On detoxing your wardrobe
Style consultant Maggie Macmillan gives us her top tips for a DIY wardrobe detox
Our wardrobes are the best place to start a serious life declutter, and the best time to detox them is soon after we return from a retreat, when our heads are in a fresh space and we find it easier to make decisions.
Sorting out what you wear on return from a healthy holiday is all part of the retreat process, a way to feel better about yourself so you can re-enter your life more relaxed and confident.
Is your wardrobe bulging at the seams, full of things that don’t match, things that you’ve had for years and never wear, or things that you don’t even like? Apparently you have 7-15 seconds to make an impression when you meet someone for the first time, and only about 10% of the impression you make has to do with what you say. A scary thought, but more importantly, how do your clothes make you feel? If they don’t make you feel good – and aren’t super-comfy – read on.
- Keep your wardrobe current
Ideally you should only keep in your wardrobe those clothes which you are currently wearing, not those which are out of season, too big or too small. Less is more – you can see what you have, mix and match more efficiently and keep your clothes in better condition. If an item is more than two sizes too big or too small it might be out of season or style by the time it fits you – put these items away or get rid of them.
- Evaluate your lifestyle honestly
Do the contents of your wardrobe match your lifestyle? Work out how much of our life you spend doing what and identify the types of clothes you need for those activities. Do you have lots of evening wear, but rarely go to evening events these days? Do you have a wardrobe full of formal suits but now work from home or in a less formal environment?
- Be realistic about your body shape
Which bits of your body do you want your clothes to highlight and which bits do you want to disguise? Do you want to make your legs look longer, disguise a tummy or highlight great shaped shoulders? Discard items which do not do the job.
- Consider what you want your clothes to say about you
Remember, you have 7-15 seconds to make an impression when you meet someone for the first time, and only about 10% of the impression you make has to do with what you say. Have the courage to move on items which might not reinforce the look you want to create – they might be too girly (or little boy like), too casual, too formal, too trendy, or so on.
- Learn what colours suit you
Colours which complement your skin tone work best. Warm colours for warm skin tones (peachy or olive) & cool ones for cool skin tones (paler, more white based). Cool colours have more blue in them – so tomato red is warm, while cherry red is cool. The greater the contrast in depth between hair, skin and eye colours, the deeper & brighter the colours you can wear. Choose colours which enhance your best feature too, be it your hair, skin or eyes.
- Arrange your wardrobe for maximum flexibility
Put all similar items together – all skirts, all trousers, all jackets and so on. Split up suits so you are encouraged to use the pieces separately – a suit jacket might be perfect over a dress, or trousers might work well with non-matching jackets.
- Make considered new purchases
Try to resist buying an outfit if you can’t think of three occasions when you can wear it. When buying separates, only buy an item if you have three things in your wardrobe you can wear with it.
- Don’t overstock
Everytime you put an item in your wardrobe , try to take something out.
- Protect your clothes
They will look better and last longer. Use boiled old duvet covers for coats and eveningwear, pillowcases for shoes, boots & handbags, and choose covers in manmade fibres to ward off moths. Store best sweaters in cellophane bags if you can’t hang them. Stuff shoes & boots with newspaper. Invest in some new hangers and throw out all wire ones. Use simple, curved ones for sweaters & tops and broad ones for jackets & coats.Trousers (except jeans) should always be hung from the waistband or hem, and skirts should be put on clipped hangers from the waist. An elastic band wound round the end of hanger stops flimsy straps from falling off hangers
- Keep up to date
Try to re-evaluate your wardrobe each season. Don’t put away things you have not worn all season unless you have a good reason – get rid of them instead. This way you don’t keep on reintroducing old irrelevant items.
That’s it! Take your time, get help from a trusted friend if you need it and above all enjoy the process of decluttering this area of your life.
Explore detoxing more
We have reviewed a wide range of detox retreats, from digital detox breaks to emotional detox holidays to juice fast detox retreats. If you are interested in a detox but aren’t sure what to try, take a look at all the detox retreats we recommend or read the personal reviews in our Journal.