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The Style Hawker: New Year Wardrobe Detox

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The Style Hawker (celebrity stylist Annabel Kerman) is here with pro tips on how to expertly clean out your closet for a fresh (and fashionable) start this new year. And yes, she makes house calls!

Most of us have heaving wardrobes, usually full of clothes that don’t fit us or the climate, or that have been with us longer than our children. January is the perfect time to address this; to make a New Year’s resolution to rid ourselves of those toxic two-sizes-too-small pieces, and the expensive unworn splurges that cause us constant guilt, while creating a streamlined rejuvenated wardrobe.  Call it therapy.

I helped Sassy Mama reader Sonya do exactly this.  We emptied her wardrobe, edited, and restyled. Here’s how it went.


Edit Ruthlessly

We’re all guilty of picking up quick-fix low-cost pieces, which five years later are still hanging on in there. Lose them. The same applies to clothes that don’t fit. Once you have culled, it becomes a lot easier to see what you’ve got, and what you might be missing. Sonya has a wardrobe full of strong current pieces, plus she has dropped a dress size. The worn out and ill-fitting extras just confused things.

Store Classics and Climate-wrong Pieces

Investment pieces with longevity: store. Badly chosen splurges: sell and reinvest in your wardrobe. Sonya’s classic (and warm) DVF wrap dresses from the UK aren’t go-to’s in balmy Singapore, but worth saving. Likewise, cold weather pieces like jumpers and coats should be stored.


Reconsider Day and Evening

Sonya had a huge pile of ‘daytime’ pieces, and a far smaller pile of ‘eveningwear’. We mixed things up, doubling her evening options – these blouses take on a whole new look tucked in and accessorised. Plus, don’t rule out wearing a favourite evening item for day.  Life is short — wear clothes that make you feel good.


Assess Your Basics

Any good capsule wardrobe has basics at its heart. Your wardrobe needs: 

  • Good quality neutral vests and tees 
  • Classic denim
  • A tux
  • Go-to dresses for day and evening
  • Tan leather accessories.  

These pieces will allow you to wear statement items that you may have struggled to match up. Sonya has great basics but they had remained in her wardrobe as she didn’t know how to make them shine.


Remember Accessories

In tropical temperatures we often avoid fussy (read: hot) outfits. Here is a perfect time for accessories to take centre stage. A few options each of bags, sunglasses, hats, shoes and statement jewellery, and we can start ‘styling’ ourselves. Sonya owns swoon-inducing designer accessories but they’d rarely been making it into her outfits.


Be Adventurous

Key seasonal pieces will liven up your capsule wardrobe.  Sonya’s lurex pleated midi skirt and striped flapper dress both give her wardrobe a fashion edge, but had remained unworn as she didn’t know how to accessorise them.



An organised wardrobe makes life more streamlined: Group clothing types, create easy access capsules for the school run or workwear, spend a few minutes in the evening pairing an outfit and accessories to make for an infinitely easier morning.  

Even better, photographing outfits as I did with Sonya will save hours of decision making down the line, and give you the effortlessly pulled together style we all aspire to. Not just for fashionistas, it will revolutionise your life.

For a personal wardrobe assessment, and other styling services please contact [email protected] for information.

Lead image, image #5, image #6, image #8, image #9, image #10 and image #13 sourced via Pinterest. All other images are the author's own.

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