When was the last time you looked into your closet when you weren’t totally focused on getting dressed in the morning or hanging up your clothes at night? If you really studied its contents, maybe you would be surprised to discover that there are numerous clothing items in there that you don’t wear. If so, you aren't alone. Some experts say that individuals regularly wear only 20% of the clothes that they own. If this is the case, then before you hit the mall for new spring clothes, try shopping in your closet first.
- Start your spring cleaning in your closet. Give away or consign items that no longer fit you, don’t flatter you or you just don’t like.
- Arrange your closet first by clothing type such as pants, skirts and tops and then by color within each grouping.
- Look closely at the items that made the cut and are still in your closet. Begin thinking about what you already have or could purchase inexpensively that would go well with each piece. Perhaps an eye catching accessory, such as a belt or a scarf, is all you need to breathe new life into a cardigan or top from several seasons ago.
- Give yourself permission to see your clothes with new eyes and be more daring about mixing and matching color palettes and styles.
- Intentionally uncouple suits and other separates that you always wear together. Take a suit jacket and try it on with another bottom, such as a flared skirt of a pair of dark wash denim trousers. Think about how you can change up the jacket by dressing it down or up even more. Wear it with leggings as weekend wear or a fancy dress for a special event.
- Create wardrobe capsules. This term refers to a group of clothes and accessory items that coordinate well together and can form a number of different outfits for different occasions. If you’ve ever gone on a vacation and had to pack lightly, then you’ve already applied this concept. You can build capsules by color (brown/beige) and by occasion (dress casual or weekend wear) or even by style (classic or dramatic).
- Once you get the knack of building capsules, you can also try your hand at what I call “cross capsuling”. Haven’t you noticed that people are wearing more black and brown together? The fashion magazines are also touting blue and black as the hot new spring color combo. I’ve also just given you another example of cross capsuling a casual legging with a formal business jacket.
- Now you are ready to make a list of items to buy that would multiply the number of outfit options within each capsule or work in two or more of your capsules. Let’s say you have a navy and black capsule. You could shop for a multi-colored print top with navy and black in it, a pair of nude heels and a blue and black beaded necklace.