Friday, February 24, 2017

3 ways to fall in love with your wardrobe again

I gathered together all my fashion and style books - they don't even take up one half of a cube on my book shelf!  Not one book on Chanel... I will have to remedy that.





I find it strange that my wardrobe posts always get really high readership, on the once-in-a-blue-moon occasions that I look at my blog statistics.  But I do it too.  I like to look nice but am not a fashionista, and even I can’t resist a different wardrobe point of view.  Why is that do you think?

Much of the time I am not that excited about my wardrobe.  I love some of the pieces and others are just there.  Sometimes some of the items are a little snug… so I wear the bigger sizes :) I probably do take my wardrobe a bit for granted.  Why do I say that?  Well, I am surprised sometimes when I don’t seem to have many options and then realise I haven’t been shopping for many months.  I just forget to.

I would happily show you my summer wardrobe, except that it’s the same as last summer, just with two new dresses added, oh and a couple of pairs of capri pants.  Maybe I’ll do that post next week.

So today, I’m going to get excited about my wardrobe again.  It rolls around cyclically, this closet malaise.  What are we going to do about it?

Borrow other people’s enthusiasm

Nothing gets me more enthused about fashion again than following fashion bloggers on Instagram or reading style blog posts.  I think it’s so cool that I can see what a stylish lady is wearing, today, in Paris or Milan.  I love modern times!

As a teen in the 1980s I would patiently wait for my favourite style and music magazines to arrive from the UK and devour the street style photos which would have been months old by then.  But I didn’t care, I was always inspired to be more out there, make a new outfit (literally, with my sewing machine) and not let myself lapse into mediocrity.  My mother still has nightmares from those days.

Re-organise everything

Without thinking about it too much (otherwise I’ll talk myself out of it and say it’s too big a job), I pile everything out of my drawers and onto the bed.  Then, sort and put back, seeing what I have as I go.  Maybe I’ll declutter a few pieces but it’s mostly about reacquainting myself with what I have.

Same with my hanging items, I would take them all out of my wardrobe and lay on the bed, starting with an empty hanging bar.  Then, put them back with my current favourites at the front.

Create a mini-capsule collection

After the organising comes the fun part – putting together a mini capsule collection as if you were travelling somewhere.  When we travelled to Sydney for four nights last year, my husband and I decided to take carry-on luggage only.  Our carry-on bags are tiny.  It was a fun challenge though and it was so liberating to have a tiny bag.  No waiting at the carousel; no dragging a big suitcase through central Sydney.

After that experience I have created a mini capsule for myself at times when I was either bored with my wardrobe or one time had put on a few kilos.  In the bored example, I chose some of my nicer pieces that I would not wear because they weren’t as practical, and mix them in with pieces I loved.  This made it feel like I had a new wardrobe and it was fun getting ready in the morning.

In the case of my clothes being a bit tight, I made a mini capsule of my looser/more forgiving clothes and gave myself a break while I reset my weight.  Please note I wasn’t moving into track pants and baggy tee-shirts.  This mini capsule was made of clothes that while they were bigger, were still flattering.  You know how some jeans have more stretch than others.  The rigid jeans went at the back for now.

Wearing a pair of jeans so uncomfortable and that has your muffin top spilling over is not going to help you be slimmer.  Aside from looking nasty, they will make you grumpy and more likely to comfort eat, as paradoxical as that sounds.

So that’s my three tips to falling in love with your wardrobe again.  What do you do when wardrobe malaise sets in?  Maybe it’s the end of the season, I think I’ve mentioned that one before in another post.  It’s easy to be excited about the changing season and the promise of wearing different clothes, but then once you’re a few months in, they seem a bit samey.

Please share!

fiona

PS.  If you haven’t already read my bestselling book Thirty Chic Days, there is a chapter on making your closet like a bijou boutique.  It’s one of my favourite chapters in the book and it is very inspiring to look at your wardrobe another way.  You can download it on Amazon or read the paperback too.

Check your public library also, because more and more are stocking my books.  If they don’t, ask if they will order it in.  Some libraries accept reader requests, and some don’t.  One of the librarians at our library told me they love it when people request titles, because otherwise they have to choose from big catalogues.  It’s saving them a job!

41 comments:

  1. Great advice! I recently decluttered and reorganized my closet. It makes it so much easier to get dressed and choose something nice to wear. :)

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    1. You are always an inspiration to me with your decluttering superpower, Tracy :)

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  2. I agree with this! I also second Tracy. When I get bored with my clothes, I edit my closet and make sure only what I'm wearing currently for that season is in there. I think when it is in between seasons, my closet gets much more packed and confusion sets in on what to wear.

