This article was written for Annabel & Grace, which is now part of Rest Less.
I am having a bit of a wardrobe cleanse whilst in lockdown. I am doing a serious ‘Marie Kondo’ on my clothes. I have taken everything out and put it in piles. I am then trying it all on and wearing it for at least half a day. If it ‘sparks joy’ I am popping it back in my wardrobe. And quite frankly we all need some joy in our lives right now. I have found that for me it is a pop of colour that sparks most joy. Grace’s post showing that comfort is all important to her is also very true. So if I can combine comfort and colour I feel I have got it right and the garment has a special place in my wardrobe.
I have always wanted to do a complete wardrobe cleanse but never had the time i.e. a stretch of days to get it all done. Usually I get halfway through and then shove everything back in my wardrobe. I don’t know about you but this lockdown has made me want to streamline everything in my life. I want a simpler lifestyle. Maybe it is all the hand sanitising and cleaning of everything that crosses our home boundary that has made me want to deep clean everything else.
Whatever has sparked this I am really enjoying myself as I have found items that I had forgotten about. Equally by laying them all out I now have found outfits that I had never thought of. I have also found that wearing a pop of colour every day during lockdown has cheered both me and my OH up.
This lilac sweater from Me+Em (a few seasons ago) is a perfect weight and colour for this time of year. The soft merino wool keeps me warm on those not so sunny days. I am wearing a Baukjen tee-shirt underneath as it has a high neck and fitted half sleeves which is the perfect shape under a crew neck sweater. The colour reminds me of all the flowers that are bursting out in my garden right now.
I have found some old favourites during my wardrobe cleanse that even if they are looking a bit tatty I have noted why I like them and will keep them until I can find a good enough replacement.
This Lulu layered top in Peacock from Kettlewell Colours comes out year after year and the shape is perfect for me as the underlayer hides lumps and bumps and the top layer comes to just below my waist which is a good length for me. This top now comes in a short sleeve version – the Gemma Layered Top. Worn with these very old Cotton Capri trousers from Winser London, another perennial for my wardrobe, and a design that they produce every year. Finally my Ugg slip-ons that also are produced each year in a variety of colours and are simply one of the most comfortable summer shoes and perfect for when your pedicure is not at its best!
I have binned (donating to charity when out of lockdown) all the shapes I know don’t suit me e.g. thigh hugging, long jumpers that just make my legs look so short. Just loving the colour is not enough any more.
White tee-shirts and jeans that are no longer white have not made the cut and now just two pairs of white casual trousers have made the edit. Who really needs more than two pairs of white trousers? Dog walking, gardening and cooking in white trousers is a no-no for me. They should really be reserved for going out in and that is not going to be happening in the very near future.
So what am I wearing on dog walks. I found these old, favourite jeans (see below) from Donna Ida, a few seasons ago, that are in such a lightweight, stretchy cotton. Perfect for this weather as I find denim too heavy in the summer.
I cheated with the blouse as it is only a neck and front. I found this company, TLM Edit, selling a selection of these broderie-anglaise detachable collars at The Early, Early Christmas Fair and snapped one up. I have had so many compliments from girlfriends I think they would make a great gift. As you can see they work under a V-neck too. Click HERE for more info.
Pink is another of my favourite colours. Pop it on and it lightens and brightens my face and mood. There are so many shades so there is bound to be one that suits you. I prefer the softer shades. This linen shirt, in the picture above, is from Marks and Spencer this season and the Winser London cardigan is very old but I have at last found the perfect shirt to match it.
The pale pink sweater is from Birdie London in 100% Merino wool and again the perfect weight for April. During my wardrobe cleanse I am trying to keep colours together so that I can find items more easily.
OH and I have been trying to learn the piano. It is not going brilliantly but we are battling on as we feel this lockdown might go on for longer than anticipated for our age group. So there is hope that we can learn at least one tune by the time we are allowed out. I think our children think it so funny that we should want to learn the piano at our ripe old age. But you are never too old are you?
So my wardrobe is nearly in perfect order and there is a big bag ready for the charity shop when they open up again. This exercise has been cathartic and I feel thoroughly cleansed. It has also been useful as I have truly seen what works on me and what doesn’t. In normal times we are in such a rush that we end up wearing the same combination of clothes or worse still buying something similar. I have also done some mending as I went along, sewn on buttons, handwashed jumpers and de-furred them so that everything now is ready to wear.
Fashion may seem irrelevant right now and I do agree, to some extent. However doing your hair and make-up, and popping on a nice cheery outfit can do so much for your mental health and for those around you. It is also so lovely to open your wardrobe following a wardrobe cleanse and be able to see all of your clothes at a glance. No more rummaging for that illusive shirt!
Let me know, via the comments section below, what is working for you with your clothes.
Stay safe and well – the home stretch is in sight.