While this lockdown period could get mentally challenging and question your existence, it is important to channelize your time into doing productive things and organizing your life a little bit.
Still not sure of what to do? Streamlining your clothes is the ideal project for when you are staying in – and will set you up for working from home.
I have practically been in my boxers ever since this lock-down has been announced, making me wonder what it must be like wearing another layer of clothing on top of it and going out normally again.
In times of crisis, we turn to the wisdom and comfort to be found in the movies that we relate to. Here, I refer to the movie, ‘House Arrest’, the 2019 film starring Ali Fazal as Karan. “A world-weary man’s self-imposed house confinement becomes a comedy of errors with the simultaneous arrivals of a peculiar package and a curious journalist.” Teaching us how we could be spending our time at home and not wear ourselves out.
In the space of days, the fabric of our daily lives has changed out of all recognition. We are in our homes, yet in completely unfamiliar territory. It helps a little bit, I think, to take control of that home environment in a positive way. A wardrobe sort-out is a pitch-perfect distraction, at some point over the remaining few weeks. You have been meaning to do this for years, probably, but it’s the sort of thing that has never quite made it to the top of the to-do list – until now.
The revamp plan below is a six-stage process of bite-size chunks. Despite the time freed up by all the plans that have evaporated from my diary, I am finding that – what with working from home, endlessly hand-washing and surface-wiping and juggling Houseparty dates and obviously, the hilarious memes flooding the internet every second, are all that i have been doing. Rather monotonous now. Here’s something productive that I have found peace with.
Step one: Get Started
Some people will tell you to start a wardrobe revamp by getting everything out of your wardrobe and dividing it into piles on the floor. That would make you rather crazy. We are all a little overwhelmed right now and I don’t think turning our bedrooms into a giant fabric tangle is what anyone needs.
Instead, start small. Empty out your sock drawer, throw away old, worn out pairs and also the oddly left our pairs of socks – of course unless you don’t consider that to be fashionable, and look at what you have. If you have enough pairs in good condition, you don’t need to hoard tatty ones “just in case”. Just do one drawer, then make yourself a cup of tea. You can do this with your pyjamas next and sports gear and so on, bit by bit.
Step two: Setting The Vibe
You need different clothes right now, so let’s start with that. The licence to be cosy and comfortable is one of the few positives of this moment, so take full advantage, but it is worth keeping it civilised. If you are working from home, then, yes, you can get away with conducting your video calls in a crisply ironed shirt while wearing your most comfortable boxers on your bottom half. Well, that’s the most presentable you could be.
Step three: The Bottoms
Filter the trousers and jeans that fit and suit you from those that can go to the charity shop.
Start by first getting in your casual Tee and a pair of boxers. Make two piles; one with all your favourite pairs and the other with the ones that have just been lying there. Next step is to keep the latter on a side to be given to charity. Be ruthless. Which clothes are you excited to wear when you start going out again? The rest can go. Now may not be the time to be making unnecessary trips to charity shops – although most are still accepting donations, with precautions including leaving them for 72 hours after drop-off – but you can bag them up and stash them out of the way.
Step four: The Treasures
The quickest route to a style revamp is to focus on the clothes you love wearing and build a wardrobe around them. This is much smarter than weeding around the edges of your wardrobe, which takes ages and doesn’t really change all that much – all you are doing then is physically getting rid of the low-hanging fruit that your brain relegated months ago.
Pull out the 10 pieces in your wardrobe that you wear time and time again and would be devastated to lose. Imagine those as the centre of gravity of your wardrobe, then pull out pieces that work with them – if you have a sports blazer in your treasures, find the bottoms that work best with them and hang them together. If it is a solid shirt for the summer, see if you have a pullover or a chunky cardigan that could make the shirt work as a cool-weather outfit also. Hang this treasure chest together.
Step five: The Outliers
It is important to be season ready and to keep the next season essentials handy. By handy, I mean nicely kept in a suitcase, some place not in your wardrobe next to your essentials. Heavy winter coats can go in a suitcase, along with snow boots and thick gloves in the summers. Likewise, your holiday wardrobe – most swimwear, beach cover-ups, stuff that aesthetically only works out of office – can be packed in, say, a carton and stashed under your bed.
Step six: The Rest
You are nearly there! That was easy, right? Next time you have got a chunk of free time, go through all of your clothes – pull out your five favourites, then your next five, as if you were picking a sports team. Add in a couple of unexciting but solid dependables. You can probably get rid of the rest. You can do this bit by bit – if it takes a few weeks, that is fine. While the world is on pause, we have the time to do the things we never have time to do. You won’t be in those boxers forever. There will be an afterwards. And if that is not worth dressing up for, I don’t know what is.
Cheers – until then!