Wardrobe Cleanse

Wardrobes are generally full of unworn clothes. The more you buy, the less it seems you have to wear. You spend money on clothes you already have but can’t find, and hours trying to get dressed. What is the point of having lovely clothes that suit your body shape if you don’t have time to put them together or can’t find them. 

Wardrobes need to be uncluttered, well organised and routinely maintained. You need to know what you have in your wardrobe and how it works together. 

Start by emptying your wardrobe completely. Then, sort. Try everything on. If it no longer fits (your look, your shape, your taste) get rid of it. Make five separate piles of clothes – dry cleaning; the tailor for alterations and mending; charity; bin; and keepsakes. Do not keep anything that is too big or too small and makes you look dumpy, frumpy or ordinary. The clothes you are left with should make you look good, be able to throw on in minutes, and feel great and confident wearing them. 

They also need to be comfortable. You’ll find this hard to believe but the sooner you are able to draw the line at being a fashion victim and never again be too cold, in pain, asphyxiated by the tightness of your jeans or walking in shoes that draw blood.. the better off you will be and the better you will look. That is not to say that I don’t have a few scars from doing all of the above!!! All mothers try to get their daughters to wear singlets in the winter… my mother is still trying!! I used to visit my grandmother every day and she would say ‘those high shoes are so uncomfortable’, and I would always answer her ‘are there any other kind?’… and we would laugh. Seriously though, high shoes that you can’t walk in make you look ridiculous and damage your feet. 

Your new order….

All clothing should be rehung on matching covered or wooden hangers. Arrange your wardrobe in a way that you can see everything clearly – the easier it is to see the entire contents of your wardrobe, the easier it is to choose an outfit. Layout your wardrobe in shop form – merchandise into categories: tops and shirts; pants, jeans and skirts; dresses in casual and evening sections; jackets and coats, and then sort by colour. 

Keep accessories together – scarves, belts, jewellery, hats. 

Arrange shoes by season, occasion and colour. Clean and maintain heels on all shoes before storing them in the wardrobe. Dirty or scuffed shoes are unacceptable at any time. This includes joggers. Regularly soak and wash. 

Remember – clutter is the enemy. You can’t have a vision if you can’t see the stuff that will inspire you. Re-merchandise every three months or change of season.

Wardrobe Maintenance

At the end of each season, and before clothing and footwear are stored, check for stains and repairs. Wash, hand wash or dry clean any necessary items. With regard to dry cleaning, dry cleaning chemicals are harsh on fabrics, so don’t send garments to be cleaned unnecessarily. Also, dry cleaning suit pieces separately will ruin them. Polish shoes and have heels repaired. Clothes need to be maintained if you want them to last. As well as costing money, you may not be able to buy the pieces you have grown to love. 

When washing clothes, check labels for washing instructions. Clothing with stains, missing buttons, holes and hems down look dowdy, sloppy and lazy. 

Remember to ask yourself – what is the look that I want; what reputation am I cultivating; what do I want to be remembered for. Do I want average or excellence? 

Happy building!