January is a ‘wonderful time’ for wardrobe clear-outs

The beginning of a new year is a “wonderful time” to embark on a wardrobe clear-out, accordin...
Robert Kindregan
Robert Kindregan

12.09 3 Jan 2024

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January is a ‘wonderful time’...

January is a ‘wonderful time’ for wardrobe clear-outs

Robert Kindregan
Robert Kindregan

12.09 3 Jan 2024

Share this article

The beginning of a new year is a “wonderful time” to embark on a wardrobe clear-out, according to a leading style consultant and motivational speaker.

On The Pat Kenny Show today, StyleBob owner Aoife Dunican said people need far fewer clothes than they think they do.

It’s estimated that 20% of clothes in a wardrobe are worn 80% of the time, with the rest just catching dust.


Ms Dunican said this can lead to unnecessary stress in the morning.

“Research from Marks and Spencer in 2017 says we spend an average of 17 minutes in the morning stressing about what to wear,” she said.

“This is based on people having so many clothes that they don’t know what to wear as if your wardrobe is in chaos, you won’t have time to look through it.

“We have other stresses and other things going on so if our wardrobe is all over the place, we find it very difficult to make that first decision in the day – what to wear.”

Less is more

Ms Dunican said, “Less is more”.

“What I’m seeing is that we own a lot more clothes than we used to,” she said.

“When people think of wardrobe decluttering and detoxing, they think of what they can remove and what they can take out.

“I turn it on its head and say ‘what can we wear’ as we often have stuff in the back of the wardrobe that we are not wearing.”


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A post shared by The Style Bob/Aoife (@thestylebob)

One handy tip when decluttering your wardrobe is to organise clothes in order of preference.

“My favourite thing to do is called the queue system,” said Ms Dunican.

“When I’m categorising women’s clothes especially, I put all their tops in a row of preference.

“When we get to 17 or 18 you have to consider are you ever going to reach for that.

“You can then remove it from the wardrobe and either sell it or donate it to a charity shop, which is the right thing to do.”

Fast fashion

Ms Dunican said fast fashion has contributed to stuffed wardrobes.

"The problem is with a lot of people buying fast fashion, the quality isn’t really there,” she said.

“You’ve also got the pressure from Instagram that you can only wear things once and not wear it again.

“I think you should buy once and buy well. I was raised on a farm with very little money and we went to Dublin twice a year to buy clothes.”

One thing Ms Dunican said she won’t cut back on is the number of shoes in her wardrobe.

“Women have an intense love affair with shoes,” she said.

“High heels are taking a back seat for women at the moment but we need lots of shoes as they can make or break an outfit.

“I look at people’s feet first, it’s the first thing I look at and if anyone is going for an interview it’s the first thing I will notice.”

Main image: An organised wardrobe. Credit: Jason Finn / Alamy Stock Photo

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Aoife Dunican Clothes Declutter Fash Fashion The Pat Kenny Show Wardrobe Clearout

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