Wardrobe Taming — Day Eight

Wardrobe taming series:
Day One Day Two Day Three Day Four Day Five Day Six Day Seven Day Eight

Today is the last day of wardrobe boot camp! Over the last eight days, you have:
Started wearing clothes that have been languishing in your cupboard for years
Kept a clothing journal of what you’re wearing, how to wear it better, clothing observations & ideas for the future
Made a list of the items you feel your wardrobe is missing
Consulted with a friend about your style
Started planning a new aesthetic direction
Looked for patterns in what you buy & worked out what needs to be changed
Re-organised your wardrobe, bought any necessary storage & learned about how to keep your clothes in good condition
Shipped items off to the tailor &/or dry-cleaners

Good for you! I’m totally thrilled for you, & I think you deserve a big pink cupcake (or seven!) for your hard work!

Today we’re going to get rid of the stuff you’ve decided not to keep, & we’re also going to make some rules for the future. This will help keep you in control of your spending & your look!

What you do with the weird, unshapely skirts & tops that don’t flatter you is really up to you. I am inclined to say that if you have designer or really high quality items that you don’t want any more, selling them on Ebay or taking them to a consignment store is your best bet. You will never make back all the money you spent on them in the first place, but that’s just how it goes. If you have things that wouldn’t really fetch any money, donate them to a charity you like or give them to someone who you know will appreciate them. Throwing clothing out is naughty, so try not to do it! (You can always cut something up & make it into a headscarf!)

You might want to divide the items into a couple of piles — ‘to donate’ & ‘to sell’. Then deal with them as soon as you can. If you start listing things on Ebay or drive a load down to the Salvation Army today, you’ll be rid of the things sooner & able to move on with your life. Just get it over & done with!

Now it’s time to make some rules for the future. I know, it’s boring, but it will help you, I promise!

Think about what you’ve learned
There’s no point in going through the wardrobe taming rigmarole if you don’t invest a little brainpower too! What have you learned from doing this clothing cleanse? Most people will have one major point that they need to keep in mind. Have you always bought the wrong size, or the wrong colour? Have you followed trends blindly or let salespeople push you into buying things you don’t even really like? You have the power to change any bad habits you have, but you need to realise them first! I suggest writing your primary lesson in big letters & putting it in your wallet somewhere that you will see it often. Phrase it in a positive manner — rather than “Don’t buy things that don’t fit”, you could say “Buy things which flatter you!” — & commit it to memory.

Shop with a list
Do you remember that list you made back on day three, of items you thought would supplement your current wardrobe? Don’t just bury it in a pile somewhere, stick it in your purse & use it! Cross things off as you buy them & add anything you think of. I know this might seem like it is bordering on obsessive compulsion, but the end result will be a totally functional, flattering, versatile wardrobe full of clothing you love. Sound too good to be true? It isn’t! You just need to think about what you’re buying, & it’s easier than you think!

Learn to trust yourself
You may have made mistakes in the past, but don’t allow this to paralyse you or terrify you into never shopping again. You are human & we all wear bad things sometimes! When you are shopping, go easy on yourself & trust your instincts. If you try on a dress & you’re not sure about it, standing there while a sales assistant tells you how great you look isn’t going to suddenly change your mind about it. Do you know what I mean? You are the person who is going to be wearing these things, so learn to listen to your own judgment! If you’re still not sure, you can always ask them to put the item on hold. If you’re still thinking about it in a couple of days, go & try it on again & make a decision. If it’s escaped your mind, you obviously didn’t like it that much, so let it go to someone who will really adore it!

Always try things on before you buy them
It seems elementary, but so many of us (including me) have bought things without trying them on. Maybe we’re in a rush, or we’re just desperate to spend some dough, but the result is a skirt that’s not quite the right length, or a t-shirt with a cheesy slogan & sleeves that make you look like a lamb chop. Buy things which fit & flatter you. Stop wasting your money, & think about how you look!

Avoid Ebay if you can
Following from the above point, be really careful when browsing the perilous pages of Ebay. I know it’s enticing & there are some incredible pieces to be snapped up, but the risks are huge. Unless you have tried an item on instore & have found the exact thing online, you never actually know how anything is going to look on you. Measurements are great, but it doesn’t tell you anything about the quality of the fabric, stitching or general durability. Ebay is a major culprit for fashion mistakes, because it’s so exciting to see that there is only one of these things available & getting into a bidding war can be exhilarating! That whole idea of “winning” an item — when you’re not “winning” it at all, you’re paying with cold hard cash — is a dicey one. Online shopping is not so bad because you can usually return things that don’t fit. Ebay is not as flexible. Please exercise major caution & if in doubt, don’t bid!

Make a commitment to cataloguing your outfits
I’m not saying you have to take stunning portraits of yourself every day, but you need to keep some sort of record of what you’re wearing & what works. For one, paying attention to this kind of thing will really help you when you’re shopping. If you have a top with a square neck & it looks fabulous on you, you might not really realise HOW good it looks until you’re going through photos of yourself wearing it. If you know what suits you & what works, you can look for similar things. Or you might begin to notice how much better your jeans look if you wear them with heels as opposed to flats. This information is incredibly valuable, so do yourself a favour!

If you have nice things, wear them!
It doesn’t matter whether you are a butcher or a mother with nine screaming infants, if you have beautiful clothing, you should wear it. I see it this way: it’s better to wear it & enjoy it & to take the chance that it might get messy or ruined, than to let it hang in the closet for years until it either gets eaten by moths or it just disappears into the abyss. You don’t NEED an occasion to wear your sexy heels or gorgeous coat, but if you feel silly wearing them to the bank or post office, CREATE an occasion! Throw a dinner party or have a picnic or hell, even have a party where everyone is asked to come in their most decadent, normally unworn clothing! You paid the money, get some joy out of your items!

Engage in a dash of wardrobe taming regularly
How often you do it is up to you, but I would suggest going through this routine at least once a year. It will really help you keep on top of what you’ve got. Otherwise, in five years time, you’ll be up to your eyeballs in bad dresses & the thought of dealing with it will make your brain melt!

Okay, well, that’s the end of the series! I hope it has helped you see more possibilities in your clothing, given you the confidence to take risks, loaded you up with inspiration & pointed the way to an aesthetic direction which thrills you! I’d love to hear your thoughts on the wardrobe taming process, too!