Fashion · Lifestyle · Style · Wardrobe Overhaul

Re-igniting my love of clothes

Over the last two years my love of clothes and fashion has been hindered by my financial situation. We moved out of London to live in the Kent countryside, buying a doer upper in a lovely Village. At the same time I made the decision to leave a well paid job in the West End and embrace a new career, as a School Business Manager, in a Primary School close to home. But this came at a price. A big one. In the form of a double figure pay cut. The reduction in my income didn’t really hit home straight away. For the first six months I carried on spending as normal, most of which was aided by my flexible friend. It soon became evident that this was not sustainable and that I had to change my mindset and my shopping habits. So I went cold turkey and just stopped shopping. It wasn’t easy. In fact it was damn hard not to be tempted by all the lovely clothes being showcased on Instagram. But I dug my heels in and shopped my wardrobe. Sometimes it was fun rediscovering old clothes and finding new ways to wear things. But on the whole, for someone like me who has always loved clothes, it was somewhat depressing and at times did have a detrimental effect on my mental health. I know this sounds silly but my clothes are an extension of me and how I feel about myself. Since a young age I always had an interest in clothes and fashion. My grandmother was always very glamorous. She was also a dressmaker on Saville Row. She would often bring home little scraps of the most exquisite material and make clothes for me or my dolls. I had the best dressed Sindy in town. This is where my love of clothes started and I quickly came to realise how good nice clothes made me feel. I didn’t have a lot of confidence when I was young, my self-esteem was affected by my Mum’s mental health issues and so clothes became a way to express myself and feel more confident. Every penny I earned during my teenage years was spent on clothes. During my Single Parent years when money was tight I used to shop cheaply at Primark and also reinvent old clothes, customising them to make them more relevant to current trends. I had the time to do that then and it was fun. But this time around that didn’t really appeal so much. Much more fun in my late 20’s than when I knowing on the door of 50.

The last 18 months have been a bit of a chore at times and has left me hating my wardrobe. But it has taught me many things. I have discovered that I don’t need as many clothes as I think I do (although I still have far too many) and also that I don’t need to buy into every trend or wear what everyone else is wearing. That said, I have missed being able to buy those statement pieces each season when I have managed to shop for clothes because I have saved a little or been given a gift card, I have had to be more mindful about my purchases. Which really has taken the fun out of clothes shopping.

But I am now approaching exciting times. My financial situation is about to change again. Over the last two years I have been working tirelessly in my new career and I have spent hours studying for professional qualifications. But it has finally paid off. I have been rewarded with a promotion and a pretty impressive pay rise. So from the end of this Month I will be back in a position where I can shop again. I should be over the moon. And I am excited but also a little apprehensive.

Obviously the first instinct when you have been on a self imposed spending ban is to rush out to the shops and indulge in the thrill of buying lots of new clothes. And although part of me wants to do this, the other part is telling me to steer clear from the shops. So rather than let the devil on my shoulder win and end up spending my hard earned cash on a load of clothes that I probably don’t need and won’t wear after six months I decided to take some time to really think about my wardrobe and what I want it to look like. And that is exactly what I have been doing with the help of this book.

I have been totally immersed in it all week. It is probably one of the best Self Help books that I have ever read (and I have read a few). Through a series of questions and research it makes you evaluate styles that you love and works to help you identify your own personal style. It has you thinking about lifestyle, colours, silhouettes and material. It also requires you to review your current wardrobe and think about how to create a new one that reflects your own personal style using key prices but also encompassing current trends through a small number of statement pieces.

It has been a little like studying for an exam but I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the book. And It actually wasn’t that hard to identify my signature style as it’s been staring me in the face every time I open my wardrobe. But I think even when you subconsciously know what you like to wear and what suits you it’s easy to get sidetracked into buying what’s in fashion even if it is not something you normally like to wear.

These are some of the images I saved to my Pinterest Board (aptly named Curated Closet) that showcase the styles I love and will be building my wardrobe around. If you want to have a browse at more images that I chose pop over and pay me a visit on Pinterest. My account name is Wiggle When you Walk.

So now that I have identified my personal style, created a list of outfit combinations and listed all the key pieces I need, the next step is to go through what I already own. And that’s my plan for today. I am going to make full use of the fact my husband is away on business and literally empty my whole wardrobe (including shoes) onto my dressing room floor and start the huge clear out. I will be getting rid of anything that doesn’t suit me or my personal style or doesn’t fit me (I am still wearing old clothes that are one or two sizes too big because I couldn’t afford to replace them). It’s going to be a mammoth task and I anticipate that 70% of my wardrobe will go. Some items will be held on to while I rebuild my wardrobe and will be replaced by the same but in a better fit and better quality, items such as black trousers for work (mine are four years old and too big) and a good pair of dark denim skinny jeans which are my go to item.

At the end of this process I should then be able to compile my shopping list ready for a trip to Bluewater after payday. I will follow up with another blog post after my wardrobe cleanse and let you know how it went. But one thing I know for sure my love for clothes is slowly being reiginited.

Thank you for reading and if you haven’t read the book I can totally recommend it. It is available on Amazon here.

Enjoy your Saturday.

