It’s time again for our monthly style report with Cindy and Sarah and we are talking about fall closet cleanup. The change of season is such a great chance to start fresh, look ahead and make better choices for your wardrobe and your self. Take the time to spend time doing this for you. Some ideas for what you already own and what classics you can add.
Sorry this post is publishing a little late. We have been grappling with excessive heat here in Northern Cal and our internet was off yesterday and today and I was finishing this post at a coffee shop that also lost it’s internet, so I am so sorry!
I am always aiming to be a better shopper, choose things that I will love and look good on me, and make less shopping mistakes! Begin not by spending, but by looking at what you already own..
To do a seasonal clean out, start with three bags, a full length mirror, and a cell phone.
You will have items to reassess.. place those you’re not in love with on the bed..
For the bags..
- one bag for donate
- one bag for things that you could sell at consignment
- one bag for things you don’t love, but are waffling on …set these items in a bag and place in the garage or a closet and see if you can live 6-9 months without them..That can help you get some clarity and see how nice the closet is with less if you have separation anxiety.
Now for those you are reassessing, ask of each: Does it flatter? Does it feel good on? Is this a piece that is me?
Trying these pieces on in a full length mirror and they should make you feel good and get excited about wearing them again. If there is any doubt, place it in one of the bags.
Some people have a hard time donating something because they have spent a lot of money on a piece. Those items you can try and sell at consignment like Crossroads, get some dollars and make you feel better about it. I have done that and I love getting some money back for nicer items.
I’d rather take a loss and chock something up to a bad purchase than have it linger, along with the anxiety about it, in my closet. Let things go and wish them to be loved by the next person!
You want a closet that is not loaded, wedged with clothes you have to pry apart to see-to be inviting and a joy, not stressful. Think boutique. The less you own and manage, the better you will dress and shop.
I just read an article in the fall Bazaar about the American Deeda Blair, who was the most stylish woman for decades and she says..
‘I often think when I see somebody who’s not terribly well dressed, but has a ton of clothes, if she had just restricted her shopping a bit..’Deeda Blair
Think about restricting your shopping this fall, and buy less and buy better.
After you clean your closet, you should see a pattern of things you buy. Are you buying cheap things that don’t last more than a season? Are you buying pricey designer items just because they were on sale? Both things are a mistake. Know yourself and your style. When you know what you like, and what looks good on you, remember it.
Take photos of the items that work and outfits to remember on your phone. If you always dress casual, maybe you’re a casual chic type and can look to someone’s style you admire when you shop. I always find that is helpful.
For example, I identify with things Jennifer Aniston wears and likes. She has a casual chicness that I also try for. Say I am in a store, and see an item that I’m drawn to like a big patchwork jacket for instance, which is very hip for this season, and I’m feeling a big love for it. If I ask myself would Jennifer wear this, the answer is likely no… and well, since I dress very simple and much like her, likely it will sit in my closet too.
I find this little trick keeps me from buying things that aren’t me, even though I can fall in love with something. If you find yourself often with a closet full of things that aren’t really ‘your style,’ find a person, a friend or celeb whose style you most identify and admire. You can ask yourself, is this something x would wear?? It can be super helpful to stay on track and create a wardrobe that you aspire to and feels more authentically you.
I also make a list after cleanup, for things I would wish to add to the closet this season. Think about what items are missing or would be nice to have. If you try and tick these off one by one, you can buy better and buy less. I would rather have one nice blazer than 5 or 6 tops from various places. That is how some people have nice things and others are all over the place.. Spend the same, but buy less and better quality.
And I know I’ve said it before, but consignment can be one of the best places to get quality items- so think of it like collecting. Look for good things, keep an eye out for what you want, and be picky!
So for fun a few mistakes I made the last year…
I am still learning too so I thought this might be helpful… Here’s my first bad purchase of the year..A dress that I bought when I saw I loved it on the mannequin, I fell in love with this brown floral. Too big, not flattering and gathering hit me in the wrong place, but I loved the print, so I thought I’d keep.. When something looks bad on you, don’t try and make it work, take it back! This is one of those cases of a dress wearing me..
