Monday, December 5, 2011

How to Love Your Closet: Clean It Out

My closet: Organized Chaos. 
It's hard to tell, but it's organized by type (long sleeve, short sleeve, tank, dress) and then by color within the type!

Besides people wanting to know my thrifting secrets (which are coming soon! get excited!) a lot of people ask me how I decide what pieces to put together into outfits. I usually tell them it starts from knowing your closet and what you have in it, so I am starting a series that will come out for the next few Mondays called "How to Love Your Closet." It will take you step by step through the process of building a wardrobe you can always count on.

This week? Cleaning it out. Here's what you need to do.

Articulate your style.
Maybe not with words, but with something: magazine articles and images, Pinterest boards, modern art, movie stars, TV characters, paint swatches, or fabric samples. How do you want to look? What do you like? You'll have a devil of a time dressing yourself if you don't know. And after you've made your collage/collection/inspirational-whatever, use it to guide your cleaning. Look at each piece and ask, do I like what this piece says about my style and me? If not, you know what you need to do...

Know what suits you.
I am not tall and so there are many things that do not work on me, and I know that. Be honest with yourself. In your heart you know what you feel good in and what you don't. Go with that and get rid of things that don't work on you, no matter how cute/cheap/on-sale they were. They drag down your whole wardrobe! Get them out!

If you don't like how you look in it, how it fits, or what you have to do to take care of it, get rid of it.
Embrace the purging mood when it hits you and make someone else's day. Contribute to their thrifting adventures by donated everything that you don't like wearing because if you don't like it--hold your breath for this revelation--you will either a.) not wear it, or b.) wear it and feel uncomfortable/weird all day. Don't do that to yourself.

And yes, that means the things you hope to fit in someday
Alright, so maybe not everything that falls into this category needs to go. I still have a prom dress that is absolutely NOT happening again, but it's also not going anywhere any time soon because I love it so much. And that's okay. Maybe I shouldn't, but I encourage sentimental clothing attachments no matter how impractical they are. But you know the pieces I'm really talking about: the hipster jeans, the skinny fit shirts, the soul crushing tight skirts. Unless you are actively (and I mean really) pursuing weight loss, embrace your size. I don't mean to downplay either trying to get to a healthy weight or having goals for yourself, but if you're okay with your weight (And don't be ashamed if you are!) don't passive-aggressively undermine yourself by having someday pieces lurking in your closet. Let them go.

Get rid of anything you haven't worn in 4 years.
If you haven't worn it since the Bush administration, it's probably time to let it go.

Put some clothes on probation. 
There are always those pieces that seem great, but you've just never worn. You don't have to throw them out right away, but commit yourself to finding new ways to wear them within a certain time frame. Give yourself a month. Pull them out in the next step of the process and if you can't seem to make them work, it's time to toss them.

Know what you feel AWESOME in. Identify the pieces you already have that make you feel GREAT! They're in there, I know it! Put them somewhere you can get to easily and let them be your go-to clothes for the time being. And never, ever, feel bad about wearing them "too often." Whatever. They make you feel awesome and you deserve to feel awesome as often as you can.

Bag 'em up. Kiss them goodbye. Take them to the thrift store. They'll go to a good home. 

Then come back next week and learn how to play dress up!


1 comment:

  1. Great tips... I need to get better about cleaning out my closet and keeping it organized. I find I love my items so much more when I can see them and I'm not sifting through a ton of crap that I never wear!


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