#DetoxWithDrSlow II: Fall in ♡ with your wardrobe again7 Feb 2015
Following last week's intro to #DetoxWithDrSlow, our 12-month shopping/fast fashion detox, I'd like you to first of all fall back in love with your wardrobe again. Turning it into your treasure rather than your enemy, giving it a little TLC and organizing it according to your needs.
The reasons for falling out of love with your wardrobe can be manifold, and I'm sure we've all been there at one point or another. You might have lost control over it, or perhaps you feel that nothing suits nor fits you anymore, or maybe you have simply grown bored of it.
Whatever the reasons, instead of hitting the shops again, I'd like you to make the most of your existing wardrobe. As with the "How to become a better shopper" post, let's take everything out of your wardrobe first, however, this time we're going to do a clear up, rather than a clear out, i.e. let's get rid of as little as possible in order to avoid the so-called "wardrobe void" sending you back to the shops for replacements again.
Divide everything into the following three piles:
This includes everything that won't fit/suit you in a million years, plus items that can't be saved by mending or customizing them.
2) To the rescue!
These are all the items that need e.g. dry cleaning, mending or can be customized (keep this pile aside for next month's challenge!)
P.S. In preparation of the following schemes, I think it's essential to train your eyes a little in order to become a good stylist! So next time you see someone who's outfit you admire, try to identify what it is exactly that makes it work. Pay particular attention to how other people wear items you own and might find hard to combine. Perhaps the following websites might help you get inspired:
For the gentlemen and the gentle lady: The Sartorialist
The hipster: Niko and...
The Vintage buff/esse: Coffee & Vintage
The eclectic dresser: What Katie wore
Let's do a quick exercise with the items you're not sure about! Have a look at each of them and remember the moment you first saw them, tried them and eventually bought them. Remind yourself of what it was that got butterflies into your stomach and drew you to each piece. Reliving your initial excitement about your clothes helps appreciating them again.
But let the real fun begin! As wardrobe organization very much depends on your lifestyle, I've come up with four different options to cater for different needs. Perhaps you'll have to experiment a little in order to find the ideal solution that'll be right for you.
I'd also like you to take this as an opportunity to identify what your wardrobe lacks. Why not write a priority list to help you become a more focused shopper in the future? That said, it'll probably be best to stay away from the shops for a while, unless you're in need of bare essentials of course.
So here we go...
I've heard about this from a friend and it strikes me as particularly ideal for those who lead a very hectic lifestyle and would like to build up a "capsule wardrobe" over time.
The idea is to create a certain amount of "looks" to get you through your daily life, e.g. five outfits for work, two casual ones for your free time and two smart ones to go out in. You could create new looks every week, month or season, depending on your circumstances. Once you've created said "looks", you drape them around a hanger and put them back in your wardrobe.
Obviously, basic items that feature in more than one look are being stored separately, and whatever you didn't include will be kept elsewhere and hopefully used for the next "round".
As for new acquisitions, they're only allowed if an existing item needs replacing, or if there are enough other items to create a new look.
Furthermore, it's important that you maintain your looks well, i.e. wash, iron or mend each item, otherwise the whole concept could easily fall apart. If you're too busy to do so during the week, perhaps set a little time aside for some "maintenance work" during the weekend.
The rotating wardrobe
I got this idea from one of my students who has organized her wardrobe into two sets of winter clothes and two sets of summer clothes. This means that while she uses e.g. winter set 1 this winter, she'll be using winter set 2 next winter, and the following winter she'll be using winter set 1 again. That way she assures me, boredom never kicks in, quite the opposite, she rather looks forward to reunite with her other clothes again!
Of course, indispensable wardrobe staples stay and some transfers are allowed according to what life or momentary fashion trends throw at her each season. For the same reason, occasion and sportswear etc. are excluded from the scheme, and new additions can only be made if they fit in with the existing wardrobe sets.
Personally, I reckon this could work very well if you own to many clothes and long to downsize!
As some of you might remember from my previous post "How to be a better shopper", this exercise encourages you to get creative with your wardrobe and see your clothes in a different light.
Basically, distribute all your clothes around your bedroom in a way that keeps everything clearly visible, and start creating as many outfits as possible with them. Dare I say it, it's very useful to take some "selfies"! Print out a collage of them which you can then hang up inside your wardrobe as a reminder for busy mornings.
If however you feel a little uninspired, why not ask a friend along to fill in as your personal stylist?She or he might come up with completely new ideas and perhaps get you out of your comfort zone for once.
Do you feel like taking a more radical approach? Then you might enjoy Project 333, for those of you who haven't heard of it, it's a wardrobe challenge whereby you get to wear 33 items (except basics) for 3 months. You can find more information on their website.
Wardrobe TLC and aromatherapy
Now, before your freshly organized clothes go back into your wardrobe, it's time for a little "wardrobe TLC"! There's nothing worse than a messy, dusty wardrobe smelling of eau de mothballs. Make your wardrobe the place you want to be, rather than the place you want to escape from. So here's a checklist to help you along:
- Do a little "spring clean"
- Consult e.g. Pinterest for clever storage solutions to suit your home.
- Iron (a skill worth perfecting!), fold and hang everything properly, what a difference that can make!
- Ensure you're storing all items correctly, especially delicate ones, e.g. hats can quickly lose they're charm if not stored well.
- Have a good think about how to best organize your clothes, e.g. by item, then colour or perhaps the other way around. But most importantly, ensure easy access to every day pieces!
- Make sure you have enough hangers - don't hang different items over each other or put piles up in front of other piles - out of sight, out of mind!
- Gain extra space by attaching e.g. strings or hooks on the inside of your wardrobe door to keep items such as scarves or necklaces.
- Create a nice display of your accessories for a dose of daily inspiration.
- Make sure you're not storing e.g. smelly trainers close to other clothes, air them properly and perhaps neutralize bad smells with scented sachets.
- Add a fun element to your wardrobe, by e.g. sticking a few nice pictures or magazine clippings to the inside of your wardrobe door. You could even keep a cherished item such as an old teddy in your wardrobe. I've learned this from my Mum's family and always loved how it makes you feel as if you were opening up a little world!
- Ever since I've lived in Italy for a while I've been obsessed with scented sachets, soaps and linen water - it's like aromatherapy! I feel instantly better opening my beautifully perfumed wardrobe.
Last but not least, the first edition of "Ask Dr. Slow" will be published in two weeks time (21/2), so if you have any questions or doubts please send us a brief email (max. 100 words) to: firstname.lastname@example.org, ref: "Ask Dr. Slow" and we will answer as many as we can in the upcoming column (please mention in your email whether we can use your first name or whether you'd prefer to remain anonymous).
Until then, have fun
reorganizing your wardrobe
reorganizing your wardrobe
and see you back
on the 21st!
on the 21st!