Hands up if you have a wardrobe full of clothes and nothing to wear? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one! If you’re well overdue for a wardrobe makeover, then you’re going to love Wardrobe 101 author Dijanna Mulhearn’s top 5 wardrobe editing tips which will help take your collection of clothes and accessories from crazy mess to considered perfection!
1. weed out the excess
Before anything else, the first thing to do is a proper cull to get rid of those pieces that are really just taking up valuable closet space.
The general rule of thumb has been if you haven’t worn it for a year then move it on, however if you buy quality, classic garments this rule will not apply. I say if you haven’t worn it for a year then pop it in a drawer to discover later, if after another year you still feel no love then say goodbye.
Discard anything that is uncomfortable, stained, has too much pilling, needs alteration (when you know you won’t do it) or has lost its shape. This is a time to be brutal – never compromise on fit. Make sure the shoulders sit squarely, the waist of the garment sits at your waist and the rise of the pant is comfortable. Clothes that don’t fit properly will do you no favours both aesthetically and in the comfort stakes.
Finally, if in doubt, then just ask yourself ‘If I saw this in store today would I buy it?’.
2. make fashion & your clothes work for you
Decide what you want your clothes to do for you. Is your focus to look easy-going, polished or on-trend? Think about what you want your signature look to be and focus on creating that ideal. With this in mind, a second cull of the wardrobe may be in order, so don’t be afraid to go back again if you think you need to.
When dressing, if you are concerned about an area of your body that feels too big, then wear clothes that section it into smaller areas. A blazer over a t-shirt or a paneled dress tricks the eye into seeing three smaller parts rather than one big area. Three sections is plenty, otherwise you risk looking like a walking jigsaw puzzle.
If you feel an area is too round then offset it with a straight line. Remember round patterns or shapes on a round frame make it look rounder. Wear garments that have vertical cuts, seams or patterns. Conversely, if you feel like you need more curves go for rounder cuts and patterns.
3. keep it organised
A wardrobe is far more approachable if it’s neat and tidy, so organise it into sections – think jackets with jackets, tops with tops, pants with pants and so on. If you are super organised, then arrange your pieces in colour order from light to dark. Make sure you can see your shoes, because out of sight is out of mind and shoes can get mouldy if neglected, so love them with light and regular wear! Invest in some good quality hangers for your wardrobe too, as wire hangers will poke your clothes out of shape and leave indentation marks on pants and skirts. Wooden hangers with soft moulded curves are best, especially for jackets and knits or anything with shoulder pads – be good to your clothes and they’ll be good to you! Also, take a quick snap of your fresh outfit ideas and keep them handy for future reference. This makes dressing well quickly a breeze.
Pants by Jil Sander Navy | Shirt by Donna Karen | Jacket by Barbara Bui | Tee by Sass & Bide all available at selected stores
4. build a strong foundation
Now that you’ve culled and sorted out what look you want, you can start to add to your wardrobe (the fun part) by setting up the right foundations. Look for pieces that make you feel sophisticated, sexy and strong and always go for quality over quantity as much as your budget will allow. Staple pieces that will always serve you well include:
A smart jacket: Petite frames should seek shorter styles while taller types won’t be swamped by longer lines. Don’t be precious with your jacket either – wear it everywhere.
Tailored pants: Tailored pants that sit snug to the thigh then fall straight down the leg are most flattering to all shapes. A lightweight yet sturdy fabric is versatile and holds its shape while folding up the cuff to reveal your statement heels is smart yet still sexy. Resist wearing them as part of a suit though except for special occasions.
A classic shirt: Crisp or soft, a classic shirt can save many a last minute wardrobe crisis. Cotton or silk blends sit pretty and tailoring is key – make sure there is enough room across your back and chest, no gapes please! Go for long sleeves then roll them up for a styled finish.
The Perfect t-shirt: You know you are on a winner if the cotton is super soft yet thick enough to conceal your bra. The most flattering shapes are a little oversized and skim the body rather than cling.
5. amp it up
If what you are left with leaves you feeling a little flat then target new purchases that will amp up your wardrobe. Add some colour either in a striking item of clothing or accessory or try working ‘the new matchy’ look by matching the colour of your accessory with a garment and your nails or lips.
Add a belt over your outerwear. Ditch the fabric belt that comes with your dress, jacket or coat and tie on a sturdy leather belt to give it structure and substance; think French Vogue Editor Emmanuelle Alt.
Inject personality into a look that feels too safe by adding a fun scarf – try casually draping an oversized scarf around your shoulders or slipping a smaller silk scarf around your neck in place of a necklace.
For more about how to organise your wardrobe, the pieces you need now and tips on selecting the colours and styles that suit you, you HAVE to pick up a copy of Dijanna’s book, Wardrobe 101 which is available at selected stores and online here – it’s our new fashion bible!
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