Right now, eight out of ten of the emails in my Inbox are “Sale” notifications from retailers. It’s tempting to want to take advantage of the plethora of sales, but when many of us have just resolved to “budget, budget, budget” this new year, how can we justify shopping? Answer: Buy investment pieces this month. Sure, much of what’s on sale are leftover Fall and Winter items; or the super trendy items that may have just been too-trendy; or great basic items, but in hard-to-sell colors. However, if you have the patience to scour the racks or the internet, you may be able to find great investment pieces without breaking the bank, and not feel too guilty about putting a dent into that new budget. Look for a great tuxedo jacket or pant, replace your LBD (little black dress) with an updated one, or buy those dressy heels that you wanted before the holidays. But before you do, reassess your wardrobe and at the same time, check 3 things off your Resolutions List!
Step 2. Organize your closet. (Note: set aside 2 hours to do this – more or less, depending on how much of a clothes horse you are). COMPLETELY empty your closet and your dresser/armoire. (Seriously, take out every single thing, including the dust bunnies). Buy all new hangers. I like these felt ones (above). As you start to reevaluate each piece and put the clothing back, try to do the following:
- Separate into seasons (Hopefully you already do this. Twice a year I rotate, i.e. put away Spring/Summer clothes and pull out Fall/Winter clothing, and rotate current season shoes/handbags/accessories to lower shelves and move past season to harder to reach spaces). Then separate by category – pants, dresses, t-shirts, etc.
Evaluate clothing. Classify into (1) Keep, (2) Donate, (3) Can’t Part With (because it may come back into style? or could be worn for some great Halloween party?) piles. (Example of a “Cant Part With” might be, a pair of leather pants – at least that’s one item, I just can’t seem to part with, even though it’s probably been over 10 years since I probably last wore them). Ask yourself, when did you last wear this piece? (If you never wore it last year, time to part with it.) Is it one of my colors? (I like greens, for example, but really shouldn’t be wearing “warm” greens – there are exceptions, i.e. a warm green may be okay if it’s not something I wear close to my face, so if it’s a handbag, it’s okay to keep). If an investment piece – is it a staple that’s classic? or staple that needs updating? If it needs updating, keep for now until you can replace the item or determine if alterations would be enough to bring it into 2011.
- Keep in mind 2011 trends. Spring/Summer 2011 brings back some Sophisticated ’70s Glamour trends – think high-waisted wide leg pants and bell bottoms, and elegant blouses – and Bohemian ’70s. So don’t toss out every pant that’s not a skinny leg. Most important is to try on the clothing! I know (I hear the groans – everyone has put on some holiday weight), but take it from me – after birthing triplets, my shoulders and rib cage are just wider, and most likely will not go back (it’s been 3 years!). And while waist lines may be coming back UP, some sweaters will STILL be too short. Time to pitch! If you have a friend who’ll be dead straight with you, make them sit there with you through this process!
Step 3. Make a list of investment pieces in need of replacing, or “holes” in your wardrobe. Shop those Sales and keep in mind your colors (bring your Season Swatch Book with you because even though you think of your Season as “colors” – your booklet will have the basic colors you should wear – very important for investment piece shopping – whether black, navys, browns, tans, taupes or greys) and keep in mind new trends – you’ll see…your temptations to buy, just because it’s such a great deal, will be resolved with smarter decisions.
Check √organize, √de-clutter, √save money.