Working in fashion can be a curse and a blessing: Some people freak out about what they're wearing when they meet you (and they really shouldn't—I'm probably preoccupied with how painful my new shoes are), while others are so enthused that they get you over to their houses to do a full style detox. The latter has become somewhat of a speciality of mine over the years—and it's something I secretly really enjoy. A tidy closet is a tidy mind, and I'm known as someone who's ruthless but fair. Only recently did a good friend's partner give me a big hug afterwards, thanking me for saving them both from the wild clothing avalanche taking over their house.
So if you've gotten to a breaking point or simply want a healthy overhaul, 'tis the season. We've pinpointed the best places for you to successfully sell clothes online, but where to start? That's where I step in (virtually, of course) to guide you. Keep reading to follow my step-by-step guide on how to declutter your wardrobe…
Don't Rush; Put Time Aside
This is not the kind of task you can go into on a whim. If it's going to be done properly, make sure you put at least a couple of hours aside so it's a methodical, calm process rather than a rushed job. Make a brew, reply to everyone's messages and then get stuck in.
Don't Do It on a Whim; Be Prepared With the Necessary Equipment
The main thing you need are bags big enough and strong enough to contain lots of castoffs. Make sure you've got separate containers for charity-store pieces, items you'll aim to sell, unwearables that are destined for the recycling plant and pieces that need to go into storage.
Don't Do It With Your Other Half
You're only asking for trouble by getting your partner involved. However, it's best to do your clear-out with someone in tow. Alone, it's all too easy to cave and keep everything as is. Select a person who's honest but sensitive, and whose style and taste you trust. Feel free to lure in the lucky candidate with wine and snacks.
If Time Permits, Organise Into Categories First
Use the 6-Month Rule
If you haven't worn something in the last six months (or it still has the price tags on and has been forgotten about), it's at the point when you should move on. If a piece holds sentimental value, by all means, keep it and store it away.
Don't Overlook the Power of Trying Things On
However, You MUST Wear the Right Underwear for the Job
Be Open to Realising Certain Things Don't Suit You
The Haute Pursuit
We all have different visions and hopes of what we look like or want to look like, but I know deep down that miniskirts aren't for me, for example. "I discovered I buy a lot of the same kinds of tricky items—so I had tons of denim shirts and furry tops (bizarre, I know). Plus, I found through doing this that I owned a lot of boxy shapes that aren't necessarily the most flattering for me," explains Amy. "I think I do it because I love shopping and tops are my comfort zone, but I need to branch out—now it's about having the confidence to know what else to go for instead."
Don't Ignore the Obvious: Find Common Threads Between Your Most-Worn Items
It's okay to buy excess amounts of one thing if it's part of your daily uniform, but if you're not getting the wear out of items, think about why that is. Amy found that her love of textures and prints meant that nothing actually went together easily, so she's now investing in basic pieces to maximise on the statement items she loves. "Getting dressed has become so much easier every day," she admits.
Don't Discard Winning But Worn-Out Items
This may seem like a total chore when you're undoubtedly super busy, but Amy has reaped the rewards: "I'm glad I took the time to get it done. It cost about £60 to get all of my shoes all resoled and heeled, but it's saved me having to buy new boots this winter, which would have cost a lot more." Amy thought some of these pieces were past repair but now they're like brand-new—so don't be afraid to take items to a dry-cleaner or cobbler to ask questions.
Separate Summer and Winter Pieces
Properly Hang and Store What You Keep
Nothing upsets me more than clothes and accessories that are abused. The better you look after your purchases (don't leave things lying on the floor or piled on top of each other), the longer they'll last and the harder they'll work for your wardrobe. It's common sense, really. I'd recommend investing in velvet-finish, super-thin hangers—they stop your clothes from slipping, but they're also a real space saver. Get JVL's 50 Velvet Coat Hangers (£22) and be really smug about it.
And Finally, Don't Forget to Learn From the Process
Wardrobe detoxes are for life, not just for Christmas, you know? It's something that should be considered at least once a year, but there are certain actions you'll start to naturally implement if you keep your learnings in mind. Amy's advice? "Getting soles put on shoes before you wear them, even if they're high street," she says. "I'm not a dainty person, so my shoes tend to take a real bashing; it's good to know I can extend the wear of them."
So there you have it. If you're ready to take on the challenge, get inspo from these impeccably dressed London girls.
This story was published at an earlier time and has since been updated.