Perhaps you've heard of "shopping your closet"- so here's a few tips:
- You cannot shop effectively in stores if you're not familiar with your own closet. You need to spend some time sorting through your closet, opening boxes, pulling out the storage bins...wherever you keep the goods...and take stock of what you have.
- I like to make three piles: KEEP, GIVE AWAY, THROW AWAY. (yes, it is that simple) I realize being this decisive about your clothes can be challenging. Believe me, I've witnessed many friends struggle with my recommendation to throw away, especially when they have developed a certain emotional attachment to an item. Do your best to keep emotion out of it. That sweater your ex loved isn't worth keeping if you don't wear it!
- To help the decision making process, I ask myself three questions:
- Have I worn the item once in the last year? If not, it probably should be given away or thrown out depending on its condition. Do give away gently used items- but pit stains or holes really should be trashed! For specialty items, sometimes this heuristic cannot apply: perhaps a great event hasn't presented itself. Hold onto that dress or suit (as long as it fits well) for when the occasion strikes.
- Does this still look good on me? Translation: Evaluate color, style, fit, proportion on your body...all of these impact the overall look of an item on you. So spend some time thinking about if you can say YES to these factors.
- Do I enjoy wearing it, or am I only keeping it for "just in case?" I love the "just in case" rationale...believe me, if you strongly believe you will wear it again, you wouldn't have to keep it for "just in case," you would be wearing it NOW! And you really should feel like a million bucks in it- even a basic t-shirt and jeans can do this!
- Once you isolate the "keepers," you can then start to think about what needs to be replaced from the throw away pile, and/or what's missing to make your wardrobe more comprehensive.
And I like to hold out hope that you can discover something fabulous that you forgot you had...it's like finding $20 in your winter coat pocket when you pull it back out to wear again!