The best way to get longevity out of your clothes starts with how you store and care for them so make sure that your wardrobe is set up to keep everything in top shape. Not to mention creating a system of order will help making getting dressed a breeze and avoid repeats of the dreaded “don’t know what to wear” explosions.
TAKE IT OFF
It’s time to recreate that infamous wardrobe panel scene from Sex and the City. Whether you invite your Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha’s over for an amateur catwalk show a-la-Carrie or go the solitary route (wine necessary), empty out your entire wardrobe and look at everything piece by piece. Do you wear it, is it showing wear and tear, are you hoarding 5 skirts that look exactly the same? Can you still breathe whilst wearing those much loved circa 2012 jeans?
If you know that you’re in denial about what to keep or toss a great little trick is to hang all of your hangers on the rail backwards. Then in a month’s time come back and have a look at what you have re-hung (the right way around). This is the easiest way of seeing what you actually wear so that you can either reprioritise these high rotation items to an easier to reach location or get really honest with yourself and let go of that shirt/dress/skirt that in spite of your best intentions you never actually wear.
SORT IT OUT
Now before you go ahead and hang your newly-curated selection right back into the same state of chaos it was to begin with, create categories for each garment type. You can even break this down further but keep in mind how you dress. If your work wardrobe is corporate chic but your weekend wardrobe oozes casual sport-luxe break your shirts and tops into two sections. Other options are separating formal vs daywear, long or short sleeves or summer vs winter options.
Grouping things together will create efficiency when putting together an outfit but another bonus of grouping by type (all pants together, dresses together… you get it) is that it can help to repurpose pieces you previously thought you could only wear in a certain way. If you had grouped those work shirts all in your “work-wear” category you might not think to wear one tied at the waist to add a touch of French girl cool your go-to jeans and sneakers combo, or repurpose that silk cami you thought was only PM-appropriate over a simple tee for casual Fridays at the office.
Garment care can sometimes seem like something your grandma learnt from the day she could walk but can be as confusing as doing your taxes (although you have worked out how to channel that return to maximise wardrobe gains….. #lifeskills right?). The key is to pay attention to the materials your clothing is made of and double check care labels to avoid any disasters. As a general rule- natural materials like silk, cotton and wool tend to be more on the sensitive side (although cotton less-so).
Dry clean or handwash only instructions can pretty much be translated into “proceed with caution”, if you’re handwashing only use a delicates soap over your regular powder, lukewarm water at most and dry as flat as possible.
Now let’s look to in-wardrobe basics, namely what to hang vs what-not-to hang.
Things that absolutely need to be hung include silk wear, coats and jackets as folded these will lose their shape and crumple.
Knits and stretch fabrics on the other hand are best laid flat and neatly folded to avoid sagging or being misshapen by hangers.
A little trick for thicker knitwear is to use shallow baskets, and rather than laying them flat inside the basket one on top of another stack the folded items so that the outer fold is showing upwards. This will make for a much easier way of seeing everything and keep things neater than rummaging to the bottom of your perfectly folded knits to find that one jumper to complete your outfit.
Items like t-shirts, denim or sweaters can really go either way. You’ll probably find that your wardrobe space will dictate their homes.
And lastly be sure to get rid of those spindly wire hangers and invest in better quality ones like velvet or wooden hangers. These are much sturdier and less likely to drop or misshape your clothes.
6: CLOTHES RACK
IMAGERY VIA ORACLE FOX, POPSUGAR, THE COVETEUR AND PINTEREST.