Get back to basics with our three wardrobe essentials

Like every job around the house, the right tools are an essential part of keeping your wardrobe spick and span.We suggest these basics for starters.


  • Get a good pressure steam iron, they’re far better than regular domestic steam irons and make your job ten times easier.
  • A strong ironing board with plain white cotton covers will minimise creases.
  • Iron cleaning stick, sleeve board, ironing cloth, velvet cloth (optional) and a hook on wall or back of door where ironing takes place (so clothes can be hung and steamed at the same time).

Out of Season Storage

  • Duvet cover/old sheets and pillowcases for out of season storage.
  • Acid free tissue for packing, wrapping and filling out sleeves etc.
  • Any of the following can be mixed together to make your own wardrobe and moth repellent potpourri: southernwood, tansy, woodruff, lavender, rosemary, thyme, camomile flowers, cloves, mugwort, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg. Readily available from a herb and spice shop.
  • Lavender bags, potpourri, cedar wood, herb mixes for repelling moths and keeping the wardrobe smelling fresh, renew every 6 months.

Sewing basket

  • Good sharp scissors
  • Black/white/beige threads
  • Plait of coloured threads
  • Invisible mending iron on kit
  • Fabric glue or UHU
  • Sticky Velcro circles (for shoulder pads)
  • Needles
  • Pins and pin cushion
  • Tape measure
  • Safety pins
  • Clothes brush
  • Thread puller needle (for pulling loose threads back through)

Take a deep breath, grit your teeth and let your ruthless streak run wild.

This is definitely the stage at which you need the company of a good (and honest) friend, a strong will and concentration of a Buddhist monk.

Go through wardrobe at the beginning of every season, asking some pretty demanding questions of every piece:

  • Does it fit?
  • Is it comfortable?
  • Is it flattering?
  • Have I worn it in the last year?
  • If not, why not?
  • Is it still in fashion?
  • If it’s not – will it come back into fashion?
  • Would I wear it if it was altered – let out, taken in, shoulder pads removed, shortened, buttons changed, dyed another colour?

Then make three piles

The Good — these go back into the wardrobe on the right hangers in colour families and grouped in trousers jackets dresses blouses etc.
The Bad — Items that need something doing i.e. Dry cleaned, mended, altered etc
The Ugly – Items that can be sold (or swap with friends) Or sent to charity.

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