Another poor choice..this is a Proenza Schouler white label shift dress. The quality of this dress is beautiful and what drew me to it, and it was at The Rack on sale.. Once I put it on I had thoughts of Jackie Kennedy and her lovely shift dresses. Reality check- I’m not Jackie and this dress is not great for my busty body type, makes me look larger than I am, and hit me at an unflattering spot on the leg. . Again, I was drawn in by the nice label, on sale.. That should have been a no.
What do you own that can look better?
Another item that I almost donated is this shirt dress I bought from J. Crew.. I was attracted to the menswear details, but on me I think this looks like an old man’s nightshirt, but this shirtdress had some potential.
Using items already in my closet, and wrapping a sweater around the waist, folding up the sleeves, adding some accessories I already own- silver necklace, ( 10+ years old Furla bag, and Tory Burch ballet flats I’ve owned forever..) this looks so much cuter.. Ballet flats are back BTW.
Another potential idea, loafers I already own ( loafers with dresses are a look), and another vintage black bag from the closet depths, or sneakers and a tiny backpack, and a messy bun for a day out at the museum or sight seeing right..
Other ways for you to use what you already have in that closet
… Have some fun and get creative with layering. How about swim coverups?
Dresses over pants is a big trend this fall..I have many and two that I bought in a cool shop in a small town in Hawaii.. Why not use them over pants? You’ll need to find the right pant..not too tight or loose. These looked good with jeans. Give it a try experiment with your pieces-and take pictures so you remember..
Before you pitch things for being out of style, check out the latest magazines and Pinterest to see what is trending. ( Link to my fall/winter fashion board. ) What do you have that works for now and how can you choose better? I love this article in Bazaar- The True Path To Sustainability: Mindful Shopping. Alec Leach who wrote ‘The World is on Fire and We are Still Buying Shoes’ says ..
Also when I want to remind myself what style is and how to hunt for the coolest things..I reread my favorite style book, Classic Style. So much inspiration this book about how to dress and what to shop..Older things you’ve owned forever are the best.
And if you need to add a few good pieces, here are some GOOD buying decisions I have made that and others that are on the ol’ radar..
In June, I bought this Veronica Beard jacket I’ve been saving for. I loved the back with silver buttons, as I mostly wear silver. It also come in navy with gold buttons. It’s a little heavier in weight and I know I’ll wear it a ton as a jacket in fall and winter.
I also just found a more casual feeling Maeve Jacket for less at Anthro that I can see being a great grab and go finishing piece…I tried this on in store in Carmel and it’s got the most lovely fabric that drapes beautifully and feels much more expensive jacket than it is. This blazer has a slightly longer line, which is modern and also a teeny bit more fitted.
This also looks like a great classic piece from J. Crew in Italian wool..
I bought some pretty Start Weizmann classic loafers last fall ( above with the shirt dress), that are no longer available, but worn a ton..l also want a lug sole pair. These from Madewell are a nice look, well rated and have a modern feel. Now I just have to decide which color..Black, Cherrywood or Stable.. They have a back to school feeling and I love that.
I also love this version from Madewell..but back order until October …Maybe worth the the wait.
Juliet also did a great roundup of loafers in her weekend blog here!
I bought these white straight leg Mother jeans that I’ve worn a million times this summer..Great fit and look.. and also have these Mother jeans on my wish list…And these by Madewell come in petite and regular- love the look and wash..
I also bought two dresses that have gotten the most wears this year.. A T-shirt dress by Jenni Kayne, and this jean dress by Frank & Eileen.. Love these and both are great all year long here in California.
I hope this was helpful and made you think a bit more about using what you have- and thinking of shopping as collecting rather than a pastime!
Now please pop over to see what Cindy and Sarah have to say about Closet Cleanouts…
Thanks for being here!
Chic Linen Pieces You Need was August’s Signature Style
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