For most fashion-lovers, extending the life of your wardrobe and creating versatility as well as functionality is simply a must. The money you spend on clothes shouldn't be wasted on frivolous buys or improper care of you garments, but rather put to good use! Here are some ideas on extending the life of your wardrobe that I hope you find useful and above all, fun! After all, who doesn't love talking about fashion?
1. Purge, Purge, Purge
Take an afternoon where you have some free time and go through your wardrobe from top to bottom. The first stage should be to purge/donate anything and everything that you know just won't work with your body and sense of style. For more expensive items, you can choose to sell them or give them away. The next step is to try on any garments that you just can't let go of yet. If you can make it work and it's flattering, then keep it! Remember that if something isn't flattering on you, you probably won't ever wear it again no matter how cute it looks hanging up. This is one of the best ways of extending the life of your wardrobe because you'll own pieces of clothing that you actually love and you will be excited to get dressed in the morning!
2. Organize Your Closet
After you're purging project, set a time to organize your clothing and accessories. A good way to organize is first by sleeve length and then by color. It's eye catching and practical at the same time! Store bags, especially high quality ones, in an upright position as much as possible so they retain their shape. Use cedar balls in garment bags for delicate fabrics like pashmina to prevent deterioration. Shoes should be visible but out of the way. Once you've organized your closet, you should feel a sense of accomplishment and peace when you walk through it. Everything should be visible, organized and easily accessible.
3. Find Your Own Style
Once you have all your loved pieces hanging nicely in your organized closet space, take notice of what you gravitate towards and what's flattering on you. Fashion is more about a sense of style that's timeless rather than trendy and fleeting. Trendy pieces are fun but not necessarily flattering on everyone. They are also out of style so quickly that they can be costly to keep up with. A few trendy pieces are worth the splurge, but it's best to know your true style and stick to it! You'll get much more use out of your lovely wardrobe.
4. Create Outfits from What You Already Own
As women, I don't think we ever stop playing dress up! It's fun and also super practical to go through your clothes and accessories and pull together outfits. If you wear an outfit that you love and receive compliments on, then take a note of it and repeat it every so often! Sometimes I forget the outfits I've put together and wish I'd documented them somehow. With all the fashion blogs, Pinterest boards and fashionable friends out there, it's so easy to draw inspiration from others. You can recreate outfits and make them your own to fit your personal style.
5. Fill in Any Gaps, Which Means Shopping!
After all these steps have been taken, you may notice there are a few gaps in your wardrobe that you'd like to fill. Perhaps it's the perfect black blazer or pair of boots- make a list of items that you need and slowly purchase them over time. You'll be surprised how many fewer impulse buys happen when you buy based on need and functionality over just want! You'll also love what you buy and won't have shopper's remorse.
6. Follow the Care Instructions for Your Garments
If you're interested in preserving the life of you garments, then you must follow the instructions on the care label for proper cleaning. Many items are dry clean only, hand wash only, tumble dry low or lay flat to dry, etc. You don't want your clothing to be unusable just because you failed to clean it properly! I hang a lot of clothing items up to dry because the dryer really does degrade material faster and actually can ruin elastic material.
7. Use a Gentle Landry Soap
Most laundry detergents that you buy in any grocery store contain loads of chemicals, preservatives and harsh ingredients like fragrance that do nothing to preserve your clothing or your health, for that matter. Use a gentle, all-natural soap or better yet, make your own! It's super easy and affordable.
I believe that how you dress sends an important message to the outside world about who you are. It's art hanging on your body! Even as a mom, I try to look put together every day- nothing fancy or time-consuming, but in a way that shows I'm ready to take on the day. I feel better about myself and that I am more approachable when I don't look like I just rolled out of bed. Taking care of your clothing and making it more versatile will allow you to save money and treasure the pieces you have for years down the road. In what ways do you extend the life of your wardrobe?