Do these work in YOUR Perfect 20?


As inspiration for our Perfect 20 Project, I’ve been reading The 100 Thing Challenge, by Dave Bruno, a guy who edited his personal belongings (including clothing) to a mere 100 things. Bruno gets to the crux of the problem with clinginess: Americans buy things again and again to fill voids that can’t be filled by things. I’d be happy if I could just get my wardrobe down to 100 things! In the process of making my clean sweep, I found it necessary to make a set of rules to identify the Perfect 20 and let go of everything else.

Here’s the general playbook: Accessories don’t count. Redundancies are okay as long as there are no more than seven of one thing. It’s okay, for example, to have seven dark pantsuits, seven black dresses, seven casual summer dresses, because each of them are a “thing.” Having duplicates helps you avoid the urgency of doing laundry or running to the dry cleaner on a certain schedule, which can be hard for people who lead busy lives.

Beyond that, try to apply the following rules to help decide what stays and what goes.

1) Has it given you any problems at all?
2) Do you absolutely love it?
3) Can it be worn at least two other ways than you presently wear it?
4) Does it flatter your figure today in every way?
5) Is it a color that looks fabulous on you?
6) Have you worn it in the past two years?
7) Is it age-appropriate for you?
8) Is it wearable through more than one season?

Even with these guidelines, you’ll find a few agonizing moments. My collection of blouses was the first source of pain. I adore a crisp, tailored blouse and have several prints and solids. They meet Rule #2. Unfortunately, they don’t look fabulous on me in every way. I hate the way they are always coming untucked and, sometimes, the way the collars don’t lay perfectly. Wearing them untucked doesn’t flatter my pear-shaped figure. Those two factors place the blouse collection in serious jeopardy for my own customized Perfect 20. Anyone who wears a size 4/6 interested in my blouse collection? I’m giving it away!

What’s in your closet under Rule #1? Get rid of it this week and vow to never buy it again, no matter how much you love it. You’ll be well on your way to your own Perfect 20. Keep one thing in mind: the Perfect 20 will never be absolutely perfect. Saying goodbye to parts of a wardrobe won’t make much of a difference if you don’t deal with the matter at hand—contentment.