DIY TIPS: Why most people wear 20% of their clothes 80% of the time

Most people only wear 20% of the clothes in their closet 80% of the time.  This statistic explains why we can look into our overflowing closets and say "I have nothing to wear."  Does this sound like you?  Sometimes it's just a lack of organization that makes the morning rush that much crazier. 

Here is a great article that can help you get started organizing your closet at home.
Most people wear 20% of their clothes 80% of the time… That sounds like a bit of a waste doesn’t it? And the reason they tend to do that, is because many people’s closets are over-stuffed and in chaos. How would it feel to open the doors on a well organised wardrobe every morning? Would it save you 5 minutes every day? That adds up to a lot of time in a week or a month, but the benefits of being well organised with your clothes are even greater. Having a well ordered closet can help you feel more confident in what you wear, and get much more use out of the garments you already have.
Everything in your wardrobe should be well loved, fit to wear and easy to find. If it isn’t, your heart is going to quietly sink every time you open it. If you see items that you’re slightly too big for, the fact that you’re bigger than you want to be is going to nag at you below your consciousness. That isn’t a great way to start the day! If the things in your wardrobe don’t really suit you, you’ll feel a sense of frustration with the way you have to ‘fight’ through it to find something you like. That’s another battle you can do without. 
If a lack of organization isn't your problem, it could be an overwhelming/underwhelming amount of clothes in your closet causing problems.  For all of my clients, their in-home wardrobe consultations with me all go through the same process (male and female).  And this is something you can do at home as well.  The next best thing to working with me in-person is to utilize my own strategies when going through your own wardrobes.  Here are my five tips you can do at home to get you started:

1. First go through and try everything on.  If it doesn't fit, donate, consign, sell or toss it.

During a wardrobe consultation with my client, we do a lot of sorting and trying on.  It's not so much organization as it is purging.  By the time we are done, there should be nothing left in your closet but a bunch of great pieces.  My clients hear me say over and over again "It's not good, it's great", or some other variation depending on the item.  Don't settle for anything less than good while aiming for a closet full of great.

2. While trying everything on, use your imagination and mix-n-match items to create new outfit possibilities.

One common trait I find with most of my new clients, is that they have a hard time putting outfits together.  Retailers and merchandisers spend lots of time and energy visually merchandising the store to appeal to you.  Those mannequins dressed up all over are not there to remind you that you'll never be that skinny or tall.  They've been styled to lure you in and show you some of the outfit possibilities.  Don't be afraid to ask a sales associate their opinion on how to change up an outfit.

3. Create a shopping list for yourself based on the holes you've found in your wardrobe.

Are you short on trousers?  Pardon the pun, but this doesn't just mean quantity :)  Do you have enough pairs of jeans to complete your wardrobe (medium/dark wash denim, short for flats, long for heels, jeggings for boots, etc).  Do you have a ton of cardigans but lack enough tops to layer under them?  If the one suit you own for the limited number of weddings and funerals you attend, has dust on it, consider whether or not the it still fits and is still in style before getting rid of it and buying a new one.

4. Once you have decided what you are going to keep, organize the closet in such a way that you can track the wear of your items.

You should be doing a regular inventory of your wardrobe and keep it as organized as possible.

5. Finally, I suggest organizing your closet in terms of the type of clothes, rather than its color.  Closets that are organized by color are beautiful, but not so easy to pair outfits by.  Putting all of your like items together- pants, shirts, jackets, etc- will help you add that little extra your outfit could be missing.  For example, if you've already got your jeans and top picked out, but want to add a cardigan layer, it's harder to remember what cardigans you have if they are all organized by color.  but by having all of the cardigans together, no matter what color you choose, you will clearly be able to see what cardigans you have to choose from.

Image(s) courtesy of Clutter Control Freak Blog


Alyssa Prentice said...

Great article Jenn! The tips you have listed here are so effective in helping me clean out my own closet. Organizing and especially purging are instrumental in creating a great wardrobe. I know I have been in this situation numerous times, holding on to clothes that don't fit or are worn completely threadbare thinking of all the good memories and not being able to throw them away. Seeing these tips in writing echoes my own thoughts that I need to downsize, purge, and organize for a better wardrobe. Love all the tips, thanks!

Jennifer Axcell said...

Thanks so much for your post Alyssa! We all get stuck in a wardrobe rut sometimes, even me. Humans are creatures of habit. We know what we like, and we tend to go back to that over and over again. The same goes for the clothes we wear. We wear what makes us feel great and look good, and that often times happens to be only few key outfits.

Breaking out of this cycle starts with a wardrobe purge.


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