How to fall back in love with your wardrobe
As normal life finally resumes, we’ve loved getting back to Friday night cocktails and dinner with people we don’t share a house with. But one reunion we’ve not been so excited about? The one with our wardrobe…
By Talya Honebeek
Stepping back into real life means one thing – it’s time to retire the loungewear and start dressing from head to toe, rather than from the waist-up. But how do you go about rekindling the relationship with your wardrobe after a year of elasticated waistbands?!
RETURNING TO PRE-PANDEMIC FASHION?
For activist and public speaker Lindsay McGlone, the return to normality couldn’t come soon enough: ‘I won’t miss pandemic fashion,’ she says. ‘I found myself missing “Lindsay” – it was like she disappeared.’
Lindsay usually chooses to wear bold prints, colours and slogan t-shirts as an extension of her personality and activism work, but after only wearing her work uniform and loungewear during the pandemic, she says she became ‘super apprehensive about wearing the loud prints and bold colours again.’
But when it came to breaking out of her fashion rut after the first lockdown, the effect on Lindsay’s confidence was significant. ‘I needed to go to the bank,’ she says, ‘and I literally wore an explosion of colour – bold earrings, head scarf, everything I could think of. It felt incredible.’
OR A FRESH START?
While Lindsay was able to re-embrace her style by dressing up in her old favourites again, it isn’t as easy for everyone to slip back into their pre-pandemic way of dressing. For some, a fresh start is needed in order to fall back in love with the process of getting dressed.
Influencer and content creator Faye Dickinson started to live in tracksuits during lockdown, finding she had no motivation to get dressed up with nowhere to go. Her solution? A good old-fashioned clear out.
‘Having a major clear out of the wardrobe and keeping the clothes I feel best in, mixing it up with what I’ve got to find new outfits, discovering old pieces and learning some styling tricks to spice things up again is making me fall in love with my wardrobe again,’ Faye says.
Model and presenter Katie Isles went one step further than Faye, hiring personal stylist Katie Portman to help with a new post-pandemic wardrobe edit after feeling that pandemic fashion had a negative impact on her self-esteem.
‘I definitely rediscovered some old favourites that, before the session, were destined for the charity shop pile. Having some fresh eyes looking at new ways to style the ‘same old’ in a different way has brought new life to them,’ says Katie. ‘I’m actually really excited to have an excuse to wear them again now.
‘Before starting the wardrobe edit, we talked about my style personality (I’m an urban with a dash of the dramatic), and I had a colour analysis session (I’m an autumn). Knowing this information is actually quite liberating and it’s also going to make shopping much easier in the future.’
While we’ll all miss the famous pyjama-bottoms-while-on-a-Zoom-call combo, nothing beats the feeling of getting back in touch with your style and wearing clothes that make you feel like yourself again.
Not sure where to start? Fashion stylist Miranda Holder has some simple tips for learning to love your wardrobe again:
1. Get to know your wardrobe again
‘Get reacquainted with the pieces you have already – you may find that you feel differently about many of them, or simply that they don’t fit you or suit your lifestyle anymore,’ says Miranda.
But the big sort-through doesn’t have to be an ordeal. In fact, Miranda advises making it into a fun or even relaxing afternoon activity. ‘Pour yourself a glass of wine, play some music, light a candle. Working with one item at a time, try them on and see how they make you feel,’ she says. ‘Be super critical. Ensure the pieces you are keeping work hard to earn a place on that hanger.’
2. Look for inspiration
If you feel like you’re in a styling rut, take a step back and look around at how other people are putting their outfits together. ‘Use the internet for inspiration,’ suggests Miranda. ‘It’s amazing what an image search for “white jeans outfit” can bring up. Or do it the old-fashioned way and cut out your favourite images from magazines.
‘Have a play and experiment with curating different outfits that you can recreate later.’
3. Be gentle with yourself
‘The pandemic has forced us to re-evaluate much in our lives, so it’s not abnormal to feel differently about what we want to wear,’ Miranda reasons.
Always put your comfort and wellbeing first; if you’re not ready to lose the loungewear, don’t rush yourself. ‘There’s no reason we can’t still feel at ease and look fabulous,’ adds Miranda.
Finding your style groove will mean something different to everyone, but aiming to feel happy and confident in what you wear is a good place to start, whatever that may look like.
‘I’m looking forward mainly to being completely overdressed to everything!’ summarises Lindsay.
Amen to that!