Make the most of what’s in your closet and easily take your wardrobe into winter.
I don’t pretend to be a fashion forward mama, so when it comes to ‘changing seasons’ in Hong Kong, I take one look at my wardrobe then head straight for the shops, because to me it seems far easier to replace my summer items with winter ones than trying to transition my summer pieces into winter outfits. My brain doesn’t quite work this way, which is not fashion savvy or economical (slap on the wrist for me).
Thankfully, Sheryl from Make My Wardrobe Work came to my rescue and bravely agreed to address a few of my major wardrobe faux pas and help me reduce my need to restock my wardrobe by making the most of what I already have in time for winter. I have to say that I’ve never done anything like this before, and it felt like I was letting someone see into my soul, which was a little terrifying!
How Sheryl Works – Sheryl typically starts every consultation with a phone conversation to better understand your needs/issues/style, so when she finally gets introduced to your problem child wardrobe she already knows a little bit about you and your needs. From there you go through your wardrobe, ranking your clothes from 1-10: 10 being your ‘feeling fabulous’ piece, and 1 being something that couldn’t even grace a charity shop sale rack (now that’s saying something, but I bet we all have that hidden gremlin in our closet).
How to Make Space – Once we had ranked my wardrobe, we then discussed how I could make room to highlight my clothes, rather than crushing them. Sadly my wardrobe is on the small size (slight understatement), so space is crucial. We figured that my coats alone took up 1/3 of my wardrobe along with impractical methods of hanging garments such as shorts and skirts. Sheryl gave me a few great pointers on how to address these issues with simple solutions that won’t break the bank but will make for a more streamlined wardrobe:
- Hang skirts and shorts on a multiple tiered hanger.
- Remove all bulky outdoor garments and hang on the back of a door using a hook-over door rack – genius!
Wardrobe Woes – I spoke to Sheryl about one of my biggest issues/fears – COLOUR. My style is minimalist and understated, with a muted palette range and the odd injection of pattern. Sheryl stood me in front of the mirror and pinned a plain black top to my front and then started overlaying different hues. Straightaway I could see how even a dark shade of blue made the biggest difference to my face and features. This was such a simple exercise but so effective. It’s so easy now that we are transitioning into the colder months to gravitate towards darker shades, but try to warm up those strong, dark shades with a splash of colour (you can almost guarantee you have these items in your summer wardrobe).
Winter Wardrobe Revival Time
After only a few exercises and questions I felt like Sheryl understood my size, style and fashion issues and had a good sense for which items in my summer wardrobe could take me through to winter (many of which struck me as obvious warm weather wonders that would soon get hidden away under the bed). The aim was to put together four outfits using everything from my wardrobe that will see me through the winter months. Sheryl not only achieved this, but also really surprised me with the compositions she put together. They were my own clothes, yet in some cases I would never have even thought about putting the full outfit together myself. It felt very much like a building exercise; using some of my summer loves as the foundations and then layering up to form the perfect outfits. I’m so psyched to apply Sheryl’s layering technique to some of my other clothes!
Here are a few snippets of my wardrobe makeover:
Taking a classic Alex Black shirt-dress and prepping it up with a blazon and brogues.
I love this Club Monaco skirt & coat combo. I was so excited to see Sheryl style this with my peacoat & boots.
Yes, I’m still wearing my shorts look
I never and I mean NEVER take my shorts into winter, but with this classic Grana sweater who wouldn’t be tempted?!
This Vamastyle dress was a dead cert to go into hibernation this winter, but after seeing Sheryl layer it up with a classic knit & belt, I’m tempted to try this kind of layering with some of my other summer dresses.
Sassy Mama Verdict – Sheryl is extremely to the point with her advice, but at the same time she didn’t belittle anything I owned or tell me I had to burn the entire contents of my wardrobe and start again… thank goodness, as otherwise my husband may have wanted to kill me (and her!) Sheryl has over 15 years’ experience working in the heart of the retail industry, including turning catwalk styles in to high-street must-haves that were attainable and affordable to all, so I trusted her from the get go. From her technical expertise to understanding her clients within minutes, she was my very own fairy clothes-mother.
Once Sheryl left the apartment I was so excited to get to work on organising my wardrobe, and trying on all her re-styles. I honestly felt like I’d been shopping and was genuinely beaming with delight when I went to open my wardrobe the following morning.
Sheryl was kind enough to leave me with her cheeky top tips to assist you mamas with reviving your wardrobes this winter:
- Fold your knitwear – This may seem obvious, but always fold your knitwear. If you hang it, it will in time stretch and completely lose its shape.
- Invest in good basics – This is definitely something I have only started to do recently, but if you invest in good basics not only will they be kinder to your wallet in the long run, they will also look and feel nicer than those false economy quick fix fashion purchases that you end up replacing 20 times.
- Fold jersey tees; don’t hang (this will free up some hanging space, and save your garments from those nasty hanger marks).
If, like me, the idea of reviving your own wardrobe is a bit too much to digest in one sitting, then you have to absolutely reach out to this fashion gem of a company. Sheryl is devoted to style and wants to make every woman feel a million dollars, whilst helping you to reduce your cost per wear on your closet items and leave you a very happy bunny.
Please check out the website for more details: Make My Wardrobe Work.
Finally, if you are considering what to do with unwanted garments, check out this link full of donation options: Sassy Mama donation directory.
Lead image sourced via The Fashion Guitar, All other pics by Simone Manley