For many, our closet is a representation of our history, containing dresses, pants or even shoes that hold emotional memories. Often those memories evoke a sense of nostalgia; reminiscing over that purple dress that was worn to a class reunion or those chunky heeled black shoes that looked so “Goth” at The CURE concert.
Then there are those items that had to be purchased because they were “on sale!” Who can resist a bargain? All those bargains add up to a stocked wardrobe containing ill-fitting items or better yet, clothing with the tags still on them! Can you relate?
As a Personal Stylist, I wanted to experience what my client’s felt when their own cavern of precious commodities was under scrutiny. I hired my Mentor, Jill Marinelli to clean my sacred domain. What would my closet reveal? What will I have to let go of? Will the emotions go with them? I was anxious and excited all at once. One thing I knew for sure…Jill had her work cut out for her, I had a walk-in closet over-flowing with clothes!
I should first mention, before a Stylist enters a closet, we do a Personal Style Consultation. We determine your lifestyle, personal taste (colors/styles) and most importantly, take your measurements to determine your body type. Armed with this telling information, the Stylist is ready to get to work!
After several hours of trying on garment after garment, here is what I learned:
- The goal is to create an “active” wardrobe. Walking into your closet should not be a guessing game. It should present clothing that fit, flatter and flaunt your best features! If the item does not achieve that, then donate it!
- Holding on to “memories” will only clutter your closet and your mind. I ended up donating multiple items that were my Nana’s who passed away several years ago. They looked great on her but not me! I realized that I did not have to hold on to her shirt or sweater to keep her memory alive. I can reminisce with family or look at old photos that make me smile.
- Those jeans fit “10 lbs. ago!” Do you often say, “If I just lost 10 lbs. those fabulous jeans will fit me again!” Remembering the “active” wardrobe concept, you have 1 of 2 choices: 1. Live and dress for today, not your future weight. Or 2., If the item is classic and current then store it in a “When I lose 10 lbs.” bin. This way, you still have the item, but it is not hanging listlessly in your closet waiting to be worn.
- Resist the temptation to buy just because it is “On Sale.” I am totally smitten with the word “sale.” I get so excited when I walk up to the register and the clerk says “you got 20% off your total purchase.” Cha-Ching!!! I pat myself on the back and say “what a deal!” Unfortunately, a few of those deals have sat in my closet with the tag still on! I was more focused on the price vs. the fit of the actual item. Like a “sale price,” many tend to buy an item because it was so inexpensive. Be careful when purchasing items that are not well made. They can often cost more in the long run or just wear out. Moral of #4: It is better to have fewer quality items that will last than several inexpensive and sale items that are trendy and won’t wear well.
- Make friends with your Tailor!! This to me, is one of the most important results of a closet clean up. Being petite (I am only 5’2”!), the Tailor has always been my friend. I should use “hem” as my middle name! Why buy something new when you can re-appropriate it? Taking the hem up to knee-level on a long skirt or adjusting the sleeves of a jacket to ¾ length turn a drab item into a new-ish item with a modern, dynamite fit. I just saved you a trip to the mall!
I used to open my closet feeling befuddled, thinking I have nothing to wear. I now walk into my closet with confidence and peace-of-mind. I know the items fit my body’s type and size it is today, not holding on to how I used to be.
Let me help you clean your closet. The end result, LIBERATION!