Everywhere you turn, there is a new detox on the market that will make you drop a dress size in a week, help you sleep better, make your skin brighter and add seven years onto your life expectancy etc, etc.
But today I'm talking about a detox of the wardrobe variety.
A detox is formally known as "a process in which one rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances." For some people this means alcohol; for others this means a wardrobe full of clothes but yet a toxic relationship with getting dressed each day.
It sounds overly-dramatic but, as a personal stylist, I've worked with hundreds of clients over the years who have had an extremely 'unhealthy' relationship with their wardrobe. They've told me that they've cancelled countless social engagements, not gone on dates or to weddings or even for promotions at work because they didn't think they had anything they could possibly wear.
To make matters worse, they also tell me that they're drowning in clothes that they've spent thousands of pounds on which do nothing but serve as a daily reminder of their hastiness at throwing money at the problem in the hope that the it will fix itself. Quick heads up - it won't. In fact, it just becomes a vicious circle of buying new items to avoid having to go into their wardrobes and just adding to the existing problem.
REASONS TO CARRY OUT A WARDROBE DETOX
These are just a few of the reasons clients contact me to help them with their Wardrobe Detox:
- You're fed up with your outfits and want to go in a new direction style-wise but have no idea where to start.
- Your circumstances have changed such as going back to work after maternity leave or a career change.
- You've lost weight and want to re-invent your style.
- You've lost sight of your style and identity and feel empowered to re-claim it.
- You've spent a fortune on clothes over the years but still don't know how to put outfits together.
- You hoard clothing and accessories and don't know what to let go of and what to keep.
- You've been wearing the same styles for years and want to freshen up your look.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF
In order to get to the source of the problem, you're going to have to take a (metaphorical) brave pill and delve into your wardrobe and be brutally honest with yourself about a few things such as:
What fits you now - not ten years, three kids and two dress sizes ago, NOW?
What is practical for your day-to-day life?
What suits you and flatters your shape?
What makes you feel good about yourself?
When I work with individual Wardrobe Detox clients, we work together on all of those points to ensure that wardrobe meltdowns are a thing of the past and that they actually look forward to social occasions rather than dreading them.
WHAT TO DO NEXT
Ideal scenario 1: Book a wardrobe detox with me and I pinky PROMISE it won't be anywhere near as torturous and painful as you've imagined clearing out your wardrobe will be. In fact, if I was a betting kinda gal, I'd bet my entire shoe collection on the fact that we would actually have quite good fun together going through everything. Clear-outs are cathartic you know, good for the soul.
I'll even give you 25% off a Wardrobe Detox just by quoting "A Lifestyle Less Ordinary" when making your booking.
You can find out more information here and book using the contact form here or by emailing victoria(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)victoriamartinstyle.com.
Ideal scenario 2: Invite Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda around and ask for their advice over a few bottles of champagne
However, if you're NOT Carrie Bradshaw (and I'm going to hazard a guess at approximately 100% of people reading this aren't Carrie) then don't worry, your wardrobe needn't be condemned.
MY TOP TIPS FOR DETOXING YOUR WARDROBE
1. TAKE EVERYTHING OUT
You're starting from scratch so you need to be able to see everything you own before deciding if it's going back into your wardrobe. Yes, this will temporarily create a mess.
2. THINK BACK
Try and remember the last time you last wore the item. If it was more than six months ago, do you really need it?
3. THINK AHEAD
When you are likely to wear it again. If it isn't in the next month and wasn't in the last six months then it goes, deal?
4. WHAT CONDITION IS IT IN?
If it needs dry-cleaned, a pesky hem taken up or even re-heeled then it doesn't go back into your wardrobe until it's fixed. You want to create a wardrobe that you know you can open and wear every item in it straight away.
5. CAN'T DECIDE?
If you are really in two minds about certain items, put them in a suitcase and out of way for three to six months. If you haven't gone to get it out of the suitcase in that time period, you obviously wouldn't miss it - it goes! If you can't remember what's even in the suitcase - it definitely goes! A lot of the time people hang onto things for sentimental reasons but actually wouldn't even notice if it wasn't there anymore.
