Shopping your closet

Shopping your closetSketch by Dee


I have decided to do a series of post on “shopping your closet”.

I take pride in the way I dress and look. I  feel that it is something that is very important as we get older. In my opinion it is not a good idea to slowly slide into “I don’t care mode”. At the same time I do not feel that it is constantly necessary to keep up with the latest trends, which might have been true in our younger years. An accessory in the latest colour or style is often all that is needed to perk up an everyday look.

Another factor that I personally need to consider is that I do not have the budget or the room to store a large quantity of clothes. I am   not a fan of buying cheap clothes but prefer to invest in basics in good quality material that will last for many years.   This strategy does not preclude the occasional  impulse purchase on the high street which can have it’s merits and help to liven up the classics.

This leaves me with a slight conundrum with regards to outfit posts on this blog. I do occasionally do reviews for brands, however not very often as I have strict criteria regarding what I consider appropriate. I  therefore do not have a large wardrobe of “freebies”.

The aim of this blog is to introduce you, my readers, to looks you might like or might inspire you to adapt to your own style and lifestyle needs.

For the next few months I will be seeing how hard I can make my current wardrobe work. I will be doing the usual research to find similar pieces should you wish to replicate the look or fill in some gaps in your wardrobe.

Let me know what you think of this new strategy.





  1. Mary
    16th January 2016 / 18:18

    GREAT STRATEGY. I can really use it right now because everywhere I turn there are sales, sales, sales. I don’t need anything else. I don’t want anything else. I’ll follow along with you in the upcoming months.

  2. Marie Jackson
    16th January 2016 / 19:21

    Sounds good, I will follow this with interest. I have felt for a long time that I need less, better quality classic items in my wardrobe that will work together with suitable injections of accessories at various times!

  3. Kari
    16th January 2016 / 19:54

    This is perfect- I’ll do the same as well!

  4. Lou
    16th January 2016 / 20:08

    I have to agree. As you age (?) the $10 T shirt just doesn’t work any more. This rules out a lot of the chain stores which seem devoted to cheap and nasty.

  5. Bobbi
    16th January 2016 / 20:30

    Yes, Yes, Yes!!! I recently retired after 30 years in the financial services industry with lots of corporate attire. My days are spent walking, traveling and learning Tai Chi. Your tips about shopping your closet are most welcome. Great strategy.

  6. Carol M
    17th January 2016 / 05:41

    This is a great idea and what women need more than anything else. As I get older I tend to buy more classic clothes and fewer of them but advice on how to put them together in a new way would be so useful. I do so agree, it’s easy to slip into lazy ways with clothes but we owe it to ourselves to look as good as we can.

  7. Anne
    17th January 2016 / 09:06

    Really looking forward to your classic wardrobe outfits. Such a great idea.

  8. Judy
    17th January 2016 / 09:12

    Yes please! I will be watching closely.

  9. Gail
    17th January 2016 / 09:47

    I love this strategy. I have a full wardrobe,need to clear it out but love most if not all of the pieces in it! Im hoping you will give inspiration to cull what i have and enjoy wearing things perhaps i wouldn’t previously have thought of putting together. thank you!

  10. Jasmine
    17th January 2016 / 10:05

    Brilliant idea! I’ll be following with great interest.

  11. Wendymm
    17th January 2016 / 10:25

    I’m doing th exact same thing, so happy to follow along!

  12. Lesley
    17th January 2016 / 10:28

    Great idea! I do so enjoy reading your blogs and learning from them

  13. Linda Boardman Kerr
    17th January 2016 / 13:08

    I also subscribe to the idea of fewer (not LESS, says the English major) items of better quality clothing. The problem is indeed, going into those chains like Zara, H & M, Uniqlo, etc. and seeing cheap clothing that, in some cases, one can rationalize is an ok thing, if you think of it as disposable, wear-it-a-couple-of-times clothing. I have a hard time resisting these pieces, especially if I am going to travel, and need some added color, which I can leave behind if they start to look ratty. It is essential to me to not look boring. I look forward to your posts.

  14. Connie D Martin
    17th January 2016 / 13:21

    I love this new strategy. I am very excited to see what you come up with and if I will have similar items in my closet.

  15. Louise
    17th January 2016 / 14:05

    A great idea. I also decided to buy less, but better quality, and everything misses and matches. Look forward to your posts.

  16. Chrissie
    17th January 2016 / 14:12

    How funny, you have just echoed a comment I just made on a clothing site ( I want to buy good quality clothes – but not pay ‘through the nose’ for them). Consequently, I am a fan of upcycling/accessorising what I already have. I look forward to your advice!

  17. Dianne
    17th January 2016 / 14:35

    Great idea. I’ve begun this process myself since the New Year. I like Gail, love most every piece that I own. I recently read on how to fold clothes the Japanese way, and I am amazed at how much more space I have and now feel I can keep them all. I was having trouble finding things. Now it is all at my fingertips! It is said that we were only 20% of our clothes, true, but if I need something for a special occasion, I do not want to go and repurchase it if I can possibly keep it. Love your blog.

    • 17th January 2016 / 16:52

      Thanks Dianne
      I would love to know about the Japanese way to fold close. Do share if possible.

  18. Viv Butler
    17th January 2016 / 15:20

    It’s simply the French way, very good quality basics, brightened up each season with an accessory or two, especially good for our age group where we do not have to slavishly follow the latest trends. Lead on Macbeth … look forward very much to your future blogs, as usual !

