It’s all about you: rework your wardrobe

It’s all about you: rework your wardrobe

Have you heard the term – curated closet? In her book, The Curated Closet, Berliner, Anuschka Rees talks about not following trends or buying into a standard list of wardrobe essentials or must-haves. Instead, it’s about creating your wardrobe to work perfectly for your style and life. Having a wardrobe that is about you and not about fast fashion or trends is a great start to a more ethical and sustainable wardrobe. The idea is that if you’re buying clothes that really are ‘you’ you’re probably going to want to keep them for years. It’s a way to break the cycle and stop buying into the ever-revolving fast fashion trends. So, rework your wardrobe to work with you not against you!

 

Closer to home, Maroubra-based Wendy Mak is committed to the simplification of wardrobes. In Mak’s The Capsule Wardrobe: 1000 outfits from thirty pieces, she introduces you to 30 wardrobe essentials – tops, bottoms, footwear, and accessories – to create your ultimate mix-n-match wardrobe. You can find her ideas at WendyMak.com.

It’s not about not heading out on a fun shopping trip with your girlfriend or daughter – it’s great retail therapy and at times, just simply a good laugh.

The curated closet is a wardrobe that’s perfectly tailored to your unique personal style and your life. It contains everything you need to feel confident and inspired every day – no more and no less. It is not based on trends, style typologies or a one-size-fits-all list of wardrobe essentials. Your life isn’t the same as everyone else’s, so why should your closet be? Anuschka Rees

Rees says, know you colour palettes and make distinctions between accent colours versus neutrals, basics pieces, key pieces, and accent pieces. Accessorise with bangles, beads, earrings, scarves, nail polish, lipstick or even hair colour. While the goal is not to complicate, it is to help you to have a plan so you don’t waste time or money on items that stand out like the proverbial, that you might aspire to but never get the chance (or, to be honest with yourself, you feel comfortable) to wear.  By getting an idea of what colours you like and for what types of pieces, it allows for a lifetime of simplicity.  Rees explains that by zeroing in on your own unique style, you are never caught up in fashion trends. It’s great to update your wardrobe every few years, and as we all know, some things never go out of style. White t-shirts and jeans will always exist, so will basic black.  Mix things up to avoid being a carbon copy of everyone else. Enjoy running away from the pack.  It’s one less stressor in life! As Rees says, being fashionable is totally optional – you get to choose.

Mak suggests, try this – 30 pieces to create an outfit a day for 30 days. This will establish your absolute wants vs needs hanging in your cupboard and folded in your drawers. Here’s a twist on Wendy’s guide to kick you off:

5 x skirts or pants: black textured; basic black; soft pleated/tailored; white or grey; statement
2 x jeans (black and blue wash)
6 x tops: charcoal; ivory; light grey; a bold colour that suits; a standout piece; black
1 x bodysuit in a complimentary colour (amazing how versatile this can be)
1 x statement shirt
2 x camis (everyday and silky/satin)
3 x jackets or if not needed, 3 more tops or dresses: navy; black; statement
1 x black coat or waterfall cardigan
3 x bags: work; weekend; statement coloured
6 x shoes: black flats; weekend street shoes/white runners; black ankle boots; patent heels or flats; statement coloured heels or flats; print/suede heels or flats

Anuschka makes a great analogy comparing fashion to music. You wouldn’t force yourself to listen to a song because it’s in the charts and music ‘insiders’ tell you it’s popular. You listen to the music you like and enjoy. So why not do the same with clothes – buying things you like and enjoy wearing rather than what’s ‘hot right now’. There is absolutely no point in buying clothes which don’t work for your lifestyle.

Fashion is a form of art, and you want your clothes to look good, but you also need them to feel good and be practical because you spend your life in them. You have stuff to do, places to go, and people to meet. A functional wardrobe is one that supports you in all that you do, rather than making your life harder.

If you enjoy a visual guide, there are tons of curated wardrobe flowcharts to help. Find your own; one that suits you, or, venue better, create your own.

Discovering your personal style and building a versatile wardrobe will mean you always have something to wear. Your style will likely continue to change and evolve. A reworked wardrobe doesn’t restrict you, it is one which grows and evolves with you. After all, it’s all about you!

The Sustainable Edit; Anuschka Rees; and Wendy Mak

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Stress Free Market Day

Stress Free Market Day

You’ve decided what items of clothing, shoes, accessories, and so on, to move on. Fantastic – that will feel quite cathartic. The next step is to ensure your transition to stall is smooth (aka stress-free), and doesn’t undo all the great feelings that come with having made some amazing progress.

Don’t spin out of control!

