Thursday, February 5, 2009

New Year, New Closet!

This month, I began writing a monthly style column for a North Atlanta Women's magazine called "Northside Woman." Here is my first published article:

New Year, New Closet!

Why do most all of us have a closet full of clothes and wake up, most days, feeling like we have nothing to wear?

I believe we feel this way for two primary reasons: one, we keep thinking we’ll find something “new” inside the closet; and two, we are all terrified at getting rid of anything. We’re all packrats at heart, afraid that as soon as we give away something, it will come back in style; or we’ll suddenly lose the 10 pounds we’ve been trying to lose for two decades and that “perfect” pair of jeans will finally fit.

So we keep our closets jam-packed with sentimental sweaters, jeans that have been through at least two presidential administrations, bright colored cocktail dresses that we’re certain will come back in fashion in another year…or two…or ten. Then as we attempt to pick out an outfit in the morning, we open our closet doors to the mass quantity of clothes that just no longer work for us. The “good” clothes are stifled out by the “bad.”

Ever heard the saying “less is more?” Well maybe we should all begin using that mindset when it comes to our wardrobe. I firmly believe that doing a closet audit, even if it means ridding yourself of half your clothes, will make you feel that you actually have more clothes and more things to wear.

Why? Simple: the articles hanging there will fit, be stylish and be more visible. This is a difficult task and many of you will not be able to do it on your own. Just like it is difficult to push yourself in a gym workout without a trainer or a friend, it may be harder than you think to say goodbye to clothes that have lived with you for a long time. So grab a fashion-forward, honest friend (who can say “yes, your butt really does look big in those pants!”) or a professional to help cull through the trash to get to the treasures.

You will need to try nearly everything on, so have a full length mirror, good lighting, and a few hours to complete the task. Here are some tips to make it simpler.

Rules of Good Riddance:
  • If you haven’t worn it in a year, get rid of it.
  • If it doesn’t fit you right now, get rid of it. (Unless you have just had a baby, you can keep it until you get that baby weight off!)
  • If you don’t love it, get rid of it.
  • If someone gave it to you as a gift and you hate it but are keeping it out of guilt, get rid of it.
  • If you don’t feel fabulous in it, get rid of it.
  • If you bought it because it was on a great sale, but have never worn it, get rid of it.
What to do with the banished goods:
  • If it is a designer brand item, consider selling it on eBay. You just might be surprised by what the price a bid-war might get your item up to!
  • If it is good quality, take it to a local consignment store.
  • Take the rest (or the above, too, if you don’t feel like messing with it) and donate it to your favorite local charity.
Your reward will be the feeling of having more to wear and a maybe even a little extra padding in your wallet; either from what you sell or from the tax receipt you’ll receive when you donate. That’s a win, win! Just be sure to spend the newly earned money on something you really LOVE and feel fabulous wearing.

Here's to the new year!

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