It is a much quoted statistic that most women only wear around 20% of their wardrobes 80% of the time. I recently did a little poll on my Instagram story and received messages from followers saying that that was about right for them, some even mentioning that it was more like 10%!
That’s so sad, isn’t it? A lot of what I do as a personal stylist enables women to wear a much bigger proportion of their wardrobes. Most women actually own too many items of clothing. They find that when they really understand what to buy, they end up with fewer clothes but more combinations and hence they wear a much larger proportion of their wardrobes.
If you’d like to be wearing more of your wardrobe, here are some tips that will help.
Get rid of clothes that don’t fit
It might sound straight forward but I know many women, including myself who hang on to clothes that no longer fit for far too long. Most women fluctuate in weight and may need a small range of sizes for different times of the year but be realistic. If you have clothes that you haven’t fitted in for 3 months, but your weight is coming down, they may be worth keeping hold of as an incentive. However, if you have clothes that haven’t fitted for 3 years, are you ever really going to fit back into them? And if you do, will you still want to wear them or are they looking dated? If on the other hand, you’ve lost weight, get rid of the clothes that are too big for you and this will aid weight maintenance.
Wear clothes in a different way
Often, we give up on a piece of clothing as it doesn’t quite fit or do what we think it should. Is there a different way you could wear something that’s not getting worn right now? For example, in my wardrobe, I have a sleeveless shirt dress. It’s often seen as a summer dress. But if I layer it with a long sleeve t-shirt and opaque tights, I can wear it throughout spring and autumn as well. If some of the tummy buttons get tight as has sometimes happened, I can leave it open and wear as a long waistcoat over a top and trousers.
Set for Autumn and Winter
Make sure you can see what you own
Do you need to reorganise your wardrobe to be able to see what you own? Sometimes folded jumpers, tops and t-shirts can hide at the bottom of drawers or shelves and not get worn as you forget you even own them. Hang as much as possible where you can see it clearly or organise in a different way so that you can see all your folded items. There are so many drawer dividers available these days and handy videos that help with this. Here’s one you might like to start with.
Make sure you love the pieces you buy
When clothes shopping, make sure you don’t buy anything that doesn’t excite you or that you don’t want to wear straight away. Be fussy, very fussy! Ok is not good enough. You want your clothes to be perfect for you so they should bring out the best in your colouring, flatter your figure but most of all be great for your personality and lifestyle. There’s no point in buying really adventurous clothing because your friend says you should but you’re then too shy to wear it. There’s no point in owning lots of partywear if you’d much prefer to stay at home and curl up on the sofa on a Saturday night.
Animal print scarf
Style up the clothing you already own
Sometimes when I go to do a wardrobe edit, I find perfect clothes in women’s wardrobes that they don’t wear. They may have an item which fits perfectly, is a great colour for them and shows off their figure so I ask, “Why don’t you wear this?” And they usually reply that it’s too boring! If you have some pieces like this, why not get them out and rescue or adapt them. Can you wear them with a funky accessory? Scarves, necklaces, belts can all make “boring” items come to life. If you have a friend or relative who’s handy with a needle and thread, maybe even customise the boring item.
Fill the gaps
If you have perfect items that you love but that don’t go with anything else in your wardrobe, make a list of what you need to make each item work and go on the hunt. For example, I had one client who loved coloured skirts, but she sometimes didn’t wear them as she didn’t have tops to go with them. A small investment in a few tops meant she could get them out and start wearing them. Make sure when you’re filling gaps that the new pieces you buy will have a few other “friends” in the wardrobe so the top you might buy to go with a coloured skirt, should be able to work with perhaps jeans and a few pairs of trousers too.
I hope these tips help you to wear more of your wardrobe this year and you’re way up from the average 20% that most women wear.
If all of this sounds very daunting to sort out yourself and you’d like some expert help, please head over to my services page and see how I could help you. A style consultation with a wardrobe edit is a popular choice.