A wonderfully long, cold and wet season lies ahead. This means it is time to bring out your warmest layers and revisit your winter wardrobe that might not have been fully utilized last year.
So, taking my own advice, I went through my entire wardrobe and unpacked all of my warmest, coats, knits and wraps and finally removed a few items that I have unpacked and then repacked for the last two years. I once again came to the realisation that a wardrobe is not merely a place to store clothes. It is a diary of the last few years of your life, full of events and emotions (well mine definitely is). Each stage of your life requires a change in your wardrobe, and yet we find it difficult to move to the next, without holding on to something of the past.
There are certain items in my wardrobe, that even as a stylist, I keep. Certain memories that I hold on to. My matric farewell dress, all of my evening wear, my graduation dress, my wedding dress and then my first pair of leather boots. I bought them with my first salary. Most of my first salary I might add, but who needs food when you are wearing Polo boots? This year, I am being ruthless. Clothes bought in haste, clothes from previous stages of my life and clothing that I love, but need to be replaced are being removed.
Your wardrobe should be an expression of who you are. It should be filled with colours, textures and styles that you love and make you feel confident. The truth is, that most of our wardrobes fall short of this ideal. I believe that anyone can look amazing and stylish regardless of your size or budget, but time is more of the issue. Making time to go through your wardrobe, plan outfits, try on new combinations and then to go shopping, does not always happen. Seasons also play a big role. Winter is my favourite season to get dressed for, with endless combinations, layering and mixing of textures. However, a lot of people find this challenging and they prefer to hibernate until Spring.
To avoid hibernation a Wardrobe Action Plan might be required. Firstly, make space in your wardrobe. Start with going through your winter basics, especially the knitwear. Once a jersey has pills on it and all the fabulous little machines, tapes and good old fashioned razors have tried and failed, it is time to let them go (The Frozen Theme Song is coming to mind). The same applies to coats, jackets and dresses. Shirts and blouses are the next thing to look at, especially darker shirts that have faded, or white shirts that have become a shade of cream. This applies to men’s work shirts especially. Let them go. Pants, skirts and jeans should also be gone through with a magnifying glass. When your stretch jeans start making funny bump patterns when they are both on and off, it might be a sign to replace them. Shoes and boots also have a lifespan. Their heels and soles can only be replaced so many times.
Once the big clear out has been done, it is time to revitalise your style and combinations with your remaining clothes and accessories. This is the time to bring in an expert. I find we tend to create a mind block about combining different colours and styles until someone else shows you how and gently nudges you in a new direction. I am always very honoured when clients let me enter their wardrobes and I discover the treasures that lie within. I have the exact same look on my face that my children have when they enter a toy shop. That warm excited feeling full of hope and possibilities. Added to that is the look on my clients faces when they discover they have so many more outfit combinations than they thought. I experience that “night before your birthday feeling” (And yes I still get VERY excited for my birthday). Inbetween photographing the combinations, I make a list of possible items to add to your wardrobe, we also look at items that can be altered, especially coats, dresses and skirts that have the wrong hem length. Then it is time for shopping!
Your wardrobe is a constantly evolving part of your life and it will never really be complete. There will always be something to add or something to replace depending on how your lifestyle changes. Embrace the cold season and dress how you want to feel.