Making the Sartorial Cut

As we head into a new season, many of us jump at the opportunity to add to our seasonal clothing collection, but it seems in 2019 we’re increasingly doing the opposite and it may be just the answer to curb spontaneous shopping sprees and put more emphasis on quality not quantity.


Marie Kondo’s groundbreaking approach to decluttering was first outlined in her New York Times best-selling guidebook, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up; a philosophy which very quickly swept through our homes and into our wardrobes where women the world over have been finding themselves detoxing their wardrobes, removing everything that no longer “sparks joy” – Kondo’s trademark phrase. For Cantabrians that don’t have the guiding hand of Kondo herself to navigate the nuances of the closet detox, that role is filled passionately by Bibi Maber from Studio Bibi, a body positive personal stylist who is all about discovering and embracing your personal style. “Closet detoxes are becoming more popular – and women are grateful for it!” Bibi says. You know those pants you purchased on sale that didn’t fit then but ‘will one day’ you’re sure of it. Perhaps it’s the dress – tags still attached – that you nabbed on your way past the store, but you’ve never worn because you’re just not built like the mannequin you saw it on. Or maybe it’s that cute top that washes you out so much everyone asks if you’re feeling OK.

Bibi prefers to take a more strategic approach to adding to your wardrobe, one that will cull the clutter, save money and create more outfit options than you ever thought possible. She will talk through your 10-15 most worn pieces and your 10-15 least worn pieces, to discuss the ‘why’, then she moves onto a colour analysis, before looking at your body shape, style mentors, lifestyle (that means she’s not suggesting you wear 4-inch stilettos to wrangle your toddlers), goals and budget. “It’s about working out what works for you and what gaps there are in your wardrobe.” Bibi is a stylist so not surprisingly she’s all about colour. So how does the Kiwi uniform of black on black fit in? “I love black, but I think it’s an easy way out,” Bibi says. “There’s so much we can do with colour, but the right colour for you is critical. The right colour can completely change your face. It can add a flush to your cheeks and a sparkle in your eyes.”

When you know the colour palette for you, it enables you to develop a base range of clothing; 30-40 essential items that never go out of fashion. This becomes a framework you can build on by adding and subtracting a few statement pieces each season. Other top tips for your capsule collection include choosing classic shapes and patterns that will stand the test of time; opting for high-quality fabrics that will stand being worn to death, and dressing for your body shape so you look and feel your very best. “It can be easy to get stuck in a rut,” Bibi says, “And now’s the time to get out of it!” So what will make the Kondo for you this sartorial season?


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