- Your style;
- What you need;
- What you actually wear.
Each time you wear something, either log it in your bullet journal or hang it at one end of your wardrobe once it’s been washed.
Make a note of:
- How comfortable you felt wearing it (or not);
- Whether you felt confident (or not);
- Whether you like the item;
- What you like about it;
- What you’d swap it for if you had the chance.
See if you can pick out any trends or patterns – for example:
- Are you more of a dresses person than you thought?
- Do you like trousers/pants more than you realise?
- You don’t wear shirts as much as you expected?
- That you have no idea why you have so much green!
Play this wardrobe game for at least a month.
That way you’ll get a fairly accurate picture of how you dress. You can also repeat it for each season, depending on your climate.
Keep a journal and see if anything surfaces emotionally.
Tell someone you trust about what you’re doing in case you need some support.
By the end of the month, you’ll have a clearer idea of:
- What attracted you to the stuff you have now;
- How you really feel about your body and clothes;
- What you really want;
- What you really DON’T want;
- An idea of your next steps.
The REAL reason you have nothing to wear
Comfort shopping or entertainment shopping is one of the biggest reasons why women have loads of clothes they never wear. Don’t go shopping if you’re bored or upset. It feels good for a few minutes or hours, but the feeling never lasts.
You then have to deal with the emotional and environmental burden of the clutter you’ve bought, which makes you feel worse, and you risk restarting the cycle. If you’re also spending money that you really can’t afford to spend, the extra guilt is awful.
The good thing is, you now know what’s happening, so you can find ways to stop doing what you’re doing.
Look for free or cheaper ways to cheer yourself up. Time outside, rewatching a favourite film or TV show, podcasts, or catching up with loved ones can work wonders. Anything that allows you to move aroundor be absorbed in what you’re doing will help you to feel better. There will always be a person or animal who’s pleased to see you – especially if they’re not nearby.
If you know what you want to wear but aren’t sure about making it yourself, look up made to measure folk like The Emperor’s Old Clothes, Grey Milk, and Molby the Label. These small businesses exist especially for people like you.
If you want to sew your own, sign up for online courses like The Mindful Wardrobe Project from Sew Liberated or Design Your Wardrobe from Seamwork. These courses have a community element, so you can see how other people are doing. You don’t have to be alone if you don’t want to be.
Sew Liberated, Seamwork, and Cashmerette are also lovely places to start with sewing patterns. But – if you’re not yet sure of what you want, take your time. And if you’re clear about what you want and have found a pattern, welcome to my world!
About the clothes you REALLY don’t want…
Clothes made from natural fibres can be composted. (Take a look at this Instagram post from Tara of Paper Theory Patterns!) If you do this, make sure you unpick all the threads. These are most likely to be polyester, so they won’t break down as quickly and will harm wildlife.
If you hate the item but like the fabric, see if you can repurpose it for a future garment you actually like.
For the rest – things that can’t be reused or turned to compost – take them to a responsible charity like Traid.
If this is your first time visiting my site, welcome! I’m Natalie.
I design size inclusive knitting patterns for clothes makers who want their garments to fit well. Clothes should serve you, not the other way around. You alter clothes to fit you, not alter yourself to fit the clothes. This is at the heart of everything I do.
I also teach other people how to design knitwear and am currently creating a comprehensive, year-long knitwear design course, covering everything from illustration to pattern grading.
If you’re enjoying my content, you can get more by reading my blog, which features several articles on garment fitting, alterations, knitwear design and sewing pattern reviews, following me on Instagram or Pinterest @natalieinstitches, or signing up to my newsletter.