It's springtime and although the weather here in the northeast is not exactly sunny and warm yet, I am anxiously awaiting that first gorgeous day and wearing something light, pretty and fun. But....if you are like me, your closet has probably taken on a life of its own. Mine at the moment is unorganized and messy and in need of some major tweeking! I am on a mission to organize and breathe some new life into my wardrobe this coming weekend so here are some tips to get started:
SORT & ORGANIZE
Start by going through each item in your closet. You are going to make five piles:
The "keep" pile is for those items you love and wear consistently. You may also have items that you bought and haven't worn so try them on again and decide if you are really going to wear it. If not, it goes in one of the other piles! Even if it has the tags still on and you know you will never wear it than there is no use in having it taking up space in your closet. You can donate it (to charity or a friend who might enjoy it) or consign it.
The "repair/revamp" pile is for those items that you love and want to keep but need to be altered or mended. Maybe it needs to be shortened, lengthened, taken in or out. Whatever the case may be, it goes in this pile. Those items can go to your favorite local tailor. If you don't have a tailor, ask around. It is important to have someone who knows what they are doing when it comes to alterations. I have had some bad experiences with tailors who were inexperienced and ruined some of my favorite things!
|A vintage suede vest in my closet that I added vintage trim to and leather tie closure|
The "consignment" pile this is for those items that are no more than a year or so old, in great condition (no rips, stains, etc) that you spent good money on and want to consign. If you have never consigned clothing it is a great way to make some extra money and it's easy. Bring your items to a reputable consignment store near you freshly laundered, on hangers (they give them back) and they will go through your things and decide what is appropriate for their shop. I started consigning over 20 years ago with my good friend Janet who owns two local consignment shops here in Connecticut. Her store is The The Fashion Exchange in Newtown and Danbury, CT. You will find beautiful clothing and accessories here so if you live in the area it's a great place to consign or shop!
The "donate" pile is for clothing that you just don't wear and do not want to consign. You can give them to a friend who might like them or to any thrift store or charity organization that collects clothing. It is a great way to help others and most of the time it's tax deductable. Just make sure you don't donate stained or ripped clothing. It should be something you are proud to donate! Otherwise toss it in the trash!
The "trash" pile is for junk! If it's stained, ripped or just plain hideous then heave it into the trash! Remember to think green though....if it is a fabric that can be used for another purpose like polishing silver or stuffing into boots or handbags to keep their shape than use it!
BUILDING YOUR WARDROBE
1. Now that you have all of your favorite "keep" items together you can start to organize your closet. First of all, invest in good hangers! I recommend huggable hangers. They are felt covered and save tons of space. Plus they grip those slippery garments that always slide off onto the closet floor!
2. I like to hang things by category. Separate skirts, pants, dresses, blouses, etc and hang together. I also then hang them together by color.
3. Notice what you have in your closet. A good basic wardrobe consists of the following:
A LITTLE BLACK DRESS
GREAT FITTING JEANS
CLASSIC WHITE BUTTON DOWN SHIRT
WHITE AND BLACK TOPS
BASIC PANTS SUIT
WELL FITTING DRESS PANTS
ACCESSORIES: HANDBAGS, JEWELRY, BELTS
4. Make a list of the items from above that you do not have currently in your wardrobe. You may have jeans, but are they great fitting, flattering jeans? If not, go get some jeans that make you look and feel great. Some of my favorites are Joes Jeans, J. Brand Jeans and good old Levis.
All of the above is going to take quite some time but this part is key to looking fabulous and breathing some new life into your wardrobe. Accessories make the outfit. Period. You can make or break an outfit with them and totally change the look of a simple black dress with them. Start experimenting with different accessories with one of your favorite outfits.
|Accessories like earrings, necklaces, belts..etc help to pull any outfit together.|
I like mine big and chunky but no matter what your style, adding accessories
will breathe new life into any outfit!
|My "Style" book. I created this with my daughter this past winter while snowed in for days....|
It is a great way to get instant inspiration when getting dressed. I pull pictures from magazines and make notes next to each. It also helps me in my design business to keep up with current trends, colors, patterns, etc..
For more inspiration you can check out Closet Couture, an online site where you can build an online closet to mix and match with what you already own with new pieces you would like to buy. You can experiment with trends, get organized and inspired!
Or check out Polyvore, where you can mix and match products from anywhere on the web to create your own personal style. It also allows you to browse and shop looks that are created by the global community.
Do you want to make it easier to sort through your closet next time around? Then for the next few months turn the hangers around in the opposite direction for each piece of clothing you wear. You will then know that those are the "keepers"!
WOULD LOVE YOUR IDEAS AND INSPIRATIONS FOR YOUR CLOSET AND WARDROBE. IF YOU HAVE TIPS OR IDEAS TO SHARE PLEASE POST THEM!