We know what you’re thinking: is ten steps really necessary? Surely revamping your wardrobe is just a simple matter of shoving winter pants to the side and moving maxi dresses to the front? Well, no. At Family Clean, we reckon if you’re going to do something then you might as well do it properly. Here is how to overhaul your wardrobe so it works for you.
1. Assess what you have
Pull everything out of your wardrobe, drawers, and anywhere else you stash clothing, shoes, undies, sportswear, etc. and see what you have. Divide it into piles: keep, donate, throw away or recycle, repair. Be honest. If something is too small, unflattering, or past its best, get rid of it and free up space.
2. Work out what you need
Do you have enough outfits for work or are you frantically washing mid-week because you’ve worn everything decent? Do you have enough wearable underwear – including sports bras? Is your weekend wear more suitable for a teenager than a competent grown up? This is not something you need to do in an hour. It may work better for you to write down everything you wear for a week or two to see where the gaps are.
3. Are you stuck in a rut?
Lots of 30 and 40-somethings fall into the trap of never updating their look. We tend to buy roughly the same style of clothing because it’s what we’re comfortable with, without considering whether it fits into our current lifestyle. This may make shopping easier, but it makes choosing the right outfit, and therefore feeling confident in your clothes, more difficult.
4. Try something new
Go shopping – either on your own or with someone whose taste you trust – and try on a lot of things you would never normally consider. This is not a money-spending shopping trip, more of a research assignment.
5. Stamp out bad habits
If you’re a compulsive shopper, a hoarder, or only buy an item if it’s a bargain, now is the time to develop positive shopping habits. Write down the behaviour you want to change and keep it close when you are ready to buy to help prevent you from repeating the mistake.
6. Picture your perfect wardrobe
Now you know what you want your wardrobe to do, it’s time to imagine exactly what it should look like. Do you want everything to be a similar style or colour so you can easily mix and match, or do you want every day to be a sartorial adventure? Is your workwear your biggest consideration, or is it more important to make an impact when going out? Use magazines and websites for inspiration.
7. Go shopping
You know what you have and what you need. Now it’s time to plug those gaps. Take your time to find the right item and don’t compromise if you don’t feel it’s worth it. You will only end up with an unworn, unloved item of clothing to throw out next spring.
8. Store it correctly
Take care of your clothes by storing them properly. Buy decent clothes hangers and allow room for air to circulate between your clothes to let creases drop out naturally and save ironing time! See Marie Kondo’s method for folding tops and underwear (it is life changing!) If your drawers are overflowing consider whether you have too much – how many pairs of undies to you really need? Arrange your clothes in a logical way so you can easily access those items you need most frequently.
9. Keep it clean
Follow the instructions on the label for your clothes to keep them in the best condition. Remove marks as soon as possible to stop them from staining. Buy clothing that fits in with your lifestyle. If you don’t have the time to be constantly hand-washing or dry cleaning, buy more robust things.
10. Stay on top of it
Don’t let bad habits creep back. Set aside half an hour every week to check your clothes and shoes, tidying them up, cleaning, and making repairs where necessary. You get dressed every single day – sometimes more than once – so it makes good sense to invest time in keeping it in good order.
Images courtesy of Anuschka Rees.