New year is a time of change and renewal. This can also apply to your wardrobe, making it the perfect time for a clear-out. Here we offer a helping hand on how to effectively shake up your wardrobe and introduce some simple rules that should keep the task as pain-free as possible in future.
This is easier said than done. But wardrobe clear-outs can only work with a ruthless approach. Sort your clothes into piles of ‘definitely’, ‘maybe’ and ‘no’. This will help to introduce practicality among the sentimentality you’ll inevitably feel. After all, choosing clothes is a personal task. Often, memories are tied up in the items you own. But remember, they are just clothes and they need to work for you, not the other way around. Get some clarity and second opinions from friends. Ask them over for dinner and give them a homegrown fashion show to inject some fun into the sort-out.
Set Some Rules
There are some questions you can ask yourself to make sure you’re keeping and discarding the right things. These include:
- Does it still fit me? We’re all guilty of holding onto something we like that just doesn’t quite fit any more. It’s time to let them go and make room for items that really work for you.
- Have I worn it in the last year? You could make the timescale six months, if you’re feeling particularly firm. Either way, admit to yourself that your items have been in hiding for too long. They could go to another happy owner who has much more use for them.
- Does it still serve a purpose? If you have a ski jacket but have given up the sport, a range of smart workwear but do not work in an office etc, then it’s time to update your wardrobe to fit your current circumstances.
- Is it damaged? If something you like and still wear is damaged, then get it repaired. Don’t leave it sitting in wardrobe purgatory.
- Do I really love it? If there is something you love and really can’t bear to throw away, then keep it. But try to keep these things to a minimum. You need a functional wardrobe, not a museum.
Practise the 30 Wears Rule
The 30 wears rule was established by Livia Firth, founder of the Green Carpet Challenge and advocate for sustainable style. The idea is simple. Before buying a new piece of clothing, ask yourself whether you will wear it at least 30 times. This question should help you make choices for longevity, rather than convenience. It’s also designed to de-prioritise fast fashion and encourage people to buy garments made from more sustainable materials. Choosing fewer, higher-quality items of clothing and giving them adequate care can keep your wardrobe lean and easy to maintain. It also promotes sustainable, ethical fashion choices.
Re-use, Recycle, Respect the Environment
Create an incentive for a clear-out by reminding yourself of the positive contribution you’ll make. Clothes that are worn out or unusable can be recycled in your local facility. Those that are barely worn can go to a charity shop, charitable initiative or even an amateur theatre group. To get some return on your unwanted items, going to a clothes swap event could be a great solution. These meetups usually involve people bringing their unwanted items in good condition, then swapping them with others. Not only is this great for reducing waste, it can also refresh your wardrobe with some new quality items.
Step up Your Footwear Game
If you’ve got piles of shoes sitting at the bottom of your wardrobe, it’s time for a re-think. Storing your shoes in boxes is the way to go. This protects them from dust and too much exposure to sunlight during long-term storage. Write on the box which shoes are inside to save you frantically sifting through them before you leave the house. A good alternative to boxes could be racks. Although, your shoes will still need to be protected from dust and direct sunlight to keep them at their best.
Treat Leather and Suede Between Uses
Natural materials, such as suede and leather, have their own distinctive characteristics and need more attention than others to maintain. Taking the time to have your leather and suede cleaned and treating it with a waterproof spray in between uses should go some way to making it last longer. Also ensuring that you correctly store it will help it keep its shape and protect it from moisture, dust and other external conditions that could damage it.
Finally take those items for repair
We all have clothes or accessories that we may have loved a little too much and are now in need of repair. All too often, we let life get in the way and leave them sitting unworn. This is the time for renewal. Take those shirts to get the buttons re-sewn, have your favourite handbag cleaned and get your trousers and skirts re-hemmed. It seems like a chore, but when your items come back to you as good as new, the reward will be worth it.