I am sure every lockdown reprises the idea, “Oh, I’ll clear out my wardrobe … again”. Unless you are already working with a tried-and-true process for keeping a handle on your wardrobe (and therefore fashion consumption), you may feel you could spend every lockdown inside, with yet another toiling day picking through your clothing. Wondering, as you tirelessly sort, whether you wear each piece or not, a sometimes dreary task, when you’d rather be enjoying the sunshine or whānau!
One of the best personal stylist tips and a great start to being more organised, is to turn your hangers and your folded items such as sweaters all around backwards. This way, every time you wear that garment, you return it the correct way around. Don’t worry, once you have completed this, the initially messy look will subside and be tidier each time you do it.
There is no need to buy ‘special’ hangers or use post it notes (yes, someone told me they did that) to keep track. It’s a simple and effective way to keep a more accurate track of what is worn and what is not worn, over the season. It also means the time required to address any potential wardrobe nightmare is lessened – you can do it and walk away. Just make sure you reschedule in your diary to do it again in six months. Don’t worry, we will remind you too!
It takes a lot shorter time to go through and turn hangers around than to pull everything out. It can be quite emotional, and sad to see just how much is really there! There really is no doubt and people already know, they tend to have too much in their wardrobes. I am no exception. I do also use this method to keep an eye on my maximalist nature!
There will of course be some items that are specific to events or to which you’re emotionally attached and not negotiable for release. I recommend you look at booking me to come and help you sort through it all if you are still feeling a little overwhelmed after your first ‘cull’. We can talk about the whys and wherefores you might want to get rid of or keep other items. Booking a personal stylist saves you money in the end - just saying.
Investing in the (dreaded plastic) vacuum bags is also a great way to put away items such as (for me) camping clothes, since I only wear them once a year. I have been wearing the same camping repertoire for nigh on 10 years now. Cue the clothes we NEED but don’t wear all the time. I take a couple of the small silica packs that often come with shoes and put those in the bag too just in case there is moisture in the garments. This also works for putting away your boots or sandals. Those handy little silica baggies really need to go in with shoes if you are storing them for seasonal outings, to give longevity to the material. Nothing worse than mouldy shoes! Yuk!
Many people don’t want the shoe box when they shop new-from-new and there is usually a pair of silica baggies that would have otherwise been turfed out! Ask your favourite shoe shop; I am sure they will be happy to give them to you. Let’s make use of what’s already been made!
While you are turning your hangers, take a quick peep to check out if your clothes have any rips, holes, tears or stains – in essence, all indications this is a well-worn loved item. It may be sad to see it go but think about whether you want to wear this out of the house again, in lieu of a better condition piece. Part of the process is pulling out those things you wouldn’t be caught dead in – and just get them OUT of there! There is no need to ‘hang’ on to these.
Get rid of clothes that you KNOW don’t fit as you go through. Whether too big or too small, it makes no difference. Opening your wardrobe and seeing a mass jumble of clothes does not start the day positively. Use these tips to open a wardrobe of excitement instead. It will be freeing and set a standard for getting dressed like a beautiful bird every morning. Take the brave step to remove unloved items from your closet. Take the current pieces to donate to a friend or to your favourite charity.
And of course, if it is vintage, make sure you take it to donate, or try and resell at a vintage or retro shop to ensure the quality garments of our fashion history don’t die a sad landfill death!