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Tips to Shop Your Closet First

Buzzle Staff Mar 5, 2020
Fashion and season go hand in hand, change together, and each has the power to ruin your mood. Don't blow your account every month - rediscover what's already yours.
The changing seasons are punctual as always, as is the every-three-month urge to run out and enter debt-land for a whole new wardrobe. But don't. Yes, it is very exciting to put away the bulky sweaters/too-revealing bathing suits/rain gear, but don't blow your net worth for a closet full of new sexy bikinis/cozy sweaters/cute raincoats just yet.
Save a few bucks and shop your closet first. You may find, you need much less than you think.

Prepare Yourself

This is not a chore to be undertaken lightly. Depending upon how much of a pack rat you are, it may take you most of a day. Set aside plenty of time so you don't feel rushed.
Call in an expert (friend) or two to act as an unbiased eye (and also a way to unload some stuff). Pour a glass of wine, but not too many - you'll be making heavy decisions here, and they should not be alcohol-fueled.

Empty Your Closet

Empty it. All of it. Not just your closet, either - search out all of your clothing stashes from the attic to the basement to the various closets around the house, and lay it all out on your bed. We're starting from scratch here.

Weed Out the Losers

If you see anything you don't want right off the bat, get rid of it. Give it to one of your helpers, or put it in a box marked "Donate". If it's very worn, damaged, or stained, just throw it way. Don't be sentimental.
Each item you keep takes up space that you could otherwise use for something you love that fits and makes you look spectacular.

Find Your Favorites

Dig out the pieces that you love and wear all the time, and inspect them carefully. If there are any missing buttons, unraveling seams, droopy hems, etc., place them in the box marked "Mend" - you'll get to them later.
The ones that fit and are in good shape get hung up in the closet.

Find Your Inspiration Pieces

We all have them - those adorable items of clothing that you love, but are just a bit too snug. Or way too small. Or just don't fit in some way. It's time to be honest now - are you seriously going to lose 20 pounds/get a boob job/grow a butt?
If the answer is yes - an honest yes, put them in the closet. If not, into the "Donate" box they go. Try them on before making a decision - if it's just a question of alterations, put them in the "Mend" box if you really love them.

Sort Out The Rest

Here's where it gets tedious, and you'll be happy you invited a friend and wine. At this point, you're left with things that aren't your favorites, but are not bad enough to get rid of.
Serviceable. Middle of the road. And who wants a middle-of-the-road wardrobe? So your mission here is to decide whether each piece should go in the closet, the "Mend" box or the "Donate" box.
Try each piece on. Doesn't fit? Donate it. Kinda old and worn? Throw it out. Makes you look fat/short/flat? Donate it. These are the easy ones. But you will come to a point where everything left in the pile is cute, in good condition, and fits - but it's still just kind of "eh". This is where critical thinking comes into play.
If it doesn't look quite right, decide if alterations would help. A shorter length, a nipped-in waist, etc., can make a world of difference - but if the piece was a discount find to begin with, major alterations may cost more than a replacement would. Donate it.
If something looks okay but isn't quite your style, think about what you could do to update the look. Change out the buttons, add some fringe or beaded trim, dye it, etc. If nothing comes to mind, donate it. But if you can easily imagine a $10.00 craft store makeover turning it into a great piece, put it in the "Mend" box.

Try New Things

Work your way through the rest of your pile this way, then survey what remains in your closet. Play with the pieces, creating new outfits - make a temporary rule that you cannot match a piece with the item you always wear with it, and see what you come up with. Your helper will come in handy here too, being a fresh eye and all.
Make a list of things you could buy that would help tie pieces together. A skinny red belt may magically give you three new outfits, and a pair of nude pumps may bring a few dresses into daytime wear. You would be surprised at what the peripherals can do. Accessorize, dahling!
Drop your "Donate" box off at your charity of choice, and either drop your "Mend" box off at the tailor or sit down with a needle and thread - this is not storage - if you're going to keep these things, you have to fix them! When you go shopping, buy only what's on your list. You have just saved yourself a maxed-out credit card.