How often does this happen to you?
Your closet (or dresser) is practically overflowing with individual garments—tops, bottoms, and all manner of accessories—but when you go to assemble your outfit, you feel like you have nothing to wear. None of the pieces go together, everything seems “wrong” for the occasion, and/or there isn’t a single item that makes you feel truly attractive or capable.
As a professional image consultant, this is one of the more common issues my clients tell me they struggle with. The good news, though, is that it’s one that can be resolved with a little organization and creativity. The next time you find yourself experiencing the clothing equivalent of “100 channels and nothing good on!”, here’s what to do:
Check for Essentials
In a previous email, I discussed the wardrobe “staples” that everyone should always have in their closet. In case you need a refresher, they are:
One of the reasons I recommend these items is because they’re typically neutral and versatile—for example, a navy skirt can be paired with many different kinds of tops to create looks that run the gamut from “professional” to “flirty.” They’re also great add-ons for elevating a casual (or “tired”) outfit into something new and fresh—regardless of your gender, a blazer or sport coat can really enhance a button-up shirt and jeans ensemble!
If you always find yourself scrambling to put something together, it could be that you lack some basic staple pieces. After all, if your closet is stuffed full of pieces that only work in specific situations (or individual items that only look good with one other item), then it just takes one small “hiccup” to create a huge mess!
Keep It CleanBe honest: how often do you actually organize (and, if necessary) reconfigure your closet? For most of us, the answer to that question is a resounding, “Not often enough,” especially since conventional wisdom dictates that the task should be undertaken at least twice a year! A clean closet is much easier to work with than a messy one; being able to see everything at a glance (as opposed to having to dig for things) makes it less challenging to put together outfits and figure out which key items you’re missing (see the previous section). It also helps prevent you from buying the same (or extremely similar) pieces multiple times.
Now, cleaning out your closet isn’t exactly the most fun chore in the world, and when you’re trying to pull it off, it’s easy to get distracted or discouraged. But it often helps to have a plan of attack before you go in. Some people like to take EVERYTHING out and tidy as they go; others prefer to work section-by-section. The “right” way is the one that works for you…or, at the very least, doesn’tleave you feeling like you’d rather just set the whole thing on fire and start from scratch.
And as you’re organizing the closet, you should also…
Do an Audit
Again, this is usually not a fun way to spend an afternoon—in fact, this particular aspect of cleaning out the closet is why most people dislike the chore as a whole! But while it can seem overwhelming at times, it’s usually not as painful as we think it’s going to be.
The key is to divide all of your clothes into four categories:
Now, while you’re sorting out your clothes, you need to be wary of the sunk cost fallacy. And by that, I mean that you shouldn’t hold onto an article of clothing that you don’t like (and/or don’t see yourself wearing) just because it was expensive or it’s still in like-new condition. In these situations, you may feel like getting rid of the item would be “wasting” the money you spent on it. But the truth is that the money’s already gone; you’re not actually saving or gaining anything by letting it gather dust in your closet. Let it go and keep moving forward!
Contrary to popular belief, there is such a thing as having too many clothes. However, when folks run into the “I have nothing to wear” conundrum, it’s not always a matter of overwhelming numbers—it can also be an issue with variety, or even having an incorrect mindset.
Each of us has a style, or fashion personality, that we are most comfortable with. A fashion personality should be looked at as exactly that - a personality. It can be dynamic, expressive, daring, anything you want it to be! My task as your image consultant is to help you figure out your fashion personality and how to make it work for you.
The most common problem clients mention is figuring out how to spruce up their style, and which look is appropriate for which event. Our Fashion Personality Quiz helps determine the type of look that you’re drawn to, and how to assess your particular needs based on your goals.
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