How to Shop Your Closet

Easy Ways to Shop Your Own Closet

On Friday, I shared my best tips to clean out your closet in an afternoon. So today, we’re going a step further and breaking down how to shop your closet.

Shop your closet! We see the headline frequently, on blog posts, scrolling Pinterest, and in magazines, but what does it mean?

Shopping your closet is an easy process that allows you to see what you have, and helps you get creative while discovering outfit combinations you never knew you had.

Right now, between the hot temperatures, and many states still under stay at home orders, the last thing many of us are thinking about is getting dressed. We may as well take advantage of a slightly slower pace and spend some time getting ourselves organized, so we know what you we like and what we need to as we move optimistically into the fall.

How to Shop Your Closet

Easy Ways to Shop Your Own Closet

Before you can shop your closet, you have to make sure it is well edited. Our guide, How to Clean Your Closet in An Afternoon, will walk you through the process. The most critical step is to get rid of what doesn’t serve you anymore. 

If the garment doesn’t fit, is damaged or dated, or is no longer your style – out it goes. You can donate, resell, or recycle, but it does not go back into your closet.

Once you’ve completed your cleanout, it’s time to shop your closet.

Create a Pinterest Board

Step #1: Create a Pinterest Board to Define Your Personal Style 

Create a Pinterest board reflective of your personal style. You’ll find the more you pin, the more your style will start to show itself. 

I worked with private style clients for over a decade. I learned that most women have a hard time defining their style. They don’t know what they like, or maybe they like everything and have difficulty narrowing down their favorite looks. 

I found this exercise personally helpful after I had my babies. I became used to being limited to maternity clothes and then comfy at home outfits, that I started to forget what I liked. 

Often, these kinds of life-changing events, from childbirth to turning 40, to finally retiring, are the catalyst for wanting to reevaluate our style. 

Having a visual of aspirational style helps you curate your wardrobe, and serves as a source of inspiration when your wardrobe choices feel a little blah.

I reference my Pinterest boards and find inspiration for color combinations, shoes, layers, and accessories. 

Spend some time searching for and “pinning” the looks you like; then, go back through your board, and only keep what you love. You’ll be surprised by what you see. 

Set Up Shop

Step #2: Set Up Shop

Separate your basics from your trendy pieces.

Basics would include jeans, black pants, a simple navy dress, layering tanks and shells, a cardigan, etc. These pieces are at the center of every look. Keep similar items together.

Your trendy (what I sometimes refer to as novelty) pieces are everything else: a skirt with embroidery, a patterned blouse, a tweed jacket, anything in a bright or bold color, also keeping similar items together.

I like to have a rolling rack on hand for this exercise to stay organized and see everything that I have.

Keep basics on the left and novelty items on the right.

Before you move on, be sure you have edited your shoes and accessories and, then, similarly divide them. Keep the jewelry you wear every day away from statement necklaces and oversized bracelets.

Build Outfits

Step #3: Build Your Outfits

Now, let’s create some outfits! Start by taking some items from your basics.

For example, a navy ankle pants and a tank (see below).

This is your base.

Next, go to your novelty pieces. Add a lightweight sweater in a current print, or a jacket with fun details. Layers provide depth to a look. They are “outfit finishers.”

Get creative and step outside your comfort zone.

With a base and a layer, move to your shoes and accessories.

Play around with what you have:

What does the outfit look like with a classic pump? Now switch it out for something with pattern or texture.

Could you wear it both ways?

Probably!

Now, add jewelry and accessories.

With an edited closet and a clear idea of what you like, you will discover several combinations and new ways to wear old pieces.

Pro tip! Be sure to take pictures of the looks you love so you don’t forget them. Keep them on your phone for easy access. 

Quick Tips While Shopping Your Closet

Break things up

We tend to wear the same combination of items repeatedly, to the point that we can’t see other options. You probably have a few favorite outfits, so start with them and break them apart.

Force yourself to find a new way to wear the individual pieces.

