There is no escaping it, what you wear says a lot about you. Your fashion choices reflect your self-respect, the occasion, and even your deference to the company you keep. What you put on has the power of a visual voice. Your clothes are a tool that can convey confidence, capacity, creativity and charisma without a single spoken word. ~ Andy Paige, beauty and style expert.
Are you best friends with your closet? Does opening it to its contents elicit a smile of satisfaction and a feeling of confidence? Do the items in there present you in your best light, whether it be at home, at work, at play, in bed?
Well, in my case the answer is an absolute “no”. My closet used to be filled to the brim with items that no longer made much sense. There was a lot in there, but only a third was being used.
About 2 weeks ago, I tackled the daunting task of clearing out my closet with the intention of building a wardrobe that would echo Ms. Paige’s words at the beginning of this post. Building a wardrobe deliberately takes a lot of work, and is perhaps a never-ending process. But starting with a closet evaluation (and purge) is the first step.
Here are some tips I can offer to those of you thinking about doing a closet evaluation:
1. Purge into boxes.
With boxes I mean those that you label as, for example, “donate”, “keep”, “think about” and even “alter”. I chose to be very scrupulous with my closet purge, so I only had 2 boxes: “donate” and “keep”.
2. Create guidelines for items you choose to keep.
My guidelines were the following:
– Does it flatter me? Does it fit me well?
There’s no point keeping an item that looks nice on a mannequin or on somebody else, but is just the wrong cut, color or style for you. Donate it!
– When was the last time I wore it?
If I wear it repeatedly, it’s telling me something about my preferences, so I keep it. But if I haven’t worn it for some time, then I probably don’t enjoy how it looks or makes me feel. So off to the donation box it goes.
– Does this item project the image that I want to project?
I also screened an item on the basis of the message it would send. I like street casual that’s put together and well thought out. So the tight tees in flashy colors & cartoon prints definitely went into the donation box.
– Can I wear it with something else?
In asking this question, I realized I wanted to build my wardrobe on pieces that would work together, that I’d be able to mix & match seamlessly. Color was definitely a huge consideration in this department. And to be honest, most of my clothes failed this test 😦
– Is it feminine?
Last but not the least. I am proud of my strong and healthy body and prouder still of how I exercise it to stay in shape. Naturally, I want my clothes to reinforce that. Boyish tees, pants that didn’t show off my curves, even clothes for sleeping, working out and puttering at home went through this screening.
At the end of it, I was left with just a handful of pieces. But ironically, dressing up became much less time consuming as every piece I’d pull out would be ‘right’. I’m now thinking of building on from here one deliberate piece at a time using the same guidelines I used above.
Have more tips on evaluating your wardrobe? Do share! 🙂