Ever go shopping for that perfect outfit and when you try something on at the store those Fun House mirrors and Taylor Swift music blaring in the dressing room convince you it’s exactly what you want/need/must have? But... then you get it home and sadly, you realize that Taylor lied to you (shake it off, girl, 'cause this one’s on you). It doesn’t quite fit and you stick your less-than-loved items in the closet waiting for the day when they’ll look better.
Suddenly, your closet is busting at the seams and you still have nothing to wear. If this sounds familiar, then take it from me: it’s time for a good old fashion closet purge. Grab a bottle of white, put on your big girl panties and summon your inner Beyonce (sorry, not sorry). Things are about to get real.
OUT WITH THE OLD
Literally. Take everything you own out of your closet and place it in a pile on your floor (teenage you would be proud). It may be easier to separate your items via categories, like tops in one pile, pants in another, dresses in a third and so on. Now, here’s the tricky part: hold each item in your hand and determine if it’s still “you”. No doubt you rocked that mini skirt on weekends a few years back, but these days you spend far more of your free time rocking the playground instead of da club. Fight the urge to hold on to something for the sake of memory lane… you have embarrassing photos for that (remember cropped pirate pants? Yeah, toss those suckers)!
Now, take the items that you still like and try them on in front of a mirror. Scrutinize it like you would if you were under that flattering (read: harsh) department store light. Would you buy it all over again? Does it fit the body you have now, not the one you had when you bought it (when you were on that cayenne pepper-lemon juice-what-was-I-thinking cleanse).
If you deem it unworthy of your newer, wiser, sexier self, then toss it! Clothes are like relationships - no sense holding on to something you’re not crazy about. But if you still love it like the first day you saw it (ah, young love) and you’re confident when you strut your stuff, then put it aside. You’ve got yourself a keeper.
IN WITH THE NEW
You’ve drastically reduced the number of items in your closet, but don’t celebrate yet. You’ve still got work to do (cork that bottle; you need to focus)! It’s time to reassess. See what you need to make your wardrobe whole again and decide what you want your fashion year to be. Are you hoping to make 2017 the year of comfort? If this is the case, consider buying pieces that are both comfortable and adorable like a pair of soft leggings with a cozy sweater-dress. Accentuated, of course by a statement necklace that is as fun as you are.
If you want to think less about what you’re wearing on a day-to-day basis, fill out your closet with pieces that never go out of style like stripes and polkadots. Even crisp white sneaks are handy to have in the mix when you’re looking to make a statement (or need to make a quick getaway from that awkward blind date courtesy of mom).
And if 2017 is going to be the year that you’re determined to register a 10 on the “cute and sexy meter”, then keep an eye out for pieces that are versatile. Something that can be dressed up or dressed down but screams stylish either way, like this fun off the shoulder black top (pictured above) that will surely get you some attention (not all good if that’s what you’re looking for).
BAD HABITS BE GONE
Now that you have that roomy closet that would make any HGTV viewer swoon, it’s time to formulate a gameplan to keep it that way. After all, I don’t want to give you this pep talk again in 2018. And 2019. As the year goes on, keep track of the pieces you’re actually wearing versus the ones that are just taking up space (precious, precious space).
When you put your clothes back in the closet after your purge, place the hangers in the opposite direction with the hook facing away from you. After you wear an item, hang it back in your closet “the right way” and it’ll help you keep track of the pieces you wear often. Check back in 6 months to take stock of the items that haven’t been worn since the purge. Maybe you’ll decide it’s time for a mini closet clean or you’ll remember how hot you looked in that neglected little number and find a reason to wear it (only for it to be quickly taken off).
Another good rule of thumb is to toss items that break or get worn out ASAP. No more shoving it in a drawer or corner until you “have time to get it fixed”. If it’s a piece that you absolutely can’t see your year without, then yes, take it to a tailor STAT and put a code red on that must-have. But otherwise, skip the iron-on patches and safety pin bra straps and toss it.
Last but not least, stop talking yourself into keeping a piece of clothing you just don’t love. It may have cost you a pretty penny but if you don’t feel good in it, then all the money in the world isn’t going to buy you the confidence you need to pull it off!
You deserve to look good no matter what you’re wearing. If it’s a cocktail dress to turn heads or an adorable pair of pajamas to keep you warm between the sheets, love what you wear and wear what you love. That’s a fashion trend that’s always in style.
GUEST BLOGGER: DIANA HARBOUR
"I am the founder and CEO of Red Dress Boutique. No doubt, it has been the most challenging and fulfilling experience of my life. I live for my stores and for helping my customers find that perfect outfit. You cannot walk in my store without seeing me in it. From the way Red Dress looks, to the clothes that are picked... my soul is on display."