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    1. I agree Stephanie, it's when the seasons are changing and you are wearing pieces from each that it gets muddly.

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  3. I am a bit of a cheapskate, so I hate to throw things out. Instead, I will put them away for a year, even two. For a while, I was crazy about wearing sweater dresses with leggings and boots. Then I was more into jeans and tops. And when I got out the sweater dresses after a year of ignoring them, they felt new again.

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    1. Great idea. I don't like to get rid of stuff just for the sake of it either.

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  4. Right now I'm on a purge high, getting rid of things that I no longer want/need whether trashing, donating, passing on to friends & her kids, or selling makes my wardrobe feel fresher. It allows me to zero in on exactly what I enjoy wearing. I also go through old outfit pictures and remind myself of beautiful ensembles that I haven't worn in a while. I don't reinvent my wardrobe but I do like to keep it fresh and relevant to my tastes.

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    1. Looking at old outfit photos is a great idea. One year I took a photo every day. I should start that again. I am like you in that I don't reinvent, but refine. My wardrobe evolution is slow :)

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  5. Recently I have been trying different things together, thing's I'd not normally have put together, indeed looking at my clothes with a 'fresh eye' as if someone else was going over my wardrobe and putting things together. Also, I have quite a collection of scarves, not just silk squares, or those long, drapey ones that have been popular with women of a certain age since time immemorial, but even chiffon-style squares from the 1970s and 1980s, ones I've not worn in decades, and suddenly they look nice with some of my clothes. For example today I put on a long-sleeved navy T shirt with navy stretchy jeans, red flatties and a scarf tied in the neck that was in various shades of blue, red and yellow, a floral scarf with the yellow being small-scale sunflowers. It's not a scarf I've particularly liked all that much (yes, I know it sounds horrendous!) but with the navy and with red flatties (I suppose flatties today are called ballet flats, but they're not really ballet flats per se, just flat patent pumps by Gabor and years old!) and red nail polish, it looked fine and gave my usual navy 'look' a whole new feel.
    Margaret P

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    1. I always love your style comments, Margaret! Navy with red touches plus your scarf sounds delightful :)

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  6. I agree with your ideas, Fiona, particularly on "reacquainting" with one's wardrobe and truly examining it with attention.

    Something I've tried in the past was to re-purpose certain pieces to make them feel new to me again. Altering a dress into a skirt or a long sleeve top into a short sleeve number are two examples. Embellishing pieces with new buttons or monogram embroidery aren't very difficult to accomplish as well.

    Oftentimes, adding a new belt or another accessory is all it takes to make one's usual outfit look and feel fresh. Another trick I love is to roll up sleeves and pant cuffs to add an air of casual chic. I've also noticed how draping one's cardigan or blazer around the shoulders and wearing it like a cape, unbuttoned, instead of the usual way looks quite cool as well. How one wears one's clothes is just as important as what one wears.

    Little tweaks such as the aforementioned can make big differences in my experience.

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    1. Oh I love repurposing too, Natalie; and I love to make items look different as you mention by rolling up the legs etc. I have changed buttons in the past but not for a while now, and I used to dye clothing different colours but again, not for ages. I think I'm too lazy now :)

      I love the cape idea!

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  7. Hi Fiona. Right now I'm at a place where I have put on a few pounds and I'm going to be kind to myself and set up a chic capsule wardrobe while I 'reset my weight". Love the kindness that you treat yourself with! I usually get angry with myself that nothing fits! Lol. BTW I got your book today and I'm leaving on a trip to florida tomorrow and can't wait to crack it open on the plane!

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    1. Be kind to yourself, and I hope you have a wonderful trip. Was it Financially Chic you said you were getting?

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    2. Yes! Read it on the plane and on the beach today! Love it!

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  8. I love the idea of the mini capsule while resetting your weight, I even like the term "resetting" instead of losing.

    One thing I do when I'm feeling a bit ho hum is to hand wash those delicate items. I've been wearing my 4 fine merino sweaters to death this winter because they are lightweight and my office is too hot to wear heavier sweaters. But I'm getting a bit tired of them as the spring draws closer, so this weekend I will be hand washing them and carefully putting them back away. They won't get retired as it is still winter, but just the act of taking care of them that way makes them feel more special. And the fact that they are being washed and air dried means that for a day or two I will be reaching for the long sleeve t's more so than the sweaters. I've tended to ignore those a bit this winter except for the plain charcoal and black ones.

