Knowing what is in your wardrobe is a must before you add more.
Be honest, how much of what is in your wardrobe do you wear?
20% , 50%, 80%?
You may have heard of the 80/20 rule…..
Statistics say that most women only wear 20% of the clothes in their wardrobe 80% of the time!
I think you will be surprised how much money is tied up in your clothes that you don’t wear.
Let me make a small calculation for you.
Let’s say that you have 100 items in your wardrobe with an average price tag of $75 per garment.
100 Garments x 20% = 20 items you wear a lot
80 items you don’t often/never wear x $75 per item = $6,000
You may have more or less than 80 items you never wear and perhaps a higher or lower than $75 average price tag.
You do the sums and change the final figure, but the message is clear: aimlessly shopping could cost you a lot of money.
TIME TO SHOP IN YOUR WARDROBE!!
Before you rush to the shops to look for all your new found styles IT IS TIME TO TAKE STOCK!
Yes, why not make it a “shopping session” as I assure you YOU will have fun, a trip down memory lane, a few screams of “what was I thinking” and YES a few favorites you forgot you had!
Let’s Begin with a Declaration of Style ;
“I CLEAN out my wardrobe every 6 months so I know what I have.”
“I will ONLY have in my wardrobe what I LOVE.”
“When I shop, I look for what I NEED.”
Cleaning out your wardrobe regularly or at least every 6 months will get you to a great position to build a fabulous wardrobe, where you love every item.
Only having in your wardrobe what you absolutely LOVE is such a powerful place to be in! Any casual, work or party occasion covered, showing up with confidence. I am getting excited here for you!
You will find gaps in your wardrobe and I suggest you start a GAP list in the NOTES section of your mobile phone so you always carry it with you.
If you are stuck with finding your GAPS please tell me on the Style Angel Forum! I can direct you in the right direction!
Give yourself a good chunk of time for the clean out of your wardrobe. Professionally, I get this job done with my clients in 2 hours and you might like to take between 2 to 4 hours.
Download the FREE Gap List I have created for you right here. Print 4 copies out so you can create a Gap List for each season.
What you need for this exercise is :
- Heavy Duty garbage bags
- A good mirror
- Uplifting music, a cup of tea/coffee and some snacks!
- A vacuum cleaner and a wet cloth (now is your chance to give it a good clean in those dusty forgotten areas)
This process is known to bring back memories and can be quite emotional. So do this when you are feeling great and inspired! Not worth rushing this for the sake of a few days. Even if this job is a little distressing it is such an important step in the process of creating a wardrobe you love.
It may be an idea to have a friend/daughter/mum/husband on hand to help you during this process to make tough decisions, to get a second opinion, to relive the moments and perhaps to hand you a tissue if you are finally saying goodbye to certain items.
It is a great idea to wear your best supporting lingerie, do your hair and make up for when you try things on.
Be prepared to take everything out of your wardrobe so best to clear your bed. If you have a mobile clothing rack even better.
Remember that you ONLY keep items you love 100%!
I like to sort things out per type of garments i.e assess all your pants first then all your skirts and dresses. Then move on to Shirts/Blouses and Tops, Jackets, Jumpers and Vests. Jewellery, scarfs, belts, hosiery, shoes and handbags are next.
You will end up with piles on the floor.
Generally, I keep the following piles:
- One pile of definite RECYCLE ready to be put in the garbage bags for the Donation Bin.
- One pile for items that need washing, dry cleaning, alteration. And of course this is ONLY for items that you LOVE 100%! Otherwise it is not worth the effort and money!
- One pile for items that you may want to give to someone.
The clothes you want to keep go straight back in the wardrobe to clear space on the bed.
You literally pick up every pair of pants and decide which pile they belong in. Be super honest to yourself!
Once you have gone through all your pants you should feel amazing about what has gone back in the wardrobe.
You may have questions you want to ask me on the Style Angel Facebook Page! Please don’t hesitate as you will feel so empowered when you sort this uncertainty out for you. I love helping you.
