Recession Proof Your Wardrobe

By Gloria Gangi

Are you in a wardrobe rut?

In today’s economic climate we all want to save money. Do you have a full wardrobe but nothing to wear? Can’t afford to shop but still want a style-fix? Then it’s time to reorganise your wardrobe and decide what to wear and what not to wear!

Did you know that the average person only wear 20% of their clothes? How much money have you wasted on impulse buys, fashion fads or clothes in colours and styles that you don’t wear, don’t suit you or aren’t compatible with anything else you own?

If you’ve spent years buying clothes without a plan, then culling your wardrobe is one of the most cleansing and therapeutic things you can do. Just remember to be ruthless. And during this process you’re sure to discover some forgotten articles of clothing or shoes that you can put back into rotation, so you’ll feel like you’ve bought something new! You will also decided on what not to wear.

It is important to remember that having a large number of clothes has little bearing on presenting yourself well. Someone who dresses with style doesn’t need to wear something different every day. Applying the ‘less is more’ theory, you need range and versatility to make great outfits. So let’s get moving…


Stage 1: Take out every item in your wardrobe.

Toss out anything that is too shabby or old to give away, and bag up anything still in good condition to donate to charity.

Next, sort out every item into one of 4 piles.

RETAIN – it flatters your figure and your colouring. It works with just about everything. You wear it often. You feel great in it. Action! Back to the wardrobe. Make it earn its rent!

REPAIR – there’s hope here with just a few buttons missing, broken zippers, hems undone . Action! Get out your sewing kit, send it to your trusted alterations professional or recycle it.

RENOVATE – retrieval possible eg; too long, too short, too big or just a bit too snug. Note: A well-fitted garment looks much more expensive and custom made. Action! Have it altered, dyed, updated with new buttons . If these aren’t feasible or desirable, recycle it.

RECYCLE – if you haven’t worn it in 12 months, chances are you won’t. If it’s dated, doesn’t fit or you don’t look or feel good in it – it needs to go! Action! Donate to charity or sell on ebay, but don’t let it share the same space as the clothes you wear. If it’s sentimental – archive it.

Stage 2: So you’ve cleared your wardrobe, what now? Here’s the fun bit – time to fill the gaps!!

RE-ORGANISE – Wardrobes that work effectively for most of my clients are the ones that are organised by the type of clothing, and then by colour. So rearrange everything by categories: dresses in one section, jackets & coats in another, tops, pants, skirts, suits etc.

REWORK – Try on all the clothes that are left and explore new combinations. Include your accessories – shoes, scarves, belts, jewellery and handbags. Consider what’s missing.

WHAT NOT TO WEAR – Look separately at your underwear, jackets, pants and tops and select only those items that you love to wear and need to replace purely because they are worn or tired.

REINVEST – Identify those items of clothing that if you DID have them, would help you create more outfits from your existing wardrobe. Try making your own list. This helps you prioritise your next purchase, and keeps the shopping focused on what you actually need.

REQUEST – Ask family and friends for department store shopping vouchers for Christmas, Birthdays or special occasions instead of (uunwanted) presents! If you receive a number of these, you can invest in quality items to expand your wardrobe options.

REVIEW – How did you go – is your closet empty? Don’t feel guilty – forgive your past clothing mistakes and move on. Whether on a tight budget or not, having a well-managed wardrobe will not only save you money but make your life much more efficient as well.

Remember – Just don’t buy anything. Buy the right thing and you will always know what to wear when it’s time to get ready.

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