‘ I bought a tonne of stuff online last night because it was cheap! Not sure if I’m even going to wear it but I’ve got to look hot for Greece!’
Two girls sitting beside me at training this morning confirmed it, we really think we have to buy new to be beautiful.
Not only can that be a waste of money for you, it’s really not ideal for reducing our waste and footprint on our beloved planet.
Reality is, fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world, second only to oil. So here’s a thought, why not shop your own wardrobe before you head back to the high street!?
When you take the time, you’ll discover you actually have a serious amount of options sitting in your very own closet and it’s really no more effort than heading to the shops to spend on pieces you probably don’t need
Here are my top tips
1. GET ORGANISED
If you can’t see your clothes you don’t know what you have. I’m a big fan of color coding my clothes and also keeping my wardrobe seasonal, so in summer for example pack away your heavy coats. Go through your wardrobe and look at what you have and ask yourself these questions –
Does it fit properly? It is comfortable? Is it damaged? Is it too hard to clean or care for? Does it spark joy? Do I wear it?
If it’s too daunting to do this all at once, just set aside even half an hour once or twice a week and do it slowly.
As you go along, start putting together a donation pile to give what you don’t wear to charity or if it’s in really good nick why not try selling it on a platform like Gumtree or Etsy.
Once you’ve decluttered, get in the habit of ironing and organising so everything is available. This will make it so much easier and quicker to get dressed in the morning.
Take a leaf out of Grandma’s book and fix anything that’s damaged. Missing buttons, a broken zip, hems hanging down or small holes can be easily repaired either by you, a local dressmaker or even your dry cleaner can help you out and it will definitely be cheaper than buying a new item
3. THE POWER OF PRETTY
When you head to the high street, one of the things you are probably sub-consciously attracted to is the fact that everything looks beautiful. Hangers are identical and symmetrical, clothes are in colors and stories, outfits and items are neatly organised, it’s all very pleasing to the eye. The power of pretty! There’s no reason you can’t do this for yourself though. Invest in orderly wooden hangers, I have white ones I picked up from Ikea, I color code my clothes so its lovely to look at and I fold all my tees and jeans so I can see them and they are easy and appealing to shop.
4. GET SOCIAL
Style platforms like Pinterest and Instagram are stocked with so many great closet storage ideas. They are also wonderful for outfit ideas. Pick an item you have like a trench coat for example, search it and I’m sure you will find so many new ways to wear it.
5. TAILOR MADE
I have my dressmaker on speed dial and she is so invaluable for sartorial nips and tucks. Take up sleeves that are too long, switch out old buttons to update a jacket, hitch up the hem, simple alterations can totally transform an item not only in appearance but how it fits on your body – this means you will wear it more. Tailoring is relatively inexpensive but can have a huge impact.
6. BLING IT ON
Time to detox your accessories! Clean anything thats tarnished, detangle necklaces, organised your brooches and earrings. Steal a few ice cube trays from the freezer for a sneaky way to reorganise smaller items. Suddenly you’ll have a whole new pile of accessories to pull from which is a great way to update your look.
7. PHONE A FRIEND
Ask a friend you trust to come over, browse your wardrobe and have them create a few looks for you. There is something to be said for the way we see ourselves versus the way others see us. You could find a totally new vibe and hey if it’s good enough for the girls in the Sex and The City movie, then we owe it to them to try!!
8. TO DYE FOR
Do it yourself or see if your dry cleaner does. Dye a pair of faded jeans back to jet black, update dingy white tees and tans with completely new hues. I’ve recently discovered natural dyeing with plants and flowers, my dressmaker and I are actually dyeing my bridesmaid silk dresses with brown onion skins, you should see the color!
9. BIBLE STUDIES
I like to refer to British Vogue as my style ‘bible’…it has taught me so much about color, cut, fabric and fashion trends. It keeps me up to date with what’s hot but also inspires me to think about how I can recreate the looks with what I have. While there can certainly be some more avant garde ideas in Vogue, you will always find timeless items like denim, shirting, blazers, trench coats and pencil skirts amongst the pages. Seek ideas for the classics. Online sites like Who What Wear and searching celebrity and street style in google is another great way to source inspiration.
10. DOCUMENT IT
Make a note of what you wear so you can see what worked, what didn’t and uncover how you felt in it. Did you wear it well or did the outfit ‘wear you’ and saw you fidget!? For me I always gravitate towards my skinny jeans, bomber jackets, plain t-shirts, rock tees, black lace, heels and pencil skirts. I’m about to do a declutter because I know there are things that I’m not wearing anymore. It’s important to keep your fashion moving, don’t hoard, that ain’t the fast track to feeling fabulous.
So shop til you drop in your own wardrobe darling, I bet you’ll be surprised!