There it is, your guilty secret. You tried it on and had a little fantasy about how it made you look or where you might wear it. Flattering, wasn’t it? Didn’t it fit well, especially when you breathed in? The woman in the fitting rooms told you it was Very Popular This Season. You liked the colour.
But something happened to it on the way home, and it lost some of its magic.
It doesn’t go with any of the things you thought it would, and worst of all, it has shrunk.
So it’s sitting there, neglected and unworn, with the other 80 per cent of the clothes in your wardrobe that rarely see the light of day, and you daren’t confess, even to yourself, how much it cost.
Ask any woman and she will tell the same story. And some men, particularly the ones who like to think of themselves as romantic, suave or dramatic.
Darlings, mercifully you are not Laurence Llewelyn Bowen or Adam Ant, nor yet Harry Styles, but that’s another column. In the meantime, here’s what to do.
Take everything out and put it on your bed in three piles:
1. Stuff you haven’t worn for a year or more.
2. Stuff that doesn’t match anything else.
3. Stuff you’re only saving because you’ve had it so long it’s bound to come back into fashion soon...
4. ...and besides, it’s good quality and you paid good money for it.
5. Stuff you never feel like wearing, and when you see it you just put on your jeans anyway.
6. Stuff that makes you feel fat or uncomfortable.
7. Smelly stuff.
8. Stuff that has sentimental value.
9. Hideous colours.
Sorry that’s nine piles. And counting. There are plenty more.
Throw them all to one side because you’re never going to wear them again. They’re going on their happy holidays to the charity shop or the clothing bank in the car park. eBay even. If you can’t do it alone, call me.
Save only stuff that you feel happy wearing...
plus stuff that suits your shape, colouring and style...
plus stuff that fits and is in good condition...
plus stuff that whispers today, and doesn’t scream yesterday.
You will feel gloriously light, in control and free to combine creatively the elements you have left.
You have the perfect excuse for going shopping again if you like that kind of thing, but do try to have a session with a personal stylist before you go, or you will just end up on the shopping roundabout again, still going in the wrong direction.
Use a trained personal shopper. It sounds expensive, but how many coats do you have to buy before realising it’s always the wrong coat? What have you never, ever worn and how much did it cost you?
After your cull you will have twice as much to wear, even if you only have 1/10 of what you had before in your wardrobe. Result!
Yes, I do wear everything in my wardrobe. Smug? Moi?