Clearing the Clutter

Cable knit sweaters, tall boots, and layered looks…ahhh the
wonderful wardrobe options that fall and my fashion Bibles Elle, Bazaar, and
Vogue September issues bring!  Most of us
are constantly adding new pieces of clothing to our closets but how often do we
weed through the used and abused and remove them from the masses?

It’s time to rid of the old to make room for the new.  Since we all don’t have Madonna sized walk-in closets, I believe that twice a year, it is necessary to spend a few hours with your closeted loved ones and bid farewell to the misfits and well worn that might have overstayed their welcome.

While watching the Today Show last week, fashion expert and author of I Have Nothing to Wear, Jill Martin suggested that women search through their belongings and dispose of at least 75% of their wardrobe. 75%!!!
For those of you who might be secret closet hoarders, 75% is probably a
good suggestion and necessary amount; however, I thought about what my closet
would look like if I disposed that much of it and found her suggestion to be
too much for me.  Jill stated that there is a bonus of eliminating such a large amount of clothing. With all that you part with, you are then, able to restock with fresh, in-season merchandise!  My sensibility started to kick in at that moment when I thought about just how much money restocking my only 25% full closet would be.  And truth be told, I don’t dislike, don’t use, or really need to rid of ¾ of my look. Therefore, in my opinion, an average individual who cleans their closet at least once a year, need only to recycle anywhere from 25%-50% of closet (the percentage decreases the more you clear the clutter).

Now on to the de-cluttering…

We all tend to develop sentimental attachment to our clothing (i.e. why some women spend obscene amounts of money on their wedding dress). This is mainly due to the memories we have when we’re wearing them whether it be numerous compliments on how great you look in a particular shirt or heartwarming flashback you have when you step into an old pair of jeans.  Nevertheless there will come a time when it doesn’t fit properly anymore or has been “loved” so much that it needs to be retired.

This week while cleaning out my own belongings, I found it difficult to make cut throat decisions on whether or not to discard of some items. So, I created 3 little piles; a pile for keepers, a pile for those leaving my closet for good, and a pile for the things that I was undecided on.  I found that by putting these things in a
separate pile allowed me to think it over again and really focus my attention
on what needed to stay and what needed to go.  There comes a time when you’re going to really contemplate on giving something away but it’s important to take a step back and be honest with yourself. Are you really going to wear that shirt again? Or did you just pay too much for it, only wear it once, and therefore don’t want to let it go? Cut your losses and clear up some space.

Some basic rules to go by:

1.  If you haven’t worn it in a year or more – it’s time to bid it adieu.  Face the harsh reality that as much as you love the garment, it can be better appreciated by someone else.

2. If it’s stained, holy, or torn – toss it in the “Bye bye” bag.  We’ve all bought items that were one triple clearance because of a tiny hole we knew we could fix with a needle and thread; however, if it hasn’t been fixed yet, or has a stain that is irremovable, get rid of it!

3. If it has had a well worn life, and you can visibly see that – give it a purple heart for bravery and let go. This goes for shoes as well. I once kept around a pair of heels that I wore more times than I can remember but none of which were in the past few years. After looking at their sad soles, I reminisced about the good times we shared and gently put them in the donate pile.

After you have your 3 piles narrowed down to 2 (keepers and those who didn’t make the cut) it’s time to pack them in your car and rid them from your house for good.  There are a few different options you can do with the items you’re giving up.  As always, you can take them to the nearest Goodwill or Salvation Army and donate your wonderful things so that others may enjoy them at ridiculously low prices, you can donate them to your best friends for free, or you can take your lightly worn items that are still in very good shape to a local consignment shop where they will then re-sell them and you reap a percentage of the profits!  The last option won’t give you enough money to re-stock your closet with the goods now gone, but it will help in mending the pain of them leaving your home forever (and support a new pair of jeans, most likely, which also helps).

So get to it! Spend one afternoon de-cluttering your closet and your life and prepare yourself for the wonderfully bulky sweaters, chic hats, and fashionable coats for fall!

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Fashion Therapy via a “Friend”

Reading through my monthly Harper’s Bazaar, I came across this article written by quarky actress, Lisa Kudrow.  Having loved her sense of humor for 10 years on Friends and other roles she’s played, I knew I had to give this article a glance at least, as she channels her latest role, Dr. Fiona Wallace, pyschotherapist, in her T.V. series Web Therapy.  After reading the first paragraph, I found myself already laughing and new I wanted to read on. So, I share this with you hoping that you will find it as funny and enjoyable as I did!

Therapist Fiona Wallic, Lisa Kudrow’s alter ego from her upcoming series, Web Therapy, takes the angst out of dressing for spring.

Lisa Kudrow a.k.a. Fiona Wallace

 

Hello, readers of Harper’s Bazaar. My name is Fiona Wallice. You might have heard of me from the momentous work I’ve done in the field of psychotherapy. I am the creator of the three-minute Web-therapy treatment modality. I cut through the blathering that occupies a 50-minute session, in which patients go on and on about their feelings, dreams, and self-reflection, and get it down to a not-as-boring three-minute session. Bazaar has asked me to comment on this spring’s runway looks. I assume it’s because I’m a stylish, insightful sophisticate who can offer real-world advice on these fashions. Understand that I am not a fashion critic; I can merely comment on what I see as appropriate styles for various personality types, as I think that lies within my purview.

On first glance at the spring trends, I see a generous use of color-blocking. Yes, from time to time, I see one of those fashion reality shows, which are not fascinating. I suppose I should be grateful for the fashion verbiage I can now employ, so I’ll give a slight nod and a thanks.

So, yes, color-blocking is wonderful for brightening a gloomy personality. For the cool depressives, the irony of the vibrant, cheerful colors juxtaposed with a bored stare works best. The already peppy types should avoid bright colors, as they are an overdose of cheerfulness and act as a repellent.

(A special note about mismatched striped outfits: You must be in the arts to pull this off. To those of you who are in the arts, if you are not Johnny Depp, never mind.)

Stella McCartney had some pieces that looked like a citrus platter. This look is exclusively for the life of the party. If you are this type and find yourself hostess of a picnic, do not walk around with a tray of fruit. No one is that cute.

Jil Sander showed some very comfortable, colorful, oversize pieces for the supremely nonprofessional feminist. This look says, “I’m comfortable. No, you don’t get to know what kind of shape I have under here. None of it should matter, as I am a mind floating on a sea of pretty bolts of fabric. Now go away before I envelop you.”

For me, the headline looks of Hermès’s and Fendi’s shows were wonderful red. Well, who isn’t a fan of all red? Red is the color of power, passion, and intelligence. While everyone tries to get away with wearing red, it really is suitable for only a few of us. But by all means, go ahead and try. (This is an example of my patience and generosity, of which all my clients are the recipients.)

There seemed to be a lot of white at the Chloé show. There is nothing more elegant than white. But unless it’s in a suit, women over 29 should steer clear of even trying to portray this image of purity. And when the all-white ensemble is a suit, there are really only a handful of women who are thin enough to wear this look, and they all live in New York City, where the purity thing is witty and ironic. White is for only the most self-assured, who are able to laugh at themselves in this way.

Prints. The prints shown were artistic and made for a magnificent treat for the eyes on a runway–on a runway.

Well, that was simple and I’m sure immensely helpful for solving the myriad problems that plague most women in deciding what to wear. I don’t think that took much longer than three minutes to read (depending, of course, on your IQ), and three minutes is a full session with me, but as a favor to Bazaar readers, I am gifting this session to you.

You’re welcome.

Article obtained from harpersbazaar.com – Find more great articles like this and current fashion news there!