I’ll be running some decluttering tips the next few weeks for all of you that have made 2012 the year of less stuff. Today: your wardrobe.
To clarify: I’m not a style maven. And at this juncture in my life my top priority is to feel good in my clothes. They have to be comfortable and flattering. Since getting rid of 80% of my wardrobe I am slowly learning more about what looks good on me and suits my lifestyle
Find your uniform. If you gravitate towards a wardrobe of dresses or constantly buy tailored pants in earth tones and cream cardigans don’t feel bad about it. You know what you like and what looks good on you. Leave the experimenting (and sometimes wasted money and closet space) for those that haven’t found what suits them. It’s okay to have a look and keep wearing it. It doesn’t make you boring. It shows that you know yourself, you’re comfortable in your clothes and confident. And there’s nothing boring about that. My winter uniform: dark jeans, boots (wellies or my Fryes), t-shirts in cotton/nylon blends in shades of blue/gray/purple and a dark cardigan.
If you can’t walk a half a mile in your shoes, get rid of them. Limping isn’t sexy. I know. I’ve been that woman with the painful (but oh so pretty!) shoes on. No one notices how fabulous your heels are when you can barely stand in them. I cut way down on shoes when I did my big declutter in the fall of 2010. I now own just one pair of winter heels (Clarks, microsuede, Mary Jane style with a 2 inch heel) that are quite comfortable for a night out. When it was time to buy boots last winter I spent more to get stylish boots that would last and that I could walk everywhere in. Another upside: no more crippling back pain or bloody feet from a night in painful shoes.
Wash your clothing less. Take a wet rag to marks and gently dab them out as soon as they happen. Hang your clothing at night, near an open window if possible, and let the air freshen them up. If I had to wash all of my clothes (and Henry’s) after every wear we would need double our current wardrobes. Also, washing less makes clothing last longer and delays fading.
If you’re in transition keep your favourites. Postpartum, up ten pounds, in career change, whatever the reason you have for having two (or four) different sized or styled wardrobes, just keep your best items. I have a good suit and my best maternity clothing stashed away. Should I get an office job or get pregnant I’m can easily transition a few pieces from my current wardrobe for either situation.
Two bras. One black and one nude. Get fitted for them at a true bra store from the lady that has been fitting women for 20+ years. Invest a bit more for support + fashion. Wash them by hand and hang to dry (they’ll last longer). I like microfibre because I find clothes hang better on it and it isn’t as noticeable under t-shirts. If you wear strapless or backless clothing often (how exciting!) get the nude bra in a convertible style. Note: these are on my to buy list this year. I have been wearing hand-me-downs from my sister since I stopped breastfeeding.
Dress for your life today. That dress that looks beautiful on the hangar, the one with a bit of dust on the shoulders and the price tag still attached, let it go. If it didn’t work for you when you bought it time isn’t going to change anything. Keep what you wear and what you feel good in. Nothing more.
Those are my tips for a wardrobe that can fit in a suitcase. What are yours?