Why your wardrobe needs a cleanse

Sarah Cather­all.

Waikato Times - - SUMMER -

Ared silk frock I last wore to my sis­ter’s wed­ding seven years ago hangs limply down the back near a black silk dress I’ve worn to one party since I bought it in Thai­land five years ago.

De­spite the fact that I will never squeeze my feet into the half-a size­too-small, tee­ter­ing black heels I bought in a Zara sale, they sit ne­glected near the sum­mer san­dals I’ve worn daily since I bought them a few weeks ago. My crammed wardrobe looks as though I have a craze for col­lect­ing jack­ets of ev­ery colour and style, along with pat­terned sun­frocks.

Ac­cord­ing to Auck­land stylist Jackie O’Fee, my dilemma is shared by many. Ap­par­ently, the av­er­age woman wears just 40 per cent of the clothes she owns.

The per­sonal shop­per and im­age con­sul­tant has the fun job of go­ing into women’s homes and help­ing clean out their wardrobes. The No 1 mis­take we make? ‘‘Hold­ing on to stuff for too long think­ing we might wear it again. We hoard for emo­tional rea­sons – like maybe we were so very happy with our lives when we wore that item and it re­minds us of that time. Or the item cost a lot of money and so you can’t bring your­self to get rid of it. But if you’re not wear­ing it, then it’s an even greater waste.’’

O’Fee says most women have at least one wardrobe item that has never left the hanger, along with shoes and gar­ments they haven’t worn for a cou­ple of years. ‘‘Those they’ve never worn are of­ten an item you like the idea of for your­self but you’re wait­ing to be slim­mer, the weather to be warmer, or the cir­cum­stances to be just right.’’

Our clothes are of­ten ne­glected be­cause they are for­got­ten, tucked away on a shelf, or hang­ing right at the back of an over­stuffed wardrobe. ‘‘We tend to hoard our shoes for that rea­son. They’re tucked away so you no longer see them, then you go to wear that pair of strappy heels you bought a few years ago only to find they are hor­ri­bly dated and you just can’t.

‘‘All of that means our wardrobes are full but we can’t find any­thing to wear. It’s clut­ter, and the ma­jor­ity of it is sim­ply tak­ing up space.’’

We need a cleanse for two rea­sons – to find what we ac­tu­ally have, and to en­sure our wardrobe stays cur­rent. ‘‘Wear­ing clothes that are dated and old makes you look dated and old.’’

David Jones wom­enswear man­ager Damian Burke sug­gests women should have key pieces in their wardrobes. Time­less, and el­e­gant, these can be pulled out for dif­fer­ent oc­ca­sions – a great fit­ting pair of jeans, a tai­lored black blazer, black or nude pumps, and a clas­sic white shirt.

‘‘Denim is one of the most ver­sa­tile wardrobe items. Be­ing able to be dressed up or down and worn year-round, in­vest­ing in some great fit­ting and qual­ity jeans will see you al­ways hav­ing an item that you know will look great on hand,’’ he says.

‘‘A good T-shirt takes you a long way. If you find one that you love, buy two.’’

If your wardrobe looks like this, it’s time for a cleanse

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