Over the years, I’ve observed stall holders arriving at market venues and setting up. I’ve also been that person myself on countless occasions. It’s fabulous to watch as stall holders create their space, their collections coming to life with colour, texture and frivolity. But it can also be painful to see some struggle, traipsing multiple times to and fro from their cars – weighed down with an eclectic mix of stuffed bags, random items, boxes, and bits and bobs piled high in their arms. No rhyme or reason to the whole affair. Why does it matter, one may ask? It can.

Whether it’s a smooth ‘bump in’ or a struggle-start can make a lot of difference to how you feel as the market doors open on the big day. If you’re exhausted and feeling under the pump before the day kicks off, or you feel like your stall’s not quite ready as the doors open, this invariably shows on your face.  It can also have you not coping with the small hiccups (realistically, there are bound to be a couple). And, this can then go on to affect your market day’s experience – which is a shame, as market day ought to be great fun!

 

So, how do you breeze through to market day setup like a pro?

It’s tempting to start off with the obvious and irritating first tip – BE PREPARED! But I won’t because this may mean very little, and can be equally stress-inducing if you don’t quite know where to begin.

One: Taming your pile of clothes

Hang as many clothes as possible. Choose hangers that won’t let your clothes slide off in transit. Displaying quality items on a rack is appreciated by shoppers who want to see what you’ve got at a glance.

If you are selling items at individual prices, label everything before the day. Your customers will be more comfortable knowing the price without needing to ask. Choose labels that are least likely to fall off or come unstuck in transit. Safety pins and jute through hole-punched cardboard work wonders.

If you’re hanging clothes in price brackets, tie grouped hangers together or place each group in the car so they’re easily identifiable at your destination. Make your signage at home.

Sort loose items into $2, $5, and $10 lots (or whatever price lots work for you). Prepare any and all signage at home.

Place these items into individual containers – ideally whatever you’re going to display them in on the day. Or, if they’re being displayed on a table, place them in individually marked containers ready to unpack efficiently.


Look cool, calm and collected (even if you don’t feel it)!

Two: Getting clothes from A to B

  • Clothes on hangers can be placed in a suitcase or simply laid in the back of a car (wrap in cloth such as a sheet to protect if necessary)
  • Place containers of other items in next, and to one side if possible.
  • Locate your rack, table and props in the car so they’re first out.

Three: The 30-minute Setup

Check in with the market organiser and find your spot.

Unload and set up your rack, table and props first. If you need to move a car away from the venue straightaway, set up racks as you bring them in and then hang all your clothes straight onto the racks (in price groupings if that’s how they’re sorted) as part of the unloading. This avoids double handling time. Finally bring in your boxes of accessories, etc. 

Then have some fun shifting your props around in your spot until you feel you’ve made the best use of your space whilst being mindful of, and even complementing, your neighbours’ display.

If accessories etc are in pre-labelled containers display them ready to go. If not, place containers to one side (such as under your table) for now.

If you are grouping your hung clothes into price brackets, do this now if you couldn’t earlier and attach your previously made signage, accordingly.

If all your hung clothes are labelled, they’re done and ready for market opening.

Now relax…you’re in control, and looking ready.


Relax.

Make sure your money belt is on and full of some coinage. You want to be well ready to accept those sales!

The next bit can be done at your leisure and it won’t matter too much if the market opens and shoppers are looking because they have a fab rack of labelled items to check out already, and possibly self-explained containers on tables to rummage through.

Give yourself a mental high-five as you’re all set with change in your money belt and looking cool, calm and collected!

If you’re unpacking loose items do this now, and place related signage as you go.

Finally, have fun dressing your props (mannequin etc.) and laying out smaller items like jewellery, shoes, belts, bags and hats.

This can all take less that 30 minutes. Believe me, I’ve got it down to 20, tops!


Let your personality shine through.

High Fives: 5 handy tips for moving clothing on.

High Fives: 5 handy tips for moving clothing on.

Sitting around feeling frustrated as you contemplate what to do with your unwanteds after you’ve had a seasonal clearing of your wardrobe? When seasons change that itch to sort and clear out your life to make way for a ‘new you’ style can become insatiable. Welcome to the seasonal high five.

Whether you opt for the clean out or you’ve been struck down by the KonMari bug clearing out your wardrobe is all fun and satisfaction until it’s been two weeks and that bag of unwanted clothes is still glaring at you from the corner of your bedroom, laundry or garage; or it’s rolling around in the back of your car.

Rather than leave it until you can no longer look at it and dump it blindly at your nearest collection point, here are four alternatives that’ll extend your pumped-up feeling.

