Friday, 21 October 2011

The Wardrobe Audit

A couple of nights ago I had my wardrobe audited by a stylist who also happens to be my mother. She has trained as a colour consultant and stylist for Colour Me Beautiful. Fashion has always been a massive part of her life and I suppose in many ways has had an influence on my career choice.

I suppose wardrobe audit is a fancy way of saying a sort out and the handy thing about having a stylists help is that they can help organize things together in a way that items that are worn together so that outfits are easily accessible. Granted I probably don't need too much help with that, however my Mum was able to offer plenty of tips and advice on the whole process which saw me chunking out and moving round my wardrobe far more than I had expected.

My wardrobe pre-sort

I'm going to go through a few pointers to help tidy and organise your wardrobe to make it easier to find things.

We began by going through each item in my wardrobe and placing it into one of the following piles.

  • Keeping
  • Throwing
  • Selling
  • Amending
  • Uncertain 
  • Items you don't wear because they don't match anything

Be as ruthless as you can in this stage. If like me space is an issue and fitting in new clothes requires getting rid of old ones, make sure you throw out everything you know your not going to wear. Anything you sell you can use as a clothing fund to buy new clothes with that you actually like and wear. That way you'll feel less bad about getting rid of things.

  • If you haven't worn something for 5 years and it's falling apart don't hang onto it just in case
  • If something doesn't fit, alter it or sell it
  • Get rid of anything that has holes or is ripped 
  • Throw or sell anything that is way out of fashion
  • Throw or sell anything that you dislike
  • Sell anything that you're unsure of and haven't worn
  • Anything that is old and worn but has an interesting zip, lace or embellishment that you like remove it and keep to add to something else

A lot of the time I am reluctant to sell things that I know cost a lot of money knowing that I won't get it back. The best thing to do in this case is think more about the total of money you'll make by selling more things together. The more things you can put up for sale the more your likely to sell and the better profit you'll make. Ultimately no matter what it cost it's serving no purpose sitting in your wardrobe it's only going to remind you of the money you shouldn't have spent. So it may as well go towards a new item of clothing.

I found that having another persons opinion in this stage was really helpful because where I was getting sentimental about things my Mum was able to persuade me to chunk things that had probably seen better days.

What's missing?
I discovered a few things that I had believed to be lost and a lot of things that I completely forgot I even owned. As you sort through your wardrobe think about what you are missing.

  • Why is it that you never wear a certain item you love, is it because it doesn't match with anything else?
  • Are you buying more of one item than an other? Lots of tops but not enough bottoms to match things with?
  • Do you feel like your continually buying similar things?
  • Are you buying too many basics and not enough statement pieces? or many it's the other way around are there too many statement pieces and not enough basic items to match them with? 
  • Try to match new outfits together out of the items you already own, is it flexible enough or too restricting?
  • Do you keep buying dressy things but nothing you can wear to work?

Make a note of things in your wardrobe that don't match anything. Then next time you go shopping think about what things you have and what new items would go with those things. Try and stear away from buying more of the same things if it's only slightly different. You're not really creating a new outfit just a different version of one you already own. Look around at fashion not just in the shops but online and in magazines and be inspired by fashion. Think outside the box, what items of clothing do you like but never wear? how can you incorporated them into your style. Make sure that you have clothing to suit all your requirements, leisurewear, work wear, party wear. If all of your wardrobe is similar colours but you'd rather wear new colours, think about you can match new colours into what you already have. Think carefully be for you buy anything about what it's going to match with.

Finally think about how it is going to be easiest for you to find things in your wardrobe.
  • Maybe with different items of clothing in sections such as vests, t-shirts, shirts, jumpers, skirts, trousers, dresses etc
  • It could just be in tops, bottoms and long hanging
  • Perhaps organising into colours
  • Or even just work wear, leisure wear, party wear, formal
However you feel it's going to be most easy to find things and match outfits together.

Where to take things
  • Before taking anything to a charity shop make sure that is it still wearable, nothing that is ripped, damaged or incredibly worn because it creates so much extra work for them to have to sort through peoples clothes only to find that a bag of clothes is all unsellable.
  •  Anything that needs to be thrown can be recycled.
  • There are many clothing sites that you can use to sell things, I often put mine up for sale in a facebook album and anything that doesn't sell goes on Ebay. Any vintage clothing you want to get rid of can be sold on Etsy and a more recent place is Asos Marketplace 
  • Anything that you're planning on altering make sure you set time apart to do it and don't just leave it in a pile somewhere like me!

    I hope you found this interesting and helpful. It has certainly made me think more about the restrictions of my wardrobe and how I can improve it to make it more flexible. It doesn't feel a whole lot emptier but hopefully I will sell somethings soon to make some more space. Expect to see load of things from my wardrobe up for sale soon.

    I think this has gone to be the longest written post I've ever made!


    1. The dreaded clearout! Your post has totally inspired me. I usually get as far as de-clutter but after that I'm exhausted, confused and desperate to just tidy it all away again. I really need to look at what's missing - I have so many tops with no bottoms and vice versa...

      I wish your mum could pop up to Glasgow and help me!

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