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DIY wardrobe detox

DIY wardrobe detox

Spring is peak season for wardrobe detox bookings. For some of us a wardrobe detox with a personal stylist can be fraught with angst:

  • Who is this personal stylist about to rifle through my wardrobe to highlight all my fashion faux pas?
  • I’m in a style pickle, but I can’t justify paying a personal stylist.
  • When my wardrobe goes Pete Tong, I go shopping and add more to the clutter.

If this all sounds too familiar, why not try a wardrobe cleanse yourself?  Here’s how…

Enlist a friend with a killer attitude

Wardrobe detox

Friend with a killer attitude

Clothing has a strong emotional resonance.  When in such tricky territory, you have two options: 1) enlist a personal stylist or 2) try it ‘alone’ but with a killer attitude friend.

Don’t draft in a wishy-washy friend, who’ll say anything to avoid getting enmeshed in a tug of wardrobe woes.  This is the objective third party who will help you consider items with statements such as, “Do you really want to experiment with Bodycon styles?” or ” Do you need to keep 3 cardigans in the same colour?”

Focus on your style icon

Style icon Kate Middleton

style icon Kate Middleton

Not everyone feels empowered to embrace their own personal style.  For an quick sartorial inspiration fix, try channeling a style heavy-weight.  For example, when undecided about keeping that Reiss dress, that you have not worn, imagine if your style icon would wear it?  This can help you decide if you want to keep or discard an item.

Recycle and reuse

Recycle and reuse your wardrobe

Recycle and reuse your wardrobe

While being minimalistic and disposing of unworn clothes seems a good plan of attack, sometimes it just needs a fresh pair of eyes.

If a dress is too loud, then style it as a skirt.  Throw over a fine-knit jumper in a similar undertone and you have a stylish ensemble: a fun eye-popping skirt rather than a brassy dress.

Think about that never-worn-anymore corporate suit. Wear it as separates.  Dress it down with trainers. Now you have two looks.  1) a new blazer jacket to wear with jeans and 2) a street-style pin-stripped pair of trousers.

Colour code your wardrobe

wardrobe detox wellst

Colour code your wardrobe

Once colour coded, stand back and see if you have an overriding hue. Does your wardrobe need to flirt with colour to amp it up?

Black is the overriding ‘non-colour’ in most peoples wardrobes.  Introduce metallic greys, silvers, navy blues, oyster whites and chocolate browns, all neutrals that complement black beautifully. This is the gentle start to adding colour.

Sharpen up your style by adopting a monochrome look. Invest in some basic whites – a white t-shirt for under jumpers, or dresses, a mannish shirt and my favourite ‘Peter Pan’ collars.

Accessorise with gold rather than silver when wearing black, to luxe it up.

No more duplicates

Make a list of all the things that have duplicates.  You don’t need two or three of anything! Be more versatile with fashion and have fun with different looks and styles.

Wear everything

Cost per wear is important to consider. Wear an expensive special occasion dress with a slouchy jumper or leather jacket to dress it down, so you can shift effortlessly from day to evening wear.

The key is to wear it often and well.

Brighten up a dull dress with statement coloured tights, in lieu of boring black tights.  Splash out on statement heels to add colour to a LBD and make it look new again.

A tired jacket might need a simple broach to give its some bling.   Add a faux fur snood or scarf around an out-of-date coat collar.

Try adding some brass buttons to a vintage military jacket and you have a little bit of Balmain in your wardrobe. Cinch in a dated baby doll dress with a tabacco suede belt to give it a modern edge.

Getting dressed should be effortless, fun and feel comfortable

Do you want to look tomboy or preppy? Pared-back and minimalist? Parisian-chic? Colourful, soft, dynamic or romantic girl-next-door? Androgynous in boyfriend finds? Sleek and structured in expensive tailoring?

Don’t panic. Your clothes should embrace your life style.  It should work well with the people you meet and places you go to every day.

I hope this post was helpful. I’d love to hear how you work the tricky territory of wardrobe detoxes.  What’s your method? Comment below with your wardrobe detox tools and tricks.


2 Responses so far.

  1. Laura says:

    Thanks for some fun ideas to make the season change chore a bit more fun. I like the dressing down of business suits – I had some but don’t wear them any more… this is a great way to get some more use out of them!

    I have tried something I read about – hang everything in the closet on hangers with hook pointing toward you – out of the closet. Then after you wear something and wash it, when you put it back in the closet turn the hanger around the “normal” way. You will find out which clothes you wear and which ones you don’t. About half my winter tops are hanging with the hooks facing me. I have some things to recycle!

    • wellstyledstylist says:

      Hi Laura great to read your comments. It sounds like you might have to recycle those Winter tops : ) I have heard about the turning around the hanger idea and might give it a go. Another trick I have is to store my favourite ‘newer’ items in a small wardrobe. I mix these favs with older items in another wardrobe so that everything gets worn and not just the newer favourites. x

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