Clear out your closet and cleanse the clutter in your life. It’s time to weed the unnecessary out of your wardrobe, so your favorite staples have a chance to flourish.
After living out of a suitcase 6 months out of this year, moving out of a house, and making numerous trips from home to Seattle, I have become a master packer. Piles of the “I might wear this” have to be whittled down to the basics for a more effortless trip and lighter load. What I’ve learned from my seemingly nomadic lifestyle is that excess “stuff” is unnecessary.
Vivienne Westwood made a valid point last winter when she encouraged shoppers to “only invest in quality pieces that would last in order to avoid unnecessary waste” (Vogue.com). While her statement is rooted in an environmentalist perspective, she also proves a fashion-forward point.
So! Step Number One: Sift through your wardrobe and make 3 piles of the clothing: 1. For the garments you wear often 2. For those that you seldom wear and 3. For those which you are indifferent about.
Do you see a pattern? In the “keep” pile you should be able to mix and match with ease. (Of course, you will have those few statement pieces that serve well on their own). Now search through your pile of “indifferent”. Slowly add in the garments that you think would enhance your “keeps” or staples. This process will allow you to solidify your style, making you more aware of missing pieces as well as avoidable expenditures for the future.
Step Number Two: You have a few options. If you are a business savvy individual, start listing items for sale on E-bay. If this isn’t for you, pack your pile of “seldom worn” apparel in a bag and head on over to your local consignment shop. Another noteworthy option would to donate your unwanted goods to a charity. http://charityguide.org lists numerous outlets for charitable clothing donations.
Step Number 3: Now that your closet is free from excess, it is time to style your wardrobe. According to WWD Spring 2011 “is looking urban, modern, and functional”. Neutrals play a large role, allowing for a freedom to layer.
Elle Tahari, Jenni Kayne, and Stella McCartney each freshly define such adjectives in their Spring 2011 collections. Look through their collections for further inspiration.
Now that you are organized and inspired, it's time to stir the economy and shop for the staples that will allow you to effectively complete a dynamic wardrobe. Keep Westwood in mind, being sure not to spend your money on unnecessary purchases.
Step Number 4 (optional): While you are on this cleaning kick, why not lend a hand to your grandmother? Spend a day hearing stories from her past, as you look through furs, dresses, and jewelry from the 40's and 50's. You never know what kind of treasures the two of you will uncover.
Please see the next blog post for a few examples of family heirlooms becoming fashionable fifty years later.