Friday, 28 June 2013

The Cull

cull (kʌl)
1. to choose; select; pick.
2. to gather the choice things or parts from.
3. to collect; gather; pluck.
4. something picked out and put aside as inferior.
[1300–50; Middle English < Anglo-French, Old French cuillir < Latin colligere to gather]

Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

About a month ago I took it upon myself to do a complete wardrobe cull. I had been waiting for the right weather, you see. It needed to be dry and warm with a light breeze. This was because I was going to haul the entire contents of my wardrobe(s of the walk-in-kind) outside to give the lot an airing. And also because of the dust. It's been four years since my last wardrobe cull. I did one just before Junior was born and now it really was time for another one. The idea was that I go through all of my dresses, tops, skirts, trousers, knitwear, underwear, sleepwear, hosiery, outerwear, bags and shoes basically dividing them in to two piles: "keep" and "get rid of".  I would only keep things that fit, get worn and flatter. I set aside three days for this.

DAY 1: So I started with taking all my dresses outside. I also pulled out all the storage boxes from under our bed and took out all the dresses that weren't heirlooms (or future heirlooms). I hung them from hangers on the clothes line to give them a proper airing. Then I counted them. There were 83 dresses, almost all vintage or reproductions. Eighty-three. Bloody hell, how did that happen?

There are still days when I have nothing to wear...

Anyway, I started picking out the ones to go on the "get rid of"-pile and did pretty well IMHO. I also took out and put in to storage boxes all winter dresses so they wouldn't take up space on the rail in the wardrobe. I might have culled about 20 dresses.

The cull from the cull

Then I went through the piles of tops, skirts, trousers and  knitwear. I mainly took out anything that was maternity wear or just worn. I can't believe I have been wearing such worn through, stretched out faded and, yes, manky clothes. These items I'm referring to are of course of the cheap stretch jersey or tricot type. So those had to go. I seems to me such a shame, that basically still usable clothes have to be thrown in the garbage. "There must be a way of recycling these", I thought. And then it came to me: T-shirt yarn. Yes! I would make T-shirt yarn from them! And then crochet that yarn in to something useful, like floppy baskets for the boys' toys.

Future storage solutions?

DAY 2:  I continued with underwear, sleepwear, hosiery, outerwear, bags and shoes. Again I took everything outside and brought only the keepers back inside. With sleepwear I again had the worn out tricot issue. More yarn! Why is it so difficult to get sleepwear in pure cotton? Sure the stretchy stuff feels soft and comfy to start with but it doesn't last. I such a lively sleeper (or tossing-in-bed-not-sleeper) that I wear holes in my nighties pretty quickly. Anyway, outerwear again meant culling all pregnancy related coats and jackets and anything too tight. I mean, I had a few items from when I was 10 years younger and 10 kg thinner.

Then it was time for bags and shoes. This, again, was long overdue. The situation in our downstairs wardrobe was getting a bit out of hand. 

Erm, no comment.

Thankfully, I managed to whittle my shoe collection down to only 51 pairs. The Hubby, bless him, built me lovely pink shoe shelves for displaying my favourite pairs. Got rid of a few bags as well. I also took the time to reorganise the whole wardrobe and look how lovely it turned out! Now I can actually see what I have. Maybe I should do a post about my treasures at one point so you get to see some of the items more closely? 


Vintage bags, including a see-through Bienen-Davis from my grandmother. That googly eyed thing in the middle is actually a lantern...

After the shoes, I didn't have the energy for underwear or hosiery, so those will have to wait. This (and another blog post I'm planning) is (are) the main reason you won't be getting a glimpse of our upstairs wardrobe.

DAY 3: Dealing with the "get rid of"-pile. I divided the stuff in to six piles: consignment shop summer, consignment shop winter, flea market, salvation army, trash and vintage. And this is also pretty much the order in which the stuff travels: if it doesn't sell at the consignment shop, then it's off to the flea market and if it doesn't sell there, it's off to the salvation army. The piles trash and vintage are special as the trash gets recycled (by me) in to T-shirt yarn and the leftovers are used (by Hubby) as rags in the garage and I will take the vintage items to a dress swap or sell them in Facebook groups or at events.

And this brings me neatly to what I have planned for this coming weekend: I will be selling my vintage cull at Suvi-Vintage. It's a two-day event organised by Tallipiha and Fintage. You can find more info on the event here. So I'll see you there!


  1. Wow, couple of dresses you have there. I'm speechless. I wonder if there are any that could fit me in the vintage pile? :P

    1. Well, you'll just have to come over tomorrow and have a look!

  2. I am so impressed! I so need to do this...but will need to have a friend hold my hand while doing so as I am a TOTAL HOARDER. I LOVED seeing your before closet, it made me giggle...and hit close to home. Great idea, taking everything outside! (P.S. I did enter you in the giveaway...sadly you didn't win. I'll keep you posted on another!)

    1. Ah well, maybe it's for the best since I have about a dozen sewing projects waiting in line in various stages of completion...