6. THINK LOGICALLY
Organise your wardrobe in a logical manner. It may seem like common sense but you would be amazed at how many people have absolutely no organisation in their wardrobes, it's an OCD's worst nightmare. It doesn't have to be complicated organisation, for me, it means that all my tops together, jeans, trousers, jackets, dresses, skirts etc.
7. COLOUR BLOCK
Within these sections, I colour co-ordinate items so that if I'm looking for a white top to go with my black skirt, all my white tops are together and easy to find. Other people prefer to have everyday wear grouped together and their evening pieces completely separate as they don't wear these items as frequently. Just as long as it makes sense to you.
8. UPGRADE YOUR HANGERS
Get rid of wire hangers! I'm really quite bossy about this, they are just horrible and no item clothing deserves to be treated this way. I love these black flocking trouser hangers from Dunelm Mill, they're really cheap, look great and save a LOT of space.
And I'm determined to change all of my existing hangers over to these black flocking hangers too, again from Dunelm.
9. FIND THREE WAYS TO WEAR
As you're putting your clothing that you are definitely keeping back into your wardrobe, try and find at least three ways to wear each item. For example, if you pick out a pink top, you know that it goes well with your white jeans and orange blazer, also tucked into your cream pencil skirt and worn with your mac and also with your floral print trousers and statement necklace. I prefer to take photographs of the outfits that I have prepared before putting it in the wardrobe so that I can refer to these photos if I'm having a day where I feel totally uninspired and can't put any looks together. It happens to all of us.
10. STOCK UP
Once you start putting outfits together, you may notice that you are repeating items such as white t-shirts, a particular pencil skirt or blazer for a lot of your outfits. Take a note of these items to add them to your shopping list as you will now only be buying pieces that you KNOW you will get wear from as you already have outfits in mind for them.
11. SHOPPING LIST
Take a note of items you wish you had that would work perfectly with an outfit but that you don't currently have, for example a great white, oversized shirt or a black biker jacket. This can also be added to your shopping list as again, you'll only be buying items that you will get lots of wear from. It's not about buying MORE: it's about buying BETTER!
12. SAY NO TO 'COMFORT' BUYING
Take a note of particular items you DON'T need. You might notice that you have lots of one particular item, not basics like white or grey t-shirts or jeans etc but if you already have four yellow blouses, chances are you don't need another one. This is usually an indicator of someone who isn't confident shopping or in their style. If they wore a yellow blouse once and received a couple of compliments whilst wearing the blouse, this all of a sudden becomes their safety item so they buy similar items over and over again. The vast majority of people aren't going to notice that it's a slightly different style of yellow blouse you had on the week before so it will just look like you're always wearing the same thing.
If there are items in your wardrobe that you've bought, love and that fit you perfectly but you not only don't have anything to wear with it but you have no idea what to wear with it then fear not as Pinterest is going to be your new best friend. I recommend that all of my clients sign up to Pinterest as it really is easily the best platform for sharing ideas and tips about all manner of things, not just fashion and style. For example, if you have a leather pencil skirt but you aren't exactly sure how to wear it, just type 'leather pencil skirt' into the search bar at the top on Pinterest... et voila! Literally hundreds of stylish ways to wear your skirt. You'll never be short of inspiration again.
14. FRIENDS WHO DETOX TOGETHER, STAY TOGETHER
If you can, invite a friend or family member over to help you with your wardrobe detox. They might have ideas about how you could wear a certain item or you could pass on items to them if it isn't your style or doesn't fit you anymore. It always makes people feel slightly less guilty about the money they spent on something that doesn't suit them if they see it go to a good home. Just make sure you offer to return the favour to help them with their Wardrobe Detox too.
When you place items back into your wardrobe, turn the hangers round to face the opposite direction. Once you have worn an item, turn the hang round. When you decide to detox your wardrobe again somewhere down the line, it'll be so easy to see what items you haven't had on since your last Wardrobe Detox. It'll also make it easier to see what items you need some inspiration with outfit ideas with, again - Hello Pinterest! I know, the OCD in me isn't a big fan of this one either but it really helps you to see what you're wearing and, more importantly, what you're not wearing in your wardrobe.
And that's it, the not-so-secret formula to a fashionable, fun and functional wardrobe that will making getting dressed in the morning a breeze.
Don't forget, for 25% off a Wardrobe Detox with me, simply quote "A Lifestyle Less Ordinary" when booking.