How To Spring Clean Your Wardrobe Like A Fashion Editor

ELLE's Senior Fashion Editor Michelle Duguid tells us how

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It’s that time of year again; time to pack away your winter wear for a few months and give your wardrobe a serious spring clean.

Flustered and feeling all of a sudden very sleepy at the overwhelming thought, we turned to our Senior Fashion Editor Michelle Duguid to extract her sage advice about all things wardrobe related.

So sit back and let us do all the hard work for you with our clear-out how-to…

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Get It All Out

“Take every single piece out, look at it, and work out whether it’s still valid for this season,” says Michelle.

Then “try everything on and make as many outfits as you can with each piece – and take a picture of each outfit on your phone or tablet.”

If you’re feeling really organized you can even make these pictures into a reference book.

Be Ruthless

Try and make everything in your wardrobe work, but if it doesn’t, be ruthless.

“It’s got to have a reason, even if it goes into the pile for dog walking. If you can’t find a reason, get rid.”

There’s a ‘but’ though.

“Even your dog walking outfits have got to make you feel nice because there is such an emotional, psychological effect from clothes,” says Michelle.

But Don’t Go Too Crazy

“It’s never about just clearing your entire wardrobe and starting again - who has the money, time or personality to do that?!” says Michelle. “It’s about finding a style and adding to it.”

“It’s pointless chucking your favourite black dress out if you can’t replace it so go out and look for something to replace it with before you chuck it.”

Salvage

If you can, salvage things that you still love but are a bit worn. Sometimes all it needs is a good dry clean or some small alterations.

“I once had a jumper that had a bit of pulling at the back so I attached a bit of black ribbon over it to give it a graphic shape, and turned it into something else.”

Divide And Conquer

Once you’ve been through all your clothes it’s time to sort them into piles: keeping, giving away or selling.

Then it’s time to divide what remains of your wardrobe into categories: shirts, jumpers, trousers, jackets etc so that you can see everything you own.

Do Some Moth Maintenance

Thanks to a fairly mild winter, pesky moths are at an all-time high. It’s essential that you do some due diligence before you pack away your winter woolens and refill your newly-organised wardrobe.

“Hoover your wardrobe, spray with moth repellent, then hang lengths of fly paper and cedar balls inside,” says Michelle.

“Everything in dry cleaning bags should come out because moths like them. Then, before you pack away all your winter jumpers, wash them and then put them in the freezer,” she adds – the extreme temperature will kill off any moths or larvae.

Be Mindful And Maintain Order

In future, “be aware of the key pieces for the season as they will be instant updates,” says Michelle.

“You should looking for the pieces that you can inject into your outfits,” she adds, recommending that you write a shopping list of the new items that will help you get more mileage out of your existing clothes.

“But don’t get them if they aren’t applicable to your lifestyle. If you work in a hot office, what’s the point in buying that huge fisherman’s jumper? It’s the same for the key colours of the season – only if they suit you then invest in them."

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