Why It’s A Good Idea To Have A Wardrobe Detox


wardrobe detox


If you have a closet full of clothes but feel you’ve nothing to wear its time for a wardrobe detox.  An efficient working wardrobe should align with your personal style and current lifestyle.  I mean, wouldn’t it be great if every time you got dressed it was quick, easy, comfortable and ultimately confidence-boosting?  Well, it can be that way for you.


Our lives constantly evolve and the wheels of time march on.  What worked for us clothes-wise 10 years, months, or weeks ago, may not now.  That’s not to say all is lost and your money mis-spent.  A wardrobe full of clothes will hold some real gems, they might just be hidden out of sight right now.  Equally, if you can’t get dressed effortlessly, it’s very likely your wardrobe, full or not, doesn’t match your needs.


A wardrobe detox supports your life now


There’s no point in having a wardrobe full of ball gowns if you never go to a ball.  Likewise, Cinders can’t go to the ball without a knockout gown, so this is a cautionary reminder, it’s really important to think about what you need for your life and customise your wardrobe accordingly.


I know it seems super obvious, but a lot of people just skirt around the edges.  Only wearing 20 per cent of your wardrobe, can just mean the other 80 per cent is gathering cobwebs.  If your lifestyle has changed then so must your wardrobe.


My life, for example, has changed lots in the last 12 years. I lived in London for three years where I worked in an office.  After I met my husband I moved back to Bristol.  I started to work from home as a freelance, then went back into an office for a couple of years and now currently do a bit of both.  Meanwhile I swapped weekend bar-hopping for bake dates and swimming lessons with the step-children for some years and am back to day-dating again now the kids have grown up.  It’s all change, all the time, and so has my wardrobe.


De-cluttering unveils the good stuff you already have and saves you money


I have to admit that I’m not good with clutter.  For me a clean environment helps me think clearly.  That said I know others don’t feel the same way.  In fact I can get quite envious of people who enjoy creating a more lived-in feel to their surroundings, including their closet.


However, it can lead to too much clutter.  It’s really easy to build up a large amount of stuff if you’re not careful.  One client that I worked with recently ‘warned me’ that I would be welcomed by ‘the jumble that I call my clothes’ and she asked for some serious help clearing out the JUNK.


She of course didn’t have junk at all, but there was a lot of clothes.  In two wardrobes, under a king-size bed, coming out of side drawers and stuffed in boxes.  However, we methodically went through everything piece by piece and my client gained some much needed clarity.   We checked that clothes fitted her, and not just physically, but was fitting of her lifestyle.


Some clothes did go into a charity bag.  They were no longer of any use to her.  The clothes that remained were all ready to wear now.  We then drew up a short list of  clothes needed to create the perfect wardrobe.  Of course, what truly pleased her was identifying all the really great pieces in her wardrobe that she already had.  It was clearly a win-win situation.


It helps to identify the gaping holes in your wardrobe


As well as identifying what is no longer working in your wardrobe, a detox also highlight pieces that are missing.  These missing pieces can complete outfits and help create the perfect wardrobe for you.  For example, when I did a wardrobe detox a while ago I found that I clearly didn’t have enough tops.  An area of my body that I struggle to buy for, I realised that I had either avoided it (so I had some really great trousers and skirts), or purchased a style that I quickly became disappointed with and given it away.  Either way this left me with few options.


Still, with the problem staring me in the face I was able to rectify it and I really put all my attention in finding solutions and building a capsule wardrobe that stopped me from sitting on the edge of the bed pulling my hair out.  It also stopped me from stock-piling a lot of bottom pieces that I didn’t really need.


It gives you back more time to do other things


There’s no doubt a wardrobe detox will give you more time to spend on other things.  Once you’ve cleared the clutter and purchased any pieces to complete your wardrobe staples, you can see clearly what you’ve got to wear and your daily routine will be simplified.


You can design your wardrobe around the pillars of your life – work, rest and play.  Or, you can divide your closet by colour or season.  Just choose a way that works for you and stick to it.  Ultimately, the goal is to make your life easier, particularly in the morning.  No more standing in front of the wardrobe, head in hands, eyes-rolling over what to wear.  The answer should be very clearly in front of you.  A well-constructed closet simply gives you back much-needed time.


More time for that walk in to work you’ve been promising yourself, perhaps a 10 minute cardio workout, or writing up the food shop!  In your dreams it will be a soak in the bath, catching up on the social media gossip, or watching a bit of morning TV.  But we all know it’s really going to be eaten up with putting the washing on, pulling out the bins and running after the bus.  Still, it is more time and definitely one less stress to worry about.


It helps you create a personal style


A wardrobe detox offers you the perfect opportunity to start your style journey afresh.  Clearing away outdated looks for newly-styled outfits that work for you now, not only acts as a deep-cleanse of past life chapters, but helps you develop a style of your very own.