I will share a funny story with you: past clients have been so nervous about me coming to their home as I usually head straight to the bedroom with them which is confronting. They often expect that I will pull my nose up to everything. Mind you they have every right to feel this way as I am usually a complete stranger who they have literally just met and who is seeing the most private part of them.
Here comes the Style Angel magic… My focus is to find all the items that they LOVE, I am like a blood hound looking for the GREAT pieces that will stay and form the basis of their wardrobe.
Their nerves turn into passion after the first 5 minutes as we are working hard to get through every item in 2 hours. I feel I am their friend when I leave as I have shared so much with them. Amazing!
BE HONEST TO YOURSELF
My Client emotions guide me to sometimes dig a little deeper. I will give you an example.
“Mary, how do you feel when you wear those jeans?” “Mmm I am not sure, yes they are fine”. Well fine is NOT what you are looking for! “FINE” jeans gather dust and eat up your budget.
I have shopped for jeans with thousands of Clients and have found AMAZING fits every time where a little victory dance is done in the change room. So FINE is not good enough!!
So it is CRUCIAL that you are honest to yourself to get the most benefit from your time investment!
My next question for Mary would be “What don’t you like about the jeans” she might say something about them being too tight, too big, too long etc etc. If it can be fixed and it is worth it GREAT otherwise they end up on the recycle pile.
When I feel the jeans have potential, I get Mary to try the jeans on and I look for the correct fit, length and how it fits on her body shape.
There is a reason why I call this a SHOP IN YOUR WARDROBE SESSION. There are often fantastic items in your wardrobe that may just need some mix and match items.
JUST TO GIVE YOU A RECAP ON THE 3 PILES AGAIN:
- RECYCLE PILE
- WASHING/ALTERATION/DRY CLEANING PILE
- GIVE-AWAY-TO-FRIEND PILE
The rest goes back into your wardrobe!
You may recycle a suit jacket, for example, as the style is out of date but the pants might still be a great fit.Your pants can be worn with a great top and overcoat if it’s cold.
I find this often the situation for women who are returning to the work force after a long time and perhaps have a huge wardrobe that is quite a few years old and does not necessarily fit the job they are going back to.
As a simple rule: Just keep coming back to: Does it fit? YES! Do I love it? YES. Then it is a keeper! Over and over again until you are DONE!
Yes, I know it is a huge exercise especially if you have not done a wardrobe clean out for a long time. It will pay off for you and just visualise just how amazing it feels to open clean drawers, a neat and organised wardrobe, a gorgeous accessory selection, beautiful scarves and all your favorite shoes neatly in place.
Bonus Wardrobe Tips
1. FOUR SEASONS
Each city has a different degree in seasonality. What I mean is that for example I grew up in the Netherlands and there are 4 very distinct seasons per year with different WET/COLD/WARM wardrobe requirements. I now live on the famous Bondi coast of Sydney and it is 20’C degrees almost every day in Autumn/Winter and about 25 to 40’C degrees in Spring/Summer.
Just judge if you feel you need to split and store your wardrobe according to the seasons or if you want to keep it mixed.
I have chosen to keep my wardrobe mixed as I need to be flexible to grab a lighter top with a warmer cardigan and scarf at any time.
I have also chosen to keep my wardrobe very simple. You will not see a crazy amount of clothes in my wardrobe. I can almost blindly grab a top and bottom and it will go together.
Dropping my kids off to school in the morning, I only take 5 minutes to get dressed and 5 minutes to do my make up. I want comfortable, stylish, easy and stress free dressing.
2. HANGING VS FOLDING
I am of the opinion that what is tucked away in a pile and is not visible will be forgotten. I suggest putting as many of clothes as possible on hangers and in their sections.
