Wardrobe organisation

Even though I have culled quite a bit of stuff (I'm not finished yet) and bought a few new things, I'm finding that I still have issues finding things to wear each day. Why? I think my under-utilised and disorganised wardrobe is the problem.  Considering how much storage space I have, it's disappointing indeed that my wardrobe is in such a state of disarray.

In the bedroom there is a big built-in which is 3 metres long and about 2.5 metres high with lots of hanging space, a 4 drawer chest of draws, a six drawer tall boy and 3 medium IKEA Billy bookcases (with doors) in which I keep all of my shoes. In the hallway there is the same sized built-in as in the bedroom, but apart from one short hanging rail for coats, it is all shelving - perfect for linen and household items (and handbags!) etc. Add to this my IKEA Pax in the spare room! 

I have set myself a goal to get through the majority of my culling (including selling) prior to Christmas, so that over my break (a blissful 3 weeks off work!) I can organise my wardrobe and the rest of the house (don't even get me started...).
I'm thinking about organising all my clothes by occasion.  This meaning, that all my work and everyday wear will be stored in the bedroom wardrobe and all the off-season and "going out" items of clothing will be moved into my IKEA Pax.  I have decided that shoving aside party dresses (that are worn only a few times a year) each morning is not conducive to getting dressed for work quickly, nor coming up with brilliant outfit ideas the night before.  I think I struggle because my eyes are overwhelmed with choice - and not all appropriate choices.  Furthermore I plan to hang everything back grouped by type - eg. pants, skirts, tops etc grouped together.

Ideally EVERY item of my clothing would be hung, however because I have to share the bedroom closet with my boyfriend, it can't be. And although it could all be hung in the IKEA Pax, I do not want to store everyday wear in the spare room.  I just know that if I do this, clothing will end up on the floor of the bedroom once worn - simply because I will be too lazy to go into another room to put it away (I know I'm hopeless).

Also I am going to "archive" the few pieces of clothing that I want to keep but that I no longer wear (be it too small or not fashionable anymore). By archiving clothing I mean to place in a space bag and then hide it out of sight. This is another trick to hopefully streamline the contents of my everyday wardrobe so that the only items before my eyes each day are the ones that can be worn.

Image source: watondesign.com

I wasn't kidding when I wrote that my next purchase would be a new bicycle...

Ok, ok you got me! I have delineated and bought a few new things to wear before I bought the bike (but no bottoms as promised to myself).  Nevertheless though, and most importantly I did like I said and I bought a bike to help me loose a few pounds (ok, more than a few).

The first ride on the new bike was from the bike shop to home - about 12 kms (that's 7.5 miles). I have a sore bottom now... and here I thought I had a lot of padding in that area! Clearly not enough, so my next purchase will most definitely be a pair of padded bike pants.

When bad things happen to good clothes...

It's a sad day here at mycatssaymeow.  My beloved Country Road metallic linen cropped jacket split at the back seam today. This is the second time that the seam has split in this location.  It was kindly repaired late last year by my boyfriend's mother.  She said to me to be very careful when wearing it as the back seam was a flat seam and there was not much (read: no) give in the fabric. I tried and I failed...

It makes me very sad to see this jacket damaged like this. This prized piece has miraculously survived multiple wardrobe culls to make way for new less shiny things which are probably long gone now anyway.  This jacket has clearly been a staple in my wardrobe, but it seems that the end is near for this wardrobe trooper... It seems that when I do wear my clothes, I really do WEAR them!

Seeing my treasured jacket in this dismal state made me realise today that it's one of a handful of pieces that that I have truly "worn out".  It joins my Witchery black skinny jeans, Witchery black leather biker jacket, Marc Jacobs black leather pointy flats and heels in the same design, Country Road black leather biker boots, Country Road grey wool shift dress and Country Road black silk dress - all of which have been worn out in the last 12 months.  The difference though between this Country Road metallic linen cropped jacket and the aforementioned pieces, is that this special jacket cannot be replaced with something similar because it was more a 'statement' staple rather than a 'basic' staple.

Having previously been a hopeless shopaholic, there were times I would on-sell items before even wearing them once(!), nevermind actually wearing items out to the point of having to discard them!  Now that I'm actually wearing my clothing I am discovering that things really do wear out! (Haha, do I sound like a nutcase?) I've been asking myself today, how do people who maintain only a capsule wardrobe deal with things wearing out on a year to year basis? Especially if all that some people buy are well considered 4-5 pieces, if for example they follow the 4-5 piece French wardrobe method of dressing.  Do these people actually wear their clothes, like properly, like to work and grocery shopping? Am I just doing (wearing) it wrong?

So now I am sans my favourite summer weight jacket but the air-con has kicked in and my office is akin to an ice box. Although these last few months have taught me not to make do anymore when shopping, I can't be too discerning about what I buy because I'm missing my staple (and I'll freeze). Agh, what to do?  The conundrums of an ideal wardrobe builder...

Image source: google images

Wardrobe culling and the revelations that come with it...

Now this post is not about what I culled over the weekend (I will write about that in time), but rather it is about how I culled and the horrible realisations that I made immediately after and in the following 24 hours.

