Hello and welcome to the 3rd part of the new series -
Establishing Your Wardrobe.
Make sure you've read part 1 - the why which will give you the first stepping stone to establishing your wardrobe, part 2 - the inspiration which will show you how to find attainable inspiration for your style going forward and part 3 - the styling, which will help you look at the pieces you already own to see how they fit into your desired style.
Step 4 is 'the clear out'
Now, by saying 'clear out', I'm not implying that you must do just that. We're here to build a sustainable wardrobe going forward and that doesn't mean just throwing everything away and starting again, as that doesn't necessarily build healthy buying habits.
We're often stuck in the loop of sorting out, clearing and then rebuying, only to start the process again every season as the items we have purchased aren't actually what we want to wear. I know I've done this many, many times over the years and it can be very frustrating when you think back on it, as it feels like a lot of money wasted. It leaves me feeling unhappy and I'm no further forward in my style goals.
So, we're going to vow - together, as I'm still working on it myself - to break this cycle and take a very pragmatic approach to our wardrobes going forward.
Following the steps of separating the items you like from the items you don't like in your wardrobe - as explained in part 3 - we're going to work on each section to make our wardrobes more functional.
For the items we want to keep:
Separate into 3 categories:
- Staples - the items that are 'you' without trying, the staple pieces you reach for all of the time, the basis of your wardrobe. These can be your basic layers (by the fashion industries standards ie. tshirts, jeans) or anything else that falls into that category for you (a coat that you love, your favourite heeled boots that you wouldn't be without)
- Seasonal pieces - ones you pull out every year depending on the weather. You don't necessarily wear these year round, but you can wear them for a good chunk of the year.
- Had-to-have pieces - the items you might wear a little less, but they give your style the edge that it needs. Your signature pieces, if you will. We still want these pieces to have function so, in my opinion, we need to wear them a few times a year at least. One-time-use clothing is a waste.
Why are you keeping these items?
Make a note of any patterns between the items - colour, fit, material - as it will make any future purchases easier to work out.
Can you make outfits out of the items left? Do they fit what you're aiming for?
You should ideally be left with a few solid outfits. We don't necessarily have to aim for a capsule wardrobe here, just functional pieces that you can mix and match to feel quintessentially 'you'.
For the items we don't want to keep:
- Sell - if you're looking to potentially add some staple pieces to your wardrobe at the end of this process, consider selling the items you don't want to keep. I absolutely love selling my items - and have been doing this since I was 14 years old, shh don't tell eBay - as it's not only good for your bank balance but good for the environment too.These days I sell between a few different platforms:
Vinted - there are no sellers fees and the app is very easy to use. I assumed everything would have to be listed very cheaply, but you can typically get the price you want for items without having to compromise too much. I've found things sell quicker on Vinted than other platforms at the moment and anything from places like COS or Arket get snapped up fast. Vintage sells well too.
eBay - an oldie and a goodie. A lot of named items sell well on there, so I tend to stick to brands rather than vintage most of the time. I've also listed a lot of >£400 designer stuff on here without issue.
Vestiaire Collective - for the higher priced items. I've sold quite a lot of designer items on this platform now and have some things listed at the moment. It's pretty straight forward, but make sure you have your information in the listing correct as you can't edit it later.
- Donate - there are many charities that can benefit from clothes in good condition. Consider donating to specific charities too. Charities like Smart Works take workwear and smarter clothes to help women get back into work. A lot of charities will collect from your home too.
Ask yourself throughout: Why
Continuously assessing the 'why' is so important when breaking habits and trying to establish something that impacts our daily life. We're looking for permanent changes, to reflect on previous habits and to take a completely different approach than one taken previously going forward.
It's really hard, don't get me wrong, but putting in an effort and stopping any negative thought patterns in their tracks is crucial for success. We want getting dressed to be easy and a true reflection of 'you' so you don't have to donate as much brain power every morning!
Hopefully using the steps above, you'll be able to sort through the items you have to create a 'new' wardrobe and identify the running style theme you have. Looking back on your 'why' and your inspiration photos, you can really narrow down what works for you and what doesn't.
Tomorrow we'll be discussing Part 5: The Wishlist...