The Sins of the Wardrobe

Clare Edwards Personal Stylist

Forgive me readers for I have sinned. It has been sixty-six days since my last blog post. As penance for my sins I am undertaking an intense wardrobe purge. It is going to be brutal I can promise you. In fact so brutal that I can't bring myself to actually begin....which is why I am writing it down and putting it out there so that I can't go back on my word. You are my witnesses.

My plan is to rid my wardrobe of two thirds of its contents (I told you, brutal) so that I will be left with a cohesive, well-planned collection of pieces that work wonders with each other. Reduce my wardrobe by two thirds and double my outfit options. Easy peasy.

I do this kind of thing regularly for my clients and yet when it comes to practising what I preach, it's a different story. The key to this is to leave my emotions at the door. I find it easy to be detached when sorting through clients' wardrobes obviously as I have no personal attachment to any of their clothes but when it comes to my own it is a little bit more difficult. It has led me to look into why we find it so hard to rid ourselves of old clothes that we no longer wear and often no longer fit into.

Firstly there is an element of the necessary. We convince ourselves that we need to have a certain item in our wardrobe as we never know when we might need it. An invitation could land on my doormat tomorrow inviting me to an Elvis look-a-like party so I had better keep that white 70s-style jumpsuit. It is amazing how even the most rational among us can justify the existence of almost anything in our wardrobe with the 'well, you never know' caveat. Most of the time yes we do know so get rid.

We also find it hard to actually make a decision. When you can't decide whether to keep something or get rid of it the easy way out is just to keep the item and leave everything as it was. No harm done. We definitely have to be in the right frame of mind to tackle these hard life decisions. Deciding whether the red patent knee high boots stay or go cannot be done on a whim (there are no such boots in my wardrobe, I hasten to add.)

And then we have our emotions. We really can be incredibly nostalgic about our clothes. The jeans we were wearing when we had our first kiss, the top that saw us get our first job, the shoes we walked up the steps of our first house in, we really do weave the stories of our lives into our clothes. The funny thing is sometimes we fear that removal of the item will remove the memory of the event itself. Just because we no longer own those shoes does not mean we will forget the elation we felt when we were given the keys to our first home. It's time to separate ourselves from our belongings and be objective.

Do you find it difficult to rid yourself of clothing associated with old memories? Are you holding onto pieces that belong in a fancy dress shop simply because you might need them? Or are you ruthless when it comes to purging your possessions? I would love to hear from you and if you need any assistance sorting through your wardrobe then my wardrobe edit may be just what you need - I promise I will be as brutal as you require me to be......