The start of a new year is always a great time to take a breather and detox. And while I’m not a big fan of new year’s resolutions, I do think it’s a great time to flush out some negativity from your life – including your wardrobe!
(Having said that, you can do this wardrobe detox at any time of the year – not just in January!)
One of the biggest reasons why our wardrobes bring us angst is because we simply have too much. Plain and simple.
Too much “stuff” that we never wear can be frustrating and this ends up playing with our confidence. You see, opening a wardrobe door and feeling overwhelmed, affects how you feel in your outfits. Especially when you’ve spent all this time, money + energy on a wardrobe that isn’t loving you back.
Creating “small wardrobes” or a “minimalist wardrobe” can initially be a challenge, but these 7-steps will help you make a solid start in the right direction!
1. Get in to a “minimalist” mindset
Like any good detox, you need to enter it with the right mindset.
Minimalism has been all the rage since Marie Kondo’s philosophy of moving things on “if it doesn’t bring you joy”. The mindset is simple (but tough to execute!) and well worth it when you are able to embrace it:
If it does not add value to your life or bring you happiness, then remove it – so you can make room for things that DO make you happy or has a real use to you.
In other words – less of what is just hanging in your wardrobe doing nothing, and more of the pieces you actually enjoy + wear!
2. Keep track of what you wear
For the next two or three weeks, I’d like you to keep a “wardrobe diary“.
Log (better yet – take pictures) of your outfits during this time. I find it REALLY helpful to print these photos off (or use a good old fashioned Polaroid camera) and stick them up where you can see it.
Then download my Wardrobe Diary Worksheet here and make a note of what you love (or didn’t) about each outfit.
Look for common threads as to what you liked as this will help you assess exactly which outfits you enjoyed wearing and why.
3. Mark each item as you’ve worn it
The majority of us wear 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time.
So start taking a note of exactly what you are wearing so that you start to become aware of which pieces lie in your wardrobe untouched, unworned and therefore should be moved on.
One easy way of tracking this is to get a stash of clothes pegs by your wardrobe. As you wear each item during your 2-week “wardrobe diary” above, place a peg on the item or its hanger. By the end of the two weeks it should be really clear to you which pieces have lots of pegs (and therefore lots of wear!).
Another method is to tie a ribbon to mark which half of your wardrobe you’ve worn!
3. Conduct a wardrobe decluttering session
I recently posted a Wardrobe Decluttering Cheatsheet on the blog. If you haven’t had a chance to tackle it yet, why not give it a go?
The Cheatsheet will help you make sound decisions as to what to keep, toss or alter so that your decluttering decisions become easy-peasy! 🙂
4. Take side by side comparison photos to help you declutter
For those of you that really struggle with the concept of minimalism (or letting go of pieces from your wardrobe), a trick I use is to take a photo of me in something I know I look and feel good in.
Then, I line it up side by side with another photo of me in a piece I’m unsure about.
Lining them up side by side makes it really obvious whether to keep or throw the piece in question as you can truly compare it with what makes you look awesome!
5. Consider what you can alter or re-use
Some time ago on the blog I posted ideas on how to re-use or alter your clothing to breathe new life in to them, rather than having to buy new all the time.
Check it out here as I think you’ll be super surprised at how effective a simple alteration like a change to hemlines can have on an outfit!
6. Detox your accessories, shoes and bags
One of things often forgotten when it comes to a wardrobe detox is all the peripheral items we own such as shoes, bags and jewellery.
I often see ladies clear out their clothing with gusto and then run out of steam and not bother with the rest. But in my view “the rest” is the most important!
It’s those shoes and bags that make or break an outfit – so it’s important to go through them and remove anything that’s tarnished, scuffed or broken and ensure you have a good rotation of reliable accessories that are modern and contemporary.
7. Experiment with new combinations rather than shopping for new
It’s a common issue that I see all the time where we get stuck in a rut of wearing not just the same pieces but the same combinations over and over again!
The same tee with the same shorts, the same belt with the same dress, the same jacket with the same blouse – you get where I’m going with this! 🙂
Challenge yourself this year to break the habit – as you reach out for the same two or three pieces to wear together, ask yourself – can I try a different top? Or even just a different accessory?
Creating wardrobe happiness isn’t a magic trick. It is entirely possible to achieve when you start to really pay attention to what you’re doing and focusing on what you actually truly wear + need.
So have fun with the detox, embrace a minimalist mindset and let it take your wardrobe to a refreshing new level!
With wardrobe happiness,