Wednesday, 27 January 2016

The Wardrobe Angel and the Life Changing Magic of Tidying

What didn't spark joy in my wardrobe

I was going to call this post "How The Magic of Tidying Changed My Life" but I thought that's a bit dramatic, isn't it? Well, no. If you've read the book and been following Marie Kondo's progress around the world then you'll see that she really is changing lives, mine included. My friend Dawn gave me her copy of the book before Christmas and I didn't wait to finish it - I started working over my wardrobe straight away, then came the kitchen, then the dining room, then my office. The sheer sense of relief I felt after holding my possessions in my hand and asking whether they sparked joy was...overwhelming. Straight away I could see what was going to stay and what was going to go; I felt the joy of treasured pieces fill my face with a strong smile and the words "Oh I love this" blurting from my mouth before I even knew what was happening.  Conversely the pieces that sparked NO joy made my mouth crease up like a cat's bum. And the thing is - I had been wearing ALL the items I got rid of. The process was nothing short of magical, enlightening and has changed and informed the way I work with my Wardrobe Angel clients.

Marie Kondo's magical book

Here's what I got rid of from my wardrobe:

A checked shirt from H&M, a pair of pleather trousers from H&M, a Wildfox t-shirt with an angel on it, a striped top from Topshop, a Stella McCartney jumper, a vintage houndstooth pattern top, 2 Zara blouses, an Alice & Olivia blouse and a leopard print jumper from M&S. 

Here's what I learnt from going through my own wardrobe:
  1. I love a very specific type of animal print  I had a grey/black zebra print sweatshirt from H&M which I loved. I bought a leopard print wool blend jumper from M&S Limited Collection which I thought I loved. When I picked up the M&S Jumper and asked it if it sparked joy it dawned on me - NO. Why? The leopard print was brown and blue, not black and brown. I don't get on with brown at the best of times and this jumper's main colour was brown (Hilarious considering I am now Mrs Brown) so into the charity bag it went. 
  2. And another point on patterns  I'm not a huge fan of stripes or checks as it turns out. I have a fitted H&M basic navy and white t-shirt which I love BUT a square cut navy and cream top from Topshop was placed in the charity bag. And my only checked shirt was bagged up for charity as well. As soon as I held it I knew what was wrong - it made me feel masculine. Bye bye checked shirt. 
  3. How strong my connection to my body is  Turns out I like the feeling of being fully covered on my top half. Hence why deep V necks, scoop necks and strappy tops are generally out of my comfort zone. Why? I have a distinct memory of standing at a bus stop one summer when I was 14 wearing a scoop neck white vest and a thigh length wrap skirt. A car drove past and the 3 males in the car wound down the windows and wolf whistled at me. I've felt uncomfortable exposing a lot of skin "up top" ever since.  
  4. Muddy colours are a strong no  As soon as I picked up the Stella jumper I knew why it was going - the muddy blue colour only looked good with a tan and since I don't tan very well anymore it was thankfully jettisoned. Same for one of the Zara blouses in a muddy orange colour - even looking at it made me feel pale and awkward, Gone. 
  5. Finally realising I'm just not a blouse person  And man, I have tried. In myself I just don't feel that ladylike and blouses, to me, are the epitome of ladylike. A while ago I decided I needed  to 'grow up' my wardrobe so I went and bought some blouses. They are both now on eBay. At heart, I just love to wear t-shirts. Yes, with a jacket to smarten them up, but t-shirts nonetheless. And some shirts are awesome; I stole one of Rich's shirts last summer and hardly had if off my back. When I dug down to the preferential feeling of a shirt over a blouse, a shirt means structure which I LOVE (I'm a HUGE fan of structured jackets). In comparison I find blouses very flimsy. Even though mine were crew necked and collared I felt they didn't give me enough coverage (see no.3) as they were sheer. Funny, eh? 
Looking like a right mardy git but, to demonstrate my love of shirts, this is me last summer in Canada wearing Rich's shirt!

And finally...

It's ok to get rid of things that are given as gifts  I am a hard person to buy for - especially when it comes to clothes. Soon after I started The Wardrobe Angel a good friend bought me a Wildfox t-shirt with an angel on it as a gift. She had married up my love of logo t-shirts with my brand. The t-shirt was shoved in a draw and never got worn - I didn't want to offend her so I kept the t-shirt. The book teaches you that it's ok to give away gifts you don't like or want because it is the act of GIVING the gift which is important, not the gift itself.

So, a couple of hours later and stronger sense of colours, patterns, textures wiser. I've read a couple of fashion bloggers take on the book. One blogger asked her clothes "do you serve me?" My mum said she asks the question "would I take you if I moved house?" However you decided to tidy, clear out and get rid I would urge you to do it - give yourself some time to re-evaluate how you want to look and feel in your clothes, and how you want your home to look and feel as well. 

Have you read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying?? What did you action as a result of it?

Til next time. Stay wardrobe happy...x

The Wardrobe Angel


  1. I loved this book! I sorted my wardrobe and my office and then got busy, so the rest of the house is waiting. But I think about principles she lays out all the time.
    I realised I buy a lot of things that I like but don't fit my idea of how I want to dress.
    I'm itching to get started on the rest of the house now!

  2. It's addictive!!!! When I posted a picture of the book on Instagram, one lady who liked the pic said she had reorganised her whole house as a result!!!


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