How to declutter your clothes with confidence

Too many clothes but nothing to wear? A colour consultation is a modern approach to this age-old problem and many people are delighted and relieved at the difference it makes.

Do you have a bulging clothes closet but nothing to wear? Something I often recommend to clients who take my Declutter Your Clothes online course or book a hands-on clutter clearing consultation with me is to have a colour consultation first. It’s not a prerequisite but it really helps. Here’s why…

What happens in a colour consultation

What happens in a colour consultation (or an image consultation, as it is sometimes called) is that the consultant gets you to sit in front of a mirror in a specially well-lit room, and they hold colour swatches up to your face so you can see how they look. ‘See, when you wear this colour you look like shit,’ they say (not really, but that’s what they mean).

And then they surprise you by holding up a colour you would never think of wearing that makes your energy light up so brightly you could almost eat yourself with joy.

You leave with a swatch of colours to take home and then all you need to do is go through your wardrobe, yank out all the colours that are not on your swatch, and go shopping with confidence to find colours that are.

A wonderful investment

The first time I had a colour consultation done was when I was in my thirties and it was one of the best investments I ever made. Most of my wardrobe bit the dust that time. I had another one in my fifties and only 25% got donated to charity that time. So that’s progress. In fact, it’s pretty good because my hair and skin colours had changed quite a bit in those 20 years and intuitively I’d adapted 75% of my wardrobe to that. The other 25% was stuff I had bought based on my old colour swatches when oranges, rusts and reds suited me so well. Now wearing orange makes me look jaundiced and tired, whereas reds, pinks, blues, purples, teals and creams look amazing.

Shopping is a cinch when you know your colours. You just go to a mall, stand in the doorway of each shop, and scan for the colours you’re looking for. If they don’t have them, there’s no need to even go in. You can do most of the mall door-to-door in this way in a fraction of the time it takes other shoppers. When you do find the colour you’re looking for, then it’s all down to the material, the style and the cut.

When it comes to fabrics, I’m certainly harder to please than most because I almost never wear synthetics. Materials like cotton, silk, linen, cashmere and other plant fibres work for me. Polyester, nylon, acetate, triacetate, rayon, spandex and other synthetics don’t because they don’t allow the skin to breathe so they deaden the etheric.

I also avoid any fabrics labelled permanent press, wrinkle-free, moth-proof, static resistant or stain-proof because this usually means they’ve been treated with formaldehyde, perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) such as Teflon, or other nasties. I find these irritate my skin, and studies have shown that the chemicals easily pass into the bloodstream. They are often found in fabrics in the US but banned in many other countries. I find it astonishing they are allowed anywhere.

It’s increasingly difficult these days to find clothing made of natural materials that haven’t been adulterated with some percentage of synthetic mix or formaldehyde treatment, but they’re out there if you look long and hard enough.

How to know which colours work for you

So there you have it. Having a colour consultation is a sure-fire recipe for painlessly clearing out a good percentage of your wardrobe overnight because you will know with certainty which colours work for you and which don’t. And it’s not just about appearance. It’s also about feeling more radiant and better about yourself when you wear the colours and fabrics that compliment your hair, skin tones and personal energy.

If you’re interested to have a consultation yourself, just search online for “colour consultation”, “colour analysis” or “personal image consultant” in your part of the world. It’s generally not expensive, doesn’t take long, and can help you to clutter clear your wardrobe in the most radical and painless way I know. Most consultants will also advise you on the best styles to suit your figure, which may add another level of revelation, and also make-up.

However, I suggest you only work with a consultant who uses with the well-established spring, summer, autumn and winter method of colour analysis. Avoid the consultants who have developed their own colour psychology theories or other weird and wonderful colour analysis methods. They may sound very convincing but I’ve yet to come across one that I could recommend.

Are colour consultations just for women?

Heck, no. My husband, Richard, has had his colours done too. As a lovely bonus, we discovered that the same colours suit us both. I’ve no idea if this is a little-known way to measure couple compatibility but it certainly ensures we always look good together!

Copyright © Clear Space Living Ltd, 2019

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About Karen Kingston

Karen Kingston is a leading expert in clutter clearing, space clearing, feng shui and healthy homes. Her two international bestselling books have combined sales of over three million copies in 26 languages and have established themselves as "must read" classics in their fields. Her best-known title, Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, is now in its fourth edition. She is best known for her perspective-changing insights and practical solutions that enable more conscious navigation of 21st-century living.
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5 Responses to How to declutter your clothes with confidence

  1. Karen, About your colors being compatible with your husband’s: I have a friend who is a designer specializing in color. She assesses the personal colors of her clients and applies it to their home (wall colors in particular), taking into account the architectural style, light changes throughout the day, exterior environment, etc.

    I asked her how she makes this work for couples. Her response was that she’s discovered that most compatible couples are analogous (next to each other) on the color wheel. You’re both spot on. Sounds like you’re definitely with the right guy (but you already knew that)!

  2. Yes Karen I love orange but don’t feel comfortable to wear as much as I used to. Maybe because I’m 58 now. But is great to think about colours and create new ways to dress different!!!

  3. This article was a gem for me! With most of the house clutter free, the last place to tackle was my wardrobe. And so began a spectacular 6 month yak shave! Looking for help, I read this blog &I had my colours done as the blog suggests. My wardrobe is empty, the charity shop is bursting at the seams. I had no guilt in letting expensive purchases go as I know I will never wear them. I am now hoping to buy clothes that suit me, fit me and that I love. And my plan is not to buy too much as the weight has literally started to drop off. Thank you Karen 🙂

  4. I had my colours done some years ago and I was then a Cool Winter. Should I have them done again? And what company should I use?

    1. According to some colour consultants, a person’s colours never change. They stay the same for life. Others say that a person’s colours can change if their skin tone or hair colour changes. In my case, I first had my colours done when I was spending most of my time in Bali, where I had a permanent sun tan. When I moved back to the UK twenty years later, my tan faded and my hair also started greying, and my colours changed dramatically. I could see this for myself, which is why I had already changed 75% of my wardrobe before checking this with a consultant.

      Sorry, I don’t have any recommendations for colour consultants or companies. You will need to look around to see who is available in your area.

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