the clever wardrobe, part two

July 1, 2009

In the previous CW post, it was all about the clothes- knowing what you have and getting rid of what doesn’t work. But your sterling work is not yet done. There are a few things we may have overlooked along the way.. brace yourselves folks, it’s part two. Man, where’s there a dramatic moment video when I need one?

Ah, there we go. First off, it’s time to look at the overlooked- accessories.

A Word On Accessories While you’re getting to grips with the clothing side of things, it’s tempting to ignore the things that haul a look together (how good are scarves for making you look like you’ve made an effort?). But it’s time to delve into the murky world of tangled necklaces and lone, broken earrings.

‘Tis a matter for yourself if you want to take it item by item, or haul the whole lot out. Do remember to save time for the ubiquitous trying-on, sighing (or cringing) at the associated memories, though. I just love that bit.

Again, the same categories would apply as those for clothes- keeping, keeping (but needs mending or some other TLC), to give away, rag/ scrap.

– Jewellery A decent clean, and most pieces look like new. If your pieces are wholly sterling silver or gold, so much the better- you can even risk a small dish of warm, soapy water to really bring up the shine. However, if it’s heavily beaded or costume jewellery, you’ll want to be a bit more careful. A damp cotton wool bud and a dry cloth can do wonders, but do be careful. Look out for missing/ broken elements- I like this idea for replacing a missing stone, which does well in a pinch.

If something really is beyond repair but there is an element you love, why not incorporate it into something else? I’ve made chokers from orphaned pendants and earrings before, and it’s not hard. Alternatively, you could always take it to your Local Friendly Crafty Type and see what magic they come up with. (Hint: We’re available for weddings, bar mitzvahs, your average Tuesday…)

– Bags & Purses Pay very careful attention to the care labels on this one, folks- you don’t want to be like A Certain Nameless CraftyBlogger, who may have put a shoulder bag into the wash and.. well. Let’s just say, there is a 10″ high teddy bear who is rockin’ the place with a darling little oversized shopper. Learn from my mistakes, folks.

When you’re storing them, it’s tempting to just hang ’em over a chair, but pack the larger ones out with tissue paper and/or clean pairs of tights so that they keep their shape and then hang them. Smaller purses or clutches can be packed flat.

– Hats Whatever you do, keep ’em packed out with tissue paper so that they keep their shape. No matter how well they’re blocked, they need a bit of help. The traditional hat boxes are fine storage for them. Flat caps/ berets and the likes need less care but again, watch them care labels! There is a wonderful milliner at the market who is a fount of wisdom on these things, so if you’re in the area, he’d be able to tell you more. I also like this.

– Scarves, Shawls & Other Such Things Most of them keep just fine folded and hung over the bars of a padded or wooden hanger, but the more delicate ones should be folded in either tissue paper or inside a t-shirt.

– Shoes There are shoe afficionados throughout the land who have rack/ box/ shelving systems that would put that bit in Indiana Jones to shame, but you don’t need all that. If you have a lot of pairs, you could think about a hanging storage system or use the original boxes- if you’re like me, a shelf at the bottom of the wardrobe will do fine.

Before you put them away, check for any problems and give them a buff as needed. (If they’re suede or suede-effect, fuggehdaboutit.)  For lesser used pairs, pack out the toes with newspaper or socks so that they’ll keep their shape.

Now, The Fun Bit A fashion montage and your well-earned cup of tea, of course..

So there you have it folks- the clever wardrobe in two easy pieces! I hope this helps, and if you have any further questions, drop me a line in the comments.

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