A few months ago I drastically reduced the amount of clothing in my wardrobe, since then I’ve been living with a more thought out collection of clothes. I am more aware of what I have and very picky about adding anything. I found it useful to draw up a set of ‘rules’ or guidelines, they ensure I make good decisions when buying anything new and help me make the most out of what I already own. You might find them useful too, so here they are:
Do not buy on impulse. Take the time to think about purchases. Plan for the upcoming season; I ‘go shopping’ through the few clothes I keep in storage, and look at trends on Pinterest and blogs. I see what I have before thinking about getting anything new. Even when I see something amazing I don’t get it straight away. Taking time to think about it helps me see if an item is something I really like and will use. I bought one jumper last winter, I’d planned to get a grey knitted one and shopped around a lot. When I saw ‘the one’ I was swooning, but I put it back on the shelf. It wasn’t cheap and I was only going to get the one that season. I looked elsewhere, there wasn’t another that came close but still I held off. When I came to actually get the jumper, I was really excited and there was a reduction! I wore that jumper almost everyday and I still look forward to wearing it.
Mum always said cheap fashion doesn’t pay and she’s right. There really is no point in having two rubbish cardigans that won’t last, it’s far better to get one that will. This doesn’t mean buying ridiculously expensive brands, but rather paying attention to the quality of the garment. Examine the seams the hem-line; stinginess with the material doesn’t bode for good quality, neither does bumpy seams. Fabric is so important; synthetic things tend to get sweatier than natural fabrics. Make sure you can care for the garment properly, there is no point getting the cashmere sweater only to shrink it (guilty). Dresses, skirts and outerwear are so much better with a lining. It’s important, it protects the garment and makes it last longer. Quality above all else; especially for shoes – your feet literally hold you up for life, look after them.
3. Be practical
How many times do I honestly get dressed up?
Honestly, once a month max
How many ‘dressy-up-dresses’ do I own?
Too many. I could wear a different one for every nice thing I go to this year, and some. I also have more than enough shoe and pretty bag options to go with all of the dresses.
So, do I need more pretty dresses?
No, the last thing I need is more of them. The ones I have don’t see the light of day enough, poor things. So I am banned from buying pretty dresses. But some neutral basics would be useful, things that I can wear with anything and over and over, that is what my money can be spent on.
4. Be comfortable
If it’s too small, annoying or itchy just get rid of it. There’s no point keeping it because I know I will never choose to wear it. So goodbye pretty patchwork cardigan and embroidered tee, you look lovely but my sensitive skin disagrees. The same goes for uncomfortable shoes, except a few ridiculous heels for special occasions, remember look after your feet!
5. Less is more
When you have too much to choose from you won’t appreciate what you have, it is really that simple. We all like some variety and choice, but at a certain point having too many options makes it more difficult and less enjoyable to make a decision. This point varies between people, but if you are overwhelmed with possibilities when getting dressed and often find you forgot what you have, you own far too much. Not only do I wear things more often when I own less, I wear them in many different ways. Having fewer items enables me to think more creativity about the ones I do own. Moreover, as everything is carefully selected and seems special, I tend to enjoy all my outfits more.
6. Rotate it
Not everything has to be kept in your wardrobe all the time. Some people find they have a better idea of what they have if it’s all there, but I get a little overwhelmed. I store out of season clothes and anything not in my capsule in a zip-up bag in the hallway cupboard. I also keep occasion wear and workwear hanging separately. If the weather changes or I really want something from the storage it’s easy for me to get it. However, done use this as a way to hide extra clothes!
7. Look after it
If your spend time creating a beautiful collection of clothes, then you really owe it to yourself to look after it. Your future self will thank you. Pay attention to washing instructions and follow them, it’s better to play it safe, than to end up with a miniature version of your favourite cardigan. Take care when ironing items, use the lowest heat and iron inside out. Also stock up on moth balls or scented things that keep moths away. Things break, but if they are worth mending do so. Take the time to get good quality shoes re-soled, you can get double their lifespan. Finally it really is worth finding someone who can alter clothes; unless you’re a whizz with a sewing machine yourself!
8. Enjoy your clothes
This is the most important rule. We are so lucky that we can use clothes as a form of expression. I have fond memories interlinked with clothing; remembering a dress from a special day or just laughing at outlandish things I wore! I truly believe you look better when you feel good about what you are wearing. So don’t pander to others, wear what you love with confidence and you will pull it off every time.
Do you have any wardrobe rules? I would love to hear them