Spring is in the air. It’s time to ditch those 'Hurt Your Feelings' clothes and get the work wardrobe of your dreams in 5 easy steps.
And while you’re doing that, you can dust off your career as well.
STEP 1 – BE RUTHLESS
We only wear about 30% of the clothes in our wardrobes. The rest are waiting for our bone structure to change, our skin tones to mutate or our taste in clothing to do a 180. We throw away everything else in life that doesn’t suit us – food, jobs and partners… Yet we manage to hold onto clothes that don’t work for years and years.
So get tough and get ruthless. You’re about to create the perfect wardrobe so unless you look INCREDIBLE in it – today, it goes.
Create your pile of clothes called – ‘It Stays, It’s Fabulous’.
These are the clothes that you put on ALL the time. They never fail you. They look and feel amazing even on a bad day. These clothes will become the litmus test you measure all other clothes by. Take a good look at their structure, colour and style, there’s a good reason why you love them. Work out what that is so that you can repeat that on future shopping trips.
STEP 2 – REUSE
This will be the - ‘Fix Me And I’ll Be Fabulous Again’ pile.
These dear clothes may just need a nip or tuck to get back to their glory days. If the hem needs to come up, the skirt needs taking in, the sleeves need adjusting or that dress just doesn’t quite sit right then take them off to the tailor. In about one weeks time you’ll have what seems like brand new clothes in your wardrobe.
Now here’s the thing. I paid $70 to have a zipper replaced on a jacket that cost me about $20. Why? Because here in Australia we pay people a living wage to do things. Before I understood about ethical fashion I bought that jacket from an unethical fashion shop (which, btw, is most of them). So expect to pay a little more to breathe new life into a garment and be proud of yourself for paying a little more to do so. You’re looking after your wardrobe, people and the planet.
STEP 3 – REPURPOSE
This is the – ‘I’m Just Not That Into You’ pile.
There is nothing wrong with these clothes at all. They’re very stylish and professional work clothes. They’re just wrong for you. They are in wonderful condition; they may even have a few more years in them, just not with you.
If you take a good look at the structure, colour or style of these clothes they will be slightly, or very much different from your ‘It Stays, It’s Fabulous’ pile. Take note of that and NEVER purchase clothes like this again.
Put them in a garbage bag and take them to an outlet like ‘Ready To Work’. They will use your clothes to help others get back into the workforce.
STEP 4 – RECYCLE
Call this one the – ‘Goodbye, I’m Glad To See You Go’ pile.
The last pile is for all of those clothes that need to go but aren’t fit for someone else’s work wardrobe. They can still be worn, just not on the job. These ones can go to your local goodwill. These might be your old jeans, t-shirts or jumpers that someone else will benefit from.
If you’re not wearing them, somebody else will. Let them go to their new home. Don’t hoard them unnecessarily when someone else needs them more than you do.
STEP 5 – RENEW
Now it’s time to do the fun stuff. Now you get to shop. But don’t leave your shopping up to chance. The last thing you need is to come home with more clothes you’ll never wear or duplicates of what you already have.
Make a list of the things that are missing from completing your perfect wardrobe and just going shopping for those few items.
Take note of those clothes that you love and wear all the time. Be aware of the cut of pants that work best for you, the length of shirt, the sleeve, collar, dress style and colour. Keep within those styles and shapes that suit you best. You’ll still find plenty to choose from.
Remember, a white, collared shirt will never go out of fashion. You will always need black pants and navy is a wardrobe staple.
You can even take your time and look for ethical shopping options.
AND WHILE YOU’RE AT IT!
Here are 5 ways to Spring Clean your career.
It’s important to keep your resume up to date with your latest and greatest career achievements. It doesn’t have to mean that you’re looking for a new job, but it does give you the chance to review how your career is travelling and celebrate the milestones you’ve achieved.
Check your referees too. Are they still relevant? Is there someone who needs to be added? Is there a connection or phone call you need to make?
This is one crazy area of your professional life that can totally get out of hand. Being CC’d into emails that you don’t need, spam mail, email novels and somewhere in there things you actually need to do.
Check out apps to clean your inbox like Mailstrom, Unroll.me and Revive Your Inbox. The initial time investment could save you in the long run.
3. YOUR OFFICE
Clear away the clutter, finish the filing and find your desk. Blue and green are great colours to use in your office. They will support calmness, growth and renewed energy.
Be inspired by the things around you. Frame a favourite quote or add pictures of your loved ones. Adding a plant that’s easy to maintain can not only give off oxygen but they eat a lot of toxins too. If your office doesn’t have a view add a picture with visual depth to relieve eyestrain.
4. YOUR JUNK DRAW
This is one of those times you may even want to just up-turn the whole thing and start all over again.
Try getting some draw dividers from somewhere like IKEA or Officeworks to help keep your draw neat and tidy. Freshen up your stationery and keep endeavouring to go paperless.
5. YOUR PURPOSE
So while you’re clearing through some of the rubbish you’ve collected, make sure you haven’t collected a rubbish career. Now every job, even mine, has its ups and downs. We would simply go insane if there was nothing to challenge us.
Take a moment to check if you’re still on a path that is purposeful and meaningful. After all, this is the journey. It’s not a dress rehearsal. This is the show. Make sure you’re playing the part you wanted to audition for.