How to Shop Your Closet!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Sound familiar?  You have a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear.  You have a tough time putting together outfits.  You have so many clothes that you forget what you actually own.  The solution to these problems is not to keep buying new clothes that you don't need, but to actually discover what's in your closet, get rid of the pieces  you're not wearing, and learn to make new outfits from your existing wardrobe. Women spend thousands of dollars a year on clothes, shoes and accessories, yet they tend to wear only a fraction of what they own.  By rediscovering and recycling your clothes,  you can save money and help the environment at the same time!

The first step to shopping your closet is to familiarize yourself with the contents. This means a good closet clean-out.  Get rid of anything that is tired, pilled, stained, ill-fitting or just not getting worn for one reason or another Sort your unwanted clothes by trash, donate, consign, etc.  A fun way to recycle your clothes is to have a clothing swap with your friends.  Break out the wine and cheese and have a ball trading clothes and accessories!

Once you've edited your wardrobe, you have a clean slate to work with.  By weeding out what you're not wearing, it will be easier to organize your clothes and create new outfits.  I recommend organizing your closet like a store by grouping together pants, tops, blouses, skirts dresses, jeans, etc.  I also like to sort these groups again by color (ex:  black pants, beige pants, brown pants, etc).  The more organized your closet is the better!  Also, make sure that you can see what you own.  If you have fabulous shoes that are tucked in the back of your closet in a shoe box, chances are that you'll forget about them.  Make sure that everything is visible  and easy to access.

The next step is to reinvent your clothes by using the pieces in new and different ways.  The goal is to stretch what you already own.  Think out of the box by breaking up sweater sets and suits and dressing up more casual pieces with accessories.  A great way to get fresh ideas is to start your own inspiration book or board by clipping magazine pictures of outfits you'd like to replicate from similar pieces that you already own.
For example, if you like a photos of a model wearing dark wash jeans, a white blouse and a turquoise necklace, you might be able to put together a similar outfit from what you have in your closet.

The last step is to make a focused list of what you need to complete your wardrobe.  Perhaps you own a great floral silk skirt that has remained unworn because it needs a top to go with it.  Or maybe your wardrobe is lacking some essential pieces such as fabulous tees or a good blazer.  Make a focused list so that you only purchase what you need.  Before you shop, do some research on the web to find out what's on sale and which stores have the best selection of what's on your shopping list.

Have fun with your clothes!

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