What you wear says a lot about you and how you want to be seen, indeed it can inform others of who you are and what you’re about without saying a word. So if that’s the case then it’s good idea to work on your own personal style.  Of course finding that style is developed over time and we all make mistakes, but regular detoxing helps to curate the perfect wardrobe that reflects you.


For starters you will only be wearing clothes from a wardrobe that you clearly love, feel confident in, and allows you to shine.


If you want my personal touch please do click here and find out more about my Wardrobe Reboot service.  Let me do the detox for you!



Gail x




Summer Holiday Packing Tips


The holiday had been planned a year in advance.  I had booked our flights in February, spent hours researching various places to visit and finding the right accommodation.  So how come, with all the preparation under my belt and time in hand I found myself on holiday with a badly packed suitcase?  Not planning my suitcase properly was a harsh lesson and one I didn’t enjoy, but it did re-focus my efforts going forward.  Now I’m sharing my Summer Holiday Packing Tips so you won’t make the same mistakes I did.  Please read on and have a great holiday.

Note: this post has been updated from its original posting Holiday Wardrobe Wars, May 2016.


So what went wrong?

Back in 2016, I had, or thought I had, quite a good wardrobe of holiday clothes.  Built over many years, I had gradually got rid of items that were passed their sell-by date, didn’t look as great as they once had, or were so out of fashion it aged me.  In my head I had what I  thought was a decent number of pieces that were perfect for a summer holiday.

So when the time came around for our trip away I gave shopping for new stuff a miss.  I just bought one gorgeous cover up in River Island and an on-trend one-piece swimsuit, like one of these  for those stylish boat trips, oh and a new hat.  That was it.  A busy period at work meant that I didn’t have the head space or energy to give it any more thought and anyway ‘I had a wardrobe full of clothes to get me through the holiday’.

I was also trying to lose a little weight.  However, I hadn’t got to grips with The Body Coach 90 Day SSS Plan that I had been following (review of that plan here) and was struggling to drop the pounds. I’m sure I’m not alone in looking to lose half a stone before a summer holiday (don’t leave me hanging here girls!) so I simply doubled down my efforts to watch what I ate and hoped for the best.


There Was Trouble Ahead


You don’t have to be a fortune-teller to know what happened next. Yep, I went on holiday with a bunch of stuff that I would literally carry on my back (sadly in a backpack) for the duration of the holiday and not wear.  It either wasn’t what I really needed, unsuitable for the trip, or worse still, didn’t fit properly.  Over the next two weeks I would curse my lack of planning and attention to detail on a daily basis.


Back home I vowed that this would never happen again.  I had a big wardrobe reboot (I can help you with this too) and made a list of items that I keep pinned in my closet which I refer to each and every time I am going away.  It gets altered to suit each trip and with new additions, but I know all the items I can choose from depending on whether its a city break, long haul exotic destination or a week in Europe.


The Not Givin In No-Nonsense Summer Holiday Packing Tips

Since the experience I’ve also studied as a personal stylist so I can add to my original list of tried and tested summer packing holiday tips.  So here’s my 2019 Summer Holiday Packing Tips.  I learnt the hard way so you don’t have to…




  • Don’t take the same colour garment that’s cut in three different ways.  You don’t need five pairs of beige shorts in varying lengths.  Don’t pack for just in case, pack for what you need.


  • Don’t take something you have in the wardrobe and always pack, but never wear. (I’m the Queen of this).   If you take it each year, but don’t wear it, you don’t really like yourself in it, so pop it in the charity shop and use the space in your suitcase more wisely.


  • Don’t take a suitcase full of heels if you can help it.  At 5 ft 3 (and a bit!),  I do wear heels constantly, but they can take the joy out of relaxing and aren’t great walking across sandy beaches.


  • Don’t bother buying a hat before you go. It’s a pain in the bum carting it around.  Particularly in departures when you need 12 pairs of hands.  There will be plenty of hats at your destination, that can be worn and left to a new owner.


summer holiday packing tips



  • Make sure you get your holiday wardrobe out for ‘investigation’ at least three months in advance.


  • First off, take everything you didn’t wear last time that you went on a similar trip to the charity shop.  Chances are it’s been building up dust for years.


  • Give some serious thought to where you are going and what you will be doing.  Look at your itinerary and think about how you will spend your days. If it helps I would write down what you will be need for each day. Or simply write down what you can wear under headings, such as day-time, beachwear, night-time and sightseeing trips.


  • Check that everything fits, comfortably (cause that holiday gelato-a-day habit will bite you in the ass).


  • Take a mix of holiday classics and perhaps buy a few new on-trend pieces to go with them.  You don’t have to spend a fortune to update your look so that it’s current yet sophisticated.


