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How to make the most of your wardrobe

October 07, 2020 4 min read

Women wearing Brave Edith gold necklaces on white shirt

It’s an understatement to say that life is getting a little simpler these days. We’ve had to learn how to deal with life’s restrictions and to make the most of simple pleasures. I like to think of the Indian notion of “jugaad”; a colloquial Hindi and Punjabi word that means an ‘innovative fix’ and refers to making do with what you have. 

And while we are definitely buying more online and in places like Melbourne, “click and collect” is a wonderful excuse to leave the house, perhaps now is the time to start to spend more wisely.

With that in mind, it seems fitting to share some suggestions on how to create a wardrobe that you can keep looking fresh, rather than constantly replace.

So here goes:

Take a 60/30/10 approach so your wardrobe endures changes in fashion

Maintain around 60% of your wardrobe as investment, staple styles.

These form the basis for most outfits and should be well made, using high quality materials. Choose designers whose designs flatter your shape and are comfortable to wear.

To make sure your outfit always has something uniquely you, look for classic pieces that have unusual elements to make up another 30% of your wardrobe.

These pieces should have some visual interest to them. This could be as simple as interesting stitching, an unusual drape in a classic colour or it could be more dramatic such as a radical fabric in a very simple cut. After a while, you will work out which details you gravitate more towards; and you can make this part of your signature style.

For the remaining 10%, take some risks and go for whatever takes your fancy.

These pieces may be statement pieces that stand the test of time, but they may also be pieces that you’ll wear a lot for just one season. When spending on these, make sure you wouldn’t be concerned if you couldn’t wear them next season but do at least try to make sure that they can be worn with other pieces in your wardrobe right now.

And what about activewear?

It’s true that COVID-19 has really been a transformative year for activewear and for many it has just become “everyday wear”. However, if you’ve invested wisely in your staple styles, you’ll be so comfortable that there’s no need to spend all day, every day in activewear. I may be overly optimistic, but I’d like to think that activewear should fall within the 10% of your wardrobe.

Use accessories to stretch your clothes across occasions

Accessories are a fantastic way to dress your outfit up or down, ensuring that you get more wear from your clothes.

With the increase in mask wearing, layering necklaces can be a great way to add personality during the day without clashing with your mask. They can also help you transition a daytime outfit to early evening drinks, while statement earrings always create presence.

Choose accessories that will stand the test of time.

While it’s easy to be attracted to the latest shiny thing, items that are made from precious materials or recyclable material are infinitely better to reduce waste and are usually more thoughtfully designed and crafted. 

If you love gold but also love larger statement pieces, choose gold vermeil over gold plated brass pieces. Gold vermeil jewellery is made from solid sterling silver and is coated in an extra thick plating of gold so that it not only lasts, but can also be repaired and recycled.

Regularly maintain your pieces to keep them looking beautiful for longer

Take care of your precious jewellery.

Be sure to minimise contact with chemicals, clean your jewellery regularly but carefully, and protect it from air and other items while storing.  We recommend you read our advice on how to keep your jewellery beautiful for longer here.

To keep your clothes looking brilliant, keep them clean but do so carefully.

Try not to dry clean your clothes too often, harsh chemicals can cause fading over time. For many items, mild detergent and a cold hand wash cycle in a front-loading washing machine are kinder on both the environment and clothes. And remember to always put delicate items in a washing bag. Resist the temptation to tumble dry clothes – this invariably shrinks, fades and distorts even the most robust items.

Keep your clothes looking tidy.

Take the sewing kit from the next hotel you stay in and keep it on hand for securing any loose buttons (most buttons these days are machine sewn and some can fall off soon after purchase). Also snip away any loose threads on clothing as soon as you see them, it will not only look neater, but it will prevent you from wanting to tear it off and take the whole seam with you in the process!

Be proactive with your shoes.

Clean them regularly – seriously, they not only look better, they genuinely last longer. Give them a rest between wears, like clothes, they do better if they're given some time to regain their shape after use. Also take care to re-sole and re-heel them before they’ve worn down too far.

Avoid fads by shopping small

Usually more thought and has gone into items made by small business owners who have a personal mantra; their livelihood is based on you loving their product, so these items are often painstakingly created and more likely to provide an interesting and meaningful addition to your look. Items produced by large manufacturers will often reflect current trends, but trends also come and go.


If you are interested in discovering some of our thoughtfully designed jewellery, you can find out more about our Brave Edith collections here.

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“Layers of womanhood” Collar, Repetition Project, Advanced Diploma of Jewellery & Object Design, crafted by Stephanie Sieber from aluminium foil, 2015.
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