We’re so happy to welcome Ghislaine from Tales in Style to our guest blog this month. Has anyone else been tempted to give their wardrobe a lockdown style overhaul? We’ve made the grave mistake of emptying our wardrobe onto the bed.. we made need to grab her for a quick Zoom call SOS!
Lockdown is giving many of us time to reflect. We are likely to face massive changes once our front doors can open wide again. There are opportunities to shape some of these changes ourselves. One is the first impression we show to the world. This could be critical for our businesses or our chances of future employment.
Wardrobe overhaul – where do I start?!
Before you start please have a long hard look at yourself in the mirror. What are your best features? What is it you want to achieve? This process can bring you joy if you begin with some self-awareness. When I do this myself I have one goal; to rediscover the pleasure that comes with putting on clothes that I look good in. I am not trying to live other people’s lives, never to look perfect, simply to find the best version of myself that I can currently manage.
That’s where the mirror comes in; you are going to try everything on. If anything doesn’t flatter you it is time to say goodbye. Taking the time to do this is a chance to be kind to yourself and tough on the clothes. Items that don’t fit or flatter are not a reflection of how attractive you are, they are the wrong clothes for you at this moment.
Preparing to move your discards on to someone else could be the difference it makes when walking into an interview, attending a family wedding on no budget, dating for the first time in months. We aren’t able to just rush out to the charity shops with bags of rubbish. We have time to clean & iron what we throw out, considering where is most appropriate to pass it forward.
Which kind of declutterer you are? There are definitely two kinds: I am a “little and often” kind of tidier. You may be a Marie Kondo https://konmari.com/ kind of girl though.
Would you pile everything on the bed and purposefully sort through this until it’s finished? Or is your style to tackle small groups of clothes over a few days until you’re done? Either approach is fine, both work really well under lockdown conditions. My only word of warning is that if you start with the pile on the bed, then get distracted you may end up sleeping on the floor!
Should I aim to keep a capsule wardrobe? What IS a capsule wardrobe?
Ah, the capsule wardrobe, this is a mysterious ideal for many and the perfect way of living for others. COVID-19 lockdown feels like we have to obey a lot of rules, so I am not going to give you more.
If all you do is work out what you really need now and what you are looking forward to wearing again you will have the beginnings of a capsule wardrobe. Ideally this will leave a very small number of pieces that can be worn interchangeably with everything else. Don’t laugh! Experiment with combinations you have never tried! Oh and please forget the idea of things you wear for best. Once we are allowed out everyday will be “best”!
There will be a variety of roles that you need to dress for. Working out which pieces you already have and a few others that are vital to buy or replace is helpful. The more pared down your lists are the more achievable this will be in the new post COVID-19 economy.
Should I pack seasonal items away?
Definitely! Even if all you do is move just a few pieces that you will not be needing until the temperatures drop, there will be space to see what you have so you can make choices about what you wear. It’s so hard to be creative with clothes if everything is jammed in and you can’t see inside your wardrobe.
A word of warning about storage – this year the moths have been very happy! Always pack pieces away freshly washed. If you have sealable bags this can help, though I tend to use fabric bags. I am a huge fan of cedarwood, either blocks in with my clothes or on hangers. I also have cedarwood essential oil to refresh the blocks and to put drops on hankies to pack in with woolens. Many swear by placing items in ziplock bags in the freezer for a week but mine is full of food!
How can I make my wardrobe more sustainable?
This is where your lists come into their own. Instead of rushing to buy everything you think you need this is the perfect time to research good quality pieces that will stand the test of time. Buying from small independent shops supports local businesses and many pride themselves on knowledge of their supply chain. Asking questions about the fibres used and who made the clothes is about more than being green. When we start building a relationship with the suppliers we shop with, our relationship with the clothes is more meaningful. Many of my favourite pieces have a story, hence the name of my business, Tales in Style.
What are the common mistakes people make when choosing clothes?
Often we buy with an image of someone else wearing that dress. When we understand our own body architecture it is quicker and easier to shop. Certain styles will look fantastic, others can be adapted with the right accessories and some we just need to step away from.
How can you help me during lockdown? Are Tales in Style offering Zoom consultations?
Yes! I always offer a free 20min phone call and now I am taking this on-line so Zoom, Skype, Whatsapp, Facetime whichever you prefer. Just email email@example.com to set this up. Anyone who quotes this Blog will get a further free hour consultation to discuss a particular area of concern that we highlight in our chat.