How many times have you stood in front of a closet full of clothing and lamented that you’ve got nothing to wear? And how often do you look at the overflowing wasteland of your wardrobe and wished that you could get more wear out of your clothes? I’ll bet you’ve rolled your eyes at both of these questions, because you frankly can’t even calculate the number of times you’ve had both of those experiences.
Apparently, the average woman only wears a third of her wardrobe on a regular basis. That’s madness when you consider the amount of money and energy that most of us invest in building our wardrobe.
I’d like to think that I’m an exception to this statistic. I used to be guilty of owning a closetful of beautiful clothing, but only ever stepping out in jeans. Eventually I got fed up with never wearing so many of the lovely things I owned. I felt as though these precious garments were going to waste languishing in my closet. So I shook up my habits. Now, I’d say that I cycle through my wardrobe fairly regularly. Other than formal wear or seasonal items, most of the items in my wardrobe regularly see the light of day.
For those of you who’d like to make a change and get more wear out of your clothes, here are a few practical steps you can take to make this a reality.
Have a big clear-out
Go through your wardrobe carefully and get rid of any items that no longer belong. You should cull any garments that don’t fit you, things that are no longer your style and items that are worn out. Getting all the excess baggage out of your wardrobe will make it much easier to work with. You might like to read this article about cleaning out your closet like a boss.
Put your clothes on show
Organize your wardrobe in such a way that you can see everything. Hang dresses, skirts, pants and blouses in your wardrobe. Use racks and hanging displays to organize your shoes and accessories. Fold and stack jumpers and tee shirts. If you have everything on display, you’re much more likely to put together new and exciting outfits than if you can only see a few garments at a time.
Shop your closet
Every couple of weeks, go through your wardrobe and select five or six items that you haven’t worn in a while. Then, make it your mission to work each of them into an outfit over the next few weeks. This will give you a chance to cycle through your clothes more often and experiment with those items you love, but never seem to wear.
Step outside your comfort zone
Part of the reason that we don’t wear many of the things we own is that we get caught in a pattern of wearing the same few items. These items are usually the things that are comfortable, that are easy to style or the things you love best. You don’t have to stop wearing your favourites, but you should encourage yourself to think outside the box and find new ways to style them. Tuck your favourite tee into a pencil skirt and slip on a pair of heels. Your trusty jeans can be teamed with a pretty blouse or a funky knit for a new look. Push yourself to try new things often.
Buy less stuff
Although it seems counter-intuitive, having a closet that’s bulging with sartorial options can actually hamper your ability to mix things up. While variety is a good thing, we tend to freeze when faced with too many choices. When we have a million different outfits to choose from, we’re more likely to reach for our old favourites because they’re safe and easy. If you buy fewer things, you’ll give yourself a bit of breathing space to use the items you already have. Try swearing off clothes shopping for a month or two. You’ll probably find that you wear lots of items you haven’t used in a while, and you’ll have a chance to be more creative with your dressing.
Do you only wear a small portion of your clothes, or do you cycle through your wardrobe regularly?