Happy New year to you, my lovely reader!!
Entering a new year offers the chance for new beginnings, and while we typically assign ourselves to a long list of resolutions that, chances are, we just won’t stick to, one commitment worth fulfilling is – clearing out your wardrobe.
Feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of clothes in your cupboard? Then there’s never been a better time to get rid of those tatty jumpers and jeans that don’t quite fit anymore.
That being said, letting go of items you’ve owned for years can be tough – so to help you figure out what it is you really need to do, I am sharing an excerpt from my bestselling- book- The No Black Project, which should provide some practical tips on how to declutter your wardrobe for the new year!
DO YOU HAVE A TOXIC WARDROBE?
Most women are guilty of having what I refer to as a ‘toxic wardrobe’. A toxic wardrobe is a cluttered wardrobe. It is a wardrobe full of clothing, shoes and accessories that are under-used and are unworkable.
You have a toxic wardrobe if:
You have clothing in your wardrobe you have not worn for the last 5 years
Your clothes are very closely packed together you barely have space to add any more.
You have clothing in your wardrobe that is not functional (too big, too small, wrong styles, wrong colours, clothing you simply don’t love or clothing and accessories not related to your current lifestyle).
You have clothing in your wardrobe that reminds you of a sad time in your life, such as a break up or job loss.
For various reasons, such as shopping without purpose, blindly following fashion trends, copy-cat dressing or lack of knowledge about what works for you, you may have ended up accumulating an excessive, non-workable wardrobe with clothing and accessories you rarely use. The solution to this is performing a wardrobe weed or declutter.
Performing a wardrobe weeding session is not an easy process. Most of us love to hold on to things, even if we know deep down that these things are no longer working for us. The success of this process relies on you being completely honest with yourself and mentally preparing yourself to let go of the old and welcome the new.
Remember that whatever you keep that is not working for you is taking away your energy (physically, mentally and emotionally) and of course the perfect opportunity to create your ideal mix and match wardrobe. Imagine a wardrobe where each and every item of clothing and accessory is usable? Imagine a wardrobe full of clothing and accessories that you can mix and match, easily throw on and look stylish every single time?
In order to get yourself to this place, you will need to create the space and energy for the ‘new’ to come in. Holding on to the ‘old’ stifles any progress.
For this reason, you will have to be extremely strict with yourself throughout this process. Trust me; it will all be worth it in the end!
You can perform a wardrobe weeding session 4 times a year (after every season) or twice a year. I tend to perform a wardrobe weeding session twice a year; just before Spring (for Spring and Summer) and just before Autumn (for Autumn and Winter).
Here is a step by step process on how to perform a wardrobe weeding session:
Plan in a day or two in your diary where you can carry out a wardrobe weeding session- undisturbed. Divide your wardrobe weeding themes into three, namely: ‘All clothes that you wear out’, ‘Clothing that you wear in the house or for exercise’ and ‘Shoes and other accessories’. In order to avoid getting too overwhelmed with the whole process, pick one theme per session or day.
Oh, and play lots of great music!
Pick a colour palette based on what you feel resonates with you the most and use this palette as your basis for your choice of colours for the clothing and accessories in your wardrobe. If you have picked more than one palette, separate your wardrobe arrangement to clearly separate the two palettes. Remember, colour makes the biggest difference when it comes to mixing and matching.
Find 4 pieces of A4 paper and 4 stick labels. Create 3 main piles and label them: ‘Resell, ‘Charity’, ‘Bin’ and ‘Not In Season’ piles. Then find 3 big and strong bin bags for the first three and a box or case for the out of season stuff!
Go through your whole wardrobe, analysing each piece of clothing or accessory you have:
WHAT SHOULD YOU REMOVE FROM YOUR WARDROBE?
Items of clothing and accessories you hate!
Items that are the wrong colours or styles
Items you have not worn in the last 2 years and have no intention of wearing
Items that are worn or outdated
Items that are not in season (put away until the appropriate season)
The items not in season should be put away in a box or case to be analysed again when you perform your next wardrobe declutter, most likely at the start of a new season.
WHAT ITEMS SHOULD REMAIN IN YOUR WARDROBE?
Items of clothing and accessories you love!
Items that match your colouring or items from your chosen palette.
Items that look great on your and fit your body shape
Items in season
Out of the items that leave your wardrobe, get some bin bags or boxes and organise accordingly according to the following:
‘Resell’- This bag is for good quality items you would like to resell and you are absolutely sure you will have the time to sell them either through websites such as eBay or clothing exchange shops. Otherwise, give these away to family and friends.
‘Charity’- Have a bag where you can put all clothing and accessories in this pile and be sure to take it to the charity shop the same day!
‘Bin’- This bag is for badly worn items that cannot be sold or taken to charity. Put them in a bin bag right away and get rid of them the same day.
*Remember, you should only be left with clothing and accessories that you love in colours and styles that complement you. Whatever is left in your wardrobe should also be suitable for your lifestyle.
Whatever clothing and accessories are left should go back into your wardrobe and arranged in such a way that you can see most of your clothing and get as much wear out of them as possible.
Hang as many clothes as possible in your wardrobe rather than fold them and invest in good quality hangers that will help prolong the life of your clothing. The only clothing that should be folded should be your workout clothing, very casual t-shirts, underwear and scarves. Have these in separate drawers.
The best way to arrange your clothing and accessories in your wardrobe is according to categories and colours (shades). All tops, dresses, skirts, trousers, jackets & blazers as well as coats should be hung in their respective sections according to their different colours and shades. Also, have warm shades together or cool shades together. It is also a good idea to separate your pieces according to fabric. Smarter fabrics should be separated from casual fabrics.
Your bags and necklaces should always be on display for you to get the most wear out of them. Jewellery mannequins work well for necklaces! Ensure you have your earrings and brooches in a jewellery box that is easily accessible. You will also use your shoulder bags more if they are hang up and easily accessible.
Remember, getting dressed for any occasion is only as easy as how organised and accessible your wardrobe is."
CLUTTER FREE WARDROBE, NEW RULES!
Now that you’ve successfully cut down your clothing, it’s important to make sure your wardrobe doesn’t become suffocated by clutter once more. To do this you need to establish a new set of rules for when you go shopping.
The “one in, one out” rule is a great way to monitor your spending, so decide on a number of clothes you want and stick to it. Similarly, if you’re tempted to splurge on an item, go away and think about it, don’t impulse buy – chances are you’ll forget all about it. Alternatively, if you really do want to pick up some new pieces, try to “buy less and buy better”. This way, you’ll be more likely to invest in staple items that will last than throwaway fast fashion.
It has been estimated that the value of unused clothing in wardrobes could be as much as £30 billion, with further estimates suggesting £140 million worth of clothing goes into landfill each year. With shopping predicted to rise, fuelled by our obsession for ‘fast fashion’, the future can feel very bleak. Happily, there does seem to be a growing trend to question where our clothes come from and where they will end up. More and more businesses are embracing a circular economy — one which tries to design out waste and pollution, keep products and materials in use for longer and transition to renewable energy sources.
I am a huge supporter of fashion sustainability and its why I started organising my very own Luxury Swap Events alongside two other fashion business ladies. Clothes Swapping is the easy way to update your wardrobe after performing a wardrobe declutter! It’s guilt free shopping and great for the environment. Enter the Swap event with 5 high quality high street and designer clothing you no longer wear and exchange them for something new-to-you, brought in by other stylish ladies, whilst supporting a charity. For details about my next event and to purchase tickets, CLICK HERE.
Until next time,
Your Personal Stylist,