Is your wardrobe full to overflowing with clothes, but you still having nothing to wear? Your penchant for fast fashion may be to blame! We share top tips on how to have a wardrobe full of timeless, classic pieces that will endure every season and trends.
Are you tired of your clothes lasting washes, not seasons? Do you burn a hole through your credit card with online ‘bargains’, only to find that when they arrive, they are poorly made and misshapen after one wear?
Instead, imagine looking into your wardrobe to find pieces that are like cherished friends. They are superbly made from local designers. The material is durable, soft and inviting. The tailoring fits your body like a well-worn glove, and are uniquely you. You accessorise smart so it never looks like you are wearing the same thing twice. You are used to strangers craning their necks to catch a glimpse of you, but will never get tired of compliments on your classic style.
It’s easier than ever to bag a bargain, and somehow, we’ve just started to accept that clothes will only last a few washes before the seams unravel. A tidal-wave of cheap imports has meant that we value quantity over quality, but there are many lessons to be learnt from the ‘slow fashion’ movement that’s gaining momentum – and the good news is, by following a few simple rules, you’ll save some serious money and look great!
1. What is a classic wardrobe?
A classic wardrobe is about having key, quality pieces that will transpire seasons and trends. They fit you perfectly, are great quality, and can be mixed and matched with anything else in your wardrobe. It’s about buying smart. Unless you’ve got an unlimited budget for clothes (and let’s face it, many of us don’t) it makes sense to buy smart so you always look smart, classic and stylish.
2. First, clean out your wardrobe.
We’ve all been guilty of holding onto a pair of jeans that didn’t quite fit or a skirt that we hoped would magically fix itself. If your wardrobe is stuffed full of clothes that you hardly wear, then it’s time to be ruthless! .
Ask yourself what you’ve worn in the last six months. Are you keeping it because it has sentimental value? Was it a ‘bargain’ or are those size 8 jeans motivation to lose the weight? Put aside a pile that need to be repaired or tailored, a pile that can be donated to charity, and a rag pile that you can use for fabrics or as cleaning rags. If you’ve spent good money on something and are finding it hard to part with it, consider selling it or giving it away to friends. You may be surprised to find that you have very little left in your wardrobe! That’s ok, it’s a great base to start with.
3. Buy clothes that you can refashion
Clothes don’t have to be static – with a bit of know-how, they can be altered, mended or totally rebuilt depending on your size, the season, your age, or the climate you live in. For this reason, it makes sense to look for good quality clothes that lend themselves to a bit of DIY altering. Perhaps you can add or take off a ruffle or bow, adjust a hemline or strap, sew on some lace or buttons.
4. Make friends with a seamstress or tailor
In the space of a single generation, sewing has become almost obsolete. Sewing is a great skill to learn, is a fun creative outlet and can save you heaps of money, but if you don’t have the inclination, or the time, then a local tailor can make sure that LBD looks like it’s a second skin or give it a whole new look for your next event. It might only cost about $30, but it’s a great investment.
5. Buy quality over quantity and apply price per wear
Imagine you’ve paid $300 for a good quality jacket. If you wear it every week for two years, the price per wear is $12.50 per wear. Compare that to a jacket you bought at a cut-price department store for $20. You wore it twice before you noticed the stitching become loose, and the sleeves are too short. So the price per wear of that garment is $10 per wear, which ends up being more expensive – especially when you consider you’ll probably buy another to replace it. And doesn’t it makes sense to own one good quality jacket rather than 5 ill-fitting ones?
6. Buy the best you can afford
This goes for boots, heels, jeans, jackets and jeans. When they wear out or are damaged, get them mended. Or if you are after a new look, you can sell them and are more likely to get some money back. Car-boot sales and markets are a great way to off load old clothes – share the cost with a few friends and make a day of it.
7. You can still have fun with fashion
A classic wardrobe doesn’t mean you have to give up your love of fashion trends. Once you have your good quality basics sorted you can indulge in a few fast trends to keep your look current. Try online, buying secondhand or even swapping with friends. Also scour markets and op shops – you’ll be surprised at what you can buy for a bargain! The latest looks can also be achieved with accessories – think scarves, belts, earrings, shoes…
8. The basics
Here are the quality items every woman should have in her wardrobe
Jeans – blue, black and white
A smart black jacket/blazer
A good quality leather jacket
A pencil skirt
Black and nude heels
Quality leather boots in brown and black
A knitted jumper
A classic white button up shirt
Good quality leather belts
A bright printed scarf
Little Black Dress
Classic tee in black white and grey
A durable every day handbag
A good quality clutch for night