Colour Analysis - Aqua Blue Swatch

If you feel overwhelmed by the volume of clothes you own but still find yourself scrabbling around looking for the ‘right’ thing to wear, this blog is for you!

I want you to start looking at your clothing collection in a new way and really see the potential.

Discover my 10 top tips to get more use out of your wardrobe, rather than buying more and more new things – which can often just make the problem worse!

1. Know what you’ve got

If you haven’t delved into the depths of your wardrobe for a while, you really won’t remember exactly what you’ve got. I recommend a good old clear-out at least twice a year to remove items that don’t fit, are worn out, that you don’t like or that aren’t appropriate to your current lifestyle.

When you have a smaller collection of clothes to work with you have to get more creative and you are more likely to try new combinations.

If you know you have waaay too many clothes and you haven’t the time or the energy to have the full clear-out you know you need, then just choose a selection of clothes to work with for this project. (See tip 8.).

2. Get inspired

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut wearing the same few outfits on repeat and always wearing a particular top with a particular skirt or trousers. You will have so many more outfit opportunities within your wardrobe than you’d ever believe but sometimes you need a little extra inspiration to get out of your comfort zone.

Use Pinterest or Instagram to save outfits that you like the look of. Another way to get good ideas is to search (within Pinterest) for ‘how to style a camel blazer’ (or whatever key pieces you have found and don’t know how to wear). You are unlikely to love all of the suggestions but you might find at least one idea that excites you.

3. Recreate the looks

Have a look at the images of outfits you’ve found. Can you identify any recurring themes? I call these ‘Outfit Formulas’ which are repeatable ways of dressing that suit your shape and style. For me it’s often straight leg jeans or trousers with a loose top and a long coat or jacket worn over. It’s my favourite outfit formula and one that I know I can play with and create countless possibilities.

Pick an outfit formula or an image and then see if you have all of the individual items of clothing that you need in order to recreate the look. It doesn’t need to be an exact replica – just a similar idea. You might have pieces that are in different colours to the picture but the right shape for example. Or sometimes the images you’ve been inspired by are more about the colour combination than the shapes. The idea is simply to get inspired and try something new and of course make it feel right for you and your personal style.

4. What else do you need?

Sometimes in doing this exercise you realise that you are missing a vital ingredient. This could be as basic as a white t-shirt or something a bit different like a particular shape of trouser. You may realise that by bringing that in, you’ll unlock a whole load of new outfits. Obviously, you need to be sure that this piece is genuinely missing from your collection, since this exercise is about making more use of what you’ve already got! If you do buy something new, play with it in as many ways as you can find before committing and return it if it’s not working in the way you’d hoped.

5. Remove the dud pieces

If during this exercise you have tried to wear a particular piece in several ways and it’s just not working, it’s probably time to let it go. Reducing the size of your wardrobe is almost always a good thing. When you have a smaller collection of clothes you have to be more creative in your mixing and matching.

6. Mix and match your old faves

Take one lower half piece – a skirt or some trousers and try as many different tops and jackets and different footwear as you have time for. Some will work and some won’t, but that’s ok. We are just playing at this point.

Think about whether you need casual outfits or smarter ones and see how you can change up the look and feel of each outfit with trainers, heels and different accessories. This is the opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and try something new and see how it makes you feel.

7. Take photos so you can keep a record!

If you end up trying 10 different outfit combinations and find that 5 of them work really well for you, the chance of you remembering the exact combination in a month’s time is slim. Take a photo in a full length mirror so you remember the exact components of your outfit. I promise you, you’ll be so glad you did!

8. Try the 8×8 challenge

I’ve seen this on Instagram a lot recently. The idea is to take 6 or 8 items of clothing out of your wardrobe to play with. Choose 2 x lower half items (skirts or trousers), 2 x tops, 2 x jackets/coats and 2 x footwear. Try mixing and matching as per step 6 and try combinations that you don’t expect to work. You might be surprised! Try to make 8 different outfits that feel good. 

9. Repeat!

If step 8 worked well for you, repeat using 8 different items. Before you know it, you could have a month’s worth of brand new outfit options without spending anything!

10. Reverse your hangers

Each day when you re-hang your clothes, turn the hanger round the opposite way to all the others to indicate that it has been worn. Or, tie a ribbon around the rail and put anything you’ve already used on one side of the ribbon. Then, try to wear as many of the unworn pieces as you can before going back to pieces you’ve already used. This not only forces you to try to wear the items you don’t normally reach for, it also helps you to recognise those pieces that you can’t make work and that are just taking up valuable space. Let them go!

 

Try these tips and let me know which works for you. Leave me a comment and let’s inspire each other to change things up!

 

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