Yes, just like a visit to your Mother-in-Law there will be some angst, teeth gnashing and stomach clenching but short term pain for your new gains.
So, I’m no Marie Kondo but isn’t it time you acknowledged that some of your clothing just doesn’t ‘spark joy’. You know those dust collecting, guilt ridden, hidden in the depths of the wardrobe ‘where I can’t see them ‘pieces? There they lurk for the ‘one day’ when we will have that perfect occasion or event, be slim enough, tall enough or brave enough to wear them.
Those rash holiday purchases or the shame buying when an uber cool sales assistant assured you that “you look fabulous darling”… You know they don’t work but hang onto them because you spent so much money on them.
Wardrobe clear outs are the best way to achieve order from chaos, and can be done in a single day.
Your friends are your best resource –they are honest enough to point out that “this is totally not your style/color/fit” because, ultimately, they want you to be fabulous
Your first steps to fashion independence is to take out your three faithful go-to outfits that you trust to look good on any given day with minimal time and thought spent.
Lay them on your bed or hang from your wardrobe door and cast a critical eye.
Ask yourself is it the color that makes me feel happy? Is it the forgiving and flattering cut? Do I feel confident in them? Do they showcase my best assets? Do I smile when I wear them? What happy memories do they evoke?
Ask your friends to be honest about why and what they like to see you in. If these pass the test of not being tired, uninspired, boring or a ‘uniform’ (yes ladies, black on black) then put them aside to use as your template for the remainder of your wardrobe.
Arm yourselves with generous sized boxes and mark them ready to sort with the following-
KEEP- these items will need to be hung and then curated in the wardrobe before the FINAL cull
FIX- has it not been worn because of a missing button, fallen hem? Sort out so you can take them to your preferred alteration specialist and you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner as you’ve instantly increased your wardrobe options. Even dry-cleaning can reinvigorate what was once your fave piece.
SELL – drop off to your local consignment store –The Dressing Room but remember, this usually means ‘designer label’ and in good, clean condition. You now have an opportunity to make more considered purchases with the funds from those pieces that you were never going to wear again.
DONATE – Donate to opp shops, Women’s Refuge or Dress for Success. Let someone put their own spin on what never worked for you – letting go is cathartic and great for the planet!
BIN – please don’t add to the opportunity shop’s high rubbish costs. If you wouldn’t want your friends to wear it then who would? Into the bin!
The next step is to color block your wardrobe and curate!
Hang all like type garments in sections and by color hue. This allows you to assess which piece can be worn with what by simply choosing from your organized color palette. By selecting a matching color in darker or lighter hues -voila, you have instantly added height and slimming lines by color blocking ! Peta Matthias is a great example of using a vibrant color that should clash but somehow work brilliantly against her hair and skin tone- but that’s a whole other blog…
Get your friends to help with this and ask the following:
Is it worn out, ratty, faded or damaged? Either put into the fix box or discard- you will have other options.
Is it sentimental? Your wedding dress or a piece from a significant life event –respect it by storing safely and freeing up wardrobe space for your everyday clothing
Does it fit you? Be honest- not because it hides your shape or it fits like a second skin (unless that’s your vibe). If it’s too small or too big, let it go. If it’s worth selling, put it in your ‘Sell’ pile. If not, donate.
Do you like it? You may love a certain color and it may have been perfect before you changed your hair color, or went grey. Do you tan now or dodge the sun? Reinvent a new color palette to suit. Get your friends to weigh in about why certain colors work on you. Blue eyes look great with denim blues and steely grays. Olive skin is fabulous with khaki and mustards. Fair skin warms with soft rose tones.
Does the fabric feel good on you – personally I believe polyester self-ignites and I am a big fan of natural fibers all the way. Be kind to yourself.
Do you already own it, but different? By curating your clothing you can now see what pieces you are consistently repeat purchasing and decide ‘do I really need 8 black skirts? ‘
Ask yourself this – Which of the multiple pieces are you wearing on a high rotate? Do you wear it every week, monthly, last year? Wow, that long ago? Maybe it’s time to set it free? Only keep the best of those black skirts and discard those that have done their duty.
Look at your actual life. Have you retired? Have you moved into a different role or are you now working from home? Holding on to clothing from a previous work life is preventing you from moving forward into the next chapter of being a fabulous you.
Now you know where the gaps lie in your wardrobe – is it the essential ballet flat, a classic trench coat, the perfect fitting jeans?
Use this list to stop you replicating what you already have and focus on what you do need. A sale item or bargain is false economy if you have the same at home already.
So ladies, be the best you because everyone else is taken, Yvette Prideaux xxx