7 ways to update your wardrobe now

“If it hasn't been worn in a year, it has to go.” Stacey Duguid is clearing out her wardrobe to make room for a few carefully chosen pieces

Added on

By Stacey Duguid on

My bedroom, 4pm, Sunday afternoon: the kids are watching Tom And Jerry while I'm up a ladder, hands flailing, trying to grab a pile of discarded clothes. I'm having a wardrobe purge after too many mornings of "nothing to wear". A bin bag slips, scattering its contents. Looking down, I realise it's not just a bunch of crappy clothes splattered across my bedroom floor – it's my old life.

Yoga retreats, wild weeks in Ibiza, drinking beer on overnight ferries to Athens – self-indulgent travel featured high in my old life plans. The stashed-away summer clothes haven't been worn since having two kids in four years, so I reckon it's time they went (the clothes, not the kids). I tackle the next cupboard. Three skirts with elasticated waistbands worn during both pregnancies; I hesitate before putting them back in the wardrobe. Who am I kidding? There'll be no more babies! I take them out and throw them towards the charity pile and carry on.

These once-treasured clothes now take up too much room and headspace, and I have to be brutal. So, I give myself one rule: if it hasn't been worn in a year, it has to go. Admittedly, there is more to this wardrobe purge than just making room – it's to do with post-baby style, loss of identity, moving on (from mini skirts) and accepting new realities (a soft tummy, not-that-great boobs). Plus, I can't think straight when confronted with a pile of disorganised clothes and reckon, in order to achieve some semblance of style, I need, well, order…

The hard part, I found, is looking at your reflection while asking yourself: 'Do I really need a pair of microscopic tie-dye shorts?'

I believe – perhaps with the exception of the whole of Scandinavia – true style doesn't just happen; it takes time, effort and lots of planning, if you can be arsed. But I think wardrobes can be updated with a few carefully chosen pieces, which can make a massive difference when it comes to updating your wardrobe without breaking the bank.  

And, if you think about it, it's mad to keep adding new stuff to old stuff without checking if the old stuff still works with our bodies and new lives. I'm guilty – especially in the last two years – of flinging randomly selected new stuff in with things I've owned for a long time, but haven't worn in ages. No wonder early mornings have been such a muddle. 

As Jerry smashes Tom over the head for the final time and the kids turn googly-eyed, I dig deep and pile my bonkers Ibiza wardrobe into bin bags and bid farewell to pre-baby and maternity clothes (small sob). Feeling up-to-date doesn't require a whole new wardrobe but, by having a proper clear-out before buying anything new, I reckon you're less likely to make daft mistakes – hello, printed mini dress from Zara. 

The hard part, I found, is looking at your reflection while asking yourself: “Do I really need a pair of microscopic tie-dye shorts?” (Er, no, love, you really, really don't). There's confidence to be found in having an organised wardrobe filled with things that actually fit, so dig deep and let it go. Let it go, then breathe…

7 ways to update your wardrobe now:


  1. Ditch the skinny jeans – I know, I know, but straight legs are more modern:

    Levi 714 straight jeans, £95
  2. Wear a PJ top instead of a blouse (not your ACTUAL PJs):

    Marks & Spencer pyjama-style blouse, £29.50
  3. Invest in an impact jacket:

    Isabel Marant Étoile quilted jacket, £220
  4. Try a new bag style:

    APC shoulder bag, £280
  5. Ditch the tailored jacket for a bomber:

    Zara oversized bomber jacket, £39.99

    Mango satin bomber jacket, £59.99
  6. Swap ankle boots for white trainers:

    Adidas Stan Smith Trainers, £69.99
  7. If all else fails, don a large pair of round frame glasses:

    & Other Stories round frame sunglasses, £12



Tagged in:
fashion advice
Stacey Duguid
how to

Tap below to add to your homescreen

Love The Pool? Support us and sign up to get your favourite stories straight to your inbox