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Fall closet clean out

blog by Avery Hartmans  • 

Due to a recent influx of clothes into my wardrobe (a.k.a. a misguided shopping excursion where I somehow managed to purchase everything in sight), I decided it was high time I cleaned out my closet. Plus, with a new season approaching, it’s a great time to get rid of a thing or 10.

My closet exploration was full of surprises, however. Who knew I still owned a pair of brown cargo pants from the height of my “Mean Girls” obsession (“Cady Heron wore cargo pants and flip flops, so I bought cargo pants and flip flops”)? And the Rugby shirt from that time in my life I wanted to be a Polo Ralph Lauren model? Yep, I still had that too.

But the most miraculous thing about my closet exorcism was the fantastic pieces I still had in there that had gotten stuffed behind my new bright and shiny clothes. I found a great pair of perfectly worn-in jeans that are about to get a second lease on life. And the sleeveless pinstriped button-down I rediscovered? You can bet I’ll be rocking that sometime soon.

The point is, many of you are likely struggling with “I-have-a-closet-full-of-clothes-and-nothing-to-wear” syndrome. Don’t worry, it’s nothing serious – we’ve all suffered from a case of it from time to time. But instead of going out and buying even more items to stuff into your packed-full wardrobe, I’m here to help you discover the gems in your very own closet.

What to keep:

1. Classic pieces. Think well-tailored pants, perfectly-fitting jeans, and simple, well-made dresses. These are wardrobe staples and will help you out in a crisis
2. Basics. You should always have simple t-shirts and tank tops in neutrals like black, white and gray.
3. Ballet flats. It is my personal belief you can never have too many pairs of ballet flats. They’re easy to throw on with virtually any outfit and they can somehow either dress down an outfit or dress up an outfit, depending on what you’re wearing. They’re cute, comfortable and always in style. Basically, ballet flats are a girl’s best friend.
4. Fancy party dresses. If you own a fancy party dress but think you have nowhere to wear said fancy party dress, or indulged in a little too much ice cream this summer to fit into said fancy party dress, and you want to purge your wardrobe of this reminder of your lack of social life and/or weight gain…don’t do it! Someday you will be fit and social and in need of a cute dress right away and you will kick yourself for throwing it away during a rage blackout.
5. Those out-there, trendy pieces you bought on a whim. While this may seem contrary to what you’ve heard before, I really think you should hold onto that asymmetrical, loose-fitting cropped top from last season and those leather (or more likely pleather) leggings you bought in secret at Wet Seal. It’s a controversial stand I take, I know. But the fashion world rotates their trends quicker than you can say “Anna Wintour,” so chances are, those trends will be back in another year or two. Jut look how quickly colored skinny jeans came back.

What to toss:

1. Anything worn-out. There is simply no need to hold on to stretched-out leggings and stained t-shirts. Throw them out. Now.
2. Too-small summer clothes. You had all last winter and spring to work on your fitness in an attempt to fit into those. If you still can’t button your shorts and your sundresses are way too short, it’s time. Let them go in peace instead of trying to force them over your hips.
3. Button-down shirts that don’t button. You know what I’m talking about. Your favorite button-down might button smoothly over your stomach and fasten easily around the collar, but that area right over your chest is gapping and it’s not pretty. No amount of double stick tape or safety pins is going to make your shirt appear to fit you.
4. Ironic graphic tees. Those t-shirts had their heyday around 2004 along with VonDutch trucker hats and Juicy Couture track pants. But that era is – thankfully – over and it’s time you got rid of any shirts that have clever sayings or sexual puns emblazoned across your chest. You look like an idiot.
5. Anything that’s not your style. You may have bought that tie dyed maxi dress because it was in style, but it has most likely sat in your closet for the past 3 years. Time to toss it, along with anything else you bought that doesn’t fit into your own fashion sense. Your personal style takes precedence over whatever trend is hot right now, so stick to that.

TAGGED: fall 2011, fall fashion, fashion, style, style tips

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