    The other thing I do is that each fall and spring I take a look at what I have and at my ideal wardrobe plan and see if anything is tired and needs mending, altering or replacing or if there is a nice piece or two that I need to buy. It might be a trendy top to update things for the spring/summer that I don't invest in, or it could be a nice investment piece that I haven't gotten around to buying yet...but I try to only buy two or three things each time and make it a game to find the best quality for the best price.

    I'm not great with accessorizing regularly but when things are seeming a bit bland I make a point of picking out accessories that will help my usual clothes pop a bit and wearing them, at least until I forget again LOL. Could be a scarf, a statement necklace, really fun earrings, or a colourful purse instead of the usual black tote.

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    1. Such a great idea to take those items out of rotation for babying and give other items a go, Cindy. I do that too, ignore other things just because I've gotten into the habit of wearing a few pieces over and over.

      I forget to acessorise also :) Just a bit of simple jewellery for me. Like you, once in a blue moon I will break out a statement necklace or scarf, or choose a different handbag (I don't have many, maybe half a dozen which I've had forever).

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  9. My style has changed recently so I cleared out my wardrobes and kept only navy and white pieces. I weeded out everything that no longer fits to sell on EBay and put the rest in the wardrobe in the guest room. I bought velvet hangers for my bedroom wardrobe and have only about 20 pieces left. Everything matches and getting ready is so easy now. I am currently on holiday in Lanzarote and packing was a cinch!

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    1. Great job with your wardrobe Susan, it sounds fabulous. Have a wonderful holiday!

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  10. Thank you for lots of inspiring ideas! I tend to neglect curating my wardrobe until I get totally fed up of it, then have a blitz. I think your way sounds a lot more productive! Having moved recently, I got rid of a lot of wardrobe clutter and can now focus on some of the pieces that I thought were too 'good' for normal wear. I've been wearing them more often and feel so much better using and enjoying them :-)

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    1. Yes, Lisa, it is hard to get rid of so-so pieces but then everything left can really shine. Doesn't it feel so decadent to wear the good stuff??

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  11. ❤️ this, Fiona. Thank you! I agree with all your tips when I need to refresh my wardrobe in my eyes... When I evolve, my style inevitably changes too. And to get style clarification, I will save outfits that I love at the moment on the Internet; the image I want to project and voila! I see a consistent pattern emerging and the new direction I want to go. This is both fun and inspiring!
    May I ask who are your favourite fashion bloggers that you are inspired by, Fiona?

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    1. They come and go on Instagram, Princess. I followed a few French ones and then unfollowed when I got bored. Now some eastern european ones, but again, I might unfollow soon. I sound fickle, I know. What can I say :)

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  12. I have really come to enjoy my experiment this winter of doing a reverse 333. I made an attempt to wear everything in my closet and was fairly successful. I just brought two bags of clothing to my car. They were the items that I wore and didn't fit quite right. And there were items that I had to force myself to wear. I haven't quite completed the task because there are still some dressier items that I haven't had occasion to wear. But my every day items are quite well curated and make daily dressing a joy. I am happy about the giveaways. I know someone will enjoy them more than I.

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    1. Well done you, Kristien. I didn't put together a capsule at the beginning of summer, it just sort of evolved. I love your rev. Proj 333 idea :)

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  13. It's so exciting to be in libraries! Also, I always love your wardrobe posts so much. They are always inspirational. And there are some fun books up there. Susanne Sommers book on Italian Style! I used to have that, too! I still remember some of the pictures so vividly! Timeless style for the most part.

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    1. And I've loved your wardrobe posts in the past, Kristi. So inspiring the way you are ruthless with your clothes. I am too scared to be ruthless :)

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  14. Great advice as usual, Fiona, thank you so much! I knew something must have gone wrong with the email so I simply followed the link to your website and read the post here. I'm very grateful to you for all the advice and inspiration you provide!

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    1. That crazy email... Thank you for your kindness :)

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  15. I too recently had a re-organisation of my wardrobe, Fiona, in the form of a massive biff-out. I was ruthless. Anything too big, too small, unused for 6 months, unflattering - out they went! I included shoes, bags, make-up. Now I am back to my wee capsule wardrobe of more flattering clothes and it feels so much better

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    1. Yay for you! It feels amazing doesn't it!

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  16. Hi Fiona~ I am relatively new to your blog! I bought all of your books, in nearly one sitting, and am a devoted fan! I am fixing to do my own closet reshuffle/purge/capsule wardrobe and am inspired! Thank you and keep writing!

