I do not know anything about sports, so I probably shouldn’t even go out on a limb here and use this as a reference, but I have heard the expression “Batting a thousand.” In technical terms, it means he’s doing well.
Well we are not batting 1000 in our wardrobes. Or whatever. We are batting, like, 200. (Just stay with me here). Statistics say that most women wear 20% of their existing wardrobes. 20%!
I have no idea how they know this. They just do. Just like Alexa figured out that we just got a kitten. There are eyes everywhere. But I digress. 🙂
Again, not a math major, but if I’m calculating this correctly, that means that 80% of our clothes are not being worn. I’m going to say that again for the ladies in the back.
80% of our clothes are not being worn.Random study
What a waste! I don’t know about you, but there are so many dreams linked to the items I choose to buy. I picture myself wearing them while doing interesting things. In Paris. I picture how I will wear them and how they will make me feel.
When we choose to purchase something, and it goes unworn, somehow, somewhere, a fashion angel loses its wings.
It’s really kind of sad.
Sure, there are clothes that we can’t/shouldn’t wear because they are:
- We hate them
- Worn out or stained
- Costume or specific occasion pieces
But what about the rest? Just hanging there, unloved?
Today, I tackle how to wear that 80%.
As Nike not so helpfully put it BITD, just do it. Just add them to your weekly lineup of outfits (you are outfit planning, aren’t you? Read on for more on that!). Instead of reaching for the top you’ve worn a bajillion times, reach for the one with the tags on. Style those items and put them into outfits so can wear them without a lot of effort. No one wants to be fiddling with a broken outfit when they’re trying to get out the door.
Decide what you will wear on a random Tuesday or a casual Saturday, and what you won’t. My criteria are that an item needs to be comfortable, can’t wrinkle too easily, shouldn’t require Spanx, and is easy to care for. If it checks those boxes, it becomes an everyday item rather than an occasional item.
This means that I will allow myself to wear my silk blouses (I just wash them in a laundry bag on delicate and hang to dry) and items that require strapless bras.
What are your criteria? Once you are clear on those, you will see that you can wear more of your wardrobe than you initially thought.
My top tip, probably. Take all of those pretty, fancy, dressy, or office-appropriate tops and wear them with jeans. Or joggers. Or your version of an everyday pant. And take your silky skirts and flowy skirts and office-friendly skirts and wear them with tees.
Combining dressier pieces with casual pieces is an easy way to get more mileage out of both.
I know I sound like a broken record, but this will be my mantra until every woman starts doing it. Look at your calendar for the week and plan your outfits. Scheduling your outfits for the week when you have a bit of time makes mornings so much easier, and prevents you from reaching for the same things over and over again.
Okay, this a next-level scheduling hack, and one I’ll discuss more in one of next week’s videos, but when you look at your calendar, assign each day a dress code. Come up with your own. “Casual” or “Smart” or “Work” or whatever. Then create a handful of outfits for each dress code that are more or less interchangeable. This makes outfit planning so easy and also offers you some flexibility on the days when you wake up and the weather or your mood makes you want to reach for a different outfit.
A small but very practical little thing I do is wear a robe over some clothes when I’m at home. Not all the time, of course, but when I’m cooking or doing something potentially messy. First of all, I’m often cold, so a robe provides some warmth (I have everything from cozy to silky depending on the temps) but it also protects my full outfit when I’m making pasta sauce (which I never do) or loading the dishwasher, and it enables me to wear clothes I might have worried about ruining.
Take your clothes out of the figurative boxes you have them in. Your work clothes don’t just have to be work clothes, and that dress isn’t a Christmas dress at all. It’s just a dress. When we stop putting our pieces in narrow categories and instead just see them as clothes with potential in your everyday life, you will get much more use out of them. See the tip, above, on pairing dressy with casual, and just start seeing every item in your wardrobe as something you could potentially wear on a given Wednesday.
There are exceptions to this (a ballgown, head-to-toe sequins) but they are far fewer than you may think.
Again, this is the topic of one of next week’s videos, but if you don’t have a work-specific wardrobe, make it a point to upgrade 3 of your everyday casual outfits to smart casual outfits. Check your calendar and pick 3 days when you will be out and about more, and will want to feel your cutest, and upgrade your daily casual look with accessories, completer pieces, and elevated hair and makeup. Come up with your own rotation of smart casual looks.
I can’t tell you how many times, during a closet edit, when a client has said something like: “I have no idea what to wear with that white shirt.” If it’s a basic, and you’re not wearing it, you probably don’t like it. For everything else, there is Google. And Pinterest. Just search “what to wear with…” or “how to style a…” and you’ll get more ideas than you can wear in a lifetime.
What did you think of these tips? And which did you find the most helpful? Let’s commit to making the most of our wardrobes in 2023 by wearing what we already own!