I always advise my clients to pull out the pieces they wear most first. Even if they’re not your most treasured items, this will give you a solid framework and put you in the right frame of mind. Ultimately, it will act as a good indicator of your personal style. Once you’ve set these aside (because you know you’re definitely keeping them) you can begin the real process of clearing out in earnest.
Be Firm, But Not Ruthless
There’s an unwritten rule that if you’ve not worn something in more than two years, then you should get rid of it, but I don’t think it needs to be so black and white. After two years of a pandemic, it’s no wonder some of your clothes might remain unworn! Instead, be honest (and kind) with yourself – are you really going to wear this again? Does this represent who you are and how you want to dress? We’re all guilty (myself included) of hanging onto things because we think we should, perhaps because it was expensive. There’s no shame in letting go of something if it doesn’t fit with your lifestyle anymore. Sell it on or donate it, so someone else can make use of it.
Don’t Keep Things That Don’t Fit You
Unless you’re post-partum, there is no point in hanging onto clothes you can only wear when your body is a certain size. Why torture yourself? I’ve had clients in the past who have told me they don’t want to buy jeans right now because they’re not at their ideal weight. My answer is you still deserve to wear things that fit. Putting on clothes that are too tight is a horrible way to start your day, so make sure anything you keep is the right size and recycle anything else.
Try Colour Coding
Once you’ve decided on what to keep, the biggest favour you can do for yourself is to organise your clothes by colour. You can still keep pieces in sections like jackets, shirts, dresses etc, but separating the individual colours within those sections will make getting dressed each day that much easier. It’s also a helpful way to identify what you like, what you’re lacking, and what you’ve got too much of. For example, you might see a lot of a particular print, which is useful if you’re struggling to establish what your style identity is, but if you’re buying too much of the same item (like long-sleeve black shirts), you’ll be able to avoid too much repetition in the future.
Take Pride In Your Storage
Investing in your storage solutions will preserve your pieces and ultimately make you want to wear them more. For example, boot shapers if you have a pair of knee-high boots, or stuffing your bags and keeping them in their dust covers when you’re not using them. It’s simple, affordable and respecting your pieces will make you feel more positive towards your wardrobe in general.
Don’t Panic If You Hate Everything
You’re not alone – I have plenty of clients who want to get rid of everything and start again but buying a load of new things won’t solve the problem. Going back to my first tip, pull out what you wear regularly (even if you don’t love it) and identify the common themes. Perhaps you’re wearing a lot of basics, and you just need to refresh those staples with some updated styles. Alternatively, it could be the fit – switching out a jacket for a more oversized one, or getting a pair of trousers tailored, for example, could change your mind.
Keep A Wish List
Streamlining your wardrobe is a great way to identify the gaps where you might be missing something, but it’s easy to think gaps need to be filled with trend pieces that won’t go the distance. Instead of impulse buying something you think you need, keep a wish list on your phone and come back to it every now and again. When I do this, I often realise the items I’ve written down a couple of weeks ago I really don’t need at all. If you do keep thinking about it, that’s when it’s the right time, to go for it.
Don’t Be Afraid To Enlist Some Pro Help
Whether you’re a fashion lover or don’t think you have a clue how to dress, a wardrobe stylist can always help. First, if you’re in the latter camp – you know more than you think! But a second pair of eyes could give you some ideas you might not have thought of before. I’ve worked with women I think have better style than me, but they’ve brought me on to give them second opinion. Sometimes we all need one. I offer virtual styling sessions so you can book at a time that’s convenient to you.