Time to go shopping – in your closet

Now that we have looked at the top seven trends, let’s go shopping.  First stop is your own closet.

I do a closet assessment each season.  As I took a survey looking for items that reflect the new looks, I hit the jackpot!    The first item that caught my eye was a pair or berry shoes.  I had bought them two years – the closest I could find to red in a  narrow width.  They are like new and will compliment several outfits.   Continuing, I spied a satin blouse with touches of ruffles, worn only once.  This designer blouse with tags still attached, was a nugget discovered in a resale shop in Paris last year.   Finally, I remembered a dramatic necklace that I have had for some 15 years but had forgotten about.    That did it – four out of seven is not bad.   I’ll bet your closet has some treasures waiting to be discovered as well.

Next, I do my semi-annual purge of items that need to be retired.  I arrange my closet into categories – blouses, slacks, etc.  First, I check each garment for obvious sign of wear or spots.  If it looks tired or a spot can’t be removed, it has to go.  (If you find it hard to part with a special garment, put it in a “Sentimental” box and store it away from your closet.)  Next, I try on each item for proper fit including scrutinizing the back carefully.  This is an important step as we don’t see ourselves from the back and garments can stretch and bag or maybe those pulls line or gapes have gone unnoticed.  If it can be altered, it goes into an alteration pile.   If not, it needs to retire.  I then look for different ways of combining outfits for a new look.   I can fall into the trap of dressing on auto-pilot – so it is good to take a fresh look after not wearing that season’s clothes for a few months.  The blouse, shoes and necklace I found will make several new combinations.   Oops, I forgot to check out my shoes.  On reevaluating my favorite pair of boots from last year, I discover that they are due for retirement.

The final step is to make a list of which basics need to be replaced and what items should be added to give a well-rounded wardrobe for fall and winter.  I look at my various activities, the percentage of time I spend at each, and determine if I have something to wear for each occasion, complete with appropriate shoes and handbag.   For example, if you work, that wardrobe should comprise a large percentage of your closet, while if you go to the theatre twice a year, you may just need one outfit.   Another weak area for a lot of people is a great work wardrobe but nothing that looks smart for casual wear.  Now, is time to make the list of those items that will round out your wardrobe.   The “must replace” should have priority while the wish list can be added anytime you’re shopping or nosing through sales or discount stores.   It is such fun to happen on that perfect piece to complete or give a fresh look to an outfit.

If you are not accustomed to doing the semi-annual purge, it is a good habit to start.   The goal is to walk into your closet knowing that everything fits, is in good shape so the only choice needed is which combination you are going to wear today.  If this is too daunting a task, you can always give me a call.  Helping do a closet expedition is one of my favorite activities!