|Great-Great Grandmama's mourning jacket on display in the spare bedroom|
"Vix, can you do a feature on managing a wardrobe? You see lots of advice out there but more aimed at a 'normal' volume wardrobe - not a vintage/charity-shopped one :) Are you secretly ruthless as to what you keep? Do tell!"
One in, One out.
I can only introduce a new item to my wardrobe if I take something out first. It doesn't have to be like for like, perhaps I'll swap a vintage dress for a charity-shopped pair of 1960's boots but something has to go to make room for the latest addition.
There's no room for something in my life if it doesn't make me feel fabulous.
If I wear a garment and don't get complimented, if it's uncomfortable or generally awkward to wear, then it's a waste of wardrobe space. I make sure the rejected item is immediately listed on eBay or given away, because if it's left to hang around it'll end up back in the wardrobe.
My wardrobe is relevant.
There's nothing in my wardrobe that I can't wear right now.
At the end of the summer I take out the strappy dresses, sun tops and silk harems, launder them and pack them along with a lavender bag in a vintage suitcase. I put away summery accessories (flip flops, bikinis, shell necklaces and feather earrings, straw bags and sun hats).
Anything that needs repairing is put in the mending basket ready for a quiet night in. If it's left to hang in the wardrobe I'll forget about the fault and I'll be stitching the hem back up on a frock five minutes before I'm due to go out.
Keep It Clean
|Make do and mend|
Keep It Clean
Only laundered and crease-free clothing is allowed to hang in my wardrobe. I hate ironing at the best of times but if I have to do it at the last minute it's even more painful. My coat hangers are of the old-fashioned padded variety (bought from jumble sales, church sales and car boots), I can't get as much stuff into the wardrobe but what fits has enough hanging space not to crease.
|Pretty padded hangers and one of my 1970's Avon bluebird pomanders, filled with fresh lavender they'll keep the moths at bay|
Once every couple of months I take everything out of the wardrobe and inspect it carefully. If it's damaged, irreparable and tatty I'll salvage the zips, trims or buttons and it's then donated to the Salvation Army, clearly marked as "rags" on the bag. Even if it isn't shop-worthy many charities get paid per kilo for rags and therefore still benefit.
|1950's ice skates on display in the guest bedroom|
So What If I Never Wear it?
Wardrobe fascists tell people to get rid of stuff they don't wear, well I don't care. If I love it I'm keeping it, relevant, practical, useful or not. Vintage ice skates, Edwardian wedding dresses, Victorian mourning dress and antique ceremonial jackets aren't something I'd wear on a regular basis but rather than getting rid of them or allowing them take up valuable cupboard space I'll display my precious pieces around my house for visitors to admire and for me to dress up in occasionally.
|Victorian ceremonial jacket on display in the dining room|