keep, Sell, Donate and Throw.

You already know the clothes you wear day in day out – these can go straight to the keep pile – these 7 questions below are for the ones that you feel iffy about.

So this is where the process starts – this is the time where you select each individual item you’re not sure about and ask yourself these 7 questions – yes there’s a lot of questions but we want to be 100% sure right?

7 Questions to ask yourself when deciding to keep, sell, donate or throw:

DOES THIS FIT ME? – Don’t hold on to something from your super skinny days – we’ve all been there and not many of us go back!

HAVE I WORN IT IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS? – This means you’ve given it four seasons to have its time in the sun!

DOES IT GO WITH AT LEAST 3 THINGS IN MY WARDROBE? – If it’s a round peg for a square hole – ditch it!

IS IT DAMAGED AND IS IT FIX-WORTHY? – If it is useless to you – press delete!

DO I FEEL GREAT WHEN I WEAR IT? – This is a game changer – no time for feeling bad in clothes!

IF I WERE SHOPPING WOULD I BUY THIS AGAIN? – If you had another chance would you still have a love affair with it?

WILL I WEAR THIS EVER AGAIN? – No explanation needed.


Answering no to any of the above you know it’s time to say au revoir to your old friends, but remember they were bad friends, they didn’t help you out anyway and were super unreliable.

And remember each time you have completed a category or two, say all the denim and jackets in your life. it’s time to sit back and drink some more wine. Be proud of your achievements. Hang in there.

Keep going until all clothes, shoes, accessories and costume jewellery are completed.

Note with sleepwear and gym gear – be brutal. Why are you sleeping in a tee shirt from 12 years ago anyway? (Your boyfriend asked me to ask you that!) If your white shirts have turned a slight colour of yellow – ditch. Go with quality not quantity. And don’t keep your “good stuff” for special occasions. Every day is a special occasion. Wear your clothes out, woman!

Regarding selling your unwanted clothes I need to remind you it can be time consuming and depressing how little money you get back from resellers or the likes of E-bay. I prefer to give back and either give to my local Vinnies, or a relatively new cause, Drought Angels – https://www.facebook.com/Drought-Angels-519529671494691/. Drought angels is a local charity that resells at a much cheaper price to raise money for drought affected towns in far North Queensland. But more often than not my unwanted clothes go to a family member or friends that are delighted to take them off my hands.

Items that can’t be physically worn or have run their use by date; it’s time to throw. But try and avoid this one – there is always someone out there that may need your cheer leading outfit for a dress up party!

I hope once you’ve completed the tasks above that you are on the road to understanding your personal style a little more. And not too drunk. When you have removed those items that once clouded your morning fashion decisions hopefully it will be easier to be more creative with your ensembles as there are no “black sheep” blocking your thought process.

For the time being when putting the clothes back in your wardrobe keep similar items in similar colourways. We just need you to get into bed – its been a tough day. But more on that topic in the next post when I discuss “How to Organise Your Wardrobe”.

And in the wise words of Marie Kondo, “If you don’t love it – set it free”.

So, what’s your take on the above – do you think you have what it takes to do a wardrobe detox? You might know of other great charities deserving of clothes or user-friendly websites for selling unwanted items? We would love to hear your thoughts.


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Calexico Boutique is an international designer boutique based on James Street in Brisbane. The boutique currently houses over 85 international fashion labels, including Rag and Bone, Acne Studios, Isabel Marant and Helmut Lang, and offers a unique shopping experience with exclusive weekly arrivals and complimentary in store styling sessions.