February 06, 2018

How A Wardrobe Overhaul Can Reset And Recharge Your Style

how a wardrobe overhaul can help to reset and recharge your style

I learned a lot from my recent wardrobe overhaul…

Before we get going, there are two points to clarify here – this was no mere wardrobe edit. Oh no. This was one almighty wardrobe overhaul of epic proportions. There is a big difference between the two, trust me.

Also, this blog post had many title incarnations before I finally settled on the reset and recharge your style approach.

For starters there was:

Oh My God – I DID NOT Realise How Easily Influenced I Am!

Or how about:

The Shopping Tomfoolery Of Someone Who Really Should Know Better By Now.

I also considered:

Before You Buy That… Stop, Have A Word With Yourself And Get Real!

You can see where I’m going with this right? In terms of time, split over the course of a week, I spent about three full days unpicking several seasons worth of being way too easily influenced by all my favourite influencers and getting down to the serious business of pinning down what my wardrobe really needs to be about.

Don’t get me wrong – it wasn’t all bad. I mean I wouldn’t want you to think that she who sits here and bangs out style blog posts on a fairly frequent basis is a complete and utter closet basket case and has been winging it all along.

No… that is not I.

Ensure your staples include plenty of neutral cashmere sweaters

Covetable Cashmere

There were a lot of things I’d been getting right and the fact that I’m well versed in a fairly regular editing process meant it wasn’t all eye-wateringly hideous. There was plenty of cashmere.

The shoes were (for the most part) flat or low-heeled and wearable and it would seem, I’m well practiced at living up to my self-imposed moniker of Mrs Monochrome.

With one or two *coughs* Er… exceptions.

Such as this one. I can only think that the summer heat had frazzled my poor, over-worked and blog rebrand preoccupied brain by this point in 2017.

I F  Y O U  B E N D  S O  M U C H  A S  A  F R A C T I O N ,
T H E R E  W I L L  B E  C O N S E Q U E N C E S . . .

I mean red gingham and frills. Oh look – I’m twelve again! If you too bought this dress from Zara, you’ll know why it’s now languishing in the village charity shop. Because, if you so much as bend a fraction, mark my words, there will be consequences of the showing the colour of your undies kind.

Maybe also red gingham? In which case, bend away.

And this one? This dress was clearly my I MUST Pose In A Field Of Wheat dress. Which, don’t get me wrong – I enjoyed all the corn frolicking. It was just a case of right field, great sentiment behind the blog post, wrong dress.

If I did it all again (and you know I probably will come August 2018), I might go for something a little more like this for any crop themed photo ops.

using a hanging rail to help with the wardrobe edit process

Have Good Jeans

It’s okay. I’ll happily poke fun at my own wardrobe choices and bloopers – I’ve made more than my fair share and documented them for the world to see… if they can bare to look!

By facing up to them… and then spending several hours pulling out everything and freezing my Loo-Lahs off as I tried on outfit after outfit combo across several cold January days, I figured out what I’m happiest in.

And what’s really me. Not Instagrammer X, Y or Z.

And then I ended up with my closet looking almost as serene as depicted in these pictures. With all the best tones of black, grey and white present and correct, only punctuated by an occasional shot of beige, navy blue and denim for good measure.

M U S T – R E A D S  F O R  T H O S E  W H O ‘ V E  B E E N
W AN D E R I N G  I N  T H E  W A R D R O B E  W I L D E R N E S S

I also fired myself up beforehand by reading Alyson Walsh’s latest book – Know Your Style and Dress Scandinvian by  Pernille Teisbaek, both of which were hugely inspiring and motivational.

Although, due to where I’m at in life and the fact I do not possess the gorgeous Pernille’s bod, I found Alyson’s book much more relatable. That said, some of the opposites attract, unexpected outfit pairings Pernille suggests were right up my street and the imagery in the book is beautiful.

But back to Alyson’s book – two words. BUY IT!

From eliminating the fashion faff factor to practising the art of trying things on at home to see what works, this is a must-read if you feel like you’ve been wandering in the wardrobe wilderness of late.

So, like I said… buy it here!

white shirt a staple every closet needs

stylish shirts

So what have I learnt from this wardrobe overhaul?

You can never have too many cashmere sweaters… and a new found appreciation of a good blazer and some relaxed tailoring is not to be underestimated.

