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Creating calm with a closet cleanse
Why we should buy less, choose better and wear more.
For me, last year was full of change. I relocated from London, where I was born and bred, and also left a senior position at Harrods to embark on wardrobe services business. The journey has encouraged me not only to explore a vibrant new area - Leigh-on-Sea - but also to challenge my very own buying habits.
We all now have a bit more time on our hands, so what better opportunity to have a huge spring clean and cleanse your wardrobe!
When I reflect on my love of all things fashion, I can see that not only has my style changed over the years, but the way I shop has too. This is partly because I’m more confident in knowing what suits my body shape and the colours that bring out the best in my complexion. However, it is also because I, like many people, take more of an interest in the environmental impact of the fashion industry. It is one of the reasons I started my business helping women to detox and organise their wardrobes, have confidence in knowing what makes them feel and look good, and essentially shop smarter. Buy less, choose better and wear each item more!
Gone are the days of splurging on fast fashion items, only to wear them twice, see them bobble in the wash and then leave them gathering dust in my wardrobe. There is no argument that feeling overwhelmed by your wardrobe can increase stress levels, and so it makes sense that having an organised, de-cluttered wardrobe full of items I love to wear has helped me feel calm and free of anxiety each morning. Another shift is that I now no longer linger on the fact I’ve been seen wearing the same pieces on multiple occasions; I want my clothes to feel loved and I want to enjoy wearing them. We are so lucky to live at a time when most outfits can be dressed up and dressed down with a simple change of accessory and footwear.
Fashion is second only to the oil industry in regards to the amount of damage it causes our planet. The more I investigate, the more concerning statistics jump out at me. For example a cheap, wrinkle-free, polyester t-shirt may seem like a savvy purchase, until you realise that when washed microplastics break off and end up in the ocean taking over 200 years to decompose. Fortunately, the industry is starting to take note and brands are having to think about their global footprint in a way they haven’t done before.
Trends used to change incredibly fast and an item purchased one year ago may have been unloved and in landfill the following year. Thankfully, with a focus on improving the way people shop, the trends for 2020 have sustainability in mind. Throwaway fads are few and far between and 2020 seems to have wearability and longevity in mind. There is a return to classics such as clean lines and suiting that will have a key place within the wardrobe for years to come. This is music to my ears.
So, what can we do to make our own wardrobes calmer and more sustainable especially when, like myself, you love fashion? The biggest shift for me has been to spend more money on fewer, well-made items that will last longer. When I buy something new, I consider the longevity of the style and what it can be worn with amongst my existing wardrobe so I’m able to adapt the look and wear it with multiple outfits. Items that no longer fit in with my lifestyle or body shape (two children under 5 years old means both my lifestyle & bodyshape has changed in the last few years!) are sold or given to charity to keep my wardrobe feeling fresh and functional. Good quality pre-loved items are now also a welcome additional to my own wardrobe alongside carefully considered new purchases.
Leigh-on-Sea has been a fabulous area to explore for someone who loves fashion and I’m so pleased to see independent boutiques such as Heatherbys and Ursula & Odette selling high quality brands in timeless styles that - when chosen carefully - will earn a long-term place in a wardrobe.
With all the above in mind, here are my 6 simple tips for keeping a smarter wardrobe:
Take some time out to review your wardrobe, let go of items no longer worn and create a calm, organised space - I can assure you that a calm wardrobe encourages a calm mind.
For items no longer worn, explore pre-loved events locally and online as they will sell items on your behalf for a % of the profit. It will avoid the admin that comes with trying to sell items yourself.
Find a good, local seamstress as sometimes a simple alteration will breath fresh life into a much loved piece that no longer fits or where the style is slightly dated.
Ask yourself how many times you are likely to wear a potential new purchase and what it works with in your existing wardrobe. You should aim to be able to pair something new with a minimum of 3 other items you already own.
Think carefully and be selective when buying in the sale. Would you have made the purchase if the item was full price?
My personal favourite is to avoid saving clothes ‘for best’. Wear and enjoy as much of your wardrobe as possible by thinking about how you can adapt items for both day and night. Let's all aim to buy less, choose better and wear each item more !