Clothing mistakes and how to fix them: Part 5

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 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 pre-empt these problems, and ultimately build a wardrobe that is a pleasure to wear. In this new series, we’ll take a look at some of the top errors I’m trying to rid myself of once and for all.

Today’s mistake is one I keep falling for, but a bit of strategic thinking could help me fix.

Buying difficult to pair pieces

Helen wearing a navy pyjama type top with white piping.

Sometimes I just fall for a piece of clothing – I ‘have’ to have it and convince myself that it’ll be perfect, I’ll wear it all the time, it’s just what I’ve been looking for. But then it languishes in my wardrobe for months, because in reality, it is quite difficult to wear. Either it’s a weird shape/length or the colour doesn’t work with any of my other clothes. This navy top I bought from The Closet is a prime example. There’s a lot I like about it – the vintage feel,, the cute piping detail, but ultimately I just don’t own much other clothing that works with it.

I think this mistake comes from the fact that it’s actually quite difficult to tie oneself down to a single ‘aesthetic’, and indeed we shouldn’t feel we have to. But the urge to experiment is often expressed through consumption, through trying new clothes, instead of trying new ways of wearing those we already own. So we end up with random pieces that stick out from the rest of our wardrobes like sore thumbs.

So I’m trying to resist buying new clothes unless I can specifically see where it is going to fit alongside my other pieces. It needs to go with enough that I can see it becoming a day-to-day item, which I’ll wear again and again, not that I’ll have to ‘try’ to wear, finding odd combinations just to make sure I get some use out of it. Obviously there are some exceptions to this, depending on the type of clothing, but even something as standalone as a ballgown could fit this rule. Would you need to buy new shoes to go with it, or does it work with what you already have? For the sake of your wallet and the planet, try to aim for the latter.

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 and solutions you’ve made in the past – what are your tried and trusted wardrobe rules? Please do share them in a comment below!

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