How is your wardrobe divided up?
What do you wear to work from home?
So, you’ve heard me talk about that statistic where people only wear 20% of their clothes 80% of the time? In this article we are going to look at how your wardrobe contents match up to your lifestyle needs. I think this is a particularly pertinent exercise to do at the moment as many of us seem to have made a downward shift in terms of formality and our levels of dressing. Are you erring to the more casual end of the spectrum? Perhaps continuing to work from home despite lockdown restrictions easing?
Your wardrobe will be made up of lots of different types of clothing covering various levels of dressing from super casual, maybe pyjamas or lounge wear, through to casual, smart casual, business attire, going out clothes etc right through to once in a blue moon formal outfits.
Nothing to wear despite wardrobe bulging at the seams
Figure out your version of each of these categories in a typical week and give them a number. Have as many categories as you need.
Super casual pyjamas/loungewear – wouldn’t go out in
Scruffs for cleaning/gardening
Casual – would go out in
The purpose of this exercise is to figure out what % of each you own. Doing this can be really eye opening and help you figure out why you always feel like you’ve got nothing to wear despite having a wardrobe that is bulging at the seams.
What do you wear during an average week
You are going to keep a record of what you wear on an average week. The first thing you need to do is create a grid. I suggest you divide it up into sections 7 downwards and 3 across so that you have 21 sections. Label the 3 sections morning, afternoon & evening. Then across the top Monday through to Sunday.
Make a note of what category you wear each day timeslot on an average week.
So that could mean
Super casual pyjamas/loungewear – wouldn’t go out in = 2 slots
Scruffs for cleaning/gardening = 2 slots
Fitness gear = 3 slots
Casual – would go out in = 7 slots
Smart casual = 3 slots
Workwear = 4 slots
How to allocate your clothing budget
Imagine a pie, divided it into 21 pieces and divided up to match up with the slots.
Here you have a visual representation of your wardrobe needs on an average week. AKA The ingredients that you need for your wardrobe pie.
Doing this exercise can help you determine what how to allocate your clothing budget. It can also help you justify to yourself that your purchasing habits make sense if you suffer from mum guilt and don’t feel entirely comfortable buying things that are full price…
You can see that based on my example 33% of the wardrobe requirements fall into the casual section with the next biggest piece of pie being smart casual at 14% And yet, there you are, thinking that a pair of Not Your Daughter’s jeans, that is cut to flatter our age group AND be super comfy (that you would wear almost 50% of the time) is too expensive at £150 a pop! Ermmm the cost per wear would be negligible my dear!
Mental health & wardrobe blues
I have done this in the past with a client who needed a mainly smart casual wardrobe but had a wardrobe full of expensive gala dinner dresses. She was wearing hand me downs from her sister that didn’t suit her style personality nor reflected how she wanted to be perceived in business for the largest part of her time. She was worried about spending money on everyday day clothes that would ultimately make her feel good the majority of the time yet would happily splurge on address that was only going to be worn once. Her wardrobe pie was totally mismatched and disconnected from her wardrobe needs.
You might not be making as much effort as you used to. Many of us are now spending much more time at home, possibly dressing more casually as we work from home. Resorting to constantly wearing your scruffs and things you wouldn’t answer the door in is possibly going to result in a decline in how you feel about yourself. Your mental health could take a hit and it could be much more than just the wardrobe blues you end up suffering from. It could be time to invest some time and effort into shopping your wardrobe and exploring which clothes that make you feel nice while still being comfortable for working from home in.
You are worth it
There were some brilliant comments left by the women who joined in my Shop Your Wardrobe 21 Day Style Challenge in January.
'I have enjoyed the challenge as it got me out of a rut, found renewed joy in some things l had forgotten about.'
'I reminded once again to take time to explore my wardrobe and stop wearing the stuff that just came out of the wash.'
'The challenge has focussed my mind & encouraged me to start making an effort again as I’ve not been going out much.'
'I’ve enjoyed rediscovering things I’d forgotten I’d got and making new combinations.'
'This challenge has made me engage with my wardrobe in a much more meaningful way than I have for ages.'
'I have found this a real tonic and positive personal boost, as well as a really fun learning experience. I’ve felt recharged and really inspired after getting in a rut of ‘lockdown’ clothes.'
These comments are a great reminder for us all that clothes can be about so much more than just covering our bodies up and keeping us warm.
So, your homework this week is to have a think about your wardrobe pie and the ingredients you need to make you feel good. The knock-on effect of feeling good in what you wear can have a massive impact on your confidence and how you feel about yourself. And as the loreal advert says – you are worth it.
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