Clothing mistakes and how to fix them: Part 1

Learning from my sartorial mishaps

The older I get, the less I want to think about clothes. I don’t mean I no longer enjoy fashion, and using it as a means to express myself. Rather I mean I want to fill my wardrobe with clothes that are easy to wear, and which I don’t have to ‘try’ to get use out of. Standing in the way of this are some simple mistakes that are easy to fall into. As I move ahead on my wardrobe ‘journey’ I’m trying to fix and preempt these problems, and ultimately build a wardrobe that is a pleasure to wear. In this new series, I’ll take a look at some of the top errors I’m trying to banish from my closet.

In this first installment, let’s look at a problem I think we have probably all encountered at some point or another.

Thinking that a belt will fix clothes that are too big

A woman with long brown hair wearing a large green shirt and cream chinos with a black belt. Close-up on the belt
Photo Credit: Julia D on Unsplash

With hips as wide as mine and a waist as high, this is an easy mistake for me to fall into. This happens most often with skirts, jeans and other bottoms, but can also happen with dresses. I’ll buy a larger size so it fits around my thighs and hips, only for it to gape at the waistband. I think, ‘oh, it doesn’t matter, I can just cinch it with a belt’. I have never been correct in thinking this. There is no belt capable of removing excess fabric. Instead of smoothly closing the gap, you end up with an uncomfortable bunch of fabric digging into you, belts that slide up and out of line with the waistband, and a general sense of discomfort. The silhouette is disrupted, and try though you might, you just can’t get the skirt/jeans/trousers to sit properly.

In a world where women’s clothes are often designed to fit a narrow range of body shapes and sizes, this mistake is almost inevitable. We feel that we must be the problem, so we should find the solution. But instead of bodging fixes, I’m trying to be honest with myself – if it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t fit. Finding something that does fit can be a real challenge, but I’ve decided it’s better to consume less, and miss out on an item, than have a piece of clothing that won’t satisfy me.

So instead of trying to force an item of clothing to fit you, embrace honesty and step away from something that will, in the long-run, only make you feel bad.


I think these mistakes are so easy to make, but once you start thinking about why you’re making them, they’re also pretty easy to fix. I’d love to hear what mistakes you’ve made in the past, and how you solved them – what are your tired and trusted wardrobe rules? Please do share them in a comment below!

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