WHY YOUR WARDROBE is hiding much more than a tracksuit!

It is remarkable that the most shut off place and private room of the house is usually the one that hides the biggest mistakes, faux pas, successes, lucky finds – and ultimately valuable items in the property.

The humble wardrobe has for years been the item that comes last in a hierarchy of important throughout the home – after paintings, sculpture and antiques it would be almost vulgar to add up those collections of cashmere jumpers and boxed sets of Agent Provocateur underwear that you haven’t quite found the right time for.

So why is the wardrobe often overlooked? Once could argue that accumulation plays a big part in this – if you spent £2,000 on a coat would you contact your valuation broker? Maybe not, but after five years of new winter warmer every year, that figure starts to rise rapidly….also clothing just being a functional item went out in The Stone Age, clothes have been about style, exclusivity, and quality for centuries and that has created a fairly modern phenomenon – the clothes collector.

Whilst we all have items in the closet that hardly every get used (for me it is a pair of trainers, used exclusively from January 1 – 7 annually, and a rather ill-advised pale blue suit bought for a garden party in the mid noughties) there are women that seasonally will spend over £100,000 on clothing and it will only be worn once or twice – this isn’t unusual, and strangely it seems to be becoming more common.

Handbags for example; is a fascinating subject. Why do these items receive so much attention and earth-shattering prices. Shoes for many women fall into a similar category of not just simple things that you purchase and wear, but footwear that is lusted after, desired and envied.

With all of these things considered, does that mean that every HNW client has £1,000,000 of clothing – no, but what it does mean is that a lot of these people have not considered that a suit they had made at Henry Poole will no longer cost them £2,000, and those pair of Ferragamo’s may have doubled since you bought them before that cruise, even a simple pair of jeans is almost £100 these days, and I wonder how man women have factored in swimwear eor scarve?

What is very clear is that today’s collectibles can be displayed, or worn and they all can still change value at an astonishing rate and need to be reviewed regularly. A favourite trend is the astonishing market for rare basketball sneakers (that’s trainers in English!) where the secondary market surpasses even Rolex for the biggest increase in value as soon as they walk, or at least are carried out of the shop.

Whilst a valuer cannot go through every drawer in a dressing room, it’s important to establish a clients taste and style, getting to know the client and their spending habits is vital to an accurate valuation – that and a keen eye for a pair of Gucci loafers …