The importance of a wardrobe makeover is a topic I feel very strongly about. In fact, I have included a whole chapter to this subject in my book Hot Stuff. I have also successfully completed many Wardrobe Workouts for women who chose not to do it alone.

For many of us, the idea discarding clothes in our wardrobe that are in great condition, is anathema. It feels wasteful and unnecessary! But isn’t it time you did something about space occupied by clothing you may not have worn for 10 years? Or since you were 10 Kg lighter or 10 years younger?

The question we must all ask ourselves, no matter our age or lifestyle, is “Do we really need all these clothes?” The answer, if you’re being true to yourself, is probably no.

Before you start, here is a quick tip to help the process along. Hang everything in your wardrobe with the hanger facing towards you. That is, with the open part of the hook facing out. For this to be really effective, you should hang everything. This would include all your tops, sweaters and t-shirts.

When you wear something, reverse the hanger. At the end of one month you will be amazed at how many of your clothes you don’t wear. In fact, you’re probably not wearing 80% of your clothes!

How Do You Rationalize Your Clothing?

Remember, you must be totally ruthless with your current wardrobe. If you haven’t worn something for 6 months, clear it out! The Wardrobe Makeover can only be considered finished when you have 5 clearly labelled piles of clothing.

Throw away

Too many stains, too worn, too tight, too ugly, and maybe even “pilled.”

Alter

If you can, or find a good seamstress or a tailor. Only go to the trouble and expense of this exercise if the article of clothing is a classic and worth saving. If it’s a cheap jacket you bought at H&M or Target or Zara for example, don’t bother!

There is a solution if you love the colour and style so much you cannot live without it. Have it made up in a different fabric and with an up-to-date twist.

Sell

You can sell your old clothes on eBay, at a local market, a car boot sale or on Facebook. You’ll be amazed at how many people buy pre-loved clothing. It must be clean and in reasonable condition. There are also some second-hand shops that will take clothing on consignment.

Pass On

If the item is good quality and someone has admired it, give it to them. However, please don’t give away stuff because it’s easier doing that than choosing any of the other options. You paid money for these items. If they are not in good condition, don’t insult friends and family by trying to palm off your rubbish.

Store

Maybe you want to keep your wedding dress? Or the dress you wore on your first date with your husband? If you really can’t bear to let something go, wrap it in tissue paper with a ton of moth balls and slide it away somewhere. Remember to top up the moth balls at least once a year!

Having completed the wardrobe makeover, there are items that every woman should have in her wardrobe. These items are guaranteed to give a look of eternal chic and style!

Hubert de Givenchy said, “All a woman needs to be chic is a raincoat, two suits, a pair of trousers and a cashmere sweater.”

I’m sure he was right at the time, but to me that list seems a little sparse. For example, what about shoes? And you certainly can’t wear a cashmere sweater in the middle of summer. Here are ideas for must haves and must not-haves in your wardrobe.

Must Have Items in Your Wardrobe

  • A jacket or blazer; semi-fitted with two buttons suits almost everybody and every body.
  • A pair of flat-fronted, straight leg pants
  • A fitted cotton shirt
  • A polo neck sweater
  • A pair of plain, low cut, low heeled court shoes (pumps)
  • A straight cut, just below the knee length coat
  • A pencil skirt; but only if you can wear one.

Must Not-Have Items in Your Wardrobe

  • Anything older than 5 years (unless it’s a Classic)
  • Anything trendy. There is an age at which trendy doesn’t work. Stick to what is chic and stylish.
  • Anything from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s
  • Anything that doesn’t fit any longer; focus on clothes in your new size

You also need to buy clothing that works for your body. On my site, you can download a small booklet on how to dress for each of the four basic body shapes.

Have you ever done a wardrobe makeover? What were the hardest items of clothing to let go of? What are the basic items you have in your wardrobe? Do you agree older women should not buy “trendy” clothes? What do you think are the keys to finding your style after 60? Please join the conversation.

Let's Have a Conversation!