Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Clean Up Your Act

Despite what many may think, great style does not grow incrementally according to the size of one's wardrobe. More clothes does not equal more fashion sense. Knowing what you own and how it should be worn, is what puts you in a league of your own.

The majority of women are in a fashion rut. We find a few pieces we are the most comfortable in, and use them to create different outfits. I am guilty of this on many occasions, for when I find a dress that I love, I manage to incorporate it in as many looks as possible. As I purchase new items, I tend to favor them over older pieces, and my outfits, in turn, suffer. In order to avoid these predicaments, I have a few suggestions.

1) Try not to wear a pair of shoes more than once during the workweek
Okay, this requires a fairly substantial number of shoes, for which I admit to owning. However, if you are like me, I find that by making myself wear a different pair each day, I not only utilize more of my shoes, but I also am forced to be more creative with my wardrobe. The more shoes I wear, the more outfits I have to create!

2) Think outside the box
Changing up an outfit does not necessarily mean wearing a different shirt or skirt, it can require as little as updating your accessories. Try out a different necklace, or a bolder pair of earrings. Maybe add a belt. You can even channel your inner French chic by throwing on a silk scarf. Outfits without accouterments are blank canvases. Fling on some paint!! Get a little crazy.

3) Re-Organize your closet
I know I know, you think your closet is organized, and maybe you are compulsive like me and it is kept neat and clean. But I'm talking about organize. To like, the millionth degree. If you have seen my closet, you would understand why I am stressing that you rethink your strategy. This is a tough one though: it requires dedication to the cause. But trust me, once you are done, you will realize how much more you have to work with than you than you may have ever perceived.

So here is what I propose:

Take everything out of your closet. The sweaters from the shelves, the dresses and pants from where they hang, do not stop until your closet is completely void of clothing. Once cleared out, start grouping items, first by color, then by likeness (black pants with black pants, black dresses with black dresses, and so forth). While doing this, you should be making a mental note of your inventory, chucking those pieces you will not wear again.

(TIP: Do not be hasty! I have been known to be tempted to throw out clothing I had not worn in years, but found myself-- in rediscovery--wearing them now with much more frequency)

I was not kidding when I said I was compulsive. Personally, I like to see my clothes in color order (rainbow, preferably), grouping items staring with blazers, then long sleeves, short sleeves, skirts, dresses (long sleeve, short sleeve, tank)...etc. I fold sweaters and jeans on the shelves, tank tops are in my dresser, stacked by color. I believe that seeing your clothes along with like colors allows you to truly appreciate all the possible combinations.

If you are feeling adventurous, move on to your shoes. Shoe racks are key, especially the stackable kind (if, like me, you need as much capacity as possible). When I first attempted to organize my massive collection, I grouped my shoes by color and then by likeness. However, I currently have them the opposite, first by kind, then by color. Flats with flats, pumps with pumps, booties, boots, and so on - then as close to color coordination as possible. Wedges are best to keep on the bottom, then flats above, and pumps on the top. I have found that the shoes sit better when stacked this way. To me, fashion and organization is an art. I am an artist.

Now, if you were me, you would be feeling extremely satisfied right now. Give it a chance, I promise you will see a much broader range of possibilities. If you can't, well, then maybe you have a shopping problem, and the only therapy I am familiar with, is the retail kind.


Christine said...

love it! now on to my closet...

p.s. this is proof that i read all the posts finally!

Jose said...

"Take everything out of your closet. The sweaters from the shelves, the dresses and pants from where they hang, do not stop until your closet is completely void of clothing."

um, ok what do I do if all I own is a potato sack, gap capris, and a "Free Winona" t-shirt circa 2001? Do I organize by the content of farm dirt, the level of irony, or the # of times I used the item to validate my fashion sense?

Advise please!

Kate said...

I so need you to come over to my house and help me do my closet!!! I have no idea what is way in the back!!