  • Plan how each outfit works together, include shoes and accessories.  You can see how these overlap and reduce items like (heavy) shoes as much as possible.


Help Is At Hand


So that’s my top tips for making sure you start your holiday on the right foot.  I hope it’s helped.  If however, you’ve still got concerns, I can help more with a Holiday Wardrobe Reboot or we can go shopping together to find the pieces you need.  Simply drop me a line info@notgivinin.com.


Wouldn’t it be dreamy to arrive at your destination, unzip your suitcase and have the best holiday wardrobe of your life?  Trust me, you can.



Gail x




5 Things I Would Consider When Booking A Personal Shopper


booking a personal shopper


So, you’re booking a personal shopper.  What a great idea!  Of course, you would expect me to say that, but long before I qualified I worked with a personal shopper and I still have the pieces today that I bought back then.  It’s an investment for sure, but its one that should have lasting benefits to you.  A great shopping experience not only results in some clever purchases but also a new found confidence in your own shopping skills.


To get the most out of your personal shopping experience I’m going to share my top tips to ensure you have any experience that is shopping trip gold.


Carve Out A Little Me-Time Before Booking A Personal Shopper


Like any investment it’s worth carving out some time to give some real thought to what you want to achieve.  Consider what you need clothes for and why.  Think about your lifestyle.  If your wardrobe (full of clothes) is no longer working for you chances are they simply don’t fit your lifestyle now.  Perhaps you once worked in an office but now spend your days running a business from the kitchen table.  Or you’ve not long become a mum and are trying to work out who the new you is and adapt accordingly.


Answer these four questions?


  1. What’s in my wardrobe that I’m not wearing?
  2. What percentage of my wardrobe gets worn?  If its only 20-30% consider why?  Has your lifestyle changed?  Perhaps you need to consider a Wardrobe Reboot before you go shopping to identify the gaps in your wardrobe?
  3. How has my lifestyle changed?  For example, are there items I need more of now than I used to.
  4. What is coming up in my diary that I need an outfit for?


Spending time looking at what you need now will really help you reap the rewards when you go shopping.  It will create a brief to give to your stylist and ultimately helps you get to the root of any wardrobe issues that has resulted in your need for some outside support.


Consider How You Want To Spend Your Money


It would be great if we all had endless wads of cash to spend on ourselves, but it’s likely that just like me you’re working within a budget.


So don’t just think about how much money you want to spend; consider how you want to spend it.


Are you thinking of making an investment. Do you want a coat, suit or statement dress that is essentially an investment purchase, or do you want to mix it up with high end/low end price point pieces?


Perhaps it’s a whole outfit that you need, in which case your stylist can help identify which piece within the whole outfit to spend a little more on. For example, you might fancy a trench coat, Breton top and Capri pants with loafers to finish.  The coat and shoes would likely be more of an investment purchase with the aim of enjoying a great cost per wear ratio from the purchase, while the top and pants can be less expensive.


Alternatively, you could a set budget that needs to really work hard for you.  You might need a lot of items.  Either option is absolutely fine, but if you consider your objectives and brief the shopper from the outset, she or he will truly understand where you’re coming from.  Their job is to align your budget to the shops they suggest when you go out together.


Have A Bra Fitting First


It’s actually not an obvious thing do to, but if you haven’t been shopping at all for a while it might be worth having a bra fitting before you go full throttle on a major  shopping expedition.  Or if you don’t have time beforehand make it part of the shopping experience.


What you wear underneath your clothes is truly the foundation for how clothes will fall and shape your body.  A good bra fitting is a great place to start.


Fittings are free in most major department stores and the ones I’ve tried, House of Fraser and Marks and Spencer have not been pushy for you to make a purchase.  There are also brilliant independent shops up and down the country.  If you’re in Bristol or Bath I can’t recommend Perfect Fit in Keynsham enough.  It’s a business that has been going for 26 years or more and offer a very personal service.


The last time I went for a bra fitting (House of Fraser, Cabot Circus, Bristol) I was wearing a 36c bra when I went in.  I left wearing 34DD.  Needless to say my boobs are back in the right place!


Open Your Mind To New Possibilities When Booking A Personal Shopper


No matter what your objectives for booking a personal shopper you should expect them to work to your brief but also, I believe, explore new possibilities when it comes to your style.


Yes, the stylist needs to listen to what you want, how you live your life and if there are more pressing pieces you want for your wardrobe than others, but you can also use the opportunity to see yourself in someone else’s eyes.  So my advice is ‘go with an open mind’ and let the shopper show you fresh and exciting ways to wear new clothes.


There is nothing I like more, or have had a better response from, than when I’ve taken clothes into a changing room that the client would not have picked for themselves and they’ve been stunned by how great they feel and how good they’ve looked.


