If you missed part 1 of the Wardrobe Magic series, you can find it here.
So, you’ve pulled everything out of your wardrobe, gone through it and decided which essentials to keep (and returned them to the wardrobe, all lovely and ironed and with lots of space to swing, naturally), and you have a great big pile of ‘Maybe’ clothes on the floor. Now what?
Our aims for this part of Wardrobe Magic are to establish whether any of those Maybe clothes need to come back into the wardrobe, and then to take a quick look at the clothes in the wardrobe to see whether we have gone overboard on returning favourites to the wardrobe.
And so, without further ado, let’s get on with the programme…
Your first step is to assess those Maybe clothes:
- Take each item in turn. If a quick revamp with some Dylon/a trip to a dressmakers for a quick alteration/anything else you can easily do and, crucially, have time and energy to do, will return this to an absolute love, then make it happen in the next week or two (if you don’t make it happen within a fortnight, then it wasn’t that great anyway, and can leave your life).
- If there is nothing that needs doing to the item, it’s just a ‘couldn’t quite make a decision’ type garment, then bag it up and put it somewhere out of sight (not the bottom of your wardrobe. Somewhere you’ll need to make an effort to get it. The loft/garage is ideal). Bag up seasonal items (winter coat, bikinis etc) separately from everyday clothes. Write an expiry date on the front of the bag, which is either three months from now for the everyday clothes, or the end of the next appropriate season for the seasonal stuff (e.g. September 2015 for any summer clothes you are sorting right now in January).
- If you need anything from the bag before the expiry date, get it. But as you do so, try to note down in your notebook whether you actually love the garment, or whether it’s filling a gap in your wardrobe that could be better filled by something that is either a better colour or better style for you.
- At the end of the expiry date, don’t even open the bag again. Just take it to the charity shop. Not opening the bag is a crucial step here if you’re the kind of person who will wistfully go through the bags and shove the whole lot back in your wardrobe ‘just in case.’ Anything you’ve lived without for that long is either terrible or you have another garment which works in its place perfectly well, so you can definitely let this stuff go.
The second step of today’s wardrobe magic is to take a second look at all the clothes you put back into your wardrobe. Yes, I know we checked that you loved it all, but now that you’ve cleared a lot of physical and mental space around your clothes, just humour me and do the following:
- Check if there are any items you don’t really love but need to use day after day because you don’t have an alternative? Leave them in the wardrobe but make a note in your notepad of what items don’t make you feel amazing but which have no current viable alternatives (maybe a cosy cardigan, or the one and only skirt you have that goes with half your tops. Perhaps a garment that is unflattering, but something you can’t really live without)
- Are there any items you really do have too many of? How many plain t-shirts can one girl really wear? Be honest with yourself and pare back using the method described in Part 1 again if necessary. Don’t feel you have to minimise beyond your comfort levels though. Usually we know ourselves what our day to day lives require, and if you’re really honest with yourself you’ll know whether further pruning is necessary.
- Where are the obvious gaps? Hopefully you noted down in your pad any major gaps during Part 1, but just take a look with fresh eyes and make sure that any area where you are short of options in your colours are noted down.
Join me again in a fortnight to find out how to use those random scribblings in your notebook and a few other bits of information to start to build upon that carefully pared down collection to build a fully functioning and versatile wardrobe.