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    1. Thank you so much Koma, welcome! Good luck with your wardrobe and have fun :)

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  17. Hi Fiona, I just recently made a wardrobe purchase mistake. What happened was I went to an outlet mall where they have stores like, Coach, Kate Spade, Fossil and so on, and the price of the merchandise is extremely reduced. I was looking for a tan color bag. Fossil was having a fantastic sale and I was really excited that I found a handbag that retailed at $200. and was on sale that day at the outlet for $49. I almost passed out. Well, I've been using said handbag for a couple weeks now and have come to the conclusion that it just won't work for me. There are several reasons: it's a shoulder bag, but it sits a bit too high (under the arm) and the zipper is sharp and has been pilling up my sweaters in that area under the arm. Also, the strap is too short, so I am CONSTANTLY having to pull the bag up on my shoulder. Also, the leather is a bit too thick, therefore making the bag too heavy for me. I wasted $49.00. The thing is, when I was "trying it on" at the store, I thought it would be perfect for me. Too bad you can't take things like that on a trial run before you buy it :)

    D.

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    1. Oh no, D, what a blow. At least $49 isn't thousands, but still, you are $49 down and still don't have a handbag. Maybe you can resell it or just donate it and take it as one of those things? Or use it for different occasions where you don't mind carrying it with your hand (such as dinner or movies etc, I use different bags for those times).

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  18. Hello Fiona,
    I am enjoying reading your post and all the comments! A million years ago, I read in a Harper Bazaar magazine that our wardrobe "should" consist of 80% classic and 20% trendy clothing. For some reason, I've always kept that in mind for both clothing and jewelry. I am now in my 50's and have accumulated quite a lot of classic/good quality clothes. (I have also not gained/lost much weight over the years, so it helps). To liven up my classics, I pair them with some trendy/cheap little things of the season, jean jackets, ethnic jewelry, scarves, interesting belts and boots. I don't really get rid of my clothing (but do get rid of knicknacks since I hate surface clutter). Sometimes, I don't wear something for a few years, then I "rediscover" it and enjoy it for a 2nd (or more) time.

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    1. Hi Mireille,

      I love the Harpers Bazaar tip and find that 80/20 applies to so many areas of life (80% healthy food, 20% treats). It sounds like you have lots of fun with your wardrobe which is inspiring, plus congratulatons for being the same weight; that's the holy grail for getting the most out of your wardrobe dollars!

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  19. I think we all enjoy your wardrobe posts so much, Fiona, because you are less about showing yourself off and more about genuinely examining fashion from an inside place. That gets us all thinking about our own views, which is why you have so many great comments always! I love your writing voice, and this wonderful blog you create. Thank you!

    I like to take my pieces outside into the sun and air for a bit, looking them over carefully, even talking to them ;-) Shocking sometimes what some bright light will reveal. When you think about how much dust you find when cleaning surfaces in your closet, you realize it's all on your clothes too. Of course, the nice thing about paring down and really wearing each piece you own, is that it's less likely to sit around, feeling dusty and sad.

    Erina

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    1. Thank you Erina, for your considered words. You're spot on with how I think about style. And I love the daylight idea too! It makes good sense and I plan to do that also. Merci!

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  20. Hi Fiona! Where I live (northern California), we have long hot summers (May to October), and I've never really acclimated to 6 months with no rain and no relief, even though I've lived here for over 30 years. So I really understood your comment about being at the end of a season (or for summer, in the middle of the season!) and being SO TIRED of your clothes! Especially since it's so hot and an outfit basically consists of a skirt or capris and a short sleeve top -- layering, scarves, etc. are just not possible because of the heat. I don't want to get into the habit of shopping every couple of weeks in order to relieve the boredom, but I have started just buying a couple of new tops in May, maybe some new sandals in June, a new skirt and top in July, and so on through the summer. My total purchases aren't more than I might buy for one season (especially a season of 6 months), but I spread them out so I don't get so tired of things. And I always look forward to fall, when I can bring out jeans and cardigans and scarves again.

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    1. I like that idea too, Karen. In theory I'd love to do everything at the beginning of the season, but mistakes can be made that way. Making thoughtful purchases as you need them throughout the season sounds more my style too. I found the perfect pair of summer sandals this week and I know I will wear them for many years to come. It doesn't matter that it is almost autumn here, I'm thrilled with my purchase and will get a couple of months wear from them to start with.

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Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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