Winter Ready Wardrobe Tips
Autumn Sort Out
Last Saturday 23 Sept saw the autumn equinox. The name comes from Latin and means equal night. It marks the transition between seasons. The time of year when we say goodbye to the summer dresses and sandals and start to think about woolly jumpers and winter boots. It’s all about being cosy and keeping warm for the next few months.
For you to still feel your sassy self and comfortable in your own skin it can be important that you still feel confident about how you look as well as dressing for the weather. And of course, with the cost of energy prices rising we might need to be thinking about how to wear layers (especially if, like me, you work from home) without inhibiting movement or looking like the Michelin man.
How to Wear Layers
From a practical point of view several thin layers are generally warmer than one big one and stop you from looking bulky or feeling restricted in your movement. Wear the heaviest weight fabric item last. It’s easier too, if you’re a woman of a certain age to be able to add and remove layers as required if the hot flushes are paying a visit.
There are some very lightweight but cosy thermal, ‘Heat Gen’ tops that are sold in the underwear section of M & S and I’ve also seen them in Sainsbury’s (I expect other places do similar). They come in various colours and just look like long sleeved tops. I‘ve got a couple – I even got a purple one with silver sparkles last year!
Sleeveless waistcoats and gilets are good ways of adding a layer without restricting your arms. There are some long length ‘duster’ style ones in the shops at the moment which are great cover ups too. Google long length, sleeveless blazer to see what I mean. Brilliant for hiding any lumps and bumps you might be conscious of and good for creating a column effect if you wear top to toe one colour underneath.
Scarves are an absolute must for me in autumn/winter. In fact, I often wear them in spring and summer too – unless it’s really hot! As well as being a great way to add interest and warmth to an outfit they stop your make up going on the collar of your coat and save you money on the dry-cleaning bills. Even the lightweight silky squares can make a difference for keeping your neck warm. They have the bonus of not needing to be taken off indoors too so they can remain part of your outfit.
As ever, be mindful of how you want your clothes make you look and feel. If keeping warm is your number one priority and nobody will see you except the dog it doesn’t really matter if you look like you are dressing for camping. However, check in the mirror against how you want to be perceived in business and make sure how you look reflects that. Not only because of what your clients think but also, it’s about reflecting the right kind of image that makes YOU feel like queen of your own world.
Storing Clothes Over Winter
If you are tight on wardrobe space, you might be putting away the ‘definitely summer only’ clothes and shoes into storage. Make sure things are clean and dry before they go into the suitcases or vacuum bags to avoid moths and mould. You could pop in an old-fashioned lavender bag or make a scented pouch using dry rice and your favourite essential oils to keep things smelling fresh too. Alternatively tumble dryer sheets will do the trick too.
The changing of the seasons is a good time to do a wardrobe audit. It can be a simple process if you do it regularly, especially of you are transferring clothes to storage. It will help you focus on where the gaps are in your wardrobe and create a mental shopping list for the new season.
Here are my tips for sorting and organising your clothes so that you can see what you have. This way means that you are more likely to wear more of what you already have, rather than keep going out buying more stuff willy-nilly because you feel like you’ve got nothing to wear.
· Hang/store by category first, colour second–e.g., all tops together, then put in order – all pink tops together, red tops together, blue tops together etc. Same with trousers, skirts, dresses, jackets etc.
· This categorisation means you can clearly see that you have a plethora of pink tops but nothing blue to wear with those trousers which is why you haven’t worn them yet – blue top goes on the wish list for next time you are clothes shopping.
· Use drawer dividers (I use shoeboxes) to split your drawers into smaller compartments.
· Try vertical folding (The Kondo method) which means you can see everything at a glance
· Think about ‘accessory colour bundles’ for storing accessories by colour rather than type of item. This makes it so much easier/quicker to pull an outfit together. An accessory bundle is when you have all your red accessories together, then blue ones, then yellow etc – this includes things like jewellery, scarves, belts, sunglasses, hats, scarves – you can even include shoes and bags.
· Get everything out and hang things back in the wardrobe with the hangers facing the ‘wrong’ way. Once you’ve worn it put it back with the hanger the ‘right’ way – you can see at a glance what is not being worn as the months go by.
· Get rid of anything that is too tatty or you just know you aren’t going to wear.
· Struggling to let go? Ask yourself whether you would still buy it if you saw it now. If the answer is no, perhaps your style has evolved and it’s time to pass on to charity.
Getting Winter Wardrobe Ready
Is your winter coat(s) handy or have they been stuffed under the stairs for the past few months? It might be time to get them out and give them the once over BEFORE you need them. Get rid of last year’s tissues and receipts from the pockets, check the buttons are secure. Do they need a trip to the dry cleaners or airing outside.
Check your winter jumpers hopefully they’re ready to wear but it might be worth reviewing. A quick rinse through to freshen them up might be needed depending on how they’ve been stored. There are also the bobbles you get on jumpers. Probably ok for a zoom but could look a bit scruffy in real life? You can get rid of any bobbles by running a dry disposable razor over them. A lint roller can also help with removing pilling (and any ingrained pet hairs).
It might also be worth checking out these tips, so you are prepared BEFORE you need them:
· check your tights for snags or holes
· find your gloves and put them somewhere handy
· put any winter scarves through a quick wash
· check your boots don’t need a visit to the cobblers
· do your winter shoes need a clean
Looking the Part
There might be different things to think about if you are now having face to face meetings and not spending all your time online. I know for sure, that I’m happy to wear things on a Zoom call that I wouldn’t think of going out in public in. I’m thinking about the tired, faded printed dresses that look fine on a screen but wouldn’t look good enough anymore for meetings in real life. Of course, this all depends on how you want to be perceived – looking the part for your role, whatever that means to you.
Remember- your clothes should bring you joy, light you up and make you feel the bees’ knees. You are worth it.
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