Does a new year call for a new you? It might be weight loss, a healthier lifestyle or my personal favourite, a good wardrobe clear-out. We all love to set goals at this time of year.
It should be easy, shouldn’t it, but come the end of January most of us will have abandoned our resolutions and settle for another year with a wardrobe bursting with “nothing to wear”. We’ll spend 2014 wearing the same old favourites whist 80% of our clothes never make it out of the closet and we’ll fill our wardrobes with bargains and “must-haves” with little thought about creating a cohesive “look”. How can we break out of this cycle? Change is hard and new habits take time to establish so here are a few fun tips to make it easy.
Colour Up: Every week choose a new colour and wear something different in that colour every day. This will make you pull out tops, skirts and accessories that lie languishing at the back of the wardrobe, or wear that dress that you usually keep for special occasions.
Upgrade yourself: Sort your wardrobe into a “hierarchy”, with your poshest frocks at the top and your tattiest “never to be seen in public” items at the bottom. Label each level e.g. formal & dressy, party, office, lunch dates, smart casual, lounging around… you get the idea. Starting in the middle, downgrade everything one level, so what you would have reserved for lunch dates now becomes smart casual for shopping or going to the pub, and that party frock is now shown off at the office with a smart jacket. You’ll start to wear all your best clothes more and, if you’re very inspired, you might toss out the bottom layer entirely.
Fripperize (My favourite new word): Focus on the extras – jewellery, shoes, bags, scarves, belts, hats – and let the accessories carry your outfit. It’s a cheap and quick way to change your look and you can afford to take a few risks.
Friendship Test: Pull out a dozen items you haven’t worn in the last year. Separate them into two piles – (i) those you’d feel comfortable giving to a friend and (ii) those you know your friends would be horrified to receive. Pile (i) goes back in the wardrobe (ii) goes to the charity shop or the bin. After all, if it’s not good enough for your friends, why is it good enough for you?
Inside out: Every time you wear something hang it back in the wardrobe inside out. Make yourself a promise you will wear a new item every day for a week and not re-wear anything that’s inside out for at least a week. At the end of the week turn everything back to normal and start again. After one month, extend the period to two weeks and keep on challenging yourself to wear more and more of your wardrobe. After a few months, remove all those items which have never been worn.
Try these simple exercises, and I promise you will change your habits and, by this time next year, you’ll look and feel very different.