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Wardrobe Woes? Here’s why and what to do about it

Wardrobe Woes? Here's why and what to do about it

As much as you may dread it, a wardrobe audit is a necessary and often therapeutic part of re-connecting with your personal style.  I generally suggest assessing your wardrobe items at least once a year, and ideally twice a year, when the seasons change, during Spring and Autumn.

We need to wear clothes every day, right?  So, maintaining a wardrobe, free from clutter, ensuring you can clearly see what is in it, is essential to starting the day stress free.  Your closet should provide daily offerings that suit your lifestyle, your colouring, fit well, and make you feel good! No matter how big or small it is, this is a place you visit frequently and when you get it sorted, it sets the day on a more positive note, fostering style confidence and a boosted mood.

Remember, nothing stays the same and we are constantly EVOLVING. Our lives are very busy and as women, our bodies fluctuate according to our general health, stress levels, and lifestyle. One of the common issues I see during wardrobe consultations includes clients who hold onto clothing that simply doesn’t fit them well anymore.  They tell me they are waiting for the magical ‘someday’ when they can, or it was a very expensive piece they can’t bear to let go.  One of my clients had five pairs of jeans in her closet, but only one pair fit her comfortably, which she wore all the time.  Meanwhile, the other pairs were merely collecting dust.  I’ve been down this path too and have found that not only did the clothing I wasn’t wearing (for 12-24 months or more) take up precious space, it was psychologically deflating seeing those garments, and knowing they did not fit me comfortably anymore.

Please know, it’s ok to release those garments from your wardrobe! Set them free and most importantly, permit yourself to do so.

Wardrobe Woes? Here's why and what to do about it

I firmly believe that if your clothes are uncomfortable to wear, you will not feel good and your style confidence will be low.  Say goodbye to clothes that do not provide you with the ‘wiggle room’ that is often required to feel comfortable when our bodies fluctuate.

There are so many options to donate your clothing, including charity organisations (St Vincent de Paul , Red Cross , The Salvation Army , Lifeline  (to name a few), including community and local worship centres, Suited to Success , and your local thrift stores. You may even decide to sell your clothes via Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, Poshmark, Ebay, Depop and wonderful markets like Barely Worn that offer you an opportunity to sell and shop pre-loved clothing!

Before donating a pile of clothes, make sure that they are clean and in good condition. Set aside any stained, or non-repairable items to repurpose as household wiping cloths or garage rags for the hubbie. Alternatively, there are recycling organisations who will take your damaged and unsaleable clothing and recycle them into industrial rags or other textile by-products.  Clothing retailers like H&M, Zara and Uniqlo have free recycling programs.

Here’s my top reasons why you might not be happy with what’s in your closet.  Most importantly, if you relate to any of these, now’s the time to start afresh, keep your favourite garments, let go of those that aren’t, and assess what might need to be replaced or updated. Liberate yourself and love your wardrobe again.

  • You are unsure of your body shape and/or it has changed and your clothing is no longer fitting well – it is uncomfortable!
  • You are unsure of the colours that suit you and you’re having trouble co-ordinating garments and/or you are overwhelmed when shopping.
  • Certain fabrics may irritate you and are uncomfortable to wear, so you avoid wearing them. Adding to this is the lack of understanding whether particular fabric surfaces (matte vs shiny) suit your complexion.
  • Your clothing may no longer suit your lifestyle.
  • You have collected ‘one-hit wonders’, trendy and/or sale items that don’t align with your style personality, colour ID, lifestyle, body shape, or all of these.
  • Your clothing might need altering, or it is stained, damaged and unable to be repaired.
  • Your clothes feature patterns and prints that are outdated and if your answer to the question: ‘Would I wear this again?’ is a resounding ‘No!’, it’s time to let it go.  You may have so many printed items that you struggle to create outfits, therefore requiring some functional and essential items in neutral and core colours.
Wardrobe Woes? Here's why and what to do about it

In my opinion, wearing colours that are in harmony with you will make your skin glow and boost your style confidence.  This bright yellow top washes out my complexion and is a perfect example of how a colour that ‘wears you’ can be too overpowering.  You can see that the colours in my palette on the left, are soft and cool, not warm and bright, like the yellow top. A personal colour analysis is an excellent way to learn about your colour ID.

There are no shortcuts when it comes to reviewing your wardrobe; it’s necessary to work through ALL of your garments. But, if you feel totally overwhelmed by this thought, break it down into sections.  Start with the clothes in your drawers first, or only attempt to sort through a quarter of your hanging space. You could focus on one garment type at a time, such as all your long sleeved blouses, shirts and t-shirts. Follow this with working through your short sleeve tops, and then all of your ‘bottom half garments’, dresses, jumpsuits, layering items (jackets, blazers, coats, knits/cardigans) and so on. Perhaps you could evaluate your casual/weekend wear first, reviewing your workwear (or work from home wear) after this. Consider your working week and identify where your wardrobe is lacking or needs to be updated.  This is where you can begin to create a personal wish list of the garment types that are ‘missing’ so that you are clear on what you need to add, in due course,  The goal is to welcome new and/or thrifted items that will provide greater versatility and effortless dressing options to suit your evolving lifestyle and personal style.

Remember, you can always book a consultation with a qualified personal stylist or image consultant who will offer fresh professional eyes and support you throughout the entire process.  You might even have some fun!

Wardrobe Woes? Here's why and what to do about it

Evaluate whether the fabrics that your clothes are made from feel comfortable to wear. This sequin skirt lacked an inner lining so when I wore it, it always scratched and irritated my skin, hence it stayed put in my wardrobe. Knowing the fabrics you prefer to wear is an essential part of understanding your personal style. Furthermore, knowing the best fabric surfaces that align with your complexion (matte, sheen or shine) is another key learning during a personal colour analysis consultation.

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