I was on a car journey home with the lovely Katie Fielder the other morning, driving back from a photoshoot the day it poured down with rain. We were reminiscing about our favourite fashion moments, purchases and events (as well as the ones we'd rather forget) and got onto the topic of wardrobe clear outs. Unless you are lucky enough to have a huge walk-in wardrobe (sigh) I decided to write a post on my closet spring-cleaning strategy for you to read and hopefully hear about yours.
I heard on a TV programme once (probably Trinny & Suzanna or something like that) that women wear 20% of their wardrobe only 80% of the time, and that remaining 80% which is taking up all the space you only wear 20% of the time. I try and work on evening out my stats as much as possible by doubling up on those basics that I'm going to wear a lot. I like to have a few options of these in my wardrobe for those times when you're having a wardrobe dilemma and your fail-safe outfit is in the laundry! Moving away from the basics, I have a few other options that are wardrobe stables, these are mine - let me know yours;
- Denim shirt
- White round neck t-shirts
- Pearl earrings
- PU leggings
- Black pointy, patent heels (choo or louboutin)
- T-shirt style maxi dresses
- Oversized clutch
- Leopard print scarf
- Beige barely there shoes
- Statement necklace
- Florescent cardigan - I like fuchsia
- Louis Vuitton tote
If something is wearing thin, looking tatty or damaged it goes straight away. I guess that's pretty much a taken. It doesn't matter how much I paid or where it came from, if it cannot be repaired it's out! I keep them in a box in my wardrobe and once it is full I take it out and see if there are any items that can be rescued by making it into something else. For example, lace tops (particularly cream ones) make gorgeous backdrops to photo frames. It doesn't always work out but if you can put a photo of the place you were at when you was wearing the piece, it makes the frame really special and unique. What I have also done in the past in cut up fabrics that I like to form a design or part of a cushion cover. The rest of the clothes I give to my maid, everyone in Dubai has a maid btw that's not me being posh or lazy (well yes, it is being lazy) which she sends back home to her family.
The next step in the de-clutter process is selecting items that are in immaculate condition but no longer have fashion-ability. If I haven't warn it in the last six months or if I don't like it any more it's coming out of my closet as it's taking up valuable space. I never throw these items out because no matter what the colour, shade, cut or style, it is guaranteed to come back into fashion. A revival happens every decade which will be reminiscent of trends gone by. Why? Because if the product was a hit the first time round it makes commercial sense to release it again. Plus everyone loves a vintage throwback. From Chanel cushioned handbags to high waisted trousers, torn jeans to crop tops, keep it, because if you wont wear it I can guarantee another generation will do - whether it be a daughter, niece or friend, one day it will be a unique treasure that no one else can get their hands on. My lovely Mum has said numerous times, 'I use to have a coat like that' or 'I use to have one of those bags' whilst flicking through the fash pages of a magazine. My only ever reaction is 'where the hell is it now?!' Aside from jewellery I think the passing down of clothes from trends gone by is a lovely gift which will be a future style piece for someone you love.
So although this idea is lovely, it's not particularly practical in terms of storage. I'm really fortunate that my parents can store suitcases of these must-keep pieces in their attic (not that they're particularly happy about it). Other ideas are storing them in old style suitcases and using them as furniture in your home.
Images courtesy of Google because I could never look that pretty on a box.