The Wardrobe Audit

The wardrobe audit can be a rewarding experience. Imagine this – you have had a Colour and a Style Analysis done, and at this point you know what colours and styles are perfect for your complexion and body. The next logical step is the Wardrobe Audit, which allows you to put your colour and style theory into practice.

Most of us wear only 20% of our wardrobe – yes, 20%! This is due to the fact that we own unsuitable clothes that take up space and confuse us. My goal, after the wardrobe audit has been completed, is for you to have pieces that can be mixed and matched – and for you to wear 100% of your clothes and accessories – so that you look and feel good all of the time.

I have yet to experience a client who was not somewhat resistant to this process. Let’s face it – at the best of times, cleaning out our closets can be quite overwhelming. For some, it is a reminder of the purchase mistakes we have made and the money we have wasted. But don’t be too hard on yourself. We all make these mistakes, and your approach to your wardrobe will now be with a keen and discriminating eye, using colour and style knowledge that you did not have before.

We live in a privileged society, and most of us have too many clothes – often too many of the wrong clothes (we like them but they don’t like us back). Our European counterparts have fewer – yet very carefully selected – articles of clothing, due to smaller closets.

Some of the resistance I referred to earlier involved what I call the “Just Fors”. The “Just Fors” could consist of 15 T-shirts used only for wearing around the house, sleeping, running to the dry cleaners or running to pick up the kids – why is everyone running? Instead, why not streamline the 15 T-shirts and pick the best 5 that are the right colour, fit, and style? Why not buy a pair of comfortable pyjamas or wear the ones that sit in your drawer?

Using a methodical process, the client and I go through each garment and accessory and sort them in the following groups:

  • Keep – these are clothes that are the right colour, style, fit and proportion for your body – you feel good in these clothes.
  • Give to Family/Friends – clothes that do nothing for you but could look great on someone you know.
  • Charity – clothes that would benefit a charity.
  • Consignment Shops – for slightly used, current and upscale items – keep in mind you will get a fraction of what you paid if they sell.
  • Alterations – these are clothes that suit you but that you may not have worn because they never felt right – they might just need a hem or tapering.
  • Dry Cleaning – sometimes we put clothes away without noticing soil marks.
  • Repairs – often these are shoes or boots that need heels, etc. Remember, even though we cannot see our heels, others do.
  • Sentimental Items – these are special pieces that deserve a special place, for example, in a Memory Box.
  • Pause or Maybe Pile – clothes that may have potential and that will be revisited after the wardrobe has been streamlined.
  • Another Closet – most of us have clothing that no longer fits, but may fit us in the future. These pieces need to be placed in another closet or area, since they cannot be worn at this time.

Hidden Treasures – Very often I find what I call “hidden treasures”, which are items that are unique yet sitting in another closet or tucked away in a drawer. These are often beautiful pieces of jewellery and scarves that are unused due to confusion as to how to wear them. I once worked with a client who had a number of beautiful silk scarves tucked away for years in a drawer. The reason she didn’t wear them? She was saving them for a “special occasion”! Each day is a special occasion, and we deserve to look and feel good all of the time. Needless to say, they were taken out of their drawer and she was shown how to skilfully put them on her purses, around her neck, and around her ponytail!

When all of your clothes have been put in their proper place, you will be left with a smaller, more appropriate wardrobe for your lifestyle. You will be surprised at the number of creative outfits that can be put together once your wardrobe is streamlined!

Sometimes there are missing pieces that are needed to complete your wardrobe, so the next step is shopping for them.

Getting the perfect wardrobe is a process, and you may not be able to part with everything during the first audit. Over time, however, with your newfound knowledge and improved appearance, you will eventually have the perfect wardrobe.

Lynda Jean
Certified Image Consultant