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Curate A Fabulous Wardrobe That You Will Actually Wear Using The One In, One Out Rule Part II

Here I share with you one of my tried and true practices that will help result in a curated wardrobe of items you actually love and will wear using the One In, One Out Rule.

vintage bed jacket one in one out rule
vintage bed jacket + blouse from Mango

I wrote a blog post about how I upgrade my wardrobe without adding to the number of things that I own using the One In/One Out rule earlier this year.

I’m no stranger to the One In/One Out rule. I first applied it twenty years ago when I lived in a studio apartment. With so little space, I adhered to the rule strictly. I have since lived in many larger apartments and houses thus I have acquired more furniture and belongings. However in 2016, after an epic year-long decluttering fever, I put the One In/One out rule back into place and have stuck to it ever since.

I like the rule as a mechanism for curating my wardrobe. I love clothes but I don’t want to be a hoarder of clothes. I’m always editing and curating clothing, shoes, and accessories that will result in a well-loved and often-worn wardrobe that works for me today. If I own something, I want it to be worn, used, utilized, and valued. Otherwise, things take up valuable space in my home as well as in my mind.

I have 11 new invigorating items in my wardrobe and in exchange decluttered 18 things that no longer suit me or serve a purpose. I feel pretty good about that ratio.

One In, One Out

vintage pink bed jacket
vintage bed jacket

New In: I found this vintage bed jacket at Three Ladies Antiques in Hartford, CT. I have a small collection of bed jackets and loved the quilting on this one. It also serves as an intriguing way for me to wear pink as I normally wouldn’t purchase anything pink in contemporary clothing. The jacket is cropped so I styled it above with a blouse from Mango and jeans.

one in one out rule
donated

Out: This was a bittersweet moment. I have had this black wool jacket from about 1990. Cost per wear has to be pennies but it was time to pass it on. I have so many coats now and this one is constantly passed over. Also stylistically, I prefer a sharper shoulder cut these days. Pass on clothing that no longer suits your current fashion tastes.

One In, One Out

vintage silk blouse one in one out rule
vintage silk blouse

New In: I bought this vintage silk blouse at a flea market. It was new, old stock and still had the tag. It was a bargain at $20 and I love the lace detail with tiny rosettes. I styled it below under a vintage argyle sweater that I purchased, coincidentally, from the same vendor the year before.

vintage blouse and vest one in one out rule
vintage silk blouse + vintage sweater + vintage necklace
donated

Out: For the vintage silk blouse, I donated this Zara blouse. It’s too low cut for me and requires pinning. I can’t be bothered with it any longer. Declutter clothing that requires too much faffing or fidgeting.

One In, Two Out

Church's boots
Church’s boots

New In: I purchased a pair of Church’s boots earlier this year. I had been on the lookout for a couple of years, trying to decide on a style and finally settled on these. The brogue style and narrow foot were exactly what I was looking for. I will have these forever.

zara boots one in one out rule
donated

Out: The Church’s boots were a significant purchase so I decided to declutter two pairs of shoes that no longer work for me. I trashed my white boots by wearing them on the beach in Key West. My local cobbler did the best he could to bring them back to life but I was really over them by that point. I also donated a pair of very old black shoes that I used to wear a lot but haven’t reached for in years. Get rid of shoes that have scuffs or marks beyond repair. It kills every outfit.

donated

One In, Two Out

Nike Air Force One vintage levi's
Nike Air Force 1 + vintage Levi 501

New In: I purchased a new pair of Nike Air Force 1’s this past summer. Love.

one in one out rule
donated

Out: Comfort in, discomfort out. I donated two pairs of heels in exchange for my Air Force 1’s. One was a pair of Steve Madden platform heels that no longer suit me. I love a platform but prefer a platform boot or sandal. The other pair of shoes that I donated was this pair of fancy heels. The toe box is too short for my liking. This style of pump can shorten the legs as opposed to elongating them. Declutter shoes that no longer spark joy or don’t flatter your feet.

