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Wardrobe Overhaul – Part 1


Before I can start the actual physical culling of clothes I need to think about what I want to achieve at the end of the exercise. I have read enough style books to know that there are certain elements to be considered when creating the perfect capsule wardrobe.
I carried out a big wardrobe overhaul two years ago but since then my lifestyle has changed and I have dropped two dress sizes. So what worked for me back then doesn’t work for me now. Losing weight created a big expensive problem for my wardrobe. I had to quickly restock my wardrobe with new clothes that fitted. This was not the ideal situation as I ended up panic buying to some extent and buying lots of things that I liked the look of without thinking about if they were really right for me.
Now that I feel that I have settled into my new life in the countryside and my weight has stabilised it is time to have a thorough clear out of clothes and shoes.
At the end of this process I want to have less clothes in my wardrobe. I want to maximise the wear of each item to create outfits that work for my lifestyle and make me look fabulous. Am I striving for an impossible dream? Maybe! But I thrive on a challenge.
My Wardrobe Overhaul process is based on a vast amount of information I have gleaned from a variety of books over the years. Some complicated. Some simple. I have created a simple approach that works for me and hopefully works for some of you too.
The first stage is to identify how you need your wardrobe to work for your lifestyle. Being realistic about the amount of time you spend doing certain activities is a must. We all like to think we have a glamorous life full of social engagements but I know for me the reality is very different. It is no good having a wardrobe full of “dressing up” clothes if you actually only go ‘out out’ once a month. Most of my evenings spent socialising are in the Village Pub with my husband and friends we have made over the last year. It is not the sort of place that is “dressy”. It’s a jeans and nice top type of place. Which suits me fine as I own plenty of jeans.
I have taken a very practical approach to identifying my outfit requirements. Basically I love a spreadsheet so I sat down and wrote a list of the activities I actually do in an average month and the approximate number of hours I spend doing them. This is how my list looked.

It is quite an eye opener when you realise how much time you spend wearing certain types of clothing. And even more so when you work out the percentages. It may seem a little business like. But this is a useful exercise if you really want to streamline your wardrobe and have clothes that really work for your everyday life. One of the things that really stands out for me is how little time I actually spend wearing dressy clothes and that I actually need more casual clothes in my wardrobe than I currently have. I also realise that whilst I have to wear smart clothes to work, my job in a school requires a very different type of outfit from my previous events management job in London. Pencil skirts and sky scraper heels don’t really work for life in a Primary School. And I now know that the wearing of light colours is a complete No No. They are not child friendly.

Now my first step has been completed I can clearly see what type of clothing I need to have in my wardrobe. This alone will not help me complete my cull but it does give me a good guide when deciding what to keep.
Am I the only person who applies a practical strategic approach to wardrobe planning? How do you decide what items of clothing you need to have in your wardrobe?
I would love to hear your views.
 Thanks for reading.

Melanie xxxx


Note : The original version of this post first appeared on http://www.wigglewhenyouwalk.blogspot.co.uk in August 2015

2 thoughts on “Wardrobe Overhaul – Part 1

  1. I’m loving this series of blogs. Growing up as a teenager in the 80’s I was either in jeans and a top or glammed up to the nines. Then spending 20 years in childcare and raising my own family comfort has always been my uniform of more jeans, leggings and log sleeved tunic style tops. 18 months ago I went back to a corporate environment although still smart casual, a month ago I got a new job as a P.A. and it’s a whole new ball game. These articles are really helping me think beyond a little black suit, I’m off to order the Colour me Beautiful book, thank you x


    1. Thank you Vicky and I’m so pleased you got something from my posts. This is the reason I write them. The colour me beautiful book is great. Very easy useful. My wardrobe used to be 90% black now it’s about 10% xx


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