With three weeks of self isolation ahead, now's the perfect time to give your wardrobe a good detox, by clearing out the items of clothing you'll no longer wear, and keeping the ones that'll last for seasons to come.
I asked Charlotte Warburton, who runs a personal styling concierge service that helps clients streamline their wardrobe and source forever pieces, to share her tips. If you need any extra help, she is now doing one on one FaceTime appointments with her clients too, which you can book here.
How to detox your wardrobe
Step 1: Taking inspiration from Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City - you need to create 5 sections next to your wardrobe. - KEEP: for those items that can go straight back into your wardrobe. - MAYBE: for those sentimental pieces, that you might want to go through at the end, just in case you felt it’s time to let go. - CHARITY: for the pieces you know that need to go, but someone else might appreciate. - SELL: depending on how savvy you want to be, the option to sell is a great way to recreate further budget to buy your new wardrobe. - ‘THE BIN’: for those pieces that need to go.
Step 2: Put your current wardrobe into categories, see below: - Coats & Jackets, Shirts & Tops, Jumpers & Knitwear, Trousers, Jeans, Gym Wear, Loungewear, Shoes, Underwear & Socks!
Step 3: Begin the detox - Go category by category, try and be as ruthless as you can. - Fold as you go - makes it much easier at the other end. - Using my '27 essential wardrobe edit', tally the items that you already have from each category as this will allow you to see how many you have from each category. This is important as it will show the pieces you are lacking and also show the pieces you don’t need to prioritise. Even though you’re recreating your wardrobe, trying to do it in the most sustainable manner is something to consider during this process.
Step 4: Re-organise - Anything you’re keeping, place it back into your wardrobe, keeping categories together. - Anything ready for the bin, place in a bag, remember a lot of your clothes you will be able to recycle and take to the clothing banks, so do bear that in mind when disposing of items. - Anything for charity, in the current climate might have to stay bagged up until we are able to go to our local charity shop. - Anything in the sell pile, even though at the moment you might not be able to walk to the post office to sell. One of the most time-consuming jobs is photographing items, noting sizes, materials and uploading onto resale sights. Most of these you can created drafts and once we are all able to move around you can make them active and get selling to reimburse for any purchases made in the meantime. I recommend eBay & Depop. - Finally, the maybe pile, go through this again - if an item is sentimental, I’d keep it, I even have a few of them! If you didn’t wear them last year, get rid, you won’t wear them again.
EXTRA WARDROBE DETOX TIPS: - Once the clear out is complete, if you want to be extra organised, clean down your wardrobe (a tip from my mother) makes it extra detoxing!
- Chuck any hangers that are on their last legs, remember if plastic they can be recycled!
- Refold all clothing if on a shelf, some pieces might be quite creased.
- If it doesn’t fit, don’t hold onto it unless you truly can’t bear to let it go. You will find something else that will fit better and that you will actually wear.
- Again, if items are de-coloured or faded, get rid and re buy - start the new season with a fresh one. However, there is also an option to re dye items, such as a favourite pair of jeans, you can order the dye straight to your home!
- Don’t hold onto something if you are even debating if it will come ‘on trend’ again, it most likely will but it will be slightly updated. If a high-end designer I’d hold onto it, but if high street - get rid!
- If you have the space, creating a ‘spring/summer’ and a “autumn/winter’ wardrobe can be quite satisfying.
- When putting everything back into your wardrobe, I’d recommend keeping it in the categories as stated above, it’s much easier to find items!
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Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.
Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).
Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at MoneySavingExpert.com, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.
However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.
Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.