How to whittle your wardrobe: edit your closet
By Suzanne S. Brown The Denver Post POSTED: 01/23/2014
If one of your resolutions for 2014 is to get your closet organized, you have a lot of company. Keeping clothes and accessories neat, clean and ready to wear takes more effort that many are willing to expend. People ignore the task for any number of reasons, including lack of time; angst over how to do it; and fear of letting go (or admitting you spent too much money on stuff you never wear).
Marian Rothschild, an image consultant and author who has a maddeningly neat closet in her Boulder home, insists that organizing your wardrobe can be “life-changing.
“People who do it can cut down a lot of stress and time spent getting ready,” says Rothschild, who recently compiled her wardrobe and image advice in the book “Look Good Now and Always.”
In the process of editing your closet, you’ll find things that are perfectly fine that you no longer wear because they don’t fit, they don’t suit you or you’re tired of them. If those items are stylish and in good condition, you can re-purpose them in a couple of ways — by swapping them with a friend, or maybe making a little money by reselling them in a consignment store. More about those options in a bit.
1. Sort and edit
First, it’s time to tackle the main chore. “Edit your closet and remove things you’re not wearing,” Rothschild instructs. Put the items you remove into three piles: donate; clean or repair; consign or swap.
Next, arrange what you’re keeping so that everything is clean and wrinkle-free and ready at a moment’s notice.
Rothschild arranges her clothes on a double-hang rack so that all the shirts and jackets hang on the top and are sorted by color, from light to dark. On a rack below are skirts and pants. Longer dresses hang to the side.
Belts and scarves are also displayed on hangers; shoes are on shelves, and sweaters, T-shirts and other items are folded and put on shelves or in drawers. Frequently worn necklaces are displayed on the vanity in the bathroom.
Also in or near the closet you need two things: a full-length mirror and good lighting. “We see people from head to toe,” she says. “If you’re only using the bathroom mirror, you’re not seeing your hemline and that a skirt or dress doesn’t hit at the right place. Or that you’re wearing shoes that don’t do anything for the outfit. I also always recommend turning around and using another mirror to see the outfit from the back.”
“I just did a ‘dress-up’ and spent some time putting things together to see how they looked and fit,” she said.
Rothschild recommends you do a closet edit at least twice a year: in the spring and fall. “Take a good look and be brutally honest,” she says. “Ask yourself, ‘What’s in there that I will never wear again? If you have well-made classics, maybe designer things, that have some style but you’re not currently wearing, move them to the back of the closet or a different closet.”
She’s not a hanger snob, but Rothschild still likes to have them all the same, so she stores her tops on white plastic hangers and pants on the plain wire trouser hangers you get at the dry cleaners.
Once the closet is organized, it’s time to deal with those other piles. The easiest one to dispense with is the items to donate to such organizations as Dress for Success. You can claim a tax donation and the charity will benefit from the goods.
For garments that need cleaning, repairs or tailoring, decide how much it will cost you and if it’s worth the time and money.
Read more: How to whittle your wardrobe: edit your closet, swap and consign – The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/lifestyles/ci_24971304/how-whittle-your-wardrobe-edit-your-closet-swap#ixzz2rptJTdmT
Marian Rothschild is a certified personal image consultant with Look Good Now, specializing in helping successful professionals achieve a polished presence for intentional leadership image. She is a speaker on Personal Branding and impeccable image for business professionals, corporations, and executives. Please call for details: 720-933-9247.