Those of you who've been following me for a while may have seen the YouTube video featuring my summer wardrobe a couple of years ago. What I was particularly proud of, at the time, was my thinking out of the box and using a huge blind to pull up, instead of sliding doors that drove me mad, so I could feast my eyes on all my clothes in one go! You can see my big reveal below.
However, life moved on, I became more and more cluttered (despite having a clear out every spring and autumn) and finally, at the end of last year, I decided to get some of those all singing built-in wardrobes that are constantly advertised on TV. Sharps did a fantastic job, and it was nearly stress-free, but it did mean a major sort out and chuck out before I filled the new wardrobes up again. My main rule was and still is: asking myself if I have worn this item in the last 2 years, does it fit, and do I feel fabulous wearing it? If the answer is no, it gets binned and so an awful lot of clothes went to other homes. (More top tips for de-cluttering at the bottom of this post)
Ok, so it still looks a little stuffed, but it's much better organised and I will be doing another declutter at the start of summer! However, I am still using one of my cupboards to store a lot of my shoes......
.....but I just ran out of space, you know how it is. At least I now have a proper dressing-room. I just need to get a much smaller sofa and there will be more room for more clothes!
So what I wanted to share with you, before I start posting new summer clothes, was how I produced a couple new looks for autumn/spring from two old, pre-loved tops I saved from the de-clutter. Hopefully, it will give you a few ideas on how to turn old into new with a couple of vintage accessories or new high street additions.
All the photography below is by Lynda Kelly.
You know how I love a bargain, so when I found this shirt in an op shop (charity shop if you're in the UK) in Australia last year for just £5 it would have been rude not to bring it home! I then bought the flirty skirt from Jigsaw and teamed them both with a pre-loved brown belt (the same op shop) and my vintage little brown boots (again, pre-loved from Oz) and, voila a brand new outfit for spring/autumn and cheap as chips, especially as I also got a lot of wear out of it last summer on cooler days. I even attended a conference in this outfit! More details below.
Since we took the photos, the belt has fallen apart (it was only £2!) but everything else is still more than wearable. The headscarf is actually one of my Suzi Su scarves that turns into a top for a cool summer's night. I only have one left in each colour if you want one. The boots were found in Trash, Byron Bay and were about £20 and the vintage frames in the first photo were also from there, a couple of years ago, but cost a whole lot more. I still love them both to death. The skirt was from the Jigsaw SS2017 collection and cost around £100 but considering the prices for the rest of my outfit, apart from the vintage sunnies, it was money well spent as it's a keeper. There are similar ones here but you can probably find one for a third of the price in places like Primark (if you don't mind the cheap labour angle).
The second outfit I wanted to share with you is a casual one, cheap, cheerful and a mix of new & preloved. My lovely cousin took the photos for me at the end of the summer: Becki Archer, a Master Baker!
I'm wearing another Suzi Su headscarf that turns into a top, retro sunnies from a Brighton vintage fair for £5, an 80s shirt for just £18 from To Be Worn Again in Brighton, baggy pants by Cotton On in Australia for $20 (my down under friends, you are SO lucky with this chain), a £2 bangle and very old shoes from FitFlop, which must be in their 8th year with me.
MY TOP TIPS FOR DE-CLUTTERING YOUR CLOTHES
Try on everything in the wardrobe and, with a ruthlessly honest best friend or relative, decide what really makes you look good and what doesn’t.
Use the 2-year rule, if you haven’t worn it in the last two years, you never will. Try on the clothes you’re not sure about and if they don’t fit, or you don’t like them on you for whatever reason, get rid of them.
Sell through a 2nd hand store for a bit of extra money to buy something you really love. Or to pay for a stylist and colour expert. Worth every penny. You will save a fortune in future mistakes.
And don’t do the “I will fit into this one day”, if you haven’t in the last 2 years you probably never will!
Most of us wear only 20% of our wardrobes so keep only the clothes that make you look and feel wonderful and get rid of the rest. The mirror doesn't lie. If you don't look and feel fabulous in an outfit then it's not right: whether it's the fit, the colours or the style.
And when you do go shopping again, scouring the vintage and pre-loved stores first, ask another shopper if something suits you rather than relying on the sales staff, who are often on commission! Another shopper will never bullshit you.
Finally, I love doing a seasonal declutter. Autumn and Spring are my favourite times and they are also the best time of the year for decluttering my body! (My Feng Shui practioner friend, Mary Lambert, says "a cluttered home is linked to a cluttered body,") So, with my nutritionists hat on, I try and do a fast to declutter my body every seasonal change and attack the house at the same time! it seems I'm not alone, especially in the Spring. You can read more here.
So there you are. I hope I have suggested a couple of things that help you avoid having to spend loads of money updating your favourites each season. Do let me know if I've helped at all, you know how much I love hearing from you,