Even though I live in the south, I am a northern girl at heart, so “seasons” are in my blood - though not in Florida. Even so, I keep two closets. One fall/winter, one spring/summer. I’m not a diva. The extra closet is in the guest room. My husband knew better than to argue with me when I claimed it as my own.
Twice a year I transition items out of one and into the other. There is something refreshing about seeing new colors and textures in your closet even though you have owned the clothes for years. It is similar to what we do in retail. Moving garments from one area to another gives an entire new look to a collection, and the store. It is amazing how customers will not notice something until it has been moved!
But back to the closet. Not only is the closet transition a fun uplift, it is a good time to weed out the old, the bad, the ugly. So here are a couple of tips:
1. You’ve heard the rule. When cleaning out your closet, if you haven’t worn it in two years, get rid of it. I am not a full believer in this. While there are always things that need to go bye bye, there are others that are painful to part with. If you have a blouse, or skirt, or pant that you have been waiting to pair with the perfect “something” but just have not found it yet, go find it. This is the time to treat yourself to a few new seasonal pieces.
2. Fat clothes/skinny clothes. You know the ones. The clothes we have for those nagging 5 or 10 pounds that make things shrink and grow. I use my clothes as my scale. If they get too tight, I need to put down the pretzels. Too big? Pick up a brownie, or two. At any rate, closet transition time is a good time to get rid of extra stuff that is really too small or too big. Ditto for the “What was I thinking?” items.
3. Aside from weight, our body shapes tend to change a bit over time. Maybe our middles get too thick, our legs too skinny. It happens. Take a good look at your body type and find a style that makes you look your best. Trying to squeeze into a fitted blouse when you no longer have a waist only makes you look thicker. Go for a more relaxed style. It will feel and look better.
4. Categorize sections. Blouses, jackets, slacks, skirts, suits, dresses. If you have room, break into casual, dressy, work. Then go one step further and color group each category. It might sound a tad obsessive, but if you have never done this, you will be thrilled to see how much easier it is to piece together outfits.
5. Take inventory of the styles you have on hand. Is there a trend? Too much black? (Is that possible?). Too many dresses and too few slacks or vs./versa? Too many sweaters? Jackets? Try to work in some balance as you transition from season to season.
6. Write down the items missing from your closet on a little piece of paper and slip it in your wallet. It is impossible to remember what you need when out shopping - not that shopping has anything to do withneed. A little “note to self” can help you pull together outfits from the stray items in your closet. Don’t forget to put accessories on the list.
7. When adding new pieces to your wardrobe, go for the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent classic, twenty percent trendy. Put the big money in the classic. Investment pieces last a lifetime.
8. Since it is a new season, try a new color. We all have colors that we wear better than others. But if all you ever do is buy red, try something different. You may think you can’t wear a certain color, but the trick is in the tone. For instance I can’t wear red with blue in it, or a “cool” red. But a warm red is perfect.
9. Put anything heavy, tweedy, wooly away in the “other” closet for now. Same goes for items that are brown, rust, copper, evergreen, etc. What you want this time of year is light and airy, bright or pale color, pretty prints. Even if you are having a cold spring, opt for sweaters that are lighter or brighter in color. Lavender cashmere... yum.
I hope this inspires you to start rooting through your closet to shape it up for spring. Not only will it make you feel good, it will help your future shopping expeditions stay focused. If you have any tips to freshen up your closet, please share them here!
Cathy Ann Sauer is a buyer for Nina Raynor in Delray Beach and fashion contributor to Boca Raton Magazine and our sister publication, Salt Lake Magazine.
[Photo by: Chicagofashionconsultant.com]