Wonderful working wardrobes
You are what you wear. Or at least, sometimes. Here
Susan Axford offers tips and practical help on decluttering your
wardrobe to ensure you are making the best use of the clothes
that you own that help you feel your best .
De-clutter is one of the buzz words of
the decade - the solution
to a clear mind.
We're encouraged to de-clutter our lives, from living spaces to
desks, to the pantry and don't forget the wardrobe.
Learning the art of de-cluttering is especially important when we work from
home as we are constantly reminded of our personal surroundings and their current
state of tidiness or mess.
The start of the year is a great time to put all those new ideas
in place and a good time to de-clutter so we can start afresh and
look and feel organised.
It's amazing how much easier every task
seems when we start from a place of order - a place for everything and everything in its
place. When we work from home we can fall into the trap of thinking "nobody
sees me, so it does not matter what I wear or how I look."
But psychologists tell us how entwined the look good, feel good
theory is. When we know we look good we are more confident and
perform better. PJs and slippers may be fine for checking those
early morning emails, but smart/casual business attire ensures
you perform more professionally in clinching the deal.
Having an organised wardrobe that works for your lifestyle will
make looking great everyday easier. Let's start by taking a virtual
look in your wardrobe. How many of you can honestly say that you
wear EVERYTHING in your wardrobe?
How many of you can say you LOVE every
garment in your wardrobe? Most of us struggle to answer a strong
yes to both questions. The 80/20 rule applies equally to wardrobes - most people wear only
20 per cent of their clothes 80 per cent of the time - so why do
we hang on to the 80 per cent that never see the light of day.
The strange thing is that the more we have in our wardrobes, often
the less we have to wear. A disorganised wardrobe means we sometimes
don't even know what hangs in there!One of the advantages of working
from home means we are not seeing the same people everyday, so
we do not require a lot of clothes, as we do not have to ring in
the changes as much as people going to an office daily and seeing
the same people.
Let's not clutter our wardrobes full of
things that do not look good on us; instead let's have clothes
that do work well for us - make
us look good and feel great. Get rid of all those old clothes that
are weighing you down. Regardless of who gave them to you, how
much you paid for them, or who made them, if they're not working
for you, discard them.
A wardrobe filled with clothes that you're not wearing has a negative
impact on you. Why be reminded every time you open your closet
that you are either too big to wear something, you've spent lots
of money on something that you've never worn, you no longer have
that great job where you used to wear that suit.
We don't need our clothes to send out negative vibes every time
we open the door. Your closet should have clothes that fit and
make you feel great. A messy closet is the biggest hurdle to looking
The new year is the perfect time to transform your dysfunctional
closet into an organised and efficient space with the right things
to make getting dressed and looking fantastic a breeze. Knowing
the colours and styles that work for you will show you how to create
a successful capsule wardrobe.
Tips on how to de-clutter the wardrobe
Take EVERYTHING out and then examine each piece before putting it back. This
is a wardrobe audit aimed at simplifying and organising what we wear.
Try on each piece to see if it fits well, needs washing/drycleaning/mending.
If, what you see in the privacy of your own closet does not make
a good impression on you, you will never feel confident and empowered
when you wear it! This exercise is about letting go of what no
longer works for you and making room for what really enhances your
You don't keep food in the pantry that
is past its "use by" date,
so why keep clothes that are past it. However for clothes, it is
not the age of the clothes, but how they look on you. Sadly it
may be the sale item you bought last month that is not working
for you and needs to go; but the shirt you bought three years ago
still looks fantastic.
Examine each piece and ask .
Do I love it? Do I need it? Does it support my life style? Does it have positive
or negative memories?
If you have answered no to any of the first three questions, then let it go.
When in doubt, toss it. Decide whether to sell it or give it away. There are
excellent re-cycle shops or sell them on the Internet.
The clothes you put back in your wardrobe must have earned that
place. You probably choose carefully what else you store in your
home, but somehow clothes we just let them clutter the closet.
But every time we open that wardrobe we feel a little guilty that
we have so much crammed in there and never feel amazing when we
If you are re-designing your wardrobe, choose the wardrobe plan
or system that suits you best. Never underestimate how much long
hanging space you need. Trousers should be hung in the long hanging
area, not folded over a hanger in the short hanging space.
Some people hang their clothes in colour categories, but my preference
is to hang them in categories.
So put the jackets together, trousers together, shirts together, tops next
to each other and so on. You may like to separate summer and winter. If you
hang by category you can see the exciting new ways of combining pieces. Isn't
it amazing how often you can find a great combination when your favourite combo
is in the wash.
Once you've re-organised your wardrobe,
you often don't need to go shopping because you've discovered
so many great combinations. If you have suits left over from
a former working life stop thinking they have to be worn together
or tossed out. Wear the trousers with a funky T-shirt or shirt
and team your jacket with jeans. Change the buttons on the jacket - even
different coloured ones for each buttonhole.
Buy good hangars - the rule is the heavier
the garment, the stronger/larger the hangar. If you have a walk-in
wardrobe make sure your clothes are protected against sunlight.
The sun shining on one shoulder of a jacket can ruin it. Knitwear
is best folded rather than hung. Clear plastic boxes are a good
way to store scarves. Roll them, so they won't crush and you
can remove one without messing up the whole box.
Shoe trees are essential to keep your shoes looking pristine.
Boot holders will stop your boots from falling over.
Hooks are great way of using wall space - hang your sunhat, belts, jewellery.
A full-length mirror is an essential - treat the mirror as your friend to check
the overall first impression. Make the mirror your friendly assistant to check
overall appearance not to concentrate on perceived flaws.