This is the second in a four part series around building your ideal wardrobe.
Remember that step one is all about getting lean and creating the right base to build upon. You have something akin to madness in your bedroom right now and this post should help restore some order....and space! Get your elixir of choice, turn on your favorite happy tunes (music can soothe the savage beast), and clear your calendar.
- Tell your family/friends that the next four (or five) hours you're busy making magic happen!
- Take a sip of whatever you have
- Remove your clothes from your closet, drawers, underbed bins, and wherever else you store your belongings; and put them into piles (pants, skirts, dresses, shirts, tees, sweaters, shoes, boots, ties, belts, handbags, etc)
- Question: do I do this alone or with a friend? Answer: I'm a lone wolf plus I only trust the opinion of a select few so I say 'go it alone' but if you choose to have a friend in the house, make it someone who has great fashion sense, can see beyond their own preferences, understands your current lifestyle and requirements, and can hold their ground when you want to keep/chuck something that you shouldn't
- Continue on....
- The first pile is TRASH - anything that doesn't fit...is too small (try it on!) or more than two sizes too big, anything with stains even after you've washed it, anything that reads "old" rather than vintage, shoes that hurt when you put them on...you know the ones, and sweaters that no longer retain their original shape
- The second pile is TAILOR/COBBLER - this is for those items that you keep forgetting to fix, buttons missing a great shirt, your favorite Saturday denim that you have to keep hoisting up because the waist is too big, blazers where the sleeves are a touch too short, any shoe with a leather soled bottom that you've worn in the past year while in the rain or snow, pants where the break is more than 1-inch, and
- The last pile are (a bit harder) TAKEAWAYS (think consignment or donation) - this can be a hard pile because it's items that are in reasonably good condition and, under normal circumstances, you would leave put but under the watchful eye of a great stylist they must go! The shirts that are pulling at the chest, any sweater that is peeling even though you just fuzz-busted it last week, shoes you've loved and worn past their prime but are a little less comfortable now, jackets that you rarely wear because they just aren't you anymore, the purses/handbags that only cross your path when you think of something to carry that you don't mind getting dirty, shoes that are the first pair to the other three pair you have just like them, and suits that don't speak to wear you're headed (hopefully up the ladder). This is your money pile because you can turn it into cash at the right consignment store!
Now with what you have left....(stop crying, those shoes are going to a better place)
- Grab the new hangers, and clear bins and boxes you've purchased
- Remember that knitwear always gets folded
- When stacking tees, try to keep darks with darks, and lights with lights
- While the drycleaning plastic bags are BAD, the drycleaner hangers are awesome for your dress slacks because they prevent you from going to work looking like you stepped out of a drawer
- To create space in your shoe closet, place your shoes one behind the other (so only one shoe is showing). It allows you to see more pairs of shoes in a row!
- Choose how you'll organize your hanging items: by function (work, weekend, formal, etc), by color/hues (from light to dark), or by type (shirts/blouses then pants, skirts, and dresses, blazers, etc). The best recommendation is to organize by function ~ this means you'll be able to see everything that is available to wear to work, everything you can wear for date nights and weekends, what's for your moving days, what you can wear to opera night, etc
- Underbed items should be those that you don't need as much, or access only intermittently. I leave all of my summer shirts in one bin
You should be well on your way to a leaner, more organized closet and that is ALWAYS stylish. From here, we'll take a harder/closer look at the items you've retained and how you can begin to curate your closet so you have the items you love and that love you back (and make you look good)!