Our womenswear style contributor, Brittany Bathgate, tells you how to edit your wardrobe.
How many of you, despite a full wardrobe staring back at you, wake up in the morning and think to yourself ‘I haven’t got anything to wear’?
I have increasingly found myself saying this in the mornings along with feeling frustrated with my current wardrobe. Frustrated with what though, I’m not sure. Maybe because it’s not refined? Too many options? Too many unnecessary items? I believe the latter to be the catalyst to my frustrations, over the past year I’ve added a number of ‘fast fashion’ items to my wardrobe [I’m looking at you Zara] we all know how it works, you get caught up in the shopping moment only to then grow tired of the item after a handful of wears. It feels like those items are blocking my vision in the morning, I can no longer see past the items I now loathe and see through to the esteemed basics I once so carefully curated.
Choosing what to wear each morning shouldn’t take as much energy as it does, I want it to be a quick and easy process. So on a rainy, post heat wave, weekend I took it upon myself to edit my crowded wardrobe.
Step One – Cleanse
To begin the wardrobe edit I moved everything from my wardrobe onto a rail. I then went through each item, quite ruthlessly, separating everything into two piles – DONATE & KEEP. In a bid to be less wasteful rather than binning clothes I am donating items wherever possible.
The general rule was if the item hadn’t been worn in the past year then donate it. [I didn’t apply this to coats or sentimental items]
Ask yourself, is it in good condition? Does it fit properly? Does it make you feel good? Answering no to these questions is a good indication to donate these items. Turns out I had been clinging on to far too many items that didn’t quite fit the bill [legs too long, waists too tight] in the hope I might make them ‘work’.
Step Two – Re Evaluate
To re evaluate I edited through the ‘keep’ pile with a fine toothed comb ensuring all the items worked for me and can be worn in multiple ways with one another thus creating sub categories within the pile.
Fail Safe – Items I can rely on time and time again that go with everything aka basics.
‘Not So Fail Safe’ – A handful of items in my wardrobe that despite wearing regularly don’t fit in with my mix and match ethos, items I love but struggle to throw on with anything. [E.g. a baby pink t-shirt]
I kept the non fail-safes in order to work on them; it might be that I need to introduce more basics into my collection. I plan to come back to these items in a few weeks and re evaluate their place in my wardrobe.
Step Three – Organise and Define
As simple as it might sound, organize your wardrobe. It can make a world of difference. I wanted everything to be visible and accessible so I organized all my clothes by category , it has already made finding items a lot easier and quicker!
How many of you have a wardrobe full of miss matched plastics hangers from years of asking ‘can I have the hanger with that’? Or even worse…wire hangers! Along with a functional wardrobe I would also like an aesthetically pleasing wardrobe [think pinterest worthy] so my next step is to invest in new clothes hangers, be it some stylish copper hangers or simple classic wooden hangers being greeted with small touches such as these make going to your wardrobe a little more pleasant in the morning.
With a successfully edited and organized closet I can now define my wardrobe and style. I can work with what I have and grow, looking through my post cleanse closet it is clear to see I have a penchant for button down shirts, straight cut trousers and basic t shirts black, white, grey and navy which I will continue to hone in on rather than make regrettable purchases, subsequently creating a uniform. It is also clear to see the gap’s in my wardrobe, for someone who loves basics I’m still missing some of what I would consider essential, included on the list are: a navy pair of tailored trousers, the perfect white shirt (will that search ever really end for any woman though), a straight cut blazer and a black sweater.
- Do not browse and do not go into shops for the sake of it
- Only shop if in need or searching for a particular item
- Don’t make impulse purchases
- Avoid casual online browsing
- Don’t fall for ‘fast fashion’
- Only browse utmost favorites websites, avoid larger sites such as ASOS for casual browsing
- Do not sale shop unless item has been bookmarked prior to the sale
Speaking from previous experience it can be extremely easy to get caught up in fast fashion and impulse purchases. I hope this gives some if not one of you inspiration to cleanse your closet and re evaluate your shopping habits for the better.