  19. Anna
    17th January 2016 / 15:40

    This is just what I need – really good idea.I wholeheartedly agree with the previous comment and find it difficult to resist cheap clothing sometimes.

  20. Anne
    17th January 2016 / 15:51

    Yes,look forward to reading more about this! I also have office clothes I don’t wear despite having given a lot away.

  21. Libby Wilkie
    17th January 2016 / 15:55

    So many here, above, go with the “buy fewer but of quality” theme. Generally, I guess…..I do agree. But I DO buy less expensive (read: cheap) clothes often! No, they don’t last long or at least I don’t keep them very long but they are fun! H&M, here in the States, is one of my favorites. I have a heavy cotton striped, long sleeved dress that I bought there about six years ago and it is STILL one of my very favorite items and looks great on me. Sadly, I don’t need to buy many clothes these days (!) but certainly love to look.
    Of course, I can’t wait to see what you come up with but just thought I would put in my two cents!

    • 17th January 2016 / 16:50

      Hi Libby & Anna

      As I said in my post the odd high street buy that is irresistible is fine. I have some great Zara buys that have lasted a few year s and I still love them especially a blue coat which I actually went to the trouble of repairing a seam which came undone and I will doubtless wear it again next summer.

  22. Ann
    17th January 2016 / 17:29

    I look forward to your posts on this topic. I am working to build a wardrobe that goes a long way, with the best classics I can afford and some splashes of fun or trendy items. I find your bog very helpful with this. Also love your traveling posts!

  23. 17th January 2016 / 17:49

    Wow what a response. This is obviously popular subject. Thank you all for your comments. I shall dust down my 10 year old Max Mara coat and revive my 12 year old Armani jacket. The weather in London is very cold with some snow at the moment to please bear with me on the photography. I hope to get my first post on the series out next Saturday if possible.

  24. Sue
    17th January 2016 / 20:47

    I have very few hold-over pieces in my closet because I have changed sizes and they no longer fit. I took most of the better pieces to a consignment shop. I am having to rebuild a wardrobe. Hope some of your “closet” finds can be inspiring, but please add some current things that I might want to add.

  25. Nicola Duviau
    17th January 2016 / 20:49

    What a great idea and timely too considering we now know the toll fast fashion has on clothing workers in Bangladesh and on the environment (billions of tonnes of textile waste that is not biodegradeable) . There has to be a way to be stylish without being driven to consume. Congratulations for leading the way.

  26. Linda Armitage
    17th January 2016 / 21:05

    Just great timing. Maybe lots of us are looking for the clarity of a simpler, easier choice of wardrobe. Looking forward to the next stage!

  27. Peggy
    17th January 2016 / 21:35

    Love this idea and will definitely follow along with you all.

  28. Elizabeth Tierney
    18th January 2016 / 01:21

    Yes!! I almost always buy clothes expecting to keep them for several years. In fact, I have named 2016 “The Year of the Accessory”. My intention is to update my existing wardrobe with jewelry and scarves and not buy any new clothes. Fortunately, I already own a few good handbags and one precious Hermes scarf that have collected dust over the last few years, so, like you, I’ll be shopping my closet!! Looking forward to hearing your ideas.

  29. Alice
    18th January 2016 / 05:07

    Such a good idea! I discovered the ‘5-piece French wardrobe’ idea during last year, and it’s my strategy for 2016 – essentially fewer/better. I’m also London based, so inspiration for these dark cold mornings is very welcome!

  30. Kate
    18th January 2016 / 08:28

    Ha! this happens to be my New Year resolution : not to buy any clothes for a year… But I so need a new pair of walking shoes as my dear old fit flops are no longer waterproof…will this count?
    Do so agree with your fundamental philosophy re clothes. Thank you, Kate .

  31. 18th January 2016 / 09:01

    Hi Sue and Kate
    I don’t think i said that I was not going to buy anything new this year. I am not sure I am that strong willed. I may well add a couple of pieces as the season progresses. This is more about going through all my clothes, updating. re-styling and integrating some of my older classics. If they don’t work they will go to eBay or a charity shop. Then maybe adding a couple of accessories. Not buying anything that I do not really need or absolutely love, No more duplicates.
    I will fill in gaps, I know I need some new shoes just can’t seem to find any that I like at the moment.

  32. Sharon
    18th January 2016 / 13:15

    I would appreciate it if you could explain what makes the item classic and when to let it go. I notice older women still wearing clothing, particularly coats, that designs are from the 80’s and 90’s. Even though the item might be new it looks like the person kept it for 20 years.

  33. 18th January 2016 / 14:45

    A good question Sharon. Difficult to answer definitively was as one woman’s classic can be another woman’s boring. Some fashion trends can definitely date quickly and probably should be let go of. I will be talking about the benefit of a good/great tailor/alteration expert. I have had several coats, jackets etc remodelled. I still have a great black leather jacket (featured often on this blog) from 1985. I had the 80s shoulders removed. It sounds like the coats you are talking about are just plain unflattering and maybe should not have been chosen in the first place.

  34. Karen Ellingboe
    20th January 2016 / 21:37

    Love this strategy/idea. Looking forward to it!

  35. Dianne
    21st January 2016 / 14:28

    Folding clothes the Japanese way – Marie Kondo.
    Her first book is,”The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. I discovered her through the website – Houzz Updates. I have also tackled my linen closet, dust bin closet etc…, impressed with the extra space I’ve acquired.

  36. Sharon Bird
    22nd January 2016 / 12:34

    As a Canadian with a very low dollar at the moment – great idea!! I will watch with interest!

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