Monday, March 26, 2012

Guest post - Lovers Saints and Sailors

The Wardrobe You've Always Wanted!
5 Super Simple Tips

This is what my wardrobe looks like right now (literally, today). How about yours?

First up, thanks so much Allison, for letting me guest post on here while you’re away in Japan. I hope you’re having an absolute blast!

OK faithful Shy Scout readers, here’s what I’ve got in store for you…

The Wardrobe You’ve Always Wanted!
5 Super Simple Tips

Alright, who here has found themselves staring at their wardrobe thinking, “No, no, no, no, NO!” Before dramatically flinging themselves on their bed moaning, “I have nothing to wear!”

OK, maybe the flinging part is just me. But you know what I’m talking about, don’t you?

Clothes, clothes, everywhere
And not a scrap to wear
(Thanks Samuel Taylor Coleridge!)

Never fear! I’m here to help. I’ve pulled together 5, super simple tips to get the wardrobe you’ve always wanted. And best of all? You can start right now!

So let’s get cracking, shall we?

First up:

Separate your seasons

Nothing makes you feel worse than going through your overstuffed wardrobe to find you’ve got nothing to wear. Because as far as everyone else can see, you’ve got wardrobe full of perfectly wearable clothes.

So let’s take a moment to look at why you don't have anything to wear.

Often it's because you have clothes for every season in your wardrobe. There are 4 seasons competing in there…which means at any given time you are only likely to wear a quarter of your wardrobe. A quarter!

What you need to do is break your wardrobe down into seasons and pack them away accordingly.

Alright, it's spring. Away go the sweaters and coats, leggings, long sleeved tops, and heavy scarves. Much better!

But we can do better again.

It's not warm enough to bust out the shorts and sarongs yet so away they go too. What you're left with are season appropriate clothes. You can potentially wear 100% of your wardrobe now. Feel better?

Going further you need to look at what's left. Are you excited about what's in there? Is it bare? Better stock up! Or are there things in there that don't fit properly, need mending or just plain don't work. Address these issues and you'll be left with a 100% wearable wardrobe.

Plus next season it's exciting to pull out all of the clothes you carefully packed away. It's like Christmas. You may find you need to cull when you unpack. Some thing won't fit; some were a one-season-wonder and some you'll wonder what you were holding onto for. That's fine. In fact it's fun! And it's all part of the process. Remember there is nothing better than passing clothes on. Someone is going to love that purple pom-pom scarf so give often to friends, family and Goodwill.

Which brings us to tip #2…

Let go and let Goodwill

Never underestimate the power of clearing out your wardrobe. I do it 4-6 times a year. Clothes wear out, go out of style, out of shape or I just plain move past them. Clearing things out makes way for something new.

But just because you don't have feelings for it anymore doesn't mean someone else won't. I have friends who pester me for my next bag of throw outs; family members that have dibbs on that dress once I've had enough of it; I've even shared with people at work. And that's just people I know.

Goodwill receives regular donations from me. They're not always bulging bags, sometimes it's just a sweater and pair of trousers but no matter what it is, they'll find a home for it. I know people who thrift compulsively. They find the most awesome bargains from their local Salvos and they always look so unique!

I also know people that rely on op shops for all of their clothes. People that feel lucky to find an on trend dress in their size for less than a tank of gas. So don't feel bad about giving something away after only wearing it once. You’re giving so much more than the clothes you’re giving away.

OK, so you’ve separated your seasons and given away the things that just aren’t ringing your bell anymore. Your closet might be looking a little lean right now. But you know what that means, right? Yup. Shopping time!

Shop outside of season

You know what? I shop year round. It’s not a compulsion, it’s clever. Listen up: Leggings, stockings, and tights, will all be heavily reduced at the end of winter. Now is the time to stock up!

Basics (black opaques etc.) will always be in style. And it's easy to buy one or two of the trend items when next winter rolls around. Plus there is always an outfit for last season’s tights. And most importantly? It's about wearing what you like and what looks good on you. If you love purple footless tights, buy 3 pairs when they are clearing them out! Put them away and you’ll thank yourself next time the temperature drops.

And winter isn’t the only time to load up. It’s a scientific fact you can never have too many swimsuit separates. Have you seen how cheap they get at the end of summer?! You know what to do!

(Note: Remember to pack your out of season stuff away. Just because it’s brand spankin’ new doesn’t mean it should take centre stage in your wardrobe. If it’s not the right weather to wear it, pack that baby away until next time the mercury level makes a move.)

Find what works for you and stock up

My husband has 48 T-shirts in his wardrobe. I know. I counted when the hanger to shirt ratio became inverted.
The thing is though, while it may not be the most adventurous combination, jeans (or shorts) and a T-shirt works for him. He rocks that look and it sure makes shopping easy.

What works for you? Do your curves love a good wrap-dress? Start a collection! Are you a fan of a good, boat neck T? Hoard them by the (I’m about to pun here, sorry) boatload! Does that one, local designer produce jeans that, swear to god, were made for you? Buy them. Buy lots of them!

Having a wardrobe full of stuff that works is... Well, it’s a pinnacle not unlike Everest. Only with less oxygen tanks and more clothes. Few people have actually made it, but when they do, they seem to exist on another plane forever more. Oh, and it’s totally, much easier to climb. And, actually, you don’t even have to climb. OK so maybe it’s not anything like Everest…

Having a wardrobe full of stuff that works is…achievable! And hand on heart, makes everything in your life better. Everything. Even chocolate.

Hey, would you look at that? Look how far you’ve come already! By now your wardrobe should be a source of pride and joy.

But there’s just one more thing you need to know…

If it doesn’t look good on you, don’t hang it in your wardrobe Alright, this is a simple one in theory, but totally something we’re all guilty of.

OK here’s the thing...

It doesn’t matter if it cost a whole week’s pay, or if you used to fit it or if it looked good in the store.

If it doesn’t look good on you; if it doesn’t fit properly – DO NOT hang it in your wardrobe!

You have just put all this hard work into creating the perfect wardrobe for you. Don’t sabotage it by hanging onto that dress that’s too tight in the arms and cut weirdly across the chest. Give it away. Seriously. Do it. Seeing it every time you’re looking for something to wear will only make you feel like crap.

And here’s another thing. So often I see girls wearing the same things as their friends, when it very obviously doesn't suit them.

Listen to me: you will look awkward and feel bad about yourself.

Your body shape may not give too kindly in skinny jeans. If this is the case, honey, don't wear skinny jeans. I know you like the style but there are always alternatives. Try a straight leg and play up something else.

You will always look better in something that sits better on you, and that is more important than any trend. Do not sacrifice your self-esteem for a fad. It is not worth it.

So there you have it. Don’t you feel better already? I know I do.

For more hints and tips and to follow my adventures in (semi) daily dressing* head on over to Be sure and say hi!

*Don’t worry, I dress every day. I just keep the shots of me in my Cowboy & Indian flannel pajama pants to myself. I save the good stuff for you guys.
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