Fashion notes: Common sense can fix wardrobe woes

Fashion loves nothing more than being ahead of the game; keeping us on our toes and, in turn, keeping the industry in pocket. Which is exactly why most of us end up with a wardrobe full of useless tat.

Fashion loves nothing more than being ahead of the game; keeping us on our toes and, in turn, keeping the industry in pocket. Which is exactly why most of us end up with a wardrobe full of useless tat. It’s pointless for me to tell you to bypass consumerism, because we all indulge – we simply need to be a little cleverer about it.

Interestingly, no matter how bizarre the collections get, we seem to fall into the “I need” trap – no matter the cost. Designer-wear is expensive, and at times, unnecessary – often bypassing craftsmanship and durability in favour of a trend. There’s nothing wrong with investing in a new wardrobe, as long as we’re not consuming for consuming’s sake. You can have a fashionable wardrobe without paying a fortune for it – you simply need to spend wisely.

Ask yourself the following questions: have you worn it in the past year? Does it fit (more on this later)? Would you buy it again if you had the chance or would you invest in something better?

Start by dissecting what you do have. You will be surprised by how much of your wardrobe you don’t wear. To save on space, pack your clothes away at the end of each season; there’s no need to store our winter wardrobes (that we use once or twice a year here) among our spring/summer wear – it only takes up much-needed space and makes getting dressed a lot more difficult. If you have a lack of storage, have them vacuum-packed professionally and keep them in plastic flat-storage boxes under the bed until they’re needed.

Your first step should be getting rid of unnecessary purchases; then there will be less to organise. Start with your shoes – people notice expensive shoes in a way that they don’t notice a cotton shirt, so think of them as an investment. Let’s put it this way: Dh500 shoes will last less time than Dh1,000 shoes, while Dh3,000 shoes should last a lifetime. The same thing goes for handbags. These should be your big-ticket buys.

When it comes to clothing, what we really have to look at is size and cut. Common sense should tell us what is suitable. And get rid of anything that appears somewhat dated, as it will only sit collecting dust in the back of your wardrobe when another gimmick becomes the raison d’être. You aren’t going to like this, but coming to terms with your current shape is essential – so until you reach your ideal weight, put anything that doesn’t fit away in storage boxes. It certainly isn’t helping anyone to have clothes that no longer fit sneering at you every time you open your wardrobe.

Make sure to buy a decent set of wooden hangers; they will make your clothes hold their shape for longer. There should be at least two fingers between each hanger otherwise it will be hard to navigate, so if space is still an issue after a clear out, try rolling belts and scarves up and keeping them separately in a drawer. A great trick that a friend gave me recently is to have a second rail fitted in the bottom half of your wardrobe for additional space to hang trousers.

Lastly, try not to fall into the common trap of buying things that you don’t need. We often think it’s our belongings that make us belong, but remember, as time passes, we move on and the things that are important to us will, and should, be different.

ktrotter@thenational.ae

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Published: May 15, 2014 04:00 AM

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