All I can say is for a true transformation, be open, explore all the possibilities personal shopping offers you and let stylist guide you to a new, stylish you.


Think About Where You Want To Go Shopping


Where to go shopping?  Do you have a favourite brand or shop but you want a fresh pair of eyes to help you identify new looks for you?  Or are you tempted to try a store but feel intimidated to go in?  That’s where a personal stylist will come in to her own, because nothing phases someone who shops for a living!

Sometimes a department store is a good place to start, so consider which one has brands that you like or want to try.  You’re going to be shopping for a few hours, so perhaps when booking a personal shopper think about the area.  Independent stores can be stuffed with some really great pieces, but you’ll be wasting time in a car if you have to drive from one to another during your time with a stylist.  My advice would be to pick an area where there are clusters of shops that interest you.

It’s likely you won’t get everything done in one big shop, for example, in Bristol, Zara is based in Cabot Circus, but you might also like Hush, which is only available in John Lewis at the Mall, Cribbs Causeway. At this point, you just got to prioritize or book more than one personal shopping experience.  Whichever way, have a think about where you want to shop, to make the most of the time spent.



And that’s my five tips for you.  Hope you enjoyed it. Please do share in the comments below if you have you worked with a personal shopper?  How was your experience?  Do you have any tips for readers booking a personal shopper?



Gail x






Bikini vs One-Piece? Once more unto the beach dear friends

“According to what I heard on the radio, it’s the one-piece that’s in this year,” said SP while he was washing the dishes last night.  I know what you’re thinking. What would I do without him!


I also know that many of my friends are making the change from two piece bathing suit to one-piece this Summer, and, while I can see the benefits of doing so, I’m not sure I’m ready.  (Though others by the pool might think I am!)


It might sound silly, but for me, it would feel like a move towards more mature times, like shopping in BHS, and I’m not ready to give in.  I expect there are plenty of you who disagree and I’m not that hard of face or opinionated to look at the alternatives.   Am I making a mistake?  What are the options out there?  I thought I’d take a look-see.

Next - Photo from Pinterest (3) Jungle Print Multiway Swimsuit £32

Next – Photo from Pinterest (3) Jungle Print Multiway Swimsuit £32


I have definitely changed my pool-lounging habits over the past eight-nine years.  I still have the bikini that I wore on my first holiday with SP, but I haven’t put it on in years.  Designed by Kylie or for Kylie by H&M, it’s a metallic, no-bigger-than-a-piece-of- floss-style bikini with padded bra for extra oomph.  It doesn’t cover much.  It wasn’t meant to, we all know how tiny she is.  And so was I, a little bit, back then.


Certainly as I kicked in to myforties I made sure there was more support and more material to my bikinis and I found Marks & Spencer, year after year, has had some of the best options on the high street.  They always produce a really good selection of bandaux tops each year, which means you won’t get strap marks and have to limit your choice of evening wear on holiday. They come in the latest colourways and have removable padding, which normally I dislike in bras, but I’ve found these to have just the right support for me.


M&S Halterneck Bandeau Bikini Top £10


Bottom-wise, the floss has long gone and I’ve chosen M&S’s Roll Top Hipster Bikini Bottoms for quite a few years.  The material is always gorgeously soft and the added width to my hips give me a little more shape.

M&S Roll Top Hipster Bikini Bottoms £14


All in, £24.  That’s not bad and I will be taking my collection with me this year, but what if I, or anyone else, fancies switching it up this holiday season.

The choice of one-pieces out there are actually really, really good.  I did a bit of snooping around and every store that is showcasing its new beach wear has a nice collection of wearable swim suits.  Next has so much choice there’s bound to be something for everyone, from plunging fronts and pretty florals, to more sporty numbers and the one that I’ve included in this post, the multi-way jungle swim suit.  Of course that young slip of a thing looks hot, and not in the same way as I would actually be hot (!), but this one-piece is designed to be worn in six different ways including halterneck, plunge, crossover and one shoulder.  I absolutely love its crisp clean colours.  It would look fantastic on my friends who tan easily.


Matalan has some very pretty pieces as has M&S.  The latter also has a collection of swim suits with secret slimming tummy sections. Thanks guys!  However, it’s John Lewis’ collection that has really stood out to me.  Check out the collection below of really gorgeous prints and colours, many of which are strapless.  We may be losing a number of options in the clothing department as we get older, no more daisy dukes, but by god no-one can take bare shoulders from us girls!

Finding these gorgeous pieces is making me re-think my position- the designers are making it so easy to take the leap.  And wouldn’t it be nice to feel in absolute comfort in a one-piece.  No-one else sees me apart from SP anywho and he’s obviously given me the go-ahead.  Ah, go on then.  I think I might be giving in after all.

Gail xx