Believe it or not, I regularly clear out my wardrobe… I mean, although I´m fortunate to now have the most space I have ever had previously, with my walk-in-wardrobe – it´s not actually the space that´s been the real issue. It´s the visibility to see more clearly what I have in my wardrobe (which pre-detox, was not always an easy task – trust me), so I not only get to wear more of the pieces I truly love and adore – but to always make it easier to dress myself every day, instead of dragging out piece after piece on the floor out of frustration (yes, I am one of those)…
Another fun fact you might not know about me: I am the messiest clean freak you will ever come across. Although my friends always make fun of how “perfect” and tidy our house always is, I have many momentarily messy moments with things spread out all over the place, especially in my walk-in-wardrobe (yep, I am that crazy). No but seriously, things can get pretty chaotic, until I swiftly have to rain it in (a necessity when your partner has OCD!), but it´s also the reason why I´ve wanted to have a proper wardrobe clear out for ages; get rid of anything I haven´t worn in several months, stop holding onto pieces ´just in case`, or keep clothing for sentimental reasons.
Although I´m pretty good at regularly clearing out my wardrobe, and I do sell a lot of the pieces on my blog shop, it´s never a whole mound of stuff. I have never done that real (and much needed) ´deep cleanse`. So I decided to call in some professional help to guide me along the way. And boy did it work! I got rid of nearly 50% of my wardrobe (crazy, I KNOW) – clearing out pieces I no longer wear (but are still in beautiful condition), and stuff that has definitely seen better days, or just simply clothes I have grown out of. I donated the majority to charity (7 bin bags!), and have decided to sell the rest on my blog shop (the first batch went live last week).
The wonderful lady who kindly gave me a helping hand, was Theresa Bassler, the founder behind Style Coach. Born and bred in Sweden, Theresa´s love affair with fashion began in the early 90’s – ultimately leading to re-locating to the UK, turning her passion into a career. Selfridges was her starting block, followed 15 years in buying and merchandising at leading fashion brands, including Burberry, Acne Studios and Paul Smith – with a period of consulting for Coach and Rag & Bone (pretty impressive CV). With a passion for product, Theresa´s job has always been revolved around putting together cohesive and well executed collections. That is her forte. As such, the idea of Style Coach seemed the next logical step for her – editing and streamlining people’s wardrobes, as well as offering styling and shopping services.
I needed her wardrobe editing expertise more than anything, and help she did. You wouldn’t believe how streamlined my wardrobe is now – I can actually properly glide the hangers along the rails, instead of using force to get a single piece out! My jeans collection was halved, my coat collection was drastically cut down and the rest of the categories were thoroughly scrutinised and questioned (I mean, do I really need 10 black lace tops!?). We didn’t really touch my shoe or bag collection, as it was the mounds of clothing which was real issue. But I finally feel like I can breath when I step into my walk-in-wardrobe. And since having that major clear out, there has been no more of those crazy messy moment, with mounds of clothes piled on the floor…
So, following that incredibly liberating day of clearing out my wardrobe (which felt more like clearing out my life) – I was desperate to share all of Theresa´s wealth of insider knowledge, tips and tricks – which will hopefully inspire you to do the same! The below is a collation of what she practices and preaches to all her clients, and how she teaches them to build the foundation of a capsule wardrobe (including some core essentials which should be owned by every woman).
TOP 10 TIPS TO DETOX YOUR WARDROBE
1. Haven’t worn it in the last six months? Chances are you will never wear it again. Be honest and ruthless. Same for those skinny jeans which you could fit into three years ago. Why hang on to them? Embrace what you look like now and work with it.
2. No-one needs 20 pairs of jeans. Instead, invest in two pairs of blue jeans and one black pair…finding a fit that works for you. A cropped leg elongates legs, and a mid-rise flatters hips. Remember that a good pair of denim should always have a higher rise at the back to pass the ‘sit test’.
3. Fine knits (black, grey and navy) are essentials, and the most versatile items in your wardrobe. Wear with tailored trousers for a smart casual look, and with a statement skirt to dress it down.
4. A good Breton jumper will be your best friend. Wear it with jeans on the school run or under a blazer to jazz up more tailored look.
5. When organising your wardrobe, only pack away your holiday clothes (bikinis, kaftans, etc.), gym clothes, and winter boots. Everything else should be visible. We live in the UK, so chances are that you will need those cashmere jumpers in May, and t-shirts for layering in November!
6. Think quality over quantity. I always teach my clients, that it´s better to have 25 pieces of clothing which you love – rather than 60-100 pieces which are barely worn. Your wardrobe gets to work that little bit harder for you and it´s easier to see what you’re actually lacking!
7. Make an outfit rota. Take a leaf out of Cher from Clueless and put outfits together in your notebook/phone/laptop. That way, you can easier select your clothes and also make sure that everything gets worn. I use Pinterest and fashion blogs when I am stuck for inspiration.
8. When clearing your wardrobe, ask yourself: “Can I create at least 3 outfits out of this item?”. If the answer is no, chances are it will continue to just sit in your wardrobe. Often clothes look great in the store (in their right element) but they don´t necessarily relate to anything which you have at home. Cut your losses and let go of it. Even if it is brand new with tags (just pop it on ebay!).
9. In your wardrobe, knits, t shirts and jeans should always be folded. The knits will loose shape otherwise. Tailored trousers and skirts should be hung on clip hangers or men´s trouser hangers.
10. Hang everything according to category (i.e. dresses, jackets, shirts) followed by subcategory (smart, casual, evening), completed by colour coordination. The golden retail rule is that you should be able to fit two fingers in between each hanger. If you can’t, you have too many items…
London based, and desperately need a session with Theresa in your life? Contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org – or check out all her services and prices here.