‘Editing’ your Wardrobe

‘Editing’ is an odd term to use in conjunction with ‘wardrobe’ but that is exactly what we need to do at the beginning of each season.  We need to look at each individual component and see if it works for us.  If it does – leave it as is,  if it doesn’t – decide why, and either delete or alter.

This is how I do it, and I hope that thinking critically about your own wardrobe in this way will help you.

  • I always choose a day when I have the house to myself .  There is no way I want another opinion, and the room gets in a real shambles.
  • I always start with tops.  Make sure you have a good bra on, and preferably a slippery cami as this makes tops slide on and off easily and often stops that clingy look.  Try each top on and study it in a well lit mirror.  Decide whether or not it fits well and if you still like it.  If you do like the look and feel, try and work out WHY you like it.  Is it the colour?  Is the sleeve length flattering? Does the neckline particularly suit you?  But MORE IMPORTANTLY, if you DON’T like it, try and work out why.  Is it too long or short? Does the colour drain you?  Is the neckline too high or too wide? Are the sleeves too wide? Perhaps dropped shoulders don’t suit you?  I have pins nearby so that I can try different lengths of hems and sleeves.
  • Don’t make the mistake of looking at your body shape critically – you are what you are.  But do look at the shape of each garment critically when it is on you.  If something looks good, there are reasons behind that.
  • By analysing the reasons you LIKE and DON’T LIKE particular styles you’ll avoid repeating mistakes with future purchases.
  • I then go through pants and jeans in the same way.  Keeping in mind which tops you like, try different shaped pants on with them.  Longer tops require long slim pants, cropped pants sometimes look better proportioned with shorter tops.  Again analyse each item, rather than just thinking ‘yes, that one’s fine’ think about why it is fine.  Knowing what suits you makes for better shopping decisions in the future.
  • After a coffee break come skirts, jackets and dresses.  Often it is the lengths of these that make them work or not, and I pin them ready for alteration if they need it.  Jackets can be changed easily by making long sleeves into 3/4 sleeves, fold them up when trying on and see if that looks better on you.
  • If anything hasn’t been worn for some time I decide whether I really want/need it.  Often something hasn’t been worn because I’ve forgotten just what to wear with it, or it has been hidden in the wardrobe by something else (maybe two things on the same hanger).
  • I sort into piles – one lot that is going straight to a charity clothing bin (usually pretty well-worn items), one lot that needs to be altered, one lot that goes to Hospice or an op shop (or daughters-in-law or friends), and the rest that are to go back in the wardrobe in a much tidier state.
  • I try to keep my wardrobe organised in categories – pants all together, tee shirts together, dressier tops, skirts, jackets etc.  I then find it takes less time to dress in the mornings.   And it makes life easier if you get into the habit of having everything facing the same way.
  • If you’re short of space it is a good idea to have part of the wardrobe with a high rail for tops and a lower rail underneath for pant and skirts.

I’m convinced that the way to make good choices is to know your own style, and the way to find that out is analysis of what you already have.  But don’t hesitate to try different styles and colours when you’re shopping.  When you try on a new shape look critically at how the proportions work for you.  You’ll often be surprised if you keep an open mind!