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How to do a seasonal wardrobe update
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All this lovely weather we've been having has us standing in front of our wardrobes wondering what to wear. And now with May just around the corner, it's a good time to think about getting your wardrobe ready for summer. But before you rush out and buy new summer clothes, why not invest a little time going through the items you already own. This will help you to be more focussed in what you really need to bring your wardrobe up to date.
Here are a few simple tips to transition your wardrobe to summer ...
The best way to check out what you have, what works and what doesn’t work is to go through each item of clothing, jewellery and accessories piece by piece. You'll need to take out everything in your wardrobe and any summer clothes you've stored away since last year so allow yourself at least a day to do this.
Put your clothes into three piles:
Pile 1: Clothes you LOVE and will definitely keep
(for now, we'll include pieces for all seasons, we'll be storing away the winter ones later)
Pile 2: Clothes you might keep (MAYBES)
they don't quite fit or the colour's not right or they cost so much you'd feel guilty tossing it!
Pile 3: Clothes that must go (NO WAYS)
How do you decide?
Is it the right colour?
If the answer is yes, then ask yourself if it is the right style. If it is then it goes in Pile 1.
If it’s the right colour but the wrong style, can it be altered or worn differently to make it work? If it can, it goes in pile 2.
Is it the right style but the wrong colour?
Could you wear it with a complementary colour from your palette between it and your face?
Do you have accessories like a statement necklace or scarf that will make it work? If yes it goes in Pile 2.
If it’s the wrong colour and the wrong style, it goes in Pile 3.
If it’s not your current size, you haven’t worn it for over a year or it's just plain grubby it goes in Pile 3.
Pile 1 – Keepers
Organise keepers by categories: coats, jackets, suits, skirts, trousers, tops and shirts. Group them by colour within these categories to help give you ideas for combining clothes.
Fasten all buttons and pull up all zips, so that the garments hang straight before you put them back in the wardrobe, all facing the same way.
Don’t put anything back in your wardrobe unless it’s clean.
Don’t overcrowd your wardrobe.
Store away off-season clothes. Remove everything from pockets, fasten all buttons and zips and gently fold the garment. To allow them to breathe, loosely stack the items into boxes, storage bags, or plastic bins. Wrap delicate items in acid-free tissue paper. This will help retain their shape.
Stuff your favourite tall boots will rolled up magazines or newspapers, wrap them in a shoe bag or old pillowcase and store them on their sides in plastic boxes too.
Pile 2 – Is it worth keeping?
Check every piece against your pile 1 pieces to see whether it is worth keeping. You might find that a jacket in the wrong colour, for example, can be made to work for you if worn with a top that you’ve decided to keep.
Can you Restyle, Remodel, Refit, Renew or Retrend any items? This might be worth doing particularly if the item is one that cost a lot. A skirt that isn’t quite right could work simply by shortening the hem. A jacket might be transformed by updating the buttons. You might find inspiration in my previous blog about alterations "New and Improved", you can read it here
Pile 3 – Clothes you want to get rid of
Give them to a friend
Sell expensive items and those that are still current and good quality
Arrange a clothes swapping (swishing) party, everyone brings five items in great shape. And a bottle of wine of course.
Donate them to charity - I did a blog post on this some time ago "8 Ways you can use Fashion to Give to Charity", you can read it here
Before you put everything back in your wardrobe, vacuum and dust it. To preserve the shape of your clothes, you'll need to use the right hangers:
Sturdy wooden hangers for jackets and coats
Wooden hangers with clips for skirts and trousers
Padded hangers for lightweight and delicate luxury fabrics
Basic plastic hangers for blouses, shirts and lightweight summer dresses. The slim velvet ones in Penneys are perfect.
Make a List of What You Have Left
Inevitably in the course of organising your wardrobe, you'll dispose of items that need to be replaced with colours and styles that suit you. To help you in this next phase, list each item in your wardrobe, then add to the list all the items that it coordinates with including your accessories.
Now make a list of what you need to complete your wardrobe. Here's a suggested guideline for a summer capsule wardrobe:
4 cover-ups (for instance a trench coat, a navy or cream blazer, a cardigan or two, a fine knit)
6 skirts or trousers (whatever you feel most comfortable in - denim skirt, skater skirt, maxi, cropped trousers, cigarette pants, shorts, culottes etc)
8 tops (your favourites from vests to t-shirts to light shirts to stripey tops etc)
3 dresses (depending on your lifestyle, this could be a day dress, an evening dress and a beach dress. Of course you might prefer dresses to jeans or vice versa so you can play around with the numbers by substituting a dress for a trousers and top combination)
4 pairs of shoes of your choice (I like wedges, pumps, sandals and sketchers)
You're nearly there so don't give up now! Because in many ways this last stage of finding the items to fill the gaps in your wardrobe is the most important. You really need to be sure that any new clothes you buy will suit you, your colours and your lifestyle!
If you think you need help with this, especially to avoid any (more) costly wardrobe mistakes, maybe now is the time to invest in a colour and style consultation, I'm only a phonecall away. Book your appointment today!