Finally! A practical guide to sorting your wardrobe into something that resembles a stylish space. It's true that we only wear about 20% of our clothing about 80% percent of the time. I call those 80% the 'hurt your feelings clothes' because every time we try them on they look and feel awful. We have all the excuses in the world to keep our wardrobes in their current state, but that's only because most of us don't realise the euphoria that comes with opening a well sorted wardrobe that only has clothes that make us look and feel insanely fabulous! Take just a second to imagine just that...
Now that you're in the right mind-frame, here are the top 5 tips for sorting your unruly wardrobe.
PLAN TO ENJOY THE EXPERIENCE
I've heard people, even stylists, saying that sorting a wardrobe is like pulling teeth but I totally disagree. I LOVE sorting out wardrobes, the results are always amazing! I love watching my clients build their knowledge around what their authentic style is, and I love seeing them get really passionate about getting rid of the clothes in their wardrobes that just hurt their feelings.
We don't have to dread our wardrobe sortting, in fact, we can plan to enjoy it instead. Here's what we need to do to prepare for the fun night ahead:
Buy some matching coat hangers (I like the box of 100 White Wooden Hangers from Shop For Shops)
Have a roll of garbage bags ready, and
Grab a bottle of your favourite beverage and a box of your favourite chocolates. (even if you're being healthy, this is the night for a little splurge).
PHONE A FRIEND
You own all of the reasons why those 'hurt your feelings clothes' are in your wardrobe. They're practised and rehearsed excuses that are ensuring your wardrobe doesn't work for you. You need someone who will keep you on track. You need someone who will be honest when you ask them 'does my butt look big in this'.
Make sure they're the kind of friend who would tell you when you have lettuce in your teeth, and you would love them for it. If you try and do this job alone you'll get part way there, but you'll never truly complete the task, your excuses will make you keep things in your wardrobe for another year that you just don't wear. You may need to rethink your beverage cart now.
THE THREE STACK RULE
It's now the big night. Your bestie or your stylist has arrived and you're ready to get started. By now you should be itching to get rid of some of that old stuff clogging up your stylish life.
After you've cleared the room, set up the bar and opened the chocolates it's time to get started. One item at a time we're going to go through everything. The process usually takes between 1.5 and 3 hours depending on the size of your wardrobe, but you're about to have your very own 'Sex In The City' wardrobe sort moment, you can even make up your own 'Toss' or 'Take' signs!
Now start to sort your clothes into these 3 stacks:
1. The Clothes You Love and Wear All The Time
Leave these ones hanging in your wardrobe on their new white wooden hangers or folded up neatly in the drawers.
2. The Clothes That You Couldn't Even Give Away
These are the ones that are:
These ones go straight to the garbage.
3. The Hurt Your Feelings Clothes
These clothes are perfectly good, they're just not perfectly good for you. So don't get confused that just because you paid for them that you have to keep them. Somebody else needs them far more than you do. These are the ones that:
you flick past in your wardrobe all the time
you try on, you don't like them, and then hang them back up
don't fit (yep, if it doesn't fit now, it goes, by the time it does, you'll buy something new anyway)
haven't been worn in over 1 year
were given to you by someone else, but you don't like wearing it
you don't like the colour on you, or
you don't like the style
Fill up your garbage bags with the 'Hurt Your Feelings Clothes' and put them in the garage. They're going to Goodwill in the morning. There's no point in keeping a wardrobe full of clothes that you're not wearing when somebody else could benefit from them. You are engaging in the cycle of abundance, giving with no expectation of return. You should feel very, very good about this part.
Rewarding and celebrating your wins is vital to creating new and better habits. We're going to create a new habit for our brain that tells us it's ok to recycle clothes that we don't like. We don't have to keep them anymore. To do that we have to create a new response every time we decide to put a piece of clothing in the 3rd stack. We would ordinarily feel anxious so now we want to spark another response, a warm and fuzzy feeling that instead makes us feel good.
Every time you choose the 3rd stack, raise your champagne class, cheers and take a sip. Have a piece of chocolate or your favourite treat. Yes, for the smarty pants' out there, it's the reward method, and it works. And it's fun. We should all have more fun.
REFRESH YOUR LOOK
Once your wardrobe sort is complete it's time to reassess your wardrobe. If you have some key items missing from a great capsule wardrobe, then make a list. It could be a great blazer, the perfect jeans , a pair of nude heels or an amazing LBD. Once your garment list is complete make a list of the shops that you're most likely to buy them from. Take your list with you when you hit the shops and stick to it. Once you've added your final few pieces to your wardrobe with gorgeous matching coat hangers you can enjoy your stylish new space. You will find that you wear more of your clothes more often, and from a 'cost per wear' perspective you'll be saving money too.
A good wardrobe sort should only have to happen once. If you've done one recently and still have a wardrobe full of 'hurt your feelings clothes' then you need some professional help. Engaging a stylist isn't as expensive as you might think and in nearly every case you'll end up saving money.