One of our core intentions is to encourage a slower, more sustainable way of shopping, and as the New Year settles in and we are advised to stay-at-home once again, we thought it was the perfect time to detox and organise what you already have in your wardrobe.
This helpful guide to clearing out and editing your collection will focus on decluttering, organising, planning and caring for your clothes, all to build the ultimate slow-fashion, long-lasting capsule wardrobe. We find that when a wardrobe has not been edited, you might think you have loads of clothes but actually, it's just that you have a volume of things that no longer fit or are dated. We talk about this further on our journal post Style Reset, where we note, a capsule wardrobe pushes us to think more about what clothing we actually wear, and whether we truly need each piece. We suggest heading over to this post after if you would like to learn more about the specific items that go into building a capsule wardrobe.
Let’s get started...
The Big Clear Out
Firstly, empty your physical wardrobe of all its contents - clothing, shoes, accessories etc, and lay them out in a way that you are able to see what you’ve got. We’ve found a useful tip when doing this is to organise by garment, dresses in one corner of the room, shoes in another. This is a great way to see the pieces you haven’t worn in years, may no longer fit or, something we found to be true - that you have four of one very similar item (note, having multiple pieces works, as long as you wear them often).
One of our favourite parts about this process is that you’ll likely to rediscover forgotten gems that can now be re-added to your new capsule wardrobe edit or find those pieces on your make do and mend list that you can finally get around to fixing, or maybe not fixing but sending to a textile recycling point instead.
Time to Sort Out What You Have
Take a scan of your room and pull together all the pieces you wear regularly, feel good in or simply absolutely love (and still fit). Now these are the pieces which will form your core capsule wardrobe.
Next, look at what’s left, and ask yourself the following questions:
- If this piece was in a shop right now, would I buy it?
- Have I worn this piece in the last year? Note, we’ve all had a weird 2020, we suggest thinking of a usual year when asking yourself this question.
- Does it still fit me and do I feel comfortable in this piece?
- Should I make do and mend or get this piece tailored for a better fit?
If the answer is no or maybe to any of the above questions, you may want to pop it on your sell or recycle list or, ask a friend for a second opinion (if you’re brave enough).
When it comes to occasionwear there is a caveat: If an item brings you joy or it's a formal piece of occasionwear saved for special occasions only, even if you wear it only once a year, keep it. Simply make sure that it is freshly laundered, that any lost buttons or broken zips have been replaced, and that it is stored in a garment bag (not the plastic ones from the dry cleaners, though, as they attract dust and dust attracts moths). More on caring for and storing your clothing here.
Now you’ve got a better idea of what items you are likely to keep, split them into one of the three categories.
- Keep and add to your new capsule wardrobe
- Make do and mend, customise or send to a tailor
- Send to a charity shop or sell on a secondary market seller. This is only for those pieces which are still in a wearable condition, if it cannot be re-sold we advise you to take it to a textile recycling point.
With your keep pile, we always think it is best to make sure you can style each item with at least three other pieces in your collection. This way you can ensure you are getting the best cost-per-wear out of the piece and you are building a true capsule wardrobe.
Lets Curate and Organise
Now that you have everything in its rightful pile, let's make getting dressed in the mornings much easier by placing pieces back into your wardrobe by category (dresses, trousers, shirts) and then by colour or season.
We advise you to keep knitwear folded and flat to avoid pulling and deformation, for more tips on how to look after and store knitwear and other items of clothing, head to our helpful guide on how to care for your clothes which promotes a slow-fashion mindset by increasing the longevity of your clothing and includes washing, drying and storing tips on everything from cashmere blends to irresistibly soft faux-leather pieces, organic denim and Jewellery.
And Finally, Plan What you Need to Buy
Firstly, we want to say - always take your time before you buy. Carefully consider any new purchases by ensuring they go with at least three pieces from your well-curated capsule wardrobe and if you do need to add to your wardrobe, look into eco-friendly and recycled fabrics, and ensure it's of high-quality for longevity. This will keep your newly organised wardrobe as sustainable, timeless and long-lasting as possible, whilst having a minimal impact on the environment.
A great place to start when working out which gaps in your wardrobe need to be filled is to look at our Style Reset post, which outlines the core pieces and essential wardrobe staples that form the backbone of your capsule wardrobe. The aim of the game when buying new pieces is to get great cost per wear* out of every piece, to do this choose pieces that are of good quality, versatile, easily combinable and perhaps a bit pricier, but they’ll last you longer.
*To calculate your cost per wear, you simply divide the cost of the item by the number of times you anticipate wearing it.
At Noted, our curatorial, hand-picked process focuses on stocking capsule wardrobe pieces that work with what you have already as well as help you to build and hone a timeless signature style. Every piece is carefully considered and has relevance to our central purpose of supplying our customers with clothing that's high-quality, enduring and long-lasting. Discover our different collections including our New Arrivals, Handmade Accessories Collection by Williams Handmade, The Sustainable Edit which handpicks organic or recycled pieces we stock or if you can’t decide, head to our Full Collection and discover it all.