Making My Wardrobe Wearable Without Buying More Clothes

The irony isn’t lost on me that as I sat down to write this post FB’s wardrobe sale caught my eye. I messaged her about the Bionic tweed wrap dress. It needs an hourglass retro shape, and I have an hourglass retro shape. Just figured I’d be honest with you all ;)

I’ve been working on purging my closet for the better part of 3 years now. While all most of the items in the closet are quite wearable, I find myself wearing the same stuff over and over again. Why? Lots of reasons actually, and I’ve been slowly trying to tackle them. These are the most common issues I’ve run into that I’m trying to overcome right now:

It doesn’t fit!

These 5 pairs of pants have basically been hanging in my closet unworn for the last 9 months. Why? They were too long, and I haven’t worn heels in ages. In all reality, even with heels on, they always were too long. We’re not talking cuffing them once here, we’re talking 2 or 3 wide rolls.

There was a Groupon out recently for a new tailor in my area: 5 pairs of pants hemmed for $19. SOLD! I hate hemming pants, and I’m not very good at it, so I grabbed these 5 and took them in to have them hemmed for flats. All said and done it cost me $29.65 (Groupon+Tax+$8 for 2 pairs of pant lining hem). I would be hard pressed to find 5 new pairs of pants for $30, but that’s what it feels like. I’m wearing the light dress pants today with a purple top. :)

They’re broken…

I have 2 pairs of boots in my closet that have been unworn for almost as long as the pants were, because they needed work done on them. One is a pair of tall brown equestrian style flat boots, and the other is a pair of tall black high heeled boots. I had a tread piece attached to the flat boots, because they were too slippery to walk in otherwise. The tread is loose at the toes, and needs to be glued on again. The black boots just need new heel caps.  I’m not sure what it’ll cost me this year to have it done, but I’m going to guess $30.

It’s all wrinkled…

As much as I know I’m supposed to love my body, it really is a pain in the butt when it comes to clothing. Ironing cloth is one thing. Ironing small shirts with darts all over the place so that they actually fit me?

Pain. In. The. Ass.

I had thought recently about using some of my Airmiles for Banana Republic gift cards (yay petite section!), but I have their shirts hanging in my closet unworn already. What I really need is a garment steamer. What do you know, they have one in there currently that is less than 100 miles more than what I have right now! So, for the time being, I’m patiently saving my miles. All going well this baby will be mine in a month or two.

The colour is just… wrong….

This one I do a little less frequently due to the mess I’ve been known to make. That being said, it can do an incredible job of refreshing clothes that would otherwise be destined for the sewing scraps pile. Clothes that have faded or taken on an awkward hue can be dyed back to their original colour, or to a darker shade of another colour. I’ve taken unfortunate purchases (wide leg dirty/acid wash denim anyone?), and made them presentable with a box of dark navy dye. Bluing also does a decent job on whites that are looking a little dingy.

It needs to be styled differently…

Several bloggers do a great job of showing me how to do this. I’m starting small. I’ve wrapped long necklaces into bracelets, tied belts rather than using the buckles, and used scarves as, well, everything. Most recently I took the ribbon off one of my Christmas gifts and started using it as a headband.

Basically what this all boils down to is looking after your clothes, and making them work double duty. I’ve been bad about neglecting my stuff in the past, and it’s something I know need to work on. I had the epiphany last year while polishing some boots that if I don’t have time to properly look after the stuff I have, I have too much stuff.

’nuff said.

Recommended Reading: 15 Ways to Grow and Protect Your Net Worth.

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11 responses to “Making My Wardrobe Wearable Without Buying More Clothes

  1. Well the Bionic dress would look beautiful on you I am sure. It’s meant for an hourglass, curvier shape. I am a stick :(

    I’m glad you won it!!!

    Also, I am doing the same thing to my wardrobe — weeding out things, but I am at the point where I want to keep everything, yet I want to purge even more. Very difficult :(

    • I can imagine that’s difficult! I’m just looking forward to one day when I may have a smaller closet – my stuff won’t fit!

      And don’t worry – you have so many clothes you look gorgeous in that I only wish I could wear!

  2. Wow, I charge $10.00 a pair to hem pants, #12.00 for a hollywood hem.(putting original hem back on. So $29.00 is great for 5 pair. But I also have no competition and a large clientele that have been with me for over 20 years! I go through my closet at least once a year and donate or take to a re-sale outlet.

    • I thought it was a good price too :) Mine used to be every 6 months when I put the out of season clothes away and brought out the in season ones, but my wardrobe has shrunk enough now I don’t have to do that swap anymore.

  3. Cleaning out the wardrobe is something I should do too. The trick is setting aside am afternoon for it, I suppose. When I’m feeling too lazy to iron something, I’ll bring it in the bathroom when I go for a shower, the steam usually takes out all those pesky wrinkles.

    • I tried doing the shower steaming, but the cotton appears to be too heavy for it to have too much of an affect. I’ve found that just attacking the closet as I get the urge has been the way to go for me. The urge comes more frequently now :)

  4. love chip and peppers!

  5. “if I don’t have time to properly look afer the stuff I have, I have too much stuff” – well said!

    I also struggle with looking after my wardrobe. What’s worse, I use the ill state of my clothes as an excuse to get even more clothes! case in point – a nice pencil skirt that is a few inches ripped at the seam – it’s such an easy fix and I can probably do it by hand. but instead of repairing the item, I tucked the skirt away. I found myself contemplating buying a new, winter-appropriate winter skirt last week, when I rememebered this skirt. Must repair tonite!

  6. Ugh, ironing. I’ve considered getting a steamer too, though I’m sure that takes the same amount of time in the morning and will also contribute to my son’s tardiness to school, as ironing does now.

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