Swap it. Your unwanted clothing is currency at swaps. The premise is simple – gather up your clothes and head to or organise your own swap event over a champers or G&T; browse the racks of everyone else’s contributions and swap yours for a garment that attracts you. It’s a sustainable way to update your style with pieces you may actually wear. But, if you don’t…swap again.

Organise your own swap event over a champers or G&T!

Go to market. Selling your clothes at a market is a terrific and fun way (even though I say so myself!) to get some dollars in return for your unworn but not so unloved or quite donatable pieces. Hiring a stall at your local market is easier than you’d think, although you’re likely to have to book a few weeks in advance so this isn’t your spontaneous quick-fix move! Depending on where you’re located, expect to pay anything from $40-$80 for a stall, but joining with your friends is a great way to bring costs down as well as collecting a variety of items (sizes, styles and so on) to attract your shoppers. Don’t remain too attached to your pieces and be committed to offer them up at prices to sell so you don’t go home with them.

Consign it. If you’re not into eBay (the photographing and listing efforts may put you off) consider taking your good quality items to a local consignment store. At some, you’ll get 50% of the sale price in the arrangement, but they do all the work once you’ve dropped it in. All you need is for them to accept a minimum of 5 items. Again, it’s not a quick fix and patience is needed, as it can take up to 3 weeks before you see your items on the racks and they’ll display them for up to 7 weeks so if your item doesn’t sell it can be on the shelf (pun intended) for up to 10 weeks yet still come back to you.

The less obvious…parcel it up and donate further afield. From social textile and op shop enterprise projects in outback Australia to passing on your no-longer-fitting bras to domestic violence programs and third-world countries (where the possibility of a female being raped is reduced if she’s wearing a bra as it’s a sign of wealth) your donation can have a big impact on someone else’s life.

The obvious…donate it locally. But this comes with a big BUT. Since the KonMari bug has hit, charity shops have been overwhelmed with it-no-longer-brings-me-joy stuff and are increasingly having to dispose of unusable donations. Op shops always need donations but the items should be well considered. Think to yourself, would I give this to a friend? And, it’s a great please to find new-to-you pieces too.; they’re no longer the stuffy, funny-smell places people thought they were!

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Gearing up for market day: when you’re running out of time

Gearing up for market day: when you’re running out of time

Your chest of drawers is still bulging and you are nowhere near closing in on a really serious clothing declutter. But, market day is looming.  Count down has begun…7 sleeps to go! Yikes!

Stay calm and go quick-fix
Exclamations might run through your head..why did I say I’d do this, why did I think I could do this (no doubt peppered with some colourful swear words!). but you know you’ll have fun once you get sorted and lighten your unwanted clothing load. So, try a quick-fix approach to get started – try a declutter in bite-sized chunks. For your first market, start small but specific.

Easy pickings
Pick out 15-20 preloved items – clothing, handbags, shoes, hats, belts and the such like. Bear in mind that preloved clothing market stalls are more successful if they’re 80:20 or even 90:10 clothing to accessories. Mostly choose pieces that are at the upper end of your quality preloved collection. Tag them from $20 to $30. (Next time, you can move onto your $10 and $15 items).


Is this you in the mornings?

Safety in numbers
Call a friend. Persuade (cajole, beg) them to do the same. Maybe they call a friend (or you call a second). Now two or three of you have joining forces – and between you, you’ll have collected up at least 30 to 45 items = a decent start-up rack or table of goodies. And, if you share the cost of a $40 stall, the 4-hour market day is shaping up to be one of minimal outlay each for what promises to be a good little earner. And you’ll get to share the load, the experience and the fun with friends!

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Change it up

Change it up

You can rethink, restyle, rehome and revamp (or re…whatever you like) by applying a little change it up sass with these fab four tips.

Avoid becoming a weapon of mass consumption
Shop slow and consider buying someone else’s former favourites first before rushing out to the high street stores.

Consider the clothes you’ve already got that give you joy (they’re your keepers)
On average, we wear 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time. If you have 100 garments averaging $50 each, then that’s around $5,000 worth of clothes and accessories that rarely get airplay. And that can be swished through the preloved clothing community to fund your new styles.

Recreate your wardrobe – think capsule
Nine pieces of co-ordinated garments will give you around 20 outfits, says Peta Stephenson of Dress Code. Add three more pieces and you can make 40 or more combinations. Thinking about your wardrobe in terms of the different capsules you can create has many advantages: it makes getting dressed in the morning easier, simplifies packing for a trip, and helps you build (or rebuild) your fab wardrobe within a reasonable budget.

Resist ad hoc buys that won’t go with anything
Before you buy, think of at least five other garments at home that your new additions will co-ordinate with.

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