The Wrong Clothes Taking Over Your Closet

DSC_0021Anyone who has met me and lots of you who haven’t know the phrase ‘you wear 20% of your clothing 80% of the time’ and most people upon hearing /reading that start nodding their heads in agreement. We all know that we have too full closets but what’s in them and how do you decide what to toss? Here is the short answer:

*Toss anything that doesn’t flatter you, suit you, make you happy, or have a purpose.

*And just so we’re clear, when I say “toss” I mean donate, give to someone else, sell, or otherwise just remove from your own closet. It does not necessarily mean throw away. Just because you are finished with something doesn’t mean someone else can’t use it. 

Wrong fit:  Too often, when I’m working with clients to get their closets organized, we come across a lot of clothes/ shoes/ accessories that still have tags on them or have been worn infrequently. And why? Because they don’t fit or don’t look good on them. It’s easy to go ahead and toss the clothes that don’t fit. I suggest that you only keep clothes that are within one size of your current figure and move on. Saving clothes for when you’ve lost weight or gotten in shape is an exercise in working hard to make yourself feel bad. (Pre-maternity clothes are not subject to this rule but keep reading because some of the others will be applicable.) Can they be altered to fit you now? Would you wear them if they did fit? Put them in a pile to take to the tailor. Otherwise they go in the donate / give away pile.

Wrong color:  Another reason clothing is never worn is because it doesn’t flatter because it’s the wrong color.  This is the shirt you put on and look in the mirror and say, ‘this just doesn’t look right’ before you take it off and put on something else. Stop putting that shirt back in  your closet! Set it free! How do you know what are the right colors for you? I suggest you get your colors done by a professional. Trust me, you’ll save so much money in the long run by making the right color selections the first time instead of having a closet full of unused clothes that don’t help you look your best. I just had this done and I can tell you I was surprised by the results and I now have some cleaning out to do. But enough about me….:-)

“Wearing the wrong color is like being married to the wrong person.”

Wrong cut.  See wrong fit above. Sometimes this can be fixed with alterations but I would say it’s best to first learn what shapes flatter you most. We all are accustomed to seeing ourselves a certain way and we don’t  step out of our clothing comfort zone. I remember years ago saying I would never, ever, ever wear boot cut jeans because I thought they were too 1970’s hippy-ish. Actually, they are the most flattering style to my body shape and it took some prodding for me to consider something different. I would recommend working with a stylist who can help you select the shapes and cuts that flatter your figure so you’re not constantly buying things that don’t help you look your best (detecting a theme here?). It may seem like an indulgence but, tell me, what value are you getting out of having a closet full of clothes that don’t help you look your best? How much have you already spent on clothes that aren’t being worn?

“Just ’cause it zips, don’t mean it fits.”

Wrong style. Look carefully at what your day to day schedule is like. Are you spending time in a corporate or home environment? Do you work out frequently? Do you travel a lot? Is someone throwing up on you constantly? All of these facts speak to your lifestyle and the clothing (armor?) that’s required to get through your day. You just have to be very fair about what your day entails and dress for it. You don’t need a lot of suits and structured clothing if you work in your home. If you travel a lot you need clothes that can serve multiple purposes and more accessories to change up your look. If you’re taking care of small children, you need clothes that can be easily washed and that hide stains well. Be honest about what your lifestyle is like right now. If you’re planning to go back to suits when baby is in school, I can tell you what you have in your closet is probably not going to fit at that time and will most likely be dated. You’re going to want something new anyway. It’s time to toss the clothes that don’t suit your lifestyle because they are just taking up space and not serving you.

Your closet and your home should reflect who you are and should be your place of comfort. Investing in some of these services in an investment in YOU and your happiness, well being, and ability to help others.  Make the right clothing selections first so that you’re equipped to take you on your day without wasting time wondering if something looks right or hating what you’ve put on. This alone will save you time, energy, and money plus allow you to focus on the real work at hand.  If you’re confident in your appearance you’re going to be more successful than the person second guessing every decision they make. Get out the door on the right foot!

Make room for the clothing that flatters you both in cut, color, and style by clearing out the wrong clothes that have taken over your closet.

Happy organizing!


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