Because of an unusually mild autumn, I got my winter wardrobe out of hibernation somewhat later than usual this year. This biannual event has been something I’ve done since I was a teenager and began out of practicality, as I’ve never lived anywhere with a wardrobe large enough to accommodate all of my clothes. However, it also has some other hidden benefits.
1) Rediscovering favourite garments
As I’m quite forgetful, there are items in my wardrobe that I’ll completely forget I own if they’re not in the wardrobe that I open every day. This means that I’ll inevitably have an exciting moment when I open the suitcase I’ve retrieved from the loft and discover a blouse that now goes with even more items in my wardrobe, a jumper I bought in the January sales and was really looking forward to wearing again, or a skirt I completely forgot about.
2) Looking after your clothes
Packing things away for 6 months of the year means that I need to take good care of them. I carefully fold them up with lavender scented sachets of moth repellent and make sure I wash and iron everything when it goes back into circulation. I’ll be more likely to spot holes and missing buttons, and – as I’ve already made time to do the wardrobe switch over – will make sure I actually set aside time for any mending.
3) Appreciating and extending the life cycle of clothes
If I unpack anything that is now too small it won’t go back in the wardrobe, it will go into a pile for a clothes swap. Similarly, if anything hasn’t been worn for the last few years, I’ll assess whether or not I’m likely to wear it this year and will swap or sell if the answer is no. If something just sat in the back of my wardrobe, this process of reassessment would never happen.
This year, I rediscovered three jumpers that coordinate perfectly with the Collectif Mia Sherwood skirt I bought recently, two lovely Ted Baker skirts that no longer fit and that I’m hoping to sell, plus a festive jumper that I (inexplicably) forgot I bought from Beyond Retro last year. Now the summer stuff is packed away, waiting for warmer weather, and I’m enjoying a fresh look at the clothes I own. Like Gemma from Retro Chick says, it’s like shopping in your own wardrobe.
Image of wardrobe door handle by Fred Dawson, via Flickr. Used under creative commons licence.