I spent the festive season renovating and after 4 days of sanding, painting, new picture rails and some flat pack furniture (yes I have a penchant for Ikea) I ended up with a new master bedroom (yay!). With the installation of a new wardrobe it was the perfect opportunity to undertake a Wardrobe Review. I love going through this process at least twice a year to rediscover great pieces, put together new outfits and work out what needs to go.
Research shows that the average woman wears 20% of her wardrobe 80% of the time. So what are the rest of the items in our wardrobes doing? They are often pieces that we don’t love, a reminder of past mistakes or a time in our life that we haven’t let go of (“it WILL come back in fashion!” or “I will get back into them!” ). Sometimes clothes can be a security blanket, for example the grey suit that I couldn’t let go of just in case I needed to reenter the world of accounting. Six years later I realised that I’m not going back and it’s definitely time to let go of it. Plus suits have moved on a little since then.
So how do you create a wardrobe that inspires you, has you ready for any occasion in 10 minutes and is fun? Here is a step by step guide to undertaking your own Wardrobe Review:
1. Do your hair and/or make up and wear your best underwear.
I give the same advice to clients I take shopping. Granted your hair may get a little dishevelled but the process is so much more fun when you put on that fabulous dress and you look gorgeous. Clothes always work better if you are wearing the right underwear and if you find a particular piece isn’t working due to underwear issues it’s a great reminder to add it to your shopping list. It’s also the perfect opportunity to discard expired underwear.
2. Sort your clothes first by type and then by colour.
It’s much easier to see what you have and how many and therefore you’ll feel more comfortable letting go of 3 out of 6 black t-shirts that you have accumulated. At the end of the process you’ll be able to identify the gaps in your wardrobe and make a list of what you need (more details in Part 2).
3. Remove each item from your wardrobe one at a time and sort them into the following piles:
KEEP items that:
- fit you perfectly and require no alteration.
- suit your lifestyle and personality.
- are comfortable to wear.
- flatter your shape and make you feel fabulous.
- are in great condition.
These items can be returned to your wardrobe.
MEND/ALTER items that:
- you love and suit your lifestyle and personality.
- are generally in good condition.
- with a small or cost-effective alteration will suit you perfectly.
Set a date with your tailor (give yourself 6 weeks) and enjoy having new pieces that will work perfectly for you.
- For those pieces where you are truly undecided.
I recommend putting these items in a bag and hiding them away for 6 – 12 months. If you haven’t gone to look for an item from this bag during that time, grab the bag without opening and donate it to charity.
DISCARD items that:
- are too large or too small and not worth altering. You’re wardrobe is for now, not for 3, 6 or 12 months time.
- are beyond repair.
- do not fit well.
- are out of date.
- have not been worn in 3 years (I’m being very generous here).
- no longer fit your lifestyle or style personality.
- do not flatter your shape.
- are the wrong colour.
If any of these items can be donated, given away or up cycled add them to the Donate/Give Away pile. For all others bin them and let them go.
DONATE/GIVE AWAY items that:
- are perfect for someone else.
- no longer suit your style personality or lifestyle. You have fallen out of love, let it go and let it find happiness elsewhere.
Sort into separate piles, one for charity and the others for friends/family that you think may like them. I leave these bags at the front door so that I remember to take them with me the next time I am catching up with a friend. Put the charity bag in your car so that you remember to drop it off.
ARCHIVE items that:
- are special pieces that have sentimental value.
- are classic and/or vintage items.
- you would like to pass on to family or friends in the future.
Make sure that you store these items appropriately so that they stay in great condition (more details in Part 2). Put your archive items in another room if possible or somewhere that will not distract you from your day-to-day wardrobe.
- How to organise your wardrobe and the best ways to store pieces
- The shopping list
- Creating a capsule wardrobe