Search icon


15th Jan 2016

Are Your Knickers in Good Nick? How to Carry Out a Closet NCT

Annmarie O'Connor

Now that we’ve got an insight into the mechanics of what drives you, it’s time to look at the nuts and bolts of your closet. Whether you shop like time and space are about to collapse or, indeed, if the thought of shopping makes you want to collapse; we’ve got to assess the vehicle before we can tune it up.

Got it? Good. Now hand over the keys.

Closet NCT: Annual test of wardrobe worthiness, general cohesion and signs of sartorial exhaustion required for any collection of clothing over three years old, as defined in the Closet Cop-on Act 2016. The test is self-regulating and covers the following aspects:

200 (12)

Suspension: Are your knickers in good nick? No garment, however expensive, ever looked the part without some decent shock absorbers. Get properly measured for bras every six months (hormones + age = shape change). Thongs, briefs, tangas or shapewear: whatever your preference, please ensure adequate fit and coverage. Nothing looks worse than VPL or someone’s arse cheeks taking their cotton briefs hostage.

200 (6)

Steering: These drivers give direction to your wardrobe. Whatever your lifestyle (soccer mom, Cirque du Soleil performer, dominatrix), the contents of your closet should be held together by those pieces worn most regularly. Not a day goes by without a gimp mask and latex teddy? Then make sure they occupy at least sixty per cent of your closet space. Leave the other forty for special occasions, off duty duds, trends and season-specific wear. Everything else must go.

200 (11)

Bodywork: Structure trumps trends. Hormones, babies, genes, age, cream cakes have all conspired to making us feel insecure about at least one body part, especially when the words ‘tight’ or ‘short’ crop up. Valuing cut and silhouette over fashion helps alleviate any muffin top/squishy thighs/wonky boob lament (delete as necessary).

200 (10)

Accessories: Scarves, jewellery, belts, gloves – anything that pulls the old switcheroo and makes people think they haven’t seen the same outfit twice is a keeper. Bags however require more room. Unless you’ve got a display unit or some savvy Swedish space-saving mechanism, they will multiply in ways that will mess with your head and swallow your keys.

200 (8)

Tyres and wheels: Sort out chewed heels, scuff marks, peeling soles, replace insoles. Any shoes that hurt, pinch or cause irreparable joint damage should be considered as a potential safety risk. Avoid being a statistic by applying the following formula designed to determine your individual maximum heel height (Institute of Physics: London, UK): h = Q•(12+3s /8).

200 (9)

The quantum mechanics takes into account variables such as shoe size, ‘pull’ factor, cost, years of experience, fashionability and alcohol consumption. e.g. A size 6 heel fan with five years’ experience, wearing this season’s Louboutins when sober can handle an average 5-inch heel height. However, if she consumes six units of alcohol, ¾ of an inch would be the safest face-to-pavement ratio.

View of the road: Anticipate what’s ahead: How does your closet serve you now? What kind of mileage has it had? Does it need to be refuelled? Will pimping your ride add value to your journey or will it just give you road rage?

Note: Meeting minimum acceptable standards does not ensure closet happiness for a further three years without regular maintenance necessary for reliable and efficient operation. This alone is the sole duty of the closet’s owner.

Annmarie O’Connor is a fashion journalist, stylist and de-cluttering coach over at, with a newly launched book, The Happy Closet.


guest blogger