5. Messiness isn’t always a sign of genius

If the scenario below sounds familiar to you, you might have a wardrobe in crisis.

The alarm goes off while the cat is already pulling my hair, demanding his breakfast (very naughty!). I get up and pour some water over my head and stumble towards my wardrobe.

I open it.

I stare at the mountain of clothes in there.

There really are a lot of clothes in there.

In fact, the rail is looking increasingly buckled and bent in the middle. God only knows what will happen if it crashes. It is carrying so much weight that it might easily smash through the floor and end up downstairs.

I blink a number of times at the clothes mountain. Then I walk away to brush my teeth, disheartened.

A dialogue starts in my head at this point which goes something like this:

For god’s sake! There must be something in there that I could wear today!

Blue trousers?

No, still too tight.

What about that dress you bought the other day?

Haven’t got a pair of shoes to go with it.

The white skirt?

Which top though? I have to buy a matching top first, seriously.

That’s right, more shopping.

Yep.

I go and wear my no fuss no frills standard black dress as I do at least once a week and get on with it, until the following morning’s groundhog day experience.

Isn’t it incredible how much stuff you own, yet there is nothing you want to wear. Obviously, that is not the full truth. There will be something in your wardrobe that once upon a time you liked. When it was hung up neatly on a rail in a store, in between other nice and neat things.

Now it has been sucked in by the vortex that is your wardrobe. If you can ever find that nice thing that once upon a time you liked, it will probably be crinkled. Or shrunk. And certainly you have no idea what bottom or top will go with it.

Getting dressed is like anything else really – it needs a bit of practice. You need to invest a bit of time to know what looks good. You are not going to find a great outfit when you are running late for work on a Monday morning. There will not be a strike of inspiration at 6.30 am. Such a thing has never happened.

Take a Saturday afternoon, or a Sunday morning, preferably when your boyfriend or annoying mother/ sister/ children are out of the house. Put some nice music on and have a cup of tea / glass of wine, whatever you find relaxing. If you have a clothes rail, set it up. Then start going through your things.

The advice is usually to throw as much out as possible, because you may never wear anything again if you haven’t worn it in a year. Personally I don’t believe this, plus I am a bit of a collector. So getting rid of things is not an option unless something is totally ruined or more than two dress sizes too large/ small. But I do store things that I know I won’t be using for the foreseeable future. Try to slim down your wardrobe as much as you can. It’s important to create visibility. Good stores do this perfectly- there is neither too much nor too little on display in a good store. Leave enough but not too much.

Another thing about good stores – the display is coordinated. Personally I’m not somebody who much enjoys the last day of the sales – the chaos of clothes everywhere, coming of their hangers so you can’t tell whether you are looking at a blouse or a pair of trousers anymore, or even worse, a random collection of tossed together garments in baskets. Baskets! The thought of it makes me shiver. If your own wardrobe is looking like the last day of the sales, it’s no wonder that getting dressed is a close to impossible task. Turn your wardrobe into a place of inspiration, where getting dressed in the morning will feel like going shopping in a really nice store. Next time I’ll show you how.

… to be continued…

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