Make minor adjustments and alterations

I can’t tell you how many times I would clean out a client’s closet, and she would have several items that would be perfect with a few minor alterations. 

If a pair of pants are a little big, a hem fell out, or buttons need replacing, action them immediately. You don’t need to buy something new when you can simply fix what you already have. 

Stop saving things for special occasions

That black dress you think is only appropriate for a rare cocktail party might look fresh if you throw on a denim jacket.

Don’t wait to have a reason to wear your finer pieces, especially if you have better jewelry and accessories, celebrate everyday by wearing them with a simple pair of jeans and tee shirt. 

Push yourself outside your comfort zone and try everything on before dismissing it.

Purge as you go.

You’ll come across items you can get rid of, so keep a designated area to place them and donate immediately.


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Our Content is Inspired By Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

How to Clean Out Your Closet in an Afternoon

6 Steps to Clean Out Your Closet in 60 Minutes - The Well Dressed Life
The 60 Minute 6 Step Closet Clean Out

Let’s talk about how to clean out your closet. Really clean it out. Get in there, get it down to the barebones, and rebuild it with a wardrobe you love and want to wear every day. 

It can feel like an overwhelming task, but, if you follow my steps (the same ones I used with private clients for years) it won’t be. 

The best part is that once the work is done and you have a functional closet space that works for YOU, it is so much easier to keep it that way. 

I do a deep clean and reorganizing twice a year. I take some time right after the holidays as a way to rest for the new year, and then again right now, mid summer.

And this summer, with the collective “pause” we are all experiencing, there is no better time to do it!

How to Clean Out Your Closet

The Challenge of A Messy Closet

When you can’t find your clothes, when things are everywhere, when you’re digging through boxes and drawers looking for an accessory, you waste so much time and energy.

The good news is, with a little bit of time you can easily get your closet in order.

Even if all you have is an hour, you can make serious improvement and immediately benefit from a more functional space. 

Your Closet is the Nucleus of Your Life

If clothes are pouring out of your closet yet, you wake up with “nothing to wear” it’s time for a closet detox.

For me, when my personal items are a mess, it’s a indication that other things are out of wack. I’m usually over committed, and running on empty. When I spend the time getting back on track, I immediately feel better and more focused.

Below is what my usually tidy closet looked like right after last Christmas.

My Closet: Before

Closet_Before
Before: My closet right after the holidays.

I’ve been in thousands of closets from my time as a personal stylist, so I’ve seen worse. But the holidays always do a number on my closet. I end up just dropping stuff and running out. 

By the time my closet reaches this point I’m too busy and overwhelmed to care. 

But once I can’t find my things, and start wasting time getting dressed I end up being annoyed before my day even started. 

It was time to reevaluate my current system and get back on track. 

How to Clean Out Your Closet

Create a Manageable System 

Most of us have to work with the space that we have. Thankfully, by editing down to your must-haves and favorites, and investing in a few organizing tools, you can create an oasis of inspiration and practical functionality. 

You can see some of my process in my own closet over in my Instagram stories

In my experience, I’ve learned that most women’s closets are in decent shape. You need to go through everything with a dedicated eye, make quick decisions and organize your items into like categories, but you can do it in about an hour or two.

It’s amazing what an organized space can do for your mood and how you navigate your entire day when you start off less frazzled.

This closet clean out can be a refresher if you’ve already done the work in our Wardrobe Challenge or be the kick in the butt you need to dedicate more time to purging and organizing.

If you are planning on joining our Insider Membership  (launching on Monday – I’m so excited) a quick clean out will help you build our capsule wardrobe.  

