Thursday, 20 October 2016

Getting the most out of your wardrobe

After watching the Stylist Live Catwalk show - with all its tempting new clothes! - it seemed sensible to attend this talk: "The secret to getting the most out of your wardrobe". We were in the capable hands of Stylist's Fashion director Alexandra Fullerton and Candice Fragis, the Buying and merchandising director of, both of whom I have to say looked very stylish.

Image courtesy of Stylist Live.

The first point that they made was that most of us wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time, so how can we change this so that we wear most if not all of our clothes?

1.  Edit your wardrobe. Remove things that you don't wear.  Arrange it so that all your clothes are visible. Every three months pull out your favourite clothes and build a capsule around them. Three months is ideal as you will be moving into a different season. Note: most of my summer clothes are being put away as it is cold and raining in Spain! 

2.  Have a method: you might like to hang up all of your shirts together, all of your skirts and trousers, all of your winter tops. Alternatively, you might like to organise it by colour. Make sure there is method to your madness though!

3.  Think in terms of your outfits. Shop for your outfits: when you buy something new make sure that it will go with several existing items to make new outfits. Hang up in outfits (unless you have gone for a different method as described above). Definitely pack in outfits, and have at least two tops for every bottom when you go on holiday. 

4.  Invest in timeless classics, such as white shirts, a good blazer or biker jacket, plus quality jeans. They made the point that these aren't necessarily the classics that bloggers tell you must be in your capsule wardrobe! Candice's classics include cowboy boots, so create your own classics. Spend less on trends, though they are useful to make your classics look up-to-date. 

5.  Look after your clothes. Wear something till it wears out and then replace it, instead of being tempted to buy more of the same just because you love it. 

6. Choose quality over quantity. It's worth spending money on a good pair of jeans that will last longer than a pair of ripped jeans, or whatever the latest trend is. 

7. If it doesn't fit now, it probably never will! Harsh words, but true. If you haven't worn something over the last six months, you should either put it in a "holding pen" if you love it and it fits you, or discard it. 

8. When it comes to sales "bargains", ask yourself if you would still buy it if it was full price. Do you have anything in your wardrobe that it will go with? Do you really love it or are you contemplating buying it just because it's in the sales?

9. Their core essentials for working in an office are: a good pair of trousers; a pencil or midi skirt; a classic shirt, which doesn't have to be white if you don't look good in white; a blazer; a trouser suit that can be mixed and matched separately; a shift dress that you can wear with different accessories if going out after work: a crew neck jumper and a selection of blouses or tops. If you don't work in an office environment or, like me, are retired, then you might have different core essentials in your wardrobe.

10. Remember that you can be both practical and stylish! Buy a bag that can hold all your essentials, though you can also choose it in a colour that will update your outfits. Flats work well from day to night, so you can be comfortable as well as looking stylish.

I thoroughly enjoyed the talk and thought that Alexandra and Candice gave some excellent advice. Now all I have to do is put it into practice!


  1. Thanks for sharing. What pieces of advice seemed particularly relevant to your own situation? I am guilty of hanging on to things too long when they are really past looking goo.

  2. Some of the advice reinforced what I have learnt over the last few years of blogging and reading about capsule wardrobes. I do try and edit my wardrobe every season and I also hang all my trousers, tops etc together. I am trying to include more classics in my wardrobe and spend a bit more on them (though as I'm retired this obviously means buying fewer clothes). My weakness is sales, as I do love a bargain!

  3. Thanks for post. I do have a method. I'm retired so use the 'Whatever's Clean' & uniform system as much of my clothes are basics and go together. My clothes are all listed on a spreadsheet(some people might use notebooks). I work my way through the tops and bottoms. Interestingly the other day I couldn't find one of my older off white tops, which was next on my list, and eventually found it in with my partner's singlets. This method is helping me deal with the 20%/80% issue. Not stylish but not impulse buying either. Carol S

  4. It's good to know that you practise what I preach, Carol! I think you can still look stylish with basics without spending too much money by adding the right accessories. Many people see Frenchwomen as being very stylish, and they tend to wear basics but add interesting scarves, bags etc.