A Fresh Start

I just added a Books section to this blog and put my favorite style books there. I’ve read A LOT of fashion and style books and think these are the cream of the crop. Check it out.

After reading Nina Garcia’s book, The Style Strategy in December 09, I was inspired to take another look at my already picked-over closet and was very surprised at how many pieces still lingered in my closet that really didn’t work for me. Organizing your closet seems pretty mundane, I know, but being the New Year and all, it’s time to take look at The Beast behind the doors.

I agree that times are tight and I’m not advocating getting rid of all your clothes and going out to buy new ones, not at all, in fact. I do, however, believe that it’s better to have what you need in your closet and have it look amazing, than to have a lot of clothes that look so-so or don’t fit your lifestyle. As Vivienne Westwood once said, “Buy less, choose well, and mix it all.”

Here are a few things I learned from Ms. Garcia on sorting through a closet:

Taking Stock of What You Have:

  • Seriously consider your lifestyle as you keep/reject items in your closet. If you’re a business woman, think about what is appropriate at your job.  If you work from home, think about how you can be casual without slipping into sloppy. What kind of image you want to project this year?
  • Pick out everything that is worthy of keeping (and makes you feel good) and then inspect it for wear, repair and tailoring needs. If something is beyond repair, you must part with it — it’s only taking up valuable space in your closet.
  • Keep anything that is classic and can be the foundation of your wardrobe (i.e. great jeans, timeless black pants, crisp white shirt)
  • Give a hard look at anything overly trendy. Trends come and go for a reason and you have to let go of these items or put them away for another day.
  • Find a new home for your unwanted items either through charity, consignment stores or by inviting a few friends over to swap items. You just might find a treasure in your friend’s closet and vice versa.

Now, What Do You Need?

  • Organize what’s left into groups – tops, shirts, pants, skirts, dresses, blazers, etc. and if you’re really into it, by color too. Who knew you had five black, jersey tops already? Sorting it out also makes it easy to find things, especially when you’re in a mad dash.
  • Do you have your Style Basics covered? These items are the backbone of every put-together woman and you’ll tweak the look of them based on your own personality:
    • Denim
    • Cashmere cardigan or turtleneck
    • Little Black Dress
    • Classic white shirts
    • Trench coat
    • High-heeled pumps
    • Ballet flats
    • A great handbag
  • Write down what you need and take it with you shopping. I put my list in my phone, so it’s always with me. It’s easy to want everything, but stick to your list and get these covered first. You’ll save yourself a lot money in the long run and double your outfits.
  • Figure out what you’re willing to invest in. Some items are worth paying more for, because they can last you a long time. This year, I invested in a classic, black trench coat. It will last forever and stay chic, regardless of what is trendy at the moment.

Nina has a lot more great advice on fit, fabric, shoes and accessories, plus the best places to get a bargain. Check out her book and the gorgeous illustrations by Rubin Toledo (you may have seen his work in Nordstrom ads). It’ll get your year off to a great start!

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2 responses to “A Fresh Start

  1. Advantageously, the read is actually the freshest on this worthwhile topic. I agree with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your upcoming updates. Saying thanks will not just be complete, for the great clarity in your writing. I will grab your rss feed to stay at the cutting edge of any updates. Admirable work and much success in your business efforts!

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