A Little Prep Work Goes a Long Way 

First, it’s helpful to be able to articulate your personal style. How else will you know what to keep and what to “toss”? The better you understand what you like, and the look you are trying to create, the easier it is to complete an edit. We talk more about that in How to Define Your Personal Style

To start your closet clean-out you’ll need:

  • Rolling rack : use this as your “keep” pile. 
  • Trash bag(s): for any trash or damaged items. 
  • Your dry cleaning bag: have it ready for items to have cleaned or mended.
  • Empty laundry baskets: have a few of these around so you can easily create piles. 
  • Vacuum, multi cleaner, rags, etc. 
  • Notebook and pen or take notes on your phone.
  • Storage option for out of season clothes. 
  • Flocked hangers These are the BEST. I’ve used them for years. They are in every closet in my house.
  • Wine (optional, but helpful)

Tip: Want to resell some pieces? This article will help you figure out where to sell, donate and recycle clothing. I keep a Thred Up bag handy and add garments to resell as I go through my closet. 

Set Up Your Work Space

My rolling rack gets a lot of use. I keep it under my bed and pull it out whenever I pick up a big dry cleaning haul.

I use it when I pack for trips and find it extra helpful when tidying up my closet. You’ll be surprised how many times you use it once you have one.

I also like to have a few trash bag and my dry cleaning bag on hand so that I can work quickly.

If you plan on storing your out-of-season pieces elsewhere, be sure to have your bins ready as well. A simple plastic storage bin with some cedar inserts works well. I also like these under the bed storage bags.

Having an extra laundry basket to collect items that do not belong in your closet is helpful.

Be sure to have a space for all of your piles, including: keep (rolling rack), trash (trash bags), storage (bins), donate (basket), sell (basket), and clean and mend (dry cleaning bag)

Finally, have a notebook and pen hand, or the notes app opened on your phone, so you can jot down a quick shopping list as you notice items you need or pieces you have to replace. 

How to Clean Out Your Closet

Start to Edit

Now you’re ready to edit!! 

First, remove everything from your closet.

I just throw everything on my bed, and line shoes and bags around the room. 

Then begin to edit, working as quickly as possible. Don’t give yourself too much time to think or you’ll talk yourself out of getting rid of anything. 

You don’t need to relive the life history of every garment you’ve ever bought. 

First, pull any pieces that are out of season and place them in either a pile or directly in their storage box.

Next, pull anything that is dated, damaged, or that you just don’t like anymore and sort into your piles accordingly. This is where we start to lose our minds.

What if it comes back in style?

It won’t, the idea of it might, but it will not be the exact same translation. All styles evolve. Holding on to dated clothes make you look dated, and you loose the opportunity to be chic and modern.

But I spent so much money on it!

Yes, you did. The money is spent whether the item lives in your closet or not, so donate it to someone who can get better use out of it. 

I can wear it, I just need to loose 20 pounds.

I’m a big believer that all the items in our closet need to fit. Nothing is worse than waking up on then morning and going through all the clothes that are too small for you.

What a bummer. 

So at a minimum, move these pieces to a different closet or pack them up until you reach or goal. But also, hold them to the same standard as you would if they did fit. Would you LOVE it if it fit properly? How much use would it get? Does it reflect your style. 

A lot of times we use future fit as an excuse to hold on to a garment that doesn’t work for us for a number of other reasons.

Touch every piece of clothing

Keep moving through your pile. Touch everything, and immediately action each piece. 

Once you are done, you should be left with a rack of only things you love. 

Get Cleaning!

Care for your closet the same way you care for the other rooms in your home.

Before you place your keepers back in, clean it up. Wipe down the shelves and vacuum the floor, clean out the light fixture and sanitize the doorknob and any other surfaces.

You will be shocked and maybe a little grossed out by the amount of hidden dirt in your closet space. 

Replace Your Hangers

Keep your space visually tidy by using the same hanger. I love velvet hangers. They save space and help you see everything you have.

Uniformed hangers are my #1 game changing tip for a more calm closet.  It’s amazing what happens when your space is perfectly organized. You’ll be calmer and see more outfit options instantly. 

Pack Up and Put Your Clothes Away

Pack up any out-of-season items. Plastic containers with some cedar are an excellent and inexpensive solution.

If you have items in plastic dry cleaning bags, take a second to remove them and put them on new hangers. Plastic bags hold moisture and can damage your items if you let them stay in them for too long.

