1. Develop a uniform
The secret to dressing with ease and confidence, is to wear what you know works. It sounds obvious, and yet many of us feel compelled to push ourselves to wear items that are different to what we would normally wear, as though a bold outfit guarantees a good outfit – but this is not the case.
The secret to creating a wearable wardrobe full of pieces that you can throw together, is to develop a uniform, or your own personal style that you can go to when unsure of what to wear, or when you simply don’t have time to put a new outfit together.
My uniform is a combination of skinny and flared jeans high waisted jeans (it’s all about flares right now), or denim shorts, black/white/grey tank tops, a leather jacket, with a few signature pieces of jewellery, my go-to sunnies (Wolves by Valley Eyewear), and boots or high tops.
These ensembles are chic, practical and comfortable, and I know that I can throw pretty much any tank top with any pants for a great, basic outfit.
2. Don’t buy what you won’t wear
That dress you bought on sale but haven’t worn because it doesn’t fit quiiiite right? You are never going to wear this item. That sweater that looked cute in the store but looks clumpy in the mirror? Burn it, before it takes all your confidence and runs away forever! Those heels that are beautiful, but are the wrong size? Why would you subject yourself to hours of pain for a shoe? Put them all on eBay immediately and enjoy the liberation that comes with less clothes!
Not only are you never going to use these items, but keeping them around makes it harder to see what you do have (that fits well), so de-clutter and feel the relief of a streamlined wardrobe. We often feel like more items means more choices, but when you are teased by pieces you like, but that don’t fit properly, the choice of what to wear only becomes more frustrating and confusing. Bin. That. Shit.
Be honest with yourself: “Really, are you actually going to wear that?” I didn’t think so, so put down the yellow backless dress and move on with your cash safely in hand! The less we waste on purchases that turn out to be duds, the more we have for big ticket items that are on our lust lists.
3. If you haven't worn it in 48 months, donate it
We all know this rule, and yet, when it comes time to act on it, we all struggle. “If you haven’t worn it in the last two years, get rid of it.” This is in fact, the cornerstone of the wearable wardrobe. Of course, there are exceptions, like vintage pieces or sentimental items, but the majority of your items should be worn or chucked – resists the temptation to keep items simply because you spent money on them.
Ask yourself: “Does this make me feel good?” “Does this make me look good?” “Would I wear this out of the house today or tomorrow?” If the answer to these questions is no, then throw it on the pile and set it on fire.
(NOTE: DO NOT set it on fire. Please sell or recycle or donate your clothes, the planet will thank you.)
4. Key Pieces Vs Trend Items
The 70/30 rule: The majority of your wardrobe should be Key Pieces, items that don’t date, and can be worn from season to season. For example black pants, white shirts, tank tops in solid neutral colours, blazers, all of these are classic or key pieces which you can wear anytime, and regardless of the current trends, these will look good.
Trend items should represent only about 30% of your wardrobe, and these can be mixed with key pieces or other trend items to create new looks and refresh old outfits. The quickest route to a wardrobe that looks dated and cheap is to wear and buy all trend items.
We all know that fashions fade, but style remains the same, and building your own personal style will help you to feel more organised and confident in many aspects of your life.
5. Don’t wait for a special occasion!
Today is special, life is special, and you should wear and enjoy your pretties now!
There have been times that I set aside a special dress or lingerie set, only to find that by the time the right ‘special’ occasion came, it no longer fitted, was no longer as beautiful to me, or worse, destroyed by time and silverfish etc.
What is the point of having beautiful things if we don’t enjoy them? Our closets shouldn’t be museums for our favourite items, waiting for one magical moment in the sun! They need to be worn and enjoyed, so enjoy them.