This month Sonya decided to test run her own advice before writing it. Inspired by the first flush of colour in the garden and the promise of warmer weather, she offered a good friend of hers (let’s call her Jane) her wardrobe overhaul services.
Armed with a pencil and a notebook, some nostalgic 1990s dance music, and a bottle of wine, this is what they did.
They emptied Jane’s wardrobe. Completely emptied it and gave it a good vacuum and dust. It was fresh and ready to be refilled. Strangely uplifting, therapeutic even.
They sorted through Jane’s stuff and made four piles. A “to keep” pile, a pile of mending or altering articles, and a third pile of items to sell or give away. Their last pile contained things Jane didn’t quite know where to put. She’d have to revisit these.
In re-filling Jane’s wardrobe, they only returned the keep pile articles. Without compromise, she was only allowed to put back clothing, shoes or accessories that she loved, she wore regularly, that fitted her well, were in good condition and made her feel good. A tall order, but necessary refinement.
Without compromise, Jane was only allowed to put back clothing, shoes or accessories that she loved, she wore regularly, that fitted her well, were in good condition and made her feel good.
The contents of the second pile contained many things that required alternation or repair. They further refined it into “jobs you can easily do yourself in front of TV in the evening”, and “jobs to take to a dressmaker or for repairs”.
Of her “sell or give away” pile they skimmed off the best pieces worth the effort to sell online for a little extra cash. They boxed up the rest to give away to friends and family, or to take to charity.
The fourth pile took them the most time and energy to go through. These were the things Jane didn’t know what to do with – things she was reluctant to throw away even though she never wore them much. Sonya probed her to find out why, and further refinement ensued.
Some items, the sentimental ones, were boxed up for storage. A few joined the alterations pile for a little “upcycling”, and a number were reluctantly resigned to the give-away pile. What remained were pieces that had potential, but required a little styling advice or “something to go with”.
In preparation for Spring, Sonya and Jane pulled out “strictly winter” items for temporary storage in the spare-room closet. They sorted all of Jane’s treasured pieces into garment type, so that she had an organised view of what she owned and how balanced her wardrobe was.
Sonya helped Jane go through these to identify tried and trusted combinations, and they played dress-ups to find new ones. They looked at and noted down where the “gaps” in Jane’s wardrobe were, what could be a really useful addition, and what she really didn’t need any more of (like black trousers, of which she had six pairs!).
They completed their task by listing all potential new pieces to make Jane’s wardrobe go further. They prioritised them into “need now” and “can wait”, in preparation for a little spring shopping in the week ahead. They planned a little local Nelson retail therapy, gratification for Jane’s wardrobe overhaul efforts!