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Wardrobe Maintenance: Part 1

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It’s getting to that time of year when it is time to re-evaluate your wardrobe situation. With spring comes spring clean, and for all you fellow fashionable gentlemen out there the clothes should be your number one priority. As the year goes on we tend to get lazy when it comes to general clothing maintenance, and the attitude to taking care of our closets becomes so much more relaxed. While the word ‘relaxed’ has mostly positive connotations, in relation to your wardrobe it is never a good association. So it’s time to shake yourself off, wake yourself up and kick start those old but good habits of military precision wardrobe maintenance. After all, you need to make room for new purchases. In this two part article we look at the ways to clear out and organise your clothes and the wardrobes that house them.

Closet Clearout

Have you ever opened the doors of your wardrobe with the fear of an avalanche of garments falling about your head? We all have. A while ago I tackled the storage space problem by purchasing another wardrobe, while this temporally dealt with the space issue there was still a big issue left unattended. The biggest issue of a fashion conscious gent is the inner hoarder. We all have one creeping in the dark recesses of our style consciousness and it isn’t anyone’s friend. This is why it is good to get rid of the old to make plenty of room for the new. Getting rid of things is probably one of the hardest things to do, because if like me you can become emotionally invested in your clothes and how they make you feel.

Messy Mens Wardrobe

This is why maintaining an inner dialogue about fashion is imperative in order to give you the freedom to throw away out dated and unworn pieces. Think about this: even if tomorrow, James Franco is seen on the cover of GQ wearing a pair of bright green chinos because they were suddenly deemed fashion forward, are they your style? What was on trend and may have suited you in the past may not be what looks best on you now, so it’s time to cleanse yourself of the pieces that you don’t need any more.

Organised Chaos

The best way to start is to organise three piles. A ‘keep’ pile, a ‘maybe’ pile, and a ‘throw’ pile. This is a good way to divide what you currently have and take into account what your current style is and how it is likely to develop. The ‘keep’ pile is where you want to keep hold of classic pieces that don’t go out of style, or the more recent purchases that are still relevant. The ‘throw’ pile is what you no longer need or want in your wardrobe. It’s important to be disciplined when adding to this pile because as mentioned before it’s easy to become too attached to certain items. The ‘maybe’ pile is what you aren’t quite sure what to do with. Eventually, if you remain disciplined this pile will be divided between the ‘keep’ and ‘throw’ piles.

Wardobe Maintenance

Remember to do this with everything in your wardrobe, including shoes and accessories. If you’re going to do it, you might as well do it all in a big way. It’s important while doing this to really consider the potential of every single item you go through. How does it fit in? Do the colours work? Am I realistic about how they fit? You need to be totally honest with yourself; it is pointless holding onto something that is just taking up valuable space.

Valuable Rejects

So you now have a pile of unwanted items that you have had to prise out of your own hands. What to do now? Well considering that the whole reason for the clearout was to make room for new on trend purchases, why not make some much needed money and sell on your unwanted clothes. Realistically, there isn’t a person in the world who doesn’t have an eBay account. If you’re one of the few who doesn’t, then it couldn’t be simpler and you can do it here.

clothes piule

It normally doesn’t cost much to list your unwanted items, but it’s important to remember that eBay tend to have regular days where all listings are free so make the most of these where possible. Always remember to take decent pictures either hanging up or on yourself. An annoyance of mine is when a seller doesn’t take close up pictures of any minor faults, and it turns up with huge holes that were describes as ‘small imperfections’. Always be clear, and accurate in your descriptions, obviously because it helps to influence bidders but it also covers your own back should any disputes arise. If its branded, it will hold its value.

For A Good Cause

Although eBay is a great way to get rid of your old clothes, some of your items may not sell. There is always an option to relist an item, but here at MFM we always encourage good will. These days you can’t turn a corner without almost setting foot into a charity shop, so do some good and donate your clothes to a good cause. The great thing is that your old clothes may get a second home, and will raise some much needed money for charities that need it. It makes it easier to part with your old clothes if you choose a charity that you relate to or care about.

Obsessive Organisation

Think about how you organise your life. Are you books organised by author, then by release date. Is your music collection organised in a similar way? By artist then date of release? One thing I am particular about is organising my magazines by title, and then in monthly order. Nothing is stopping you from being this particular when it comes to your clothes. Here are a few suggestions on how to keep stock of your stock!

- By garment type: Put jeans with jeans, t-shirts with t-shirts and coats with coats. Within each category you can then organise by event, i.e. formal shirts stay together where as casual shirts could be placed with other casual clothes such as your jeans.

- By Colour: colour coding you closet is easy and visually appealing. If it’s a sunny day then head for your lighter colours or pastels, if you feel like wearing a coloured chino then you will know exactly where to look.

- By Occasion: you may want to organise your pieces by the occasion they are intended for. Keep formal garments in one section, and then keep semi-formal/going out clothes in another and more casual/day clothes in your final section.

- By Season: if you have a particularly big closet space, you may be able to organise your clothing by season. Four sections all corresponding with spring, summer, autumn and winter. This method is only suitable if you have an extensive amount of clothes and space.

Discipline

It’s been mentioned several times before but discipline is so important. If you really want to do this then you can’t expect to have it done in an hour. Set aside a day or two to have a thorough clean out and organise everything. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you clear your schedule and get it done. Once your spring closet clean up is done you will feel so much better and you will have a huge sense of accomplishment. Once you’ve recovered from this ordeal, you can then consider your purchases for the season ahead. Keep an eye out later this week for Wardrobe Maintenance: Part 2 where we will show you how to keep you closet tidy, and show you some key items that you need but may not yet have to help maintain an organised wardrobe and increase longevity of your garments.

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