A new season is well and truly upon us, and inevitably the change in the mercury will be having an effect on our sartorial wants and needs.
Season changes draw in shoppers like moths to a flame, making them believe their summer will be so much more enjoyable, and yes you will definitely look like Gemma Ward in the Country Road ad if you buy that $200 kaftan.
I have fallen victim to this on occasion, because obviously I have no clothes and nothing to wear. And don’t you dare try and pretend that thought never crossed your mind or lips.
But when I moved out of home and discovered being a single Gen Y city-renting grown up means having little to no spending money, I knew I needed to readjust my thinking about my wardrobe and how much it was costing me.
After a few years I think I’ve got it down to a somewhat of an art, so here are some easy to follow steps that I hope will help you to dress like you’re #fierce as well as financially responsible…whatever that looks like.
Step One: Cleanse
You need to start with a good base wardrobe, which means cleaning your shit right out. It doesn’t mean pick out pieces you haven’t worn in a year, it means put everything on your floor and create three piles: keep, sell & donate.
Be ruthless. Try everything on, make sure it fits and that you still like it before deciding its piled fate. If it’s in good condition and of a high quality, try your hand at eBay or sell it to a vintage store.
Clinical psychologist Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner suggests the golden wardrobe ratio: “For every three items that stay in your closet, two must be thrown out, donated or consigned.” That means letting go of those novelty banana print Topshop leggings you bought for real but only ended up wearing as costume. And yes I did actually own a pair of those.
Step Two: Repair
How often do we keep things we don’t wear because they’re missing a button, have a stubborn bastard of a stain or torn seam? This defies all logic, so do yourself a favour and invest a few bucks in dry cleaners and a good alterations place to make use of what you already own and spent your cash on.
Step Three: Organise
50% of people’s fashion problems* come from the fact that their wardrobes are unorganised to the point where they only see a small portion of their clothes, and so only wear select items on rotation.
Your cleanse will go a way to helping this, but take it further and go to IKEA or Howards Storage World and invest in good coat hangers, shoe racks, drawer dividers or storage boxes to keep your fashions fresh, organised and visible.
If you’re still pushed for space I recommend swapping the prime visible real estate between winter and summer wardrobes, keeping the alternate in the back or in storage boxes until the temperature calls for it.
*I made this up, but it’s probably true
Step Four: Grow Up
I don’t want to be mean, but you need to grow up. A good wardrobe is about quality, not quantity, good staple pieces over novelty junk (although these are amazing). I’m not saying go all corporate monochrome, but there are some items everyone must own like good jeans, a blazer, a classic white tee etc. Get the staples down and you can work the more statement pieces in the mix.
Step Five: Utilise
Make the most of your hard work by utilizing it properly. Keep it all in order (read: clean/organised), and make sure to give everything a workout, not just your favourite one or two pieces. I recommend any of the apps below to assist this. It’s kind of like being Cher but on a smaller screen and with less clothes.
Closet+: Snap flat-lay pics of all your pieces and bulk upload them to the app and voila! You can plan ahead with the calendar, make travel packing lists and organize the photos to be season specific.
Stylebook: Much the same as Closet+, but has additional stylist & shopping features. You’ll pay $4.99 on the app store, but it may well be worth it.
Cloth: Another wardrobe organisation app but with a share function. I personally don’t want to share my outfit selfies but you can keep them private and tag your outfits with that day’s weather conditions and things like #workflow #summer #getitgurl for additional searching purposes.
And if you’re game, take the challenge this journalist set herself and test just how extensive your wardrobe is and how much you can save by abstaining from the #farshuns. Now fly my pretties, while coincidentally looking very pretty.