Here’s a question for you
How do you know when you have too many clothes?
How would you go, if you had to put together an outfit every day using the wardrobe above? Overwhelmed? I know I would.
How can you possibly know what clothes and accessories you have and know what you need when your wardrobe looks like this? Many wardrobes I see during a Wardrobe Review do look like this. It’s often why people hire me to help them sort through it and help them decide what to keep and what to get rid of. Getting dressed every day is frustrating and the clutter is stressful and because of these feelings, often women I work with will tell me they just keep wearing the same thing all the time – it’s easier. Being inspired to experiment and put new looks together is never going to happen. Once something, clean and available, is pulled out, the door is slammed shut until the process has to be endured the following day.
It’s certainly not for anyone else to tell you, you have too much stuff. If you’ve got the room and the budget and you’re wearing everything and not feeling drowned in it all, then I say go for it. I bet nobody ever told Oprah she had too many yellow sweaters or pairs of Louboutins – but then look how organised her wardrobe is and she has the room and the budget to afford this many clothes.
When it comes to the average person there has to come a point when we have to ask ourselves – do I have too much stuff? Do I really need to keep buying new things or do I have enough? Or is it time I cleaned out and removed some of what I have, before I add anything new?
In my humble opinion I think a good way to determine your wardrobe is more than adequately stocked, (quite possibly overstocked) is when you are only wearing a small percentage of what you own and a larger percentage is remaining unworn. If many things in your wardrobe are waiting for an occasion – then there’s a chance a good edit is in order.
“Yes, I wear those embroidered fringe boots. I wore them three years ago when we went to Tassie for the weekend” – is not wearing them and rotating them regularly.
Certainly there will be the little black dress saved for weddings, funerals and job interviews; summer holiday kaftan’s and gowns you only wear to your end of year work ball. But there is no need to keep the twin set you bought in the UK in 1984 just in case you were invited to tea with Princess Diana, the hot pink beaded mini you picked up in the 2002 sales, in case you had a hot date or the sari you bought while back packing in your twenties, that you’ve saved in case one of your daughters gets married in India. There is just no need to keep them. They just add to the confusion and the frustration of getting dressed each day.
Sometimes we need to get our head around the fact that just because the girl at work has enough clothes she can wear something different each day for a month or your best friend has 25 pairs of jeans, that it doesn’t mean they are any more stylish than you. In fact, I think it’s very stylish if you are able to work with minimal clothes and make them look interesting and unique when you wear them.
When I help someone with their wardrobe, what I aim to teach them is to work with what they have before contemplating buying anything new. I will show them how many different ways and different looks you can achieve from one black dress. I make them realise that one white shirt is all you really need if you can see it’s potential and how it can look different with a sleeve rolled a certain way or buttoned differently. I encourage my clients to be creative. Can that beaded caftan you bought in Bali 5 years ago and not worn since, be chopped at the hip and worn with your new moss green jeans? Can that floaty summer dress you wore to your sons christening be paired with some tights and a blazer and worn to work? Do you really need anything new? Do you already have what you need? Is it just that you can’t see it?
Don’t just keep adding and adding and spending money before you take a really good look inside your cupboard. Be enthusiastic and clever, try wearing things in new and different ways. I’ve heard several times, “I wear that dress with this top underneath and those shoes”. Then when I enquire, “Ok, how else do you wear it?” I’m often told, “I just wear it how the lady in the shop told me to wear it”. When you think that way, it makes you feel like you need to have more things. More outfits. When in actual fact, it’s possible you have more than enough in your wardrobe already, you just need to see what’s there, see their potential and learn new ways to wear them.
Only this week I received an email from a client the morning after a wardrobe edit telling me that they feel that although they have half the amount of clothes in their wardrobe now, they have double the amount of outfits.
I know I still have a frock hanging in my wardrobe that I thought I should keep just in case a hunky footballer invited me to be his date at the Brownlow Medal. It’s been there since my twenties and I’m now in my forties. (Time it went or at least was reinvented) How about you? What have you kept just in case?
CONGRATULATIONS to Stacey for winning an Online Personal Style Consultation by telling us that Margaret Fink is the mature woman whose style she admires and why. Send me an email Stacey and we’ll arrange your consultation.
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