Have you ever opened your wardrobe doors and just sighed….. there are plenty of garments lurking in there, but something just isn’t right. It could be that you need to let go of some of these items so that you can discover how you really want to dress and be seen by the outside world.
Our clothes, accessories and grooming are one of the easiest ways of communicating who we are and what we do to other people. It is also a simple way of building rapport with others. It might appear to be superficial, but as humans we believe what we see, therefore if we meet someone whose clothes look dated and uncared for we are likely to believe that their thinking isn’t up to date and that they won’t care about their work. I am not advocating that you should be a slave to fashion and obviously if you have a vintage style that is different. For the majority of women that I work with they want to look current and interesting so this means that they will at some point have to let go of clothes and styles that may have served them well in the past.
I have been working as an image consultant, personal shopper and style trainer for over 25 years helping people to feel more comfortable and confident in their clothes. One of the most rewarding parts of my job is when I have the privilege of working in a woman’s wardrobe. It is an honour that they have trusted me to see this very personal part of their lives.
Letting go of clothes, accessories and styles that have perhaps served us well in the past can be hard but it is ultimately liberating and confidence building.
Most women ask me for wardrobe help when something else changes in their lives and their clothes just aren’t “right” any more. This could be a change in relationship; change in weight; change of decade; change of job or just “the change”!
If for example, you have just been promoted or you are working with higher paying clients you may feel that you need “to look the part”.
Before I give you some practical advice on how to de-clutter your wardrobe it is always useful to have a plan! I have found that it is difficult to let go of clothes if you don’t know what you need to replace them with! Also when you look at your wardrobe you may find you have repeat buys of similar items – do you still need these items &/or as many of the same thing?
We can all get into a rut of buying and wearing the same thing – I was speaking to a client the other day and she admitted that for about 6 years she wore the same style of jeans and 2 sweatshirts pretty much every day, because she felt invisible as a stay at home Mum. This woman is gorgeous, and now that she has found her style mojo is rocking her new wardrobe – there still aren’t many clothes in there but she does now have variety!
A way to help you find the right clothes for you now and to allow you to let go with ease is to do the 3 word exercise. How would you like other people to describe you in three words? This can be in a work or social environment and the words may well be different, in different situations. You can have more words but I would limit it to 6 words. How this can help in your wardrobe is that if your work words are, “Strong”, “Professional” and “Assertive” then it is unlikely that a floral, floaty dress will help you to convey this message to others!
So think for a minute about what your words might be and then how those words could be translated into outfits and accessories. My work words are usually “Approachable”, “Knowledgeable” and “Professional”. Because of what I do I also want to show some style or individuality which I generally do with accessories. I can still convey this message when dressed smartly or casually.
As I said these words will probably be different if you are going on a date, but when you know these words it will make it much easier to make a decision over which garments to keep and which ones to let go of.
Practical Tips to help you let go of clothes
You will have probably read magazine articles about how to de-clutter a wardrobe so here are mine:
- Discard any clothes that are the wrong colour &/or style – I help my clients to eliminate the wrong colours and styles for their natural colouring and body shape, so I would remove these items first.
- Sort to season – If I am sorting a wardrobe in October I would also suggest taking out all the obviously “summery” clothes so that we can focus on the current weather season.
- If you haven’t worn something for over 2 years you probably aren’t going to again
- If the garment is looking old and tatty – you have obviously loved this and it has served you well – it is time to find a replacement
- If it doesn’t fit or flatter you
- If it still has the tags on it!
- If it just isn’t you any more – your life has moved on
- If it doesn’t honour your 3 words
These items should be relatively easy to let go of BUT the sentimental items might be more challenging….
- These items remind you of a particular, time place, occasion or person – if you want to keep them store them somewhere else &/or take a photo of them. You don’t need them in your bedroom! (Remember the film “27 dresses”…!)
If you are struggling to let go of a garment here are some questions you can ask yourself –
“Would I buy it again?”
“How do I feel when I wear it?”
“Has my life moved on since I bought it?”
Remember that by letting go of your clothes, someone else may benefit, be it a charity or a friend, as the garment may suit them much better than you.
We have all made mistakes when shopping so you are not alone, but with a plan of how you would like you wardrobe to look and what you would like it to do for you, it can be so much easier.
If this all seems too overwhelming and you would like to work with me please give me a call so that I can help simplify your wardrobe.
AND if you feel that you need some fab new pieces to honour your style words, check out my clothing brand – Cabi, and I can bring a personal shopping experience to you!