donated

One In, One Out

vintage sweatshirt one in one out rule
vintage sweatshirt

New In: One of my favorite vintage finds of 2019 is this horse sweatshirt from Lucky Vintage in Seattle. It’s so good!

one in one out rule
donated

Out: One vintage piece for another. I purchased this vintage beaded top for $5 from a thrift shop a few years ago. It was missing several beads. I thought I would get around to repairing it but I haven’t and I won’t. It’s important to be realistic with ourselves about which laborious tasks we will and won’t accomplish.

One In, One Out

Swarovski hoop earrings honey bees one in one out rule
new earrings

New In: I bought these Swarovski crystal earrings over Black Friday weekend. I’ve been editing and streamlining my jewelry collection over the past two years. I now prefer earrings that go with any outfit I choose and that I can wear daily.

donated

Out: I swapped one accessory for another. I got some good use from this belt which I’ve had for about 15 years but honestly, I have hardly reached for it in the last five years. Pass on accessories that you haven’t worn in 5+ years.

One In, Two Out

Petco chain necklace one in one out rule
new chain from Petco

New In: Earlier this year, I spotted this silver chain at Petco. I liked the black fabric laced through it. It’s perfect for layering.

one in one out rule
donated

Out: For my Petco chain, I decluttered two necklaces that simply represent a change in taste. I donated them hoping someone else will get some use from them. Personal taste in clothing changes over the years, the same goes for jewelry. Declutter when this shift occurs.

donated

One In, One Out

vintage Art Deco ring one in one out rule

New In: This past September, I went to the Elephant’s Trunk Flea Market in New Milford, CT for the first time and came away with three rings. One was this gorgeous vintage Deco-era ring with some kind of quartz stones I suspect. I don’t actually know but it’s stunning.

donated

Out: In exchange for the vintage ring, I donated this black scarf that I never reach for. It’s acrylic and I have other natural-fiber scarves which I prefer. As you acquire better quality clothing and accessories, pass on synthetics.

Two In, Two Out

elephant trunk flea market silver rings skull jewelry

New In: The other two rings I purchased at Elephant’s Trunk Flea were these two silver rings with green stones. The single-stone ring was on a $5 table and I bought the silver alien from a silversmith. Both quickly became two of my most cherished rings. I hope to have them forever.

one in one out rule

Out: I donated two ball caps for the two green rings that I brought into the house. This Bourbon Street hat was my only hat for many years but I’m passing it on because I’m actually not into souvenir-type clothing or accessories. My Dad gave me a couple of hats this year that are my go-to hats when I need one. The helicopter hat is very cool but it’s extremely small for my head. I’m hoping by passing it on it will find its way onto a child’s head who will be excited to own it. Donate quality items for someone else to enjoy.

donated

One In, Five Out

goodwill thrift find one in one out rule
$3 Goodwill find

New In: I found this super cool t-shirt at Goodwill for $3 last week. I curate my graphic tees and t-shirts. Just before Christmas break, I decluttered five t-shirts! I’m beyond happy to incorporate this one into my wardrobe having rid myself of five t-shirts that were taking up space.

tossed

Toss yellow or stained t-shirts into the garbage.

one in one out rule
donated

Donate clothing that is way too tight.

American pickers t-shirt one in one out rule
donated

Donate graphic tees or t-shirts that are too big to style or tuck.

donated

Sports. Not really into it. Donate graphic tees that don’t represent your true interests.

donated

T-shirts. Often it’s all about the neck. Donate or toss t-shirts with stretched out necklines.

Related posts on Mad Chipmunk

What I Got At Brimfield Flea & Declutter (One In, One Out)

Curate A Fabulous Wardrobe That You Will Actually Wear Using The One In, One Out Rule Part I

Sources mentioned

Lucky Vintage Seattle

Church’s Handmade English Shoes

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