Properly put back the items you are keeping in your closet, neatly. 

I organize closets by category (sleeveless, short sleeve, long sleeve, etc.)  and then by color within each category. This way, my eye goes almost instinctively to what I need.

My Closet: After

My closet after: clean, simplified, organized

Before you run and buy new organizing tools do an inventory at home. Then see what your space needs.

Below is what I use to keep my small space high functioning:

Velvet Hangers: Keep everything neat and eye level. 

3M Hooks: to keep favorite necklaces in view and untangled. 

Stackable Jewelry Box: For all my other jewelry I purchased this customizable jewelry box – it’s fantastic! 

Shoe Drawers: I love these. As you can see above these really utilize the shelf space I have. I’ve since added even more and it makes a huge difference. 

Shelve Dividers: I use these to help separate my jeans and sweaters and keep them stacked neatly. I use to think they were a waste of money but they have made huge difference in keeping my space neat. 

Purse Organizer*: This acrylic purse organize is perhaps my favorite purchase. For years I kept my clutches and smaller, occasion bags in a basket. But I edited them down to just my favorites and properly displayed them and now I am using them more frequently and can put them back where they belong without thinking about it.  

* pictured is the six compartment organizer, which is currently sold out, so I linked to the three. 

Keep the Edit Going

I keep a small basket tucked away for donations. Often I’ll try something on and realize I don’t like it anymore, or it doesn’t fit well,  so I’ll drop it in the basket. Once it’s filled up, I sort it, send what I can sell to ThredUp and donate the rest.

A friendly reminder from my accountant: be sure to keep track of your donations for your end of year taxes!

Finish the Process

Before you finish, gather up any trash and dispose of it. If something needs to be dry cleaned or mended, add it to the proper pile and put it in your car.

Organize donations and pack them up neatly. Drop them off as soon as possible. Whatever you do, do not leave items hanging around or they will never get actioned and may end back up in your closet.

That’s it! In a few hours you will have turned your closet from chaos to inspiration!


 

 

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Our Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

6 Reasons Why You Have Nothing to Wear

6 Reasons Why You Have Nothing to Wear
6 Reasons Why You Have Nothing to Wear - The Well Dressed Life6 Reasons You Have Nothing to Wear 

Waking up and feeling like you have nothing to wear is frustrating. It wastes time and starts your day off on the wrong foot. It’s also confusing because your closet is probably filled with clothes. 

Building a functional wardrobe is a lot of work. It takes an investment of time and money, two things we all feel a bit short on these days. 

Retail doesn’t do much to help us; many of us struggle with body image and changes, and we are constantly rushing and pressed for time. 

So shopping is overwhelming; finding the right fit is impossible, and dressing in a way that fells age-appropriate within a reasonable is the kind of advanced math that made college statistics almost the death of me. No wonder so many women feel like they have a closet full of nothing to wear. 

6 Reasons Why You Have Nothing to Wear

There aren’t many resources for grown-up women that provide easy to digest tips, honest recommendations and explanations for why certain outfit combinations are better than others.

I created The Well Dressed Life because I saw as a need for realistic style advice and practical shopping and product recommendations. I hope that our daily tips make your life a little easier and you feel more confident as a result.

So today, I’m breaking down a few of the reasons you feel like you have nothing to wear. We’ll talk about how to fix it, how to avoid it in the future and highlight our most popular posts filled with our best advice.

1. You’re Buying for One Time Use

6 Reasons Why You Have Nothing to Wear 

If you’re buying for an occasion rather than multi-wear use you’re going to have a closet full of pieces that don’t mix and match. You want your wardrobe to work together in a cohesive way that makes it easy for you to quickly put outfits together.

Instead, when you’re shopping, even if it’s with a specific event in mind, be sure you can wear the garment two or three different ways before you purchase.

This ensures you get the most out of everything in your closet, I call it the “Wear it Three Ways Rule.”

2. You Make Impulse Purchases

I often encourage our readers to step outside their comfort zone and try a new-to-you style, but if you’re all over the place with what you are buying, none of your clothes will “speak” to each other.

