Wardrobe management. What to keep and what to let go.
I was recently asked this question by a reader. She seemed to be having difficulty in letting go of certain items in her wardrobe. I know the feeling I have difficulty in divesting myself of some of my good quality classic pieces. Despite the fact that they have served me well and on the cost per wear ratio have earned their keep.
I have had a good think on this conundrum over the holiday period. As I spent that time in our apartment in the South of France this was a good place to start. I keep a small collection of basic essentials down here. Such as my tried and tested black and navy trousers for autumn/winter plus a few tops and sweater. My linens are packed away and ready for the summer season. I do tend to bring down pieces from London when I have become a bit bored of them. Somehow they seem to look fresher after a separation. This is a trick you can try out at home if you have the space. Perhaps it just a question of boredom and the piece still fits, is in good condition and suits you. Packing items away for a few months might just give you a new perspective.
My small wardrobe space was beginning to look overcrowded. So I had a good clear out.
First to go where a couple of pairs of jeans. Jeans are strange. Certain styles seem to go on forever whilst others just look wrong when you try them on. I think it is in the subtle detail. Slightly too low on the waist, too wide or narrow and they can create the impression that we are out of touch. Not good when you are older. Those ones need to go.
Next were sweaters. Over the last couple of years I have experienced this strange phenomenon. My sweaters no longer fit. They are the wrong shape, too clingy round the middle. Not flattering especially when they reveal that tell-tale roll round our middles! How this has happened I can’t imagine as they used to look great. Several have been given to my petit half Japanese daughter-in-law.
Jackets can do the reverse and look too big and bulky. Perhaps it is the shoulders or just the general wider squarer cut of yesteryear. This is another mystery to me as I like the new oversize trend for coats. I bought a cocoon coat from Jaeger this winter and love it. It layers beautifully over thick woolies.
There are no specific rules about this. I don’t favour rules on this blog. I would say the criteria for me is when I put a garment on do I love it, do I feel good in it. I have become much stricter with myself on this criteria. I reckon life is too short to wear something you do not feel happy in. The next consideration would be comfort. Gone are the days when I would have sacrificed comfort for fashionable. I am no longer prepared to hobble around in high heels or kid myself that I can wear a size smaller than I actually am. Whoever sees a label anyway.
Colour and texture are also important aspects. As we get older our hair and skin colouring tends to fade. So the colours that may have suited us in the past no longer do us any favours. We can often overlook this aspect and continue wearing colours that are no longer our best. Check this by standing in front of a well lit mirror and holding a colour just under your chin. Does it shed a flattering light onto your face or does it make you look washed out?
Texture can also me challenging as we age. If you have any bulky items that make you look larger than you are. Best they should go. Lighter more fluid fabrics are kinder on the curves.
A FEW BASIC WELL CUT ESSENTIALS.
Trousers – should be well cut, flattering and in good quality fabric. Baggy and saggy are not acceptable.
Outerwear – If you want longevity for a coat or jacket put a good proportion of your budget here.
Dresses – You can be a bit more daring with with style and colour. A dress should drape well and flatter the figure
If you have any questions or advice on this subject leave a comment or email me at chicatanyage(at)iCloud.com.
HERE IS A SELECTION OF CLASSIC ITEMS YOU MIGHT WANT TO KEEP OR ADD TO YOUR WARDROBE:
Classic trousers and jackets
Knitwear that is designed to flatter
Sketch by Dee