Let’s face it, editing one’s own closet can be daunting! Wouldn’t it be ten times easier to edit someone else’s closet, like your sister’s, cousin’s or best friend’s? Telling someone else what they should obviously get rid of would be easy!
When faced with the prospect of reviewing contents of our own closets we have to face the dead weight from poor purchases, clothes from past decades that just won’t go away and well-intended gifts from others. It can be overwhelming.
But I’ve got your back! I’ve enlisted some helpers for you from all over the world! They are colleagues of mine with great ideas, a lot of understanding, and experience helping others do the same thing I’m asking you to do. Read on for Best Tips from Best Stylists all over the globe.
How long has it been since you wore that garment? Be honest and ask yourself why. If more than a year, it’s time to make a decision…does it need to be altered to fit you beautifully, does it need to be combined in a new way to get you excited again, or is it time to simply let it go? Avoid taking up valuable closet “real estate” with clothes that don’t serve you or make you happy. It’s a very freeing experience!
Pebble Beach, CA
Instead of doing a purge a few times a year, which can be overwhelming, keep a basket in your wardrobe to put items in that you put on and think NO! Not me anymore, too big, too small – it has to go!
Brisbane Area, Queensland, Australia
Lighting: One reason many people don’t edit their wardrobes is because most don’t have a light inside them, making it difficult to clearly see what’s in there. Overhead ceiling lights are inadequate in most cases however one simple solution could be to install a simple battery operated light inside the wardrobe.
Sydney, NSW Australia
If you think you may have gained weight, rather than trying on everything you haven’t worn for awhile and getting depressed over seeing yourself in too-tight clothes, get out a top and a pair of pants that fit well now and measure them. Lay them flat and measure the top across the chest (between bottoms of sleeves or armholes) and measure the pants across the widest part of the hip and/or at the waist. Then measure any questionable garments. If the difference in measurement is an inch or more, they’re going to be too tight (unless they’re really stretchy). Faster than trying on and no visual trauma!
Do you keep the too-small items? Only if you realistically expect to lose weight in the near future. If you do keep them, don’t put them in your closet with “right now” clothes. They will only serve as a reminder that you need to lose weight to fit into them. Store them elsewhere.
I’m always amazed at the number of shoes clients keep that they say are really uncomfortable — shoes they’ve possibly never even worn, they hurt so much! So unless it’s a fabulous pair of shoes for evening that you know you’ll be uncomfortable in and don’t care and only want to wear once in a long while anyway, then if they’re painful to wear, they should go. Shoes that are hard to wear to work or for errands — you’ll never, ever wear them!
How do you decide what needs to stay and what should be retired? There are many ways to edit your clothing, and I like to ask myself one key question to get the process started. You’ve had your clothing for a certain amount of time…did you buy this piece last season? 2 years ago? 5 years ago? Ask yourself is this piece of clothing going to help you get where you want to go? Is it going to help you achieve your dreams and goals for the year? Is it part of the style vision you have for yourself for the next 12 months? If it does, then great! back into the closet it goes. But if the answer is no, or you’re not sure, then it’s time to say goodbye!
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
It truly is a struggle to weed out your own closet…mostly…because there is so much emotion attached to our clothes…you basically remember what you paid for each item…where you wore it…who gave it to you…if there are items in your closet that don’t work “right now” because they don’t fit – but you aren’t ready to get rid of them – at the very least – remove them from your main closet – there is absolutely NO reason to be looking at clothing choices every morning which include those that don’t fit your body – it will only add frustration (and sometimes guilt) to your morning routine…and who needs that?
San Mateo, California
Don’t let the idea of editing your closet scare you away from doing it! It doesn’t have to take all day if you follow a few maintenance tips on a regular basis. I encourage my clients to keep an alterations bag in their closet, next to the dry cleaning bag. When they go to put something on and realize it needs a bit of help, just toss it into that bag! When their are more than 3 items in the bag, it’s time to head to your tailor! Items hanging in your closet need to be ready to go; they must fit, they must be the current season and they must be clean. If you’ve got some chores surrounding your wardrobe, tackle them in small doses. I decide how much time I want to spend on the task, and create a playlist on my iPod, maybe 3-5 songs. I crank the tunes and accomplish a couple of goals. It’s so much fun this way! The benefit of having a wardrobe that is always ready is a huge time savings for me!
Take a break from you closet, go to a cafe and watch people. What looks great on them? Now, go back to your closet and try on new combinations of items. Let your creative spirt flow. Are you finding silhouettes that flatter? Are the color combinations pleasing to you? Is the outfit a keeper?
Margo HasenNew York City
Jewelry is one of those things we often just don’t get to editing or sorting through. What you need to edit your earrings is a smooth surface for sorting, zip lock bags, organza bags, patience & a practical attitude. Dump your earrings on the smooth surface. If there is a stunning solo earring think about reworking it as a pin. If you have the patience to have a jeweler redesign that for you, keep it. If not, into the zip lock it goes. Clip earrings from the 80’s that kill your ears? Into the zip lock bag. Earrings that saw you through high school or those you never, ever wear, that are still on the card, zip lock. Someone else will love them. If you have an earring and you’re just not feeling the love – regardless of why, if they’re in good shape, and still stylish, place them in a organza bag and put in the resale pile. Donate or toss the earrings in the zip lock bags and take the ones you want to resell to your local consignment store. There, don’t you feel better now?
Sue Jacobs BA MA BEd