Personally, I have the most difficulty with this. Often, I think I should be braver with my style choices, and end up buying something so out of my realm that it sticks out like a sore thumb and doesn’t go with my other pieces.

If you have a defined style you’re happy and comfortable with, stick to it

3. You’re Only Shopping Sale

No one loves a bargain more than I do, but if you only shop sales, you’re really limiting your options and likely making do with pieces that don’t serve you well.

After more than ten years of cleaning out and reorganizing wardrobes with private clients, I know you will end up saving thousands of dollars over the years if you invest in better basics and use sales to discover a hidden treasure, or to add fun, novelty pieces.

See How to Mix High and Low Fashion and How to Look Stylish on a Budget

4. You Have Too Much6 Steps to Clean Out Your Closet in 60 Minutes

If you are short on time our post, How to Edit Your Wardrobe in 60 Minutes is a great way to kick off a good purge and get motivated. 

Back when we worked with clients, the one thing I was always blown away by was the sheer volume of clothes women had in their closets. You can’t see what you have when it’s hidden beneath clutter. Take some time to edit your wardrobe. Only keep what you love.

We have to redefine what it means to “have enough.” Americans in particular tend to value having a lot of “stuff.”  The fact is, you don’t need 25 pairs of jeans, you maybe need 3 or 4 depending on how frequently you wear them. 

5. You Lack Organization

Once your space is pared down, spend a little time getting it organized. You don’t have to spend a fortune, in fact, you might have everything you need in other rooms of your home.

Corral scarves in baskets, hang necklaces on 3M hooks, and keep like items together either folded or hung. To make the most of your space, invest in slim lined flocked hangers, so everything is at eye level.

6. You Don’t Know Your Style

6 Steps to Find Your Personal Style

Our post, How to Define Your Personal Style will walk you through our simple process. 

Clients used to tell me, “You know, I just don’t have any style.”  But that was rarely the case. With few exceptions, most women have style, they just don’t know how to articulate it.

If you’re not already on Pinterest, I highly recommend getting an account and creating a personal style board.  You can add images of outfits you like and “pin” all sorts of inspiration.

Once you fill a board with 50 plus pins, go over it again and edit it down. You’ll start to see common themes throughout. 

For example, do you prefer pants to skirts? 

Are you casual and cool or chic and ladylike? 

Are you attracted to neutrals or bold prints and patterns? 

You’ll start to see what you like and that will help you curate your wardrobe going forward.


Our Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist View Post and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.


My Best Tips for Consigning, Donating, or Recycling Clothing

My Best Tips for Consigning, Donating, or Recycling Clothes

My Best Tips for Consigning, Donating, or Recycling Clothes - The Well Dressed Life

Updated 2019: This article was originally posted last year. If you have recently completed or are working through our Wardrobe Challenge in our Private Facebook group you likely have things you need to get rid of.  Lauren wrote a comprehensive roundup of all of your options, including various ways to resell, how to ethically donate and your best options to recycle.  Links have been updated.  

Are you working through the 4 Weeks to a Better Wardrobe Series? If so, no doubt you will end up with a pile of clothes that you need to get out of your closet. I’m guilty of hanging onto clothes because they were expensive or still are in great condition and it breaks my heart to part with them.

Should you consign, donate, or recycle these pieces that you have determined no longer fit into your new and improved wardrobe?

Consign

Poshmark

I am a huge fan of Poshmark, which is an online consignment app.

To create a listing, you snap pictures of your clothes, fill in appropriate details like brand, size, original purchase price, and a short description, and then name your price. Typically, items are listed at least a 50% discount from the original purchase price.

To date, I have sold just over $1,000 worth of clothes, shoes, and accessories from my closet, which has put a bit of money in my pocket and helped to fund newer pieces for my wardrobe.

My Best Tips for Consigning, Donating, or Recycling Clothes

However, using Poshmark to sell your clothes does require a bit of work and finesse. Here are my best tips to get your items sold quickly:

Be Social.

