How many times have you opened your wardrobe, faced with a rail bowing under the weight of squashed up garments? A cupboard fit to burst, stuffed with bags, belts and shoes? And yet, you shout to the skies, cursing your misfortune at simply never having a thing to wear.
Halt your anguished pleas to the sartorial seraphim; we are here to answer your prayers. You don’t need a platinum card and a shopping spree at Selfridges, my darling! No, you simply need to purge your wardrobe of the regrettable and forgettable purchases, streamline and redefine.
What excuse do you have for your slovenly closet?
It might fit one day!
Most women have fluctuating weight. Some months we’re pounding the treadmill and living on green juice, the following, we’re curled on the sofa with a bottle of wine, family sized bar of Galaxy chocolate, watching Gossip Girl on Netflix.
How can we part with that lovely, floaty Zara dress, when we might fit into it again after 6 months with a personal trainer?
A dress that is a pinch too tight is one thing, but that size 6 dress you wore in college? The teeny, tiny jeans you can’t sit down in? Get rid of them now! Not only do they make you feel bad every time you see them, wistfully thinking that one day you might be able to squeeze yourself in, but they take up valuable space for clothes that do fit and also make you feel wonderful.
It may come in handy!
We are all guilty of holding onto those “quirkier” pieces bought in a slight daze during the January sales. Whether it be a quilted satin jacket or zombie print jeans, there is that part of you that loves the item, but you’ve just never gotten around to wearing it. Sometimes, we just have to accept that whilst a pure snowy white fur coat may look glorious on some, it might not be quite right for you.
Figure out what works for you. Spend some time trying on these beautiful yet unworn pieces and think about why you don’t wear them. I love fluttering, empire line dresses but they are all wrong for me, making me look frumpy and bulky. If it’s the wrong shape, an unflattering colour or just plain wrong, learn from the experience and move on! Sell, donate or gift the unwanted pieces and see it as an education and don’t make the same mistakes on your next shopping spree.
It would be easier if I had more space!
Whilst we may all dream of a Christina Aguilera style walk in closet (maybe with a little less hot pink and leopard print), the majority of us make do with a wardrobe and a chest of drawers. My last house was so tiny, I had to store my clothes on a rail (the kind used at fashion shows, the ones on wheels) and in a suitcase in the hallway! I am very lucky now that I can comfortably fit a wardrobe in my bedroom. But with the plethora of shoes, hats, belts, bags and scarves I and the average girl own, space is still tight.
This is where Ikea comes into its own. Hangers made up of loops to store scarves on, tiered shoe racks, drawer dividers and more. It is definitely worth popping in or ordering online to pick up these reasonably priced space savers. They make getting dressed in the morning a lot more efficient.
For years, I had a beautiful 1960s dress inherited from my Nan. It was the most perfect dress I had ever seen. The only flaw was that the hem had dropped. Every Friday night I would go to put the dress on before whatever party or occasion I was off to, and remember the hem. The fabric was too precious to press under a hot iron to use wonder web. I promised myself I would stitch it up, but never found the time. I’m a pretty average seamstress, so after a build-up of fallen hems, snagged seams and popped buttons, I took a haul to a REAL seamstress. She charged me less than the price of a Primark dress and it was as if I had a whole new wardrobe!
If you’re good with a needle and thread, stitch away, but save the more delicate items for the experts.
If, like me, you have a laundry hamper full of dry clean only items, pop to your local dry cleaners and ask if they’ll do a discount for multiple items. Always go to the ones in your local area rather than city centres, the price difference is astonishing. You can also purchase dry cleaning kits to use in your tumble dryer, but always read the instructions first!
It’ll be impossible to keep organised!
This is where the fun begins! Decide how you want to organise your wardrobe, make it look pretty and you will never deviate, I can guarantee. I went with colour co-ordinated, as I generally base an outfit around the colour I’m most feeling that day. So all green garments hung together, all red together and so on.
This is a really useful tool in keeping a check on what garments you already own to avoid unnecessary duplicates. When I organised my wardrobe, I discovered 5 identical black turtlenecks, roughly 10-15 white t-shirts and countless blue and white Breton tops. I certainly won’t be spending anymore on those items for a while.
Other ways to organise your wardrobe could be through item, for example, all skirts hung together, all jackets hung together. Or maybe if you’re feeling adventurous, why not organise via texture. Denim, cotton, linen, leather… whatever floats your boat; this is your space and your mini mecca of style.