How to make the most of your existing wardrobe

The most sustainable wardrobe is the one you already own.  Whilst I'm not a fan of resolutions I always like to have a reset moment at the start of the new year and this applies to my wardrobe too, I try to resist 'new' buys, and instead take this moment of calm to have a cleanse and  make sure I am maxing out on what I already own. If this appeals to you but you aren't sure where to start, or it all feels a bit overwhelming, I've pulled together some tips and tools to help you think about your existing wardrobe constructively and see things in a new light.

 

1) Can't see the wood for the trees

It sounds obvious, but if your wardrobe isn't organised you can't see what you're working with. Hands up I'm particularly bad at this, I hate organising laundry and more often than not my bedroom chair is used as a pathetic half way house and don't get me started on the floordrobe.

To try and keep on top of things I like to try and follow a few simple rules, I keep my clothes together by colour and type (tops / skirts / dresses).  Seasonal items are packed away and only brought out when I need them, and I have a section for 'special items' as well that I only would really wear to an occasion so they're out of the way, where as the things I wear everyday are in the easiest to each place. 

Once you've got a bit of structure in place it makes it easier to see what's left, and then there's only one thing for it...

 

2) Cleanse and reduce

Regularly going through your wardrobe to make sure you have only what you really will use will help you value it more. I have tried as a rule before have a one in one out policy which can help, but I'm not the type to ever be a minimalist and I've accepted that, plus as time goes on and your tastes and lifestyle alters sometimes there really is nothing better than a bigger purge. Don't be afraid to get rid of items I try to follow some key steps to help me decide.

 

3) Photograph it

It adds more time to the process of clearing out but trying on items and photographing them on can be a really constructive tool, you can see things from different angles and decide if it really works for you or not. It's also useful to send these to a good friend and ask their opinion, often they will give you more honest feedback or see things in a different perspective to you. 

A good try on will often make me think of new ways to wear items and reinvigorate a bit of love for something, or it can be the nail in the coffin, either outcome is a win.

 

4) Be true to yourself 

Whilst I would say I have a pretty varied style I have definitely kidded myself on with a few purchases along the way that aren't really suited to my lifestyle, or maybe its something I like the look of on other people but on me its not something I really feel comfortable and at my best in.  Have a look at what you have and be honest if it does really work for who you are, and how your life works. Are you always left with dresses swinging unworn but really you're a jeans and top girl?  It's worth taking time to understand what is your personal style,

 

5) Bend the rules

One of the most common 'rules' of wardrobe clearing out is the whole 'if you haven't worn it for a 6 months/ a year get rid of it, controversial but actually disagree with this one a bit, if you still feel a draw and it still fits maybe keep it there just a little bit longer, you never know when that item might end up just being the perfect piece and you get the regret.  

This year more than ever I advocate this, 2020 was the year of cancelled plans so that old holiday staple, that fancy dress, or those crazy heels may have never seen the light of day but that doesn't mean that you need to part ways just yet. 

 

6) Still like it but not quite right? 

Have that one dress / skirt / top that you still like but every time you put it on you just don't feel quite right in it? Maybe it's a simple fix to make it more you. Having a good local tailor is worth their weight in gold, don't be afraid to tweak an item to make it more you.  Crop those jeans, make that maxi a mini, take it in , let it out, a good tailor can literally work miracles.  There is also lot to be said for a bit of DIY, so before you get rid, get creative. 

 

7) Style it up

There is so much inspiration out there on how to style things. Look for interesting colour combinations and simple styling tricks that will make your old pieces feel like new, and help you see them a completely different light. I'll cover more of these in a separate post watch this space.