The New Break-Up Detox: Style Overhaul

After the end of a relationship many women want to literally purge the past. It’s not uncommon to step up the fitness, take on new hobbies and to get a dramatic haircut. If a total overhaul of your image is what you are after, it’s time to re-ivent your wardrobe to reflect the person you are now and how you want to be seen. Alarna Hope, Editorial Stylist and Founder of That Effortless Bitch gives us the tough talk on the ultimate post break up detox.

The feeling that you want to extreme diet, change everything about yourself and show how much better off you are, without your old partner is as strong as ever in the wake of a breakup.

brekupPhotographer: Jan Luzuriaga | Stylist: Alarna Hope | H&MUA: Liv Slee | Model: Jade Williams  

Breakups don’t ever time themselves conveniently and your wardrobe will never be ready for the giant cleanse and shopping spree it’s about to go through, but it’s important you don’t touch your wardrobe during a whirlwind of emotions or while any breakup mixes are playing on Spotify, because it will just end badly and you’ll throw so much more away than you intended to.

Now I’m not a relationship expert, but I’m an expert when it comes to wardrobe maintenance, retail therapy and identifying when you need to shop and make drastic changes to your wardrobe, versus, when you want to. So it’s really important for your wardrobe, savings and sense of styles wellbeing that you don’t rush it when deciding to make those changes.

The First Thing You Should Do: 

I hate to sound like a debbie downer, but it’s not the time to shop – yet. We’ll get to that soon. First you’ll need to asses what you have and the only way to work out what you want to keep, it to understand what your style is.

Are you a go-getting career woman with a wardrobe that could really work some tailored pieces and great accessories? Are you edgy and chic, but lacking those great boots and layering pieces to pull it all together? It’s time to get a mood board going, chop up some magazines or create a board on Pinterest that screams ‘This is me!’

Remove Your Ex From The Wardrobe:

If there’s things in your wardrobe that remind you of your ex, in a bad way – sell them, donate them or burn them, whatever makes you feel better. If you’re not sure how you feel about getting rid of these items, that’s fine too, but you don’t need a daily reminder of that person when you’re trying to heal. Put them in a box and store them somewhere other than your wardrobe.


When cleaning out your wardrobe, have your mood board nearby to help you prioritise what stays and what goes. The three most important questions to ask yourself during this process are:

Have I worn it in the last 12 months?

Do I feel/look fantastic in this?

Does this suit the style I’m going for?

If not, it shouldn’t stay in your wardrobe. Your wardrobe is not a place that should get you down. It should always be that welcoming place you love visiting because everything in there works for you.

As you go through your wardrobe, you’ll probably notice there a few key pieces are missing. This could be a good pair of jeans, a great casual jacket, a cardigan or a pair of comfortable shoes, if you’re missing some items that you think will help you get more wear out of other items in your wardrobe – put them on a shopping list.

Retail Therapy:

One thing you’ll need to remind yourself is that retail therapy should not be your excuse for over spending. Spend a little on yourself, on something that makes you feel fabulous – but don’t spend more than you can afford. Your landlord won’t care about your breakup and you want to be able to feed yourself in the following days- even when you don’t feel like eating.

Work out what you want to spend and if you need all the items on your list right away. Make sure you allocate yourself a budget for these items and include a buffer for a small amount of impulsive purchasing to take place.

I’m not going to pretend that you won’t get the feeling like you need a serious shopping spree, after cleaning out my wardrobe I dragged myself into Wittner and purchased seven pairs of shoes while my mother sat quietly next to me, looking on with worry. And even though retail therapy isn’t always a good solution for every hard moment, that was an important part of the process that I needed, and I got those shoes because five of them were on my list.

Once you’ve had your shopping moment, I recommended keeping the receipts, we can be impulsive when we’re sad – it’s part of who we are.

Make Your Wardrobe Pretty:

Putting extra time into your wardrobe will always pay you back with a sense of ease when getting dressed and it will look so much better, because you’ve kept it neat and tidy – instead of just throwing things in there haphazardly.

I recommend folding all knits and jeans, organising drawers and even replacing your hangers so you have all the same hangers in your wardrobe. It’s surprising how much better a wardrobe can look when you have matching hangers.

What You Need To Remember:

A breakup gives you the time to spend on yourself, going through your wardrobe, working out your style and making yourself feel fabulous in the midst of a very emotional time can really give you a kick in your step. You’re going to be just fine, and you’re going to look damn good in the process.

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