Ultimately, Poshmark is a social network and you need to be an active participant in order to get your closet seen. As soon as you join Poshmark, other Poshers will start to follow you. Follow them back.

It doesn’t matter if they don’t have the same taste as you or wear the same size as you.

The point is that you want as many eyeballs on your closet as possible. I shouldn’t admit this, but I have gone on “follow sprees” after I put my daughter to sleep. Just go throught the app and follow as many people as possible.

What a way to spend my “me” time!

Picture quality matters.

You should upload many different pictures of the same item. Take a picture of the item folded or hung neatly.

If you’re lucky enough to have a dress form, use it! Take a close up picture so the texture and color is apparent. Can you find the original photo of the item online from the brand’s website? Great! Add that too. If you have a nice picture of you wearing the item, you can add it as well.

Share. Share. Share.

Some Poshers have hundreds of thousands of followers, which means that your items will have high visibility if they are shared. If you share from their closet, they will return the favor.

Also, you will receive notifications of themed “parties.” If you have items that follow the theme, share them to that party! Brand aficionados might be hunting for that exact J. Crew sweater from your closet from two seasons ago.

Ship quickly and package your items nicely.

Stock up on free boxes from USPS so you’re not searching for a box when the time comes. Print out the prepaid shipping label, wrap the item in tissue paper, and jot down a quick thank you on an inexpensive note card.

You’ll get high ratings for good customer service, which can help to attract more buyers.

Bags, Shoes, and Accessories sell the best.

Brands like Lululemon, J. Crew, Kate Spade, and Lilly Pulitzer also sell particularly well.

Bonus! I have to admit that while I’m selling, I do a bit of shopping too. Have you ever regretted that you didn’t get something or it sold out before you could grab your size?

Yes, me too. Hunt for it on Poshmark! I am obsessed with these Franco Sarto sandals that I picked up at DSW a few years ago. By the time I realized how amazing they were, they were completely sold out. Poshmark to the rescue!

Not only do I have a backup of the color I love for when they wear out, but I also grabbed other colors. And I got them for about $12 each.

Like I said, Poshmark requires a bit of work, but you can make a darn good amount of money for your beloved items.

ThredUp

My Best Tips for Consigning, Donating, or Recycling Clothes

Another option is ThredUp. If you are short on time and you want these clothes out of your house now but still want to make a little bit of money, ThredUp is for you.

From their website, you order a bag, which includes a pre-paid shipping label. You can either choose to pay a $10 processing fee to have your bag processed quickly, or you can opt for a free bag, which can take several weeks to process.

But the process could not be easier. You fill the bag and drop it off at the post office and then…wait. ThredUp inspects your items, takes the pictures, lists it, sells it, and ships it. They notify you when your item is sold. Voila!

So why do I go through the trouble of Poshmark instead this super easy service? Because with ThredUp you earn a fraction of what you earn with Poshmark. For example, you might earn about $4 on ThredUp for a J.Crew Sweater, but about $20 on Poshmark. So it’s up to you whether a bigger payout or ease of use is more important to you.

Donate

If I’ve completely scared you from consigning, you may want to opt for donating, with or without a tax deduction credit. I have gone this route as well; sometimes things just need to go.

My go-to charitable organization for clothing donations is Goodwill. The charity has an A rating on Charitywatch, and I personally like their mission. Be careful of the donation boxes in shopping center and gas station parking lots! Some (but not all) are for-profit and some of the organizations that own the boxes have questionable backgrounds, so make sure you are choosing one you feel good about.

Some retail stores will give you discounts or rewards for donating clothes. H&M will give you 15% off a future purchase, J.Crew will give you $20 towards a pair of jeans in exchange for your old pair, and Levi’s will handle your Goodwill donation for you and will give you 20% off a future item purchase.

