Our wardrobes are jam packed – the average wardrobe holds 100 items, 22 of which are never worn. The average British woman has over £1,000 worth of underused (only worn once) or unworn clothing items (tags still on) sitting in her wardrobe. Whether you want to move a few items on to make room for the new season purchases this season, make a bit of money from what’s languishing in your wardrobe or re-assess your style for the new year, you’ve come to the right place.
Before you start your wardrobe audit there are three things to consider. Firstly, how much money do you have to purchase new items? Secondly what has worked for you in your current wardrobe, what do you keep going back to? What hasn’t worked and why? Thirdly, only sell what you can see yourself without; selling then regretting is a horrible experience.
Ready to new season your wardrobe? Let’s go
1. Get Inspired. I read all the magazines I can get my hands on. I have a very good magazine feeder system: my mum and sister-in-law stockpile magazines and fashion spreads for me. I get a monthly subscription to some magazines, I read the rest online. I binge read blogs (click here to see my favourite blogs from the blogosphere) and I am also incredibly nosey - I eye up what people are wearing at networking events, in shops, on the street - outfits fascinate me no end.
2. Make some Budget Friendly Decisions. In winter it’s what’s on the outside that counts – we live in our coats this season. A new winter coat will cost you more than a new top. New boots will cost you more than a new pair of pants. If you are pushing your style to the limit this season, your outer layer is worth the investment.
3. Focus on one section of your wardrobe at a time. Trying to tackle the whole wardrobe at once can be stressful so initially focus on 1 area: shoes, work wear, bags.
4. Give yourself enough time and enjoy the process. I clear out 1 section of a clients’ wardrobe in 3 hours but this includes re-styling the clothes as well. Set a stop watch for 30 minute intervals and see how many items you sort in the time allotted. Start with what has worked then move onto what hasn’t worked. This should give you a clear indication of where your taste and style are. Have your favourite tunes on in the background, keep some snacks handy and have regular brew breaks.
5. Be prepared. Lay out clothing bags on the bed and label them ALTERATIONS, CHARITY SHOP, EBAY. You may come across a designer gem of a dress but the hem has dropped: put this in the alterations pile. A small outlay to get the hem fixed is worth it in the long run to get your dress back in action.
6. Be honest with yourself. How much you have used and worn your bags and clothes? If an item still has the tag on, this shows you didn’t love it enough to cut the tag off and wear it. Items with tags on sell really well; on eBay they are described as BNWT (Brand New With Tags) which gives you license to price them higher than a second hand item (no tags and which you have worn).
7. All clothes for selling should be clean and in a saleable condition: no holes, stains or alterations, ironed, crease free and on a hanger. Designer bags sell better with their dust bag so dig that out and iron it.
8. Don’t throw anything in the bin. Even if your t-shirts have holes in the them you can still donate them to charity where their lifecycle will continue to be extended.
9. Clean your wardrobe as you go. This is incredibly cathartic. I use Ecover Spray and a damp cloth when I clear out a wardrobe. Wipe along the clothing rails, over all the shelves and pay particular attention to the bottom of the wardrobe; it’s a dust trap down there.
10. You can’t wear memories. You are bound to come across some ‘sticking points’ in your wardrobe; clothes which remind you of a great night, a special day, an even more special person. Whether you start a keepsake box, pack the items away in a suitcase or let them go entirely is up to you. My business The Wardrobe Angel specialises in decluttering wardrobes and I know how hard it can be to let clothing items go but think of who you are NOW, not who you were.
More help with your new year wardrobe
The Wardrobe Angel eBay page - I'm an Above Average Seller. Check out the descriptions, photos and terms & conditions I used to successfully sell clothes online.
Charity Retail Association - find your local charity shops to donate old clothes.
Vestiaire Collective - sell luxury items online.
Buy My Wardrobe - fashion resale site.
Recycle locator - find out where you can recycle clothes you no longer need.