The previous part ended with a reference to an art collector, who invests time and effort into selecting all artworks belonging to the one special collection. This approach is not only useful when buying additions to your wardrobe, but also when going through what you already own. Be critical when you review a status of your wardrobe. Take a closer look at all pieces and most importantly their quality. Even if a particular item fits you and resonates with your style, you may remember it is made of synthetical yarn what makes it unpleasant to wear. So ask yourself a simple question – is it worth to hold onto it if having it on makes you so uncomfortable? How about that turtleneck made of acrylic, it is your colour and length, but even though it seems to be thick and warm, it is very unreliable, because you are either too warm or too cold whenever you wear it. You probably see my point. Be brave and firm saying goodbye to those less than perfect pieces. Wardrobe detox is a process, so don’t expect to be done in a day, however – if that is your plan and you have the motivation, just go for it. The ultimate goal is to review each and every item in your wardrobe, shoes and accessories included, in a defined period of time. Yes, you should always limit how much time you allocate to the detox, otherwise you may never finalise the process. Once you did a good clean up letting some fresh air into your wardrobe, it is time to see what is missing and what should be replaced.
When searching for new garments, be selective and demanding, if possible – prepare in advance and make some research. This will hopefully help you to gain a distance and not act on an impulse. Some pieces appear to be “it” at the first glance, but when you look closer and apply your knowledge, you may discover their obvious flaws. It is not only fast fashion brands that use cheap fabrics and cut corners on craftsmanship. On more than one occasion I found acrylic sweaters sold by an otherwise reputable brand with a price tag worthy of a merino wool. Always read all info and composition, don’t go for a “nice to touch” impression as your only criteria in assessing quality, because you may be fooled easily. Look closely at seams, lining, buttons and button-holes. If possible, turn the garment inside out and judge the finishing from this perspective. If you find a great silk shirt that is perfect in all but buttons, you may take a risk and replace them, this is easily done, but if a major quality like lining or fabric is not up to your standard, leave it be and do not buy.
Be very picky and demand the best for the budget you have. Always allocate an amount that you can spend and do not get carried away, much less reach for a credit card. Spend the money you have, buy only what you can afford. If your goal is to find a good quality handbag, you don’t have to go for a high end brand, but look for more affordable one. It is a good idea to research second hand market and internet auctions, a well worn Mulberry can be a good alternative to an off the shelf Furla. However, no matter the brand, one solid and well made leather bag is usually a much better investment than four badly made cheap bags in faux leather. Anytime I would pick one beautiful cashmere or merino wool sweater over five made of a synthetic yarn, because one top quality garment will wear well and be a companion for many seasons to come. Personally I am a fan of an understated, classic elegance, but we are all different, the key is to define your own style and buy items that you want to keep and wear for a long time. They do not have to be classics per se, but your own staples that you want to wear over and over again, year after year. With this you will hopefully be able to define what resonates with your individual sense of style and handpick items that are of the finest quality. How to define your style, so you don’t have to redo the detox process every season? The third and last part will offer some advice on the matter.