Most people wear 20% of their clothes 80% of the time… That sounds like a waste doesn’t it? And the reason is, cheap clothing has become more ubiquitous and fashion cycles now last just a few weeks. Consequently, many people’s closets are over-stuffed and in chaos.
How would it feel to open the doors on a slim-line wardrobe every morning?
Would it save you five minutes every day? That adds up to a lot of time in a week or a month, but the benefits of being well organised with your clothes are even greater. Having a well ordered, well-curated closet can help you feel more confident in what you wear, and get much more use out of the garments you already have.
The secret of a slim-line wardrobe?
Every single item in your wardrobe should be well-loved, fit to wear and easy to find. If they aren’t, your heart is going to quietly sink every time you open it. If you see items that you’re slightly too big for, the fact that you’re bigger than you want to be is going to nag at you below your consciousness. That isn’t a great way to start the day! If the things in your wardrobe don’t really suit you, you’ll feel a sense of frustration with the way you have to ‘fight’ through it, to find something you like. That’s another battle you can do without. Here are my 5 tips for putting an end to these struggles….
Slim-line wardrobe tip #1
Firstly, try on every item from one end of the rail to the other. Discard anything that is too shabby, doesn’t fit, or no longer suits you or your lifestyle. If you really can’t bear to get rid of an item that you love, but which is slightly too small, pack it away in a box and store somewhere out of the way. Remove anything that needs cleaning, altering or repairing, and have these items dealt with promptly.
Slim-line wardrobe tip #2
Do the same with accessories and shoes. So if you have back problems and no longer wear high heeled shoes, discard and recycle your old ones, except for a couple of pairs that you might wear on a special occasion.
Slim-line wardrobe tip #3
Re-arrange what’s left on the rail. Start with the darkest clothes you have, and group by type, working towards the lightest e.g. all black trousers together, followed by all black shirts/tops, followed by all grey trousers etc and so on, until you finish up with the white section.
Slim-line wardrobe tip #4
You’re now looking at a rail where every item fits you, suits you, and is easy to find. It should already be easier to pick out combinations that flatter you and are suitable for most occasions. Try doing that now. What would you wear to a business lunch? A formal dinner? A club? To meet an important client? Come up with some new and imaginative combinations and you’ll maximise the potential of the garments you have. And there is something else you can do to make them work even harder.
Slim-line wardrobe tip #5
Work out what’s missing. So if you have five pairs of black trousers but not a single pair of black shoes, you can see that getting some would ‘liberate’ those trousers and enable you to wear them far more often. Do you have 20 shirts but hardly any trousers? Would a smart jacket in a neutral colour ‘pull together’ several ‘looks’ for you? Make a list of the items you need, and get them as soon as is practical, so that you can use what you already have even more efficiently.
How to maintain a slim-line wardrobe
All this is great work, but you’ve got to maintain it if you want to reap the benefits. So make it a rule never to put anything dirty, creased or un-mended back on the rail. And when you do replace an item, take an extra three seconds to place it in the correct position within its section by colour and type. That way you won’t ever have to ‘tidy’ the rail, and seeing new combinations will be easy. Make sure you throw out anything that gets shabby or no longer fits your body or your life.
How to maintain a well-curated wardrobe when you shop
Bear in mind the clothes you already have when you shop, and try to get new garments that match them. A good purchase will go with several other existing garments for several ‘looks’. Staying on top of your clothes like this will help you feel good about them and get far more out of them in the long term. It’s a method that will repay you several times over for the initial effort.