Declutter and Update Your Wardrobe after Surgery

Update your wardrobe after Bariatric or Cosmetic Surgery – Decluttering to celebrate

Undergoing bariatric or cosmetic surgery is a significant milestone in your journey . With the physical changes that come from these procedures, you’ll likely find that your existing wardrobe no longer suits your needs. Adapting your clothing choices is not just a fashion statement; it’s often a practical necessity.

Below we will explore tips for updating/clearing out your wardrobe after surgery.

Please note: It is important to wait until you are fully recovered from surgery before undertaking big clean outs or extended shopping trips. Visit our recovery page for more information

4 Top tips to declutter and update your clothing collection

Updating Your Wardrobe – Tip 1

Start with a clothing inventory

  • Take everything out of your cupboards. Yes, everything.
  • This is a good exercise as you’ll probably find things that you didn’t even remember that you had. You’ll also see just how many clothes you already own.
  • Allow adequate time. You will want a good couple of hours, you’ll want to get through everything once you have your clothes out in piles.
  • Separate all your clothes into ‘donate’, ‘Throw out’ ‘Keep’ and’ not sure’ piles.
  • You may feel a range of emotions from “why don’t I wear this anymore?” to “what was I thinking”?
  • The donate can find their way into a friend’s wardrobe, a charity shop, or can be sold – that’s up to you.
  • The important pile is the ‘not sure’ one. Hold onto this pile until ‘consider your lifestyle’ (TIP 2) before making a final decision.
  • A temporary pile could be those clothes that you want to keep but that need work. If you haven’t worn something because you’ve been meaning to fix the zip, sew a button back on, or re-do the hem, fix it now!
    • Then you can return the item to your wardrobe. If you put it back as is, you can rest assured that it will probably spend another season in the state it’s in.
  • A good rule of thumb is that if you haven’t worn something the entire previous season (i.e. last summer) why would you start now?
  • The only exception would be those ‘occasion clothes’ that are reserved for specific functions that don’t roll around every day.

Update Your Wardrobe – Tip 2

Consider your lifestyle and how you want your clothes to define you

  • When you know your lifestyle and how you want to express yourself through your clothes, it’ll really help you to streamline what you keep and buy.
  • Try to describe your lifestyle and the type of person you are in a few words, and consider the clothes that would project this.
  • You’ll already have an idea of this if you find that wearing a certain item of clothing makes you feel good. For example, your bright yellow top or special jacket might always make you feel happy. While your more formal business wear helps you feel influential in meetings.
  • We use clothes to define ourselves and to send messages to the world.
  • Be conscious of this important dimension while you’re evaluating your clothes.

Everything you wear affects you on some level.

  • Clothes are much more than the latest fashion or simply something you throw on in the morning.
  • You even react to different colours, whether you’re aware of it or not.
  • Once you become conscious of who you are and what you hope to convey through your clothing, you’ll be much more aware of how to clean your wardrobe.
  • Once you’re truly aware of the clothes that suit your lifestyle, project the right image, and are really flattering, you’ll have a much better idea of how to deal with your ‘not sure’ pile.

Shop in your wardrobe – Tip 3

  • Before you start bringing in endless bags of new clothes that you simply ‘had to have, you need to do some basic organisation and planning.
  • If you haven’t looked at your summer clothes for the past six months, you might have forgotten what you already have.
  • It’s only when you have a clear idea of the basic essentials already in your wardrobe that you’ll know what you need to complement them.
  • In order to have a workable ‘core wardrobe,’ you need to ensure that you have certain items in a range of basic colours, such as;
    • black
    • white
    • khaki
    • Or charcoal,
  • This will give you plenty of basics to work with.
  • You need about four times as many ‘tops’ as you do ‘bottoms’. The reason for this is that most people notice the top part of your clothes. Particularly if they’re colourful.
  • When you’re looking through your wardrobe, assemble basic pieces such as jackets, jerseys/jumpers and skirts and trousers in these classic colours.


