Fashion-stashing: what unwanted clothes do Londoners keep in their wardrobes?

Ever bought that dress to discover you’ve got nothing to wear it with at home? Keeping these unworn skinnies in your wardrobe in the hopes they WILL fit you one day? You’re not alone: the new research carried out by Barclaycard uncovers that Londoners waste £2,875 of precious wardrobe space by storing stuff that they hardly ever wear.

pexels-photo-135620-large1It turns out so many of us have been guilty of so-called “fashion-stashing”. An average Londoner only wears 38 per cent of their clothes and accessories. Before we start gender comparisons, back off, gentlemen – both genders clutter their wardrobes with the things that they never wear!

The poll has also opened the wardrobes of Londoners to check what’s in there: an average woman living in London owns 129 items of clothing, whereas men tend to keep around 115 pieces on average. A London fashionista normally keeps 17 pairs of knickers in her wardrobe, 14 pairs of shoes, ten handbags, nine dresses and nine pieces of outerwear. A fashionable gentleman keeps as much as 16 pairs of socks, 12 T-shirts, 13 shirts, 11 jackets and nine pairs of shoes.

Battles with housemates and partners over your share of wardrobe seem to be inevitable; 17 per cent of the respondents wishing they could get rid of some of their partner’s clothes to make more space for their things. We wonder if it’s high time to change a wardrobe or a partner…

Why do Londoners store the clothes they can’t or don’t want to wear anymore? Over a third claimed that wishful thinking is the reason: 37 per cent of the participants claimed that they keep the unworn items hoping to wear them in the future, when they get fit. Unsurprisingly enough, the capital is also filled with (wannabe) fashion bloggers – and 46 per cent said that it’s not likely for them to wear something again if they’ve been spotted on Insta or Snapchat in their on-point outfit.

And once we decide to get rid of the clothes we don’t wear, what do we do? We certainly don’t return unworn stuff to the retailers: as many as a quarter of Londoners didn’t return an unwanted piece for over a year, mentioning the hassle and return costs, or the embarrassment of asking for a return. Ten per cent of wardrobe hoarders hold on to their clothes intending to take it to a charity shop, but they haven’t done it yet (that reminds me of that stash in my room!)

“There are plenty of ways to reduce this closet clutter, whether it’s through making use of retailers’ return policies, upcycling your items, or donating them to charity shops,” Sharon Manikon, Customer Solutions Director at Barclaycard commented on the research results. “It’s often hard to part with clothes and accessories but our research shows that there’s more than a few forgotten items lingering at the back of the wardrobe. Not only are we losing out on the money we paid for these items, we’re also wasting valuable storage space worth more than two thousand pounds,” she said.

The Barclaycard have also asked a celebrity stylist Alex Longmore to give advice to those who want to stay trendy but don’t want to make their wardrobe explode.

 “As a stylist, I’ve had access to a lot of wardrobes and almost all of them are bursting to the seams with old unwanted items. It’s no secret that property in London is often smaller and much more expensive than other parts of the UK, so Londoners need to be even more organised with their space,” he said. “The best working wardrobe is one that is streamlined; everything in your wardrobe should be wearable and work with other pieces. My top tip would be to be super strict with yourself – If you haven’t worn an item in the last nine months, it’s time to get rid of it!”

Kasia Kwasniewska

Editor in Chief

Passionate about far too many things. Loves reading, watching films, eyeing (and producing) good design, listening to music and stuffing her face with chocolate on a daily basis. Cooks from time to time, and drinks far too much coffee to be a normal human being.
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