In the past I would cull my wardrobe bit by bit.  I understand now that this is the noncommittal way of doing it. Yes, you will successfully cull your wardrobe slowly over time, but you will probably not make any revelations about the "state of play" of things - to put it tactfully.  It will be a rather painless and unemotional experience with nothing being learned about yourself or your shopping habits.  So if you are reading this and thinking 'gosh, how ho-hum' or 'but I'm a fashion masochist' - then do it my way! Read on...


On Sunday morning I found myself suffering from an upset stomach (I blame a funky olive that I ate) and hay fever - both excellent reasons be anti-social and to stay at home.  I decided to undertake a pre-Summer cull.  I did this by removing EACH AND EVERY item from the hanging rails in my wardrobe and I tried each item on.  Let me tell you... my next purchase will not be a silk top or tulip skirt - it will be a push bike!
The number of pieces that were hanging in my wardrobe that were slightly too tight or TOO SMALL was staggering (granted I've owned some of the dresses I culled on Sunday for many years and as we get older our bodies change... or so I tell myself).  No wonder I have been finding it tough to find clothes to wear each morning if for every one item there are two that fit poorly!

Even though I have known for months now that I need to loose a few kilos, there is nothing like seeing a MOUNTAIN of too small culled clothing on the bed to spring one into action!
During my culling process on Sunday I documented each item on a spreadsheet, be it staying or going... I found this to be a very interesting exercise indeed and I'm surprised by exactly what I own and in what quantities and whether each item it's actually a truly perfect piece (a post for the future I think).


There is that philosophical question which makes one question human perception and the knowledge of reality: "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" .
In relation to one's wardrobe, this question can be phrased in whatever manner currently describes one's situation and way of thinking, but for me it goes something like: "If I get rid of all these clothes so that I can't try them on anymore (to see exactly how much weight I've gained) and buy new clothes that fit, does it mean that I don't really need to loose any weight?"
I realise now that before this day I saw one of the benefits of culling to be a self-validating experience.  In that in some cases one culls so that they can continue on their merry way of exercising the same behaviour until the next big cull. 

My Oprah-style light bulb moment came last night, about 24 hours after I had finished my cull.  A friend posted pictures from Saturday's garden wedding on Facebook... I don't think I need to write the words here, but suffice to say I was upset with what I saw (I hope it was mostly the angle).  So a mountain of culled clothing plus horrible Facebook pictures and I realised something which I have subconsciously known but consciously denied for a year... I need to shape up again.
Another realisation that I made about the state of my wardrobe is that I don't like the style and fit of the majority of skirts and bottoms that I own (which actually isn't that many).  I have always found it difficult to buy the perfect bottoms.  This realisation helped explain why there are no less than 30+ dresses hanging in my wardrobe and why I own some beautiful tops that have hardly been worn.


In reading the preceding paragraphs one may think that I'm going to hold on to my "skinny clothes". I am not.  This is my action plan going forward:
  1. I have decided to sell or give away almost everything that I culled on Sunday.  A lot of the pieces are pre-house acquisitions meaning that they are getting a few years old now anyway.  Furthermore a lot of the pieces aren't exactly classic, so not to my current liking.  If I cut my losses now, while most of the items are still in style and the brands are coveted, I may actually make a little bit of money.  If I wait but inevitably cull everything again down the track, I may miss out all together. 
  2. I will keep some of my favourite, more special "skinny clothes".  I think though these items need to be moved into my spare closet, so as not to confuse me each morning into thinking that they are an outfit choice (when in fact they are not).
  3. I am returning both skirts that I have bought in the past week to the stores they came from. Neither are perfect and furthermore each skirt is one or even TWO sizes bigger than the clothing I culled on Sunday.  Although one of the skirts is quite flattering to my current shape, by buying new clothes in my current size I am in effect accepting a figure which quite frankly makes me unhappy.
  4. I must stop shopping for the time being and focus on the bigger picture (see next point).  I have decided that I will not buy anymore pants or skirts in my current size.  I will make do with what I have.
  5. Lose weight (but because this is not a weight loss blog, I will not go into, how, what and when).
So there you have it, hardcore wardrobe culling and the revelations that come with it.

What I wore to a garden wedding

Very hot weather here yesterday... I had planned to wear one of my long sleeved cocktail dresses, but instead given the humid weather opted to wear my Zara floral dress.

Dress - Zara
Bag - Saba
Shoes - Marc by Marc Jacobs
Cuff - Basque from Myer
Bangle - David Lawrence
Nail Polish - OPI "Suzi Says Feng Shui"

Although, I've always had the bags and shoes all figured out, it's only recently that I started wearing costume jewelery on a regular basis....  My watch and stud earrings were as extravagant as I ever got! Anything more and I felt like a Christmas tree.  I've noticed though that a couple of well thought out pieces really do help pull an outfit together. And even more interesting is how the wrong piece can totally ruin an outfit. For example, last week I tried wearing a very tribal turquoise neck piece with a Chanel-style boucle jacket... wrong, wrong, wrong! I opted for a strand of pearls instead ;)