- Tops with Tops from Light to Dark
- Pants with Pants from Light to Dark
- Dresses with Dresses from Light to Dark
- Skirts with skirts from Light to Dark
- Jackets with Jackets from Lights to Dark
- Work out and outdoor gear together
There are some theories that say to turn your hangers the other way, if the hanger remains unturned for 6 months it gets recycled. I will leave this up to you. You might get very excited about this principle. I personally would get annoyed at the hangers not pointing the same way so my stress free wardrobe would become stressful!
I am a visual person and I have my most frequent wears in the best lit spot in my wardrobe.
Every 3 weeks or so I quickly put all sections back in order and have a little reset without during a huge clean out.
If your hanging space is limited, here are some strategies to make your wardrobe work smoothly for you:
- Give your hanging space to the items that will wrinkle most so you save on ironing time. (I have not met many women who love ironing!)
- Fold each top with the collar and print showing to the top.
- Put all your Lighter tops in a pile together and do the same with your Darker tops.
- Create purpose piles, you have a pile of casual tops, work tops, gym tops, going out tops etc.
The more visual you keep the system the better it will work for you!
3. STORING YOUR SEASONAL WARDROBE
Vacuum Storage Bags are brilliant to pack away a considerable amount of clothes you don’t need right now.
I recommend that you use these AFTER you have done your wardrobe clean out. No need to store things you are never going to wear again in your life!
I prefer to hang it all in my wardrobe and I change the hanging space around so I can have access to all my relevant seasonal pieces easily.
Give you shoes and boots some love as well as you pack them away. Stuff them with bags or newspapers especially in the nose of the shoe and give them a final polish before they are laid to rest for 6 months. The leather has been warmed to your skin all winter and it will dry up if it is not worn.
I have seen too many boot noses stick up in all sorts of weird positions during Client sessions as they were thrown to the back of the cupboard and have been squashed ever since.
4. TO BOX OR NOT TOO BOX
Some women love storing their shoes in boxes. I have seen many many rows of boxes stacked up and for me it comes back to “if you can see it you will wear it”. If you want to keep your shoes in boxes I suggest yo u sort the rows of boxes by occasion meaning your evening shoes together, your sandals etc.
Yes sure, I store my winter boots in a box during summer but for the rest my shoes are in a hanging bag with 10 pairs vertically and my most used shoes are standing ready for use. At any point during my 5 minutes of getting dressed I have full visual of what I have available.
Stick with what works best for you! If your current system has led you to be in wardrobe mayhem then perhaps it’s time to make a change!
5. YOUR WARDROBE IS FOR CLOTHES
Your wardrobe is YOU in a nutshell! It talks chapters about you. I am often amazed what gets stored in (walk-in) wardrobes.
This is not a place for little Jet’s art work, old paperwork or tons of blankets and camping gear you never use. If space is an issue that invest in super large storage bags and store them neatly away preferably out of your wardrobe space.
Make this space yours to enjoy, a resting point, especially when it is a walk-in wardrobe!
6. WARDROBE ODOURS
Yes wardrobes are not always the most pleasantly smelling places as things are stored for a long time and perhaps the place they are stored in, like wooden chest of drawers, have a strange Nanna smells to it .
Here are a few suggestions:
Spray a significant amount of your favorite perfume regularly over all your clothes in your drawers and wardrobe and close the doors. You will be surprised how heart warming it is to open a cupboard, pick out your favorite item and it smells gorgeous, ready to go! Try this also for your lipstick & make up bag in your handbag, every time you apply lipstick you will feel a cloud of love coming your way that puts a smile on your face!
I love using Aroma therapy Mist Spray to spray in my cupboard. It smells nice and has a calming or uplifting feeling.
Here is to YOU being Confident in the way you look!
YOUR NEXT PART IS ONLY A CLICK AWAY
Part 2 – What Looks Great for Your Body Shape
Wardrobe Styling with Style Angel, Angela Barbagallo
If all the above seems way too hard and you feel you need my help to get some serious clearing and mixing and matching happening then a wardrobe styling is so powerful!