We have all been there, after the Boxing Day sales our wardrobe becomes in desperate need of a detox, crammed full of clothes we don’t wear and brought as an impulse buy because it was ‘cheap’. I know from personal experience that the lure of sales can often do more harm than good and leave you with clothes that you will never wear again. One of my New Years Resolutions-which you can read HERE– is to decrease spending and expenditure and so I have rapidly cut back on how much I spend. Instead I am making the most of my wardrobe by following the key steps below that will give my wardrobe and its contents a new lease of life.
Minimize & Declutter
The first step to making the most of your wardrobe is to organize your wardrobe and closet. With a clearer closet you have a clearer mind and are able to make informed decisions about how you would like your wardrobe to look. Below I have curated top tips that can show you how to make the most of your wardrobe through minimizing the amount of clothes you have.
1. Categorize Your Clothes
Take all clothes from the closet/ wardrobe and sort into categorical piles. I usually curate a trouser, skirt and shorts, dress, jacket, blazer, playsuit and jumpsuit and shoe pile which is then sorted into seasonal wear; summer, spring autumn and winter. The shoes are then sorted into boots and heels which are placed in piles on the floor.
2. Sort Into Two Piles: To Throw & To Keep
Sorting into these two piles does not neccessarily mean that you will throw or keep either pile but it will give you a clearer idea of what is in your wardrobe. For all the clothes in the ‘To Throw’ pile just follow the next step below.
3. Try Before You Throw
Forget the rule ‘if you have not worn it in six months throw it’ because you will quite often find that your tastes have probably changed dramatically since your last wardrobe declutter session. Once you have completed step one and have categorized your clothes try ALL the clothes on to see if A. they fit & B. Go with anything else in your wardrobe. I reccomend researching the colour wheel theory- which you can read more about in my post Colourblocking HERE– and see which colours compliment each other to give your clothes a lease of life. For example I might choose to pair a brown turtleneck with an olive or khaki coat because they are complimentary colours.
A still from the colourblocking post
4. Give To Charity Or Sell Your Clothes
Once you have categorized your clothes and tried on all the clothes in your ‘To Throw’ pile think about how you are going to get rid of your clothes. For this I again organize into two piles; to give to charity/and/or friends/family and to sell via Depop and Ebay. The way I curate these two piles is to think about how much I have used each item. For example items that are ‘expensive’ or still ‘brand-new’ I try to sell via the sites mentioned above and clothes that have been worn but are in good conditiion I give to charity.
I sold the mini-skirt and turtleneck
To make the most of your wardrobe it all goes back to the first process of buying clothes; shopping. Be a smart shopper and follow the tips below to show you how to make the most of your wardrobe.
1. Write A List
Before you set foot out the door write two lists: What You Need & Shops To Buy From. This will prevent you from entering other shops and give you a clearer and more time efficient shopping process. On your ‘what you need list’ analyze the contents of your wardrobe. Are you missing any classic wardrobe staples? Do you need to inject a new lease of life into its contents because there is no colour? Step out of your comfort zone but at the same time list pieces that you know you will wear.
2. Wear Neutral Or Your Favourite Colours
Once you have created your list plan an outfit that will help you buy smart wardrobe pieces. For example as my colour tastes range between autumnal and bold colours I usually wear the two colours together when I go out shopping because I know that I am usually drawn to those colours when browsing the rails. On the other hand a minimal monochrome outfit means that you can add a pop of colour and gives you a wider range of clothes to choose from.
An Example Of An Outfit I would Wear To Go Shopping: Favourite Colours Blue & Burgundy
3. Don’t Be Lured By Sales
Sales are great and I as much as any other human loves sales yet quite often end up buying things I don’t need and will probably never wear again. The only time I will buy things in the sale is if I can envision an outfit immediately in my mind about what I would wear the piece with. For example I recently came across a gorgeous pair of tan ankle boots but did not buy them the first time I saw them as I could not think of an outfit it would go with. The second time I saw them they had been reduced to £10 and I had an outfit in mind; a burgundy midi waistcoat, mustard round neck jumper with a khaki blouse layered underneath and a green suede skirt whose rich winter hues would go well with the creamy accents of the tan boots.
A rare sale based outfit because I immediately envisioned the boy meets girl playful androgynous look with the suede skirt (£30 reduced from 40), the striped shirt (£20 reduced from £45) and the sleeveless waistcoat (£30 reduced from £50)
4. Work Out A Budget
Every smart shopper needs to set themselves a budget to ensure that they are buying pieces they need but also challenging themselves to forgo the designers and shop the high street. I am a huge high street fan and Primark is a fantastic place to shop on a budget with coats starting from £15, tops from £2 and trousers from £7.
5. Window Shopping
At the end of my trip or usually while I am buying the pieces I need for next weeks shoot I mentally list any coveted items I see this week for next weeks shopping trip to curate a theme i.e. workwear that I will shoot in the future. This creates a challenge because there is the possibility that the items I have seen might no longer be available but it allows me to think out the box and create outfit combinations in advance.
To make the most of your wardrobe magazines, technology, nature, media and even art can help show you how to make the most of your wardrobe.
4. Catwalk Trends
6. Books & The History Of Fashion
7. Other Media
11. Social Media
An example of how my style is influenced by the rich tones of seasonal nature
Buy Timeless Pieces
Every Wardrobe needs classic wardrobe staples that possesses timeless appeal and can be worn for decades to become. Below are the 10 key staples that every wardrobe needs to utilize its contents.
3. Rose Gold Watch
4.Pointed Smart Flats/ Brogues ( Patent Or Suede)
5. Striped Shirt/White Shirt
7. Pencil Skirt
8. Leather Jacket
9. The Tote
10. Cat Eye Sunglasses
Find out more on my upcoming post ‘Classic Staples Every Wardrobe Needs’
I wear a turtleneck in most outfit posts [See Above]
How Do You Make The Most Of Your Wardrobe? Share Your Tips Below