They say we live in 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time. Most of us own too much yes, but we also own great items that we never wear.
We form habits of wearing a small number of items that we are intimately familiar with and we know exactly how to style them.
Other items however, are relegated to the back of the closet and forgotten. Often this is because we just don’t know how to style them successfully into outfits and since it’s too late to return them, we give up on them.
It’s worth remembering however, that there was a reason why you fell in love with and purchased these items.
Perhaps with a new lease of life, you could rekindle your affections for your unworn or forgotten clothing.
Not only is this fun and exciting when it works, it’s friendly to your wallet and of course, the environment.
I recommend a good sort through the wardrobe once a year. Items that are too small should absolutely be removed and repurposed or archived. Items that are irreparable can be recycled. For everything else that is not being worn, it’s worth a closer look.
Imagine there was a classic tan skirt that you fell for in 2017 and then never wore.
It might be that you simply don’t know what to pair with the skirt to create an outfit.
The first thing to do (assuming I’m not there with you, editing your wardrobe!) is to Google ‘Tan Midi Skirt outfit’. The images that come up will give you a plethora of ideas for how to style your skirt. What types of footwear and tops are the skirts styled with? Do you own anything similar? Are you missing a key item that is included in most of the outfits?
Could you add a key piece to your wardrobe (providing it is a basic that would work with at least three other items from your existing wardrobe!) or utilise existing similar pieces from your wardrobe to create new outfit combinations with the skirt.
Another sticking point might be that the item is not easy to style for your ‘body type’. In my Online ‘Dream Wardrobe’ course, you can learn how to identify your body type and then learn which cuts you need to wear for your specific shape.
If for example, you are a pear shape, you might feel that the A-line skirt leaves you looking bottom heavy when you style it with a fitted top. What would work better for you is a loose fitting top worn tucked in and even better if it has a lift or structure to the shoulder to balance out those hips.
Is the shape of the item not quite right for your body type? Let’s imagine now that you have bought one of the slightly oversized or straight fitting boyfriend blazers that have been on trend for a while now. You love it yet every time you wear it you feel three sizes larger! It might be that it’s because it hides rather than works with the most slender part of your body, your waistline (if you are an hourglass or pear shape). In this case, a good tailor will be able to add darts to the waist to give it some shape which will be much more flattering. Alternatively, if you are tall enough to wear the blazer closed, try belting it for a more feminine shape.
Is it that the blazer makes your shoulders look enormous? (If you are a rectangle, apple or inverted triangle body type). If this is the case then ask your tailor to remove the shoulder pads giving you a much softer line to the upper body.
Or, did you stop wearing the item because you over-wore it and then got bored of it? If it’s been long enough, you might be ready to give it another go! Otherwise, use the same Google search trick for this item and find new ways of styling it to give it a fresh lease of life.
If for example, you own a very distinctive green print midi dress, there could be multiple ways to wear it that you had not yet discovered. Pair with trainers, a denim jacket and basket bag for spring casual. Try it with a leather jacket and sleek black boots for a smart-casual dinner. Try it with heeled court shoes and a tailored wool coat for a work look.
And finally, is it simply because the item itself doesn’t set your world alight? Perhaps it’s a perfect cream cashmere sweater. A great basic but not very inspiring in itself? Sorry to say but this item is totally dependent on your use of a little flair and imagination. Here’s 5 distinct and great ways to style a cream sweater and none of these are boring!
It’s not just about the choice of bottoms that you pair it with. It’s the finishing touches, something so many people skip. There is no shortcut to this, it’s a matter of getting into the habit of accessorising, having some great pieces that work with everything and putting them on before leaving the house.
By now you are most likely itching to get into your wardrobes and rediscover some hidden gems..
Good luck, enjoy and re-wear 😊
If you need help I’m here for all your Wardrobe Edit and refresh needs!