Love

Melanie xxxx

AW Fashion · Budget Fashion · Declutter · Fashion · Lemonade Lifestyle · Lifestyle · Mindfulness · Shoppingmywardrobe · Style · Wardrobe Overhaul

100 Days of Shopping my Wardrobe


I had a successful clearout of my wardrobe at the end of August and am pleased to announce that I have halved the amount of clothes and shoes I own. This is a big achievement for me. In the end a total of four bags went to our local homeless charity and I have a large sack remaining, that I will eventually pop onto eBay.

I have been ruthless and careful to only keep those items that I truely love and that compliment my body shape and colouring. I have finally accepted that my lifestyle has changed, so out are a large number of going out clothes and skyscraper heels and in are jeans, knitwear and trainers. I am also embracing my signature style that generally consists of jeans, shirts and blazers. I am no longer going to keep trying to wear florals and maxi dresses. They don’t suit me. Never have. Never will. It’s time to stick to the classics that I know I look good in.

Now that I have a more streamlined wardrobe I want to make sure that I actually wear all of the clothes I own. What is the point of having a wonderful selection of great clothes if it sits in the back of the wardrobe not being worn. I have actually discovered some gems tucked away that may have only been worn once in the last 2 or 3 years. Now that is a waste of money. And at this moment in time I need to be more frugal and make sure I am getting the most out of what I have.

I have had a wonderful idea of setting myself the challenge to wear every item of clothing I own at least once. so I am developed the “100 Days of Shopping my Wardrobe” challenge.

There are 100 days until the new year (that’s a little scary) so this is the perfect time to start. The aim of the challenge is to wear at least one different item of clothing each day. I will only be wearing what I already own. There will be no new purchases. The last shopping haul I had delivered was mid August which included a couple of Autumn/Winter goodies including boots, jumper and jeans from Next. I haven’t shopped since.

I have made a list of all the items I own (excluding Summer clothes) so I can tick items off when I wear them. This will help me keep track and make sure I wear everything. I am actually looking forward to this challenge so much and can’t wait to be inventive with my wardrobe to create outfits that give a nod to the new season trends and also look good.

I will be posting my outfit on Instagram every day and will also follow up with a weekly blog post detailing the items I have worn over the week.


I’m sure there are lots of you out there who, like me, have too many clothes to wear and end up wearing the same outfits over and over again. Why not be a little adventurous and join me in the #100daysofshoppingmywardrobe challenge and fall in love with old clothes all over again.

Thank you for reading.
Melanie xxxx

Budget Fashion · Declutter · Fashion · Lemonade Lifestyle · Lifestyle · Organisation · Style · Wardrobe Overhaul

Wardrobe Overhaul Series

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Two years ago on my previous blog (www.wigglewhenyouwalk.blogspot.co.uk) I published my Wardrobe Overhaul Series. It was popular with a lot of readers and so I have decided to revamp and republish the series as I am am just about to start a big clear-out of my wardrobe.

I have had a number of big life changes over the last couple of years including children leaving home, marriage, moving to a new area and starting a new career. I have a completely different lifestyle than I had two years ago. I am also undergoing some self-improvement/counselling (which I will talk about another time) and so my mindset and emotional wellbeing is changing. I have accumulated alot of stuff over these last few years that I have actually come to realise I do not really need. I am slowly decluttering my life, my home and my mind. The first area that needs an overhaul is my wardrobe. I just have too many clothes. It becomes impossible to work out what to wear. I can go weeks without having to do any washing or ironing. That just goes to show just how many items of clothing I have.

I have created a cycle of clearing out and then refilling. The refilling needs to stop so I am now limiting myself to only shopping for clothes a couple of times a year. I really don’t “NEED” anything. It’s time to scale down and let go of the crutch that is my wardrobe. I feel that to some extent that clothes have become an emotional comfort blanket to me over the years. And as I start to work on a few issues from my childhood I am slowly realising I can be happy without “stuff”.

Now before we start I would like to point out I am no expert. I have no formal training and everything I do and say is based on information I have absorbed over the years from books and magazines and from my own experiences and style hits and misses. What works for me isn’t necessarily going to work for everyone but if any of you gain a little knowledge or inspiration from my posts then that is great. And I am always open to tips and advice from others if you want to share.

My Wardrobe Overhaul is made up of four stages :

1. Creating a Wardrobe that Works for your Lifestyle

This is what I call the planning stage. Working out what actually works for your lifestyle. Do you really need all those sparkly outfits when in reality you spend all day in jeans and only dress up once a month.

2. Finding My Wow Factor

This looks at body shape and wearing clothes that flatter. When I last carried out a big wardrobe overhaul two years ago I ended up only keeping clothes that I felt amazing in. But over the last couple of years I have slipped back into buying and keeping clothes that I think look OK but don’t really make me look in the mirror and think WOW.

3. Colour Me Beautiful

Here I talk about colours. I worked out my colours several years ago and I do tend to stick to buying those that are on my chart. It really is a lightbulb moment when you go through this process and finally work out what flatters your complexion.

4. Style and Sensibility

The final stage is where I talk about style and inspiration and the reality of trying to emulate those images that you see on Pinterest or on other ladies on Instagram. It is the final stage of the overhaul and really brings together all the stages above.
I hope you enjoy the following posts and I would love to hear your comments. How many of you are embarking on a Wardrobe Cull. It’s not an easy task. I am sure we all have that one item etched on our memory that we discarded in error. That’s why it is good to plan and work out what actually suits you and works for your lifestyle.
Thank you for reading.

Melanie xxxx