  • Make a list of the staples you don’t have.
  • You’re going to try and shop as consciously as you can, as opposed to impulse buying.
  • This is when you can start to shop ‘in’ your wardrobe.

In other words, you should look at what you have with a fresh eye. Look at all the different ways that you can put together various outfits.

If you always wear those black pants with a coral shirt and the scarf that picks up both colours, what other combinations can you put together? Look at all your clothes in a new and inventive way – be playful, be creative. You’re bound to come up with outfits you never would have considered until you took the time to look thoroughly at what you already have.

  • A good suggestion is to take pictures of each new outfit you create. This way you don’t fall back into your old tried and true habits of always wearing your clothes in the same way with the same accessories.
  • Once you’ve completed this exercise, you’ll have a much better idea of what is missing in your wardrobe.
  • Once you have an idea of your basics, you can start indulging in buying those statement clothes that will keep you bang on trend and will bring you up-to-date for the new season.

Update Your Wardrobe Tip 4

Get organised

  • So you’ve put together your outfits and you’ve worked out what you need to buy to complete your core wardrobe, now what?
  • Now its time to GET ORGANISED.
  • Put things back in a way that will make your clothes easy to find.
  • By throwing out the clothes that don’t suit you or that you hardly ever wore, you’ve made more space in your wardrobe.
  • Be disciplined and don’t bring in any new item of clothes without getting rid of an existing item.
  • Otherwise, you’ll be back to jam-packed cupboards and you won’t be able to find anything.

To help you organise your wardrobe we suggest;

  • Investing in lightweight, anti-slip hangers.
  • Try to hang only one item of clothing on each hanger.
  • By doing this your clothes won’t constantly need ironing and you’ll be able to see your whole wardrobe at a glance.
  • The minute you start hiding an item of clothing under another, you’ll start forgetting what you actually have to wear.
  • Consider getting containers for t-shirts, jerseys, and shoes.
  • Separating these into well-ordered compartments makes finding things and putting outfits together much easier.
  • Putting your belts, scarves, and accessories together in an easy-to-find way will help tremendously.
  • If possible, you want to have enough space in your wardrobe so that your clothes, even on separate hangers, aren’t squashed together.
  • Having air around your clothes will keep them in better condition.

The moment you start having to push against hangers to get to something in or out, you probably have too many clothes.

Go back to point 1 and see if there’s anything else you really should be getting rid of. The idea is to have fewer clothes but to wear them all. You also want to feel happier in them as well as lighter whenever you look in your wardrobe or closet.

If you follow these simple but important steps, you’ll find that you’ll get better use of your clothes and you probably won’t need to spend a fortune on new clothes for the season. Instead, you’ll utilise what you have in new and innovative ways.

Last updated: 29/11/2023
Author profile image
Lyshai Brombara
Lyshai - Patient Liaison Manager at Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Lyshai appreciates the organisation required to get things done in today’s hectic life. Her role as Patient Experience Manager Lyshai is a great guide for your plastic surgery journey.

Specialist Plastic Surgeons and ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Surgeon

With a wealth of experience and training, our Specialist Plastic and ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Surgeons are dedicated to best-practice patient care and education, customising Surgery for each and every patient to best meet their needs and desired surgical outcomes.

What to do next?

Our Patient Liaison Team can assist with any questions you may have when considering a procedure. You can send in an enquiry form below or call our Melbourne Clinic between 9 am – 5 pm Monday to Friday.

Phone 1300 599 990, Email us: or Book a FREE 15-minute Phone Chat with our Patient Liaison Manager or a Consultation with a Surgeon.

Disclaimer: Results depend on individual patient circumstances and can vary significantly. Results may also be impacted by a variety of factors including your lifestyle, weight, nutritional intake and overall health. Consult your Specialist Plastic Surgeon for details. This information is general in nature and is not intended to be medical advice nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Surgery risks and complications will be covered in detail during a consultation with your Surgeon.