I don’t know about you, but my wardrobe is bursting and not in a good Kim Kardashian smug designer clothes type of way or a Carrie Bradshaw eclectic collection of vintage gems kind of way -more of an overload of bobbly navy jumpers kind of way!! So after months of struggling to find hanger space I decided to bump ‘wardrobe makeover’ up my ‘to-do list’ and have a bloody good clear out! There’s something very therapeutic about getting rid of unwanted items and having everything organised so I thought I would pass on some top tips for you so you can feel inspired to have a good clear out too. My new moto for 2019 is ‘All you need is less’
The first hurdle is actually clearing some time to do the job, there always seems to be something more urgent that demands your attention.Pop a time and date in your diary as if it’s a meeting you have to attend that can’t be changed and buy a roll of good quality bin lines and organise some charity collection bags maybe. Then after a deep breath take EVERYTHING out of the wardrobe… yes EVERYTHING - start fresh and nothing will escape your beady eye.
Make four piles:
1) MEND PILE: These items just need some attention i.e.something that may need mending or an alteration to bring it back to fantastic. Jumpers that may have a few too many bobbles may also find themselves in this pile, the Fuzz Off debobble machine can work wonders restoring jumpers back to their best! I have found this fantastic company Love your Clothes and their website is full of useful tips on mending and making the best of your clothes - well worth a look.
These days we have become so used to the thought that clothes can just be binned when a hole appears or a seam comes undone. Take a step back to your Grandmothers time and think about mending something.
2) CHARITY SHOP: Sell on Ebay, Gumtree or Preloved , and a new second hand fashion site that seems to be gathering momentum is Depop, remember one girl’s trash is another girl’s treasure. You may not want it or fit into it anymore but someone else may be scouring the web for something just like it.Ask yourself the following questions:
If I saw this in the shops, would I buy it again?
Do I still feel good in it?
When was the last time I wore it?
Will I ever actually wear it again?
Will I look like I am going to a fancy dress party if I wear this outfit?
3)) RECYCLE: Now, be ruthless anything out of shape or with holes in it, old t-shirts with armpit stains, odd socks, things that are faded get rid of. H& M recycle scheme offer you £5.00 per bag of old clothes and fabric that you drop off in store and they then recycle your old clothes into useful fabrics again.At H&M group, they believe it’s senseless that so many clothes and discarded textiles end up in landfills. Recycling is one of many ways they fulfill their goals towards a sustainable future. In 2017 they collected more than 17,771 tonnes of textiles — the equivalent of 89 million T-shirts.
Marks and Spencers also have old clothes collection points called ‘SHWOPPING’ Every item you place in one of their Shwop boxes helps to put an end to poverty. Your Shwopped items are resold, reused or recycled and allow Oxfam to fund all sorts of vital projects around the world.
Incredibly, since 2008 the M&S and Oxfam Shwopping partnership has collected over 20 million items, worth an estimated £16 million for Oxfam’s work.
Clothes Aid is also great charity if you have items that have not seen daylight over the past year, let Clothes Aid collect them and give them a new lease of life. Those ‘just too tight ‘jeans, the impulsive purchase and multiple t-shirts, trousers and dresses that, let’s face it, will never get worn will fit beautifully into a Clothes Aid bag!It is a win-win-win, you will help the environment, support incredible UK charities and to top it off you will have space in your wardrobe If you get in touch with them they can arrange dropping off some bags and even organise getting them collected.
4) KEEP PILE: make sure the item is clean and then hang it up on a good quality hanger (I love these velvet ones) so that it won’t slide off and end up on the floor creased in a few hours. Try it on and make sure it still fits and looks as you remember it. There really is no point keeping hold of your favorite dress that wowed when you popped it on at Uni but now requires a month on a detox holiday in Thailand with at daily enema to even do up!
You can always make it a fun night and invite your besties around to help you; it worked for Carrie Bradshaw in Sex And The City!!
Other tips and tricks that I have found useful:
Cluster clothes types together in the wardrobe and then pop them in colour order too, this gives a very quick and clear indication of how many of the same things you have. I was shocked at my obsession with Navy blue Jumpers, I now know to step away from the blue jumper isle on any future shopping trips but it has also made it easier to find things and pull an outfit together.
Don’t keep something because you feel like you are throwing money away – it’s a waste of space and adds clutter to keep something that you simply don’t wear – the money has already gone. Be brave and let it go just be more savvy when you next go shopping and learn from those wardrobe mistakes!
Become a savvier shopper and try to go for quality over quantity, buy one good item instead of lots of cheaper things so your wardrobe is not bursting, none of these items are particularly special or make you super happy. I have vowed to try to refrain from buying disposable cheap items but instead, look for investment pieces which I won’t get tired of and that make me feel super special every time I pop them on. There are so any fashion brands now with a more sustainable ethos and that is where I want to place my pound. Suddenly, to always be turning up to things in new clothes seems a bit uncool, shopping in your wardrobe and creatively accessorising your old favorites just requires, confidence and conscience and a bit of self style.
I have been reading a great book by Claire Press, Australian Vogues Sustainability Editor at Large, ‘Wardrobe Crisis.’ Anyone with an interest in Fashion should really read it, Claire explores the history and ethics behind what we wear. Putting her insider status to good use, she examines the entire fashion ecosystem, from sweatshops to haute couture, unearthing the roots of today’s buy-and-discard culture.
Something Claire mentioned really resonated with me, it was a quote from Quentin Crisp ‘Fashion is something you adopt when you don’t know who you are’ and I feel that’s true with lots of people. Its this constant struggle for people to be wearing what they are told is cool, to make them feel like they fit in. It encourages this whole fast fashion problem, we are constantly trying to keep up instead of just being confident in our own style.I should think that fashion bloggers will be having a huge rethink over the coming months and we will see quite a shift in their posts, prepare yourselves for lots of green-washing as they realise that promoting this fast unsustainable fashion culture is now totally unfashionable.
I guarantee that you will feel so much better after your wardrobe cleanse and the great thing is I have found a few things I had totally forgotten I had that I love, so it does feel just like I have been on a shopping trip!!! Just make sure you are mindful with all those things that you don’t want and don’t just send them to landfill.For 2019 I think we should all really start questioning our fashion buying choices, as I say with everything the power is with the people, if we demand change and more sustainable fashion that’s exactly what the high street will have to provide. Tag me in on any of your ‘shopping in your wardrobe’ successes, celebrate your own savvy style..
Good luck all
Love Lynne x (feeling smug and vaguely organised in the wardrobe dept!!!)