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Part 2: The big wardrobe Spring clean - the culling process

Okay, here we go….

Now that Spring has finally sprung and our lighter-weight clothing is starting to make an appearance, it's the perfect time for a wardrobe Spring clean. Most of us don't wear most of the clothes in our wardrobes, and Rachel believes clearing out our wardrobes and knowing what we actually have will help us feel so good that it has ripple effect on our whole day – and life. I noticed increased confidence, and definitely felt excited about getting out of my fashion rut.

Before you start

Buy nice hangers that are uniform in size and shape. Both Rachel and I love the velvet hangers that are available everywhere, in-store and online. The velvet stops clothing slipping off, and they are super narrow so they save space, enabling you to fit twice as many clothes in your wardrobe as wooden hangers. Having uniform hangers throughout gives your wardrobe a boutique feel, and how is that not a good thing??

Jackets and coats should be stored on dedicated jacket or suit hangers. These hangers should bear the weight of the jacket, and have shaped shoulders so pieces don’t get pulled out of shape.

If you are petite like me, be sure you store anything with a sleeve on a petite-sized hanger - all Petites Collection clothing purchased from Target comes with the hanger if you want to take it home.

You will need

- a vacuum

- a dust cloth

- large boxes or bags for organising clothing into separate piles

- a dust roller

- a pilling remover

- a collection of pictures from socials or magazines that show the style you would like to achieve (everyone is surprised by how many of these hero items they already have in their wardrobe)!

Getting started

Clear everything out of your wardrobe – yes, empty all rails, drawers and cupboards. I know it sounds hideous, but it will feelamazing. Vacuum all areas of your wardrobe (you may be surprised how much dust gets in your wardrobe) and wipe down rails and insides of drawers with the dust cloth. I like to add a few drops of lemon essential oil to freshen things up.

Beginning to discard pieces may feel daunting, but the easiest way to start culling is to clear out what isn't working. Rachel comes armed with clothing racks so that we can see each item clearly and sort them at speed. It is easy to establish what needs to go by following the list below.

Cull anything that

  • Is worn or weathered eg, pilling, stretched out of shape, fusing coming away at the collar or lapel.

  • Is a size too big or too small.

  • Is extremely out of date, and you can’t updated it to this millennium!

  • You feel awful – or average - in.

The tidy up

Before returning anything to your wardrobe, group pieces into the following categories.

  • Blazers

  • Casual Jackets

  • Coats

  • Long sleeve tops

  • Short sleeve tops

  • Camisoles

  • Long Sleeve dresses

  • Short sleeve dresses

  • Tailored pants

  • Casual pants

  • Jeans

  • Swimwear

  • Gym gear

  • Underwear

  • Hats and sunglasses

You may find you have multiples of certain items. Reduce these down to the number you need. Remove any pieces you know you won’t wear, or that don’t fit with the outfits you’ve identified in your collection of pictures.

Ask yourself where you will wear each piece? With family? At work? On holiday? On the weekend? To an event? If the answer is no to all scenarios, that piece goes in the ‘clear’ pile.

At this stage, you may want to separate items to donate to charities, and label bags with the charity name so they are ready to drop off after you’ve finished your wardrobe cull.

The sooner any old clothes leave your house, the less likely they are to return to your wardrobe, or get in your way. I always look up the websites of the charities I like, and note their opening hours so I can time my drop-offs.

Make a pile with any items that need alterations or mending. Get to know a local seamstress (some dry cleaners offer this service) and drop off any items that need altering.

In part 3 I'll share Rachel's tips for styling up what's left in your wardrobe, and recycling the items you no longer love.

Check out Rachel’s socials to keep inspired and see global fashion @racheldennisstylist

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