A loose fit white shirt and a good pair of Boyfriend Jeans will take you anywhere. At anytime.

I now have a burgeoning obsession with putting white sneakers with most trousers I own and I’m still in awe of the understated power of a striped, oversized shirt.

A good overhaul shouldn’t just  just stop at the clothes either. Even the underwear drawers and jewellery selection got a serious editing. Only the softest lingerie and simplest, sleek jewellery is allowed in from now on.

No more high street brand rings and earrings that go a funny shade of bleugh the minute you stop wearing them. I’ll remember less is more and save for better quality silver and gold instead.


Three Tips For A Wardrobe Overhaul That Will Reset And Recharge Your Style

T R Y  O N  A N D  S N A P  A W A Y

Pull out your closet contents, try them on and get snapping. And don’t forget about adding in accessories and shoes too.

Once you’ve amassed a few pics to get started, store them in a Dropbox or iCloud photo folder on your phone for those times when you have zero time or wardrobe inspiration is lacking.

And repeat this process often – you’ll find the outfit possibilities of shopping in your own wardrobe suddenly become infinite.

This tip came from Alyson’s book, as mentioned above and I totally forgive her for the chilly hours I spent switching outfits and hopping from foot to foot in my cold dressing room. The end result of feeling like I have a gazillion more combinations to wear was so worth it.

This is not a waste of time or self-indulgent. If you love style then its an investment in yourself.

Just don’t try it without whacking the central heating up first.


B E  R U T H L E S S

Does it itch? Is it too tight? Do you not wear it because the length isn’t quite right? Or completely and utterly wrong? Do those shoes induce you to swear like a sailor whose been on the rum all night long?

Then out it/they go.

It’s not easy – I admit this. I had to steel myself to get rid of some what I deemed to be favourite sweaters. You know the ones. They looked fabulous on my favourite influencers but Boy did they make me scratch/tug/yearn for cashmere the minute I put them on.

And even a couple of really pretty pairs of flats had to go too. The ones that had an effect similar to “The One With Monica’s New Boots” episode of Friends. Yep… done that… made that noise too.


B E  R E A L I S T I C

When was the last time you wore that? Why? Does it make you feel good?

Does it warrant occupying a space in your wardrobe and your head when it comes to decisions of the getting dressed kind?

Or should you cut your losses, pass it on and make room for something else that you would pick up and wear every darn day of the week if you could because you love it so much?


So that’s where me and my wardrobe are now. In a far happier, tidier and slicker place and it was so worth taking the time out to get it done!

Will you be undertaking a wardrobe overhaul of epic proportions this year and do you think you’ll take the time to try on some different looks to see what works?

If you do, here’s a few more staples to consider and you can find more closet clear out tips here.

Photography: Marlene Lee



4 comments on “How A Wardrobe Overhaul Can Reset And Recharge Your Style”

  1. I quite like the red gingham! You are right though, I have been easily influenced, forgetting that I am only 5ft 4 and petite and that outfit of long pleated skirt, trainers and an oversize jumper that look good on a blogger actually looks like a tent on me.

    1. It’s the easiest thing in the world to shop “under the influence” of other bloggers Helen – you’re so right! Its just remembering to take the inspiration… but not for everything and remembering what suits your frame and style too.
      Here’s to reminding ourselves of this often!
      Amanda xx

  2. I just buy but don’t wear I see things especially if they are on insta and in the reduced section and before I know it they are winging there way home to languish in my wardrobe- why do I do this ??? I now have a bulging wardrobe full of stuff I have no idea of how to and when to wear.. Have just purchased the know your style book and I’m hoping for an epifany of epic proportions that means I will be able to wear some of said purchases and not eBay them for a fraction of the cost so I can refill with the same unworn stuff

    1. Alison – I totally hear you!
      Everything you’ve described, I’ve done a million times over! I think the key element is giving over time to figuring out what really looks great on but what also makes you feel good too. And then, despite all the wonderful influence out there on blogs and Instagram is to stop, appreciate how good it looks on blogger/Instagrammer A, B or C but then figure out if it really will suit you too. Having just been on a shopping trip in London with a friend, I found myself picking things up and thinking “Ooh…that’s definitely an Alex top (The Frugality – love her style!) but then I put it back because it wasn’t me. Previously it would have come home with me!
      Read that book and get trying on!
      Good Luck! Amanda xx

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