Recycle

If an item is too worn for consignment or donation, it can be recycled. Check to see if your town has a nearby textile recycling center. You can also recycle items using Planet Aid’s donation boxes; they repurpose and sell the textiles, while using the profits for good causes like Teacher Training, Child Aid, and Farmers’ Clubs in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Hopefully, there’s a solution here for you that will ease the pain of letting go of your beloved pieces of clothing, help fund your new wardrobe purchases, or gain you some good karma points.

Need to catch up on our style challenge?  Follow the links below and go at your own pace.

Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4

How to Use Stitch Fix

How to Use Stitch Fix

I spent ten years as a personal stylist, schlepping up and down the east coast to work with clients. During busy seasons, I practically lived in the private dressing rooms at Nordstrom. Season after season, I knew every piece of inventory in almost every store.

By the time I stopped working with clients, I was pretty burned out, and if I never had to see the inside of a mall again, it would be too soon.

What are you supposed to do when you hate to shop, don’t want to go to the mall, but still need clothes?

Enter Stitch Fix, the subscription box service that sends a curated selection of clothing to your front door.

I’m often asked how to use Stitch Fix and if it’s worth it. As someone who built a business helping women get dressed, I think Stitch Fix is genius.

Is it a perfect service? No, but you can get a lot out of it, depending on your needs. Over the years, they’ve done much to improve, including expanding their merchandise to include plus and maternity sizes and offer men’s clothing. (I would have been all over this when I was expecting.)

How to Use Stitch Fix

How to Use Stitch Fix

Stitch Fix allows you to work with a personal stylist and receive a customized selection of clothes and accessories every few weeks. You can choose how frequently you want your “fix” to be delivered. Every time you schedule a fix you pay a $20 styling fee which can be used for whatever you decide to purchase.

If you chose not to make a purchase, you would lose the $20 – more on that later. From a pricing perspective, it’s a fantastic value compared to what you would pay to work with a personal stylist.

Note: It’s not the same as working one-on-one with a professional, more like having a relationship with a sales professional at your favorite store.

Once you create an account, you’ll fill out a fairly comprehensive style profile.  Be sure to take the time to provide all of your information, from your size and budget to notes about your lifestyle. The best part is that you can convey your style preferences to your stylist by choosing from a selection of images, designed to help create a visual around your tastes.

I started using the service about two years ago, I stopped for a bit, and picked back up right before the holidays. My wardrobe is split into three categories: professional, activewear and casual.

Since my professional work is pretty vanilla, I keep it simple and classic. A few dresses and suits with heels and I’m good to go. Because I hit the gym and workout classes regularly, I have a lot of activewear – almost all black because I don’t want to think about what I’m wearing and also I don’t care.

The real struggle is in my casual wardrobe. Is it just me, or does anyone else feel like they are blowing through their casual pieces? I’m always replacing jeans and better basics, so those fun and trendy pieces are the last things on my list. Stitch Fix has helped fill that void.

Below are my tips if you are thinking about giving Stitch Fix a try (THIS IS NOT A SPONSORED POST:

Figure out what you need
Before you shop anywhere, make sure you have a good idea of what you like, what you have and what you need. Our 4 Weeks to a Better Wardrobe series (part 1, 2, 3, 4) walks you through a detailed process of defining your style and organizing your wardrobe.

You’ll be able to see what you’re missing, come up with a list and share it with your stylist.  I use it primarily for casual pieces to wear on the weekend, drinks with friends, or weekly dates with Bri.  If you need pieces for work, or special occasions, it works just as well.

Communicate with your stylist
Take advantage of your ability to correspond with your stylist, doing so makes all the difference in the world. You’ll have an opportunity to write to them before and after each order. When you receive an order, let them know what worked, and more important, what didn’t and why. Before an order, you can tell them if you are looking for something specific.

Additionally, you can connect with them on social media and share your Pinterest boards. Sharing photos is always the most helpful way to convey your style.

Try on everything
Try every item you receive on, or you might miss out on something great. A few months back I received these Liverpool black pants. I didn’t think they would fit or that I needed another pair of black pants, so I threw them back in the box. At the last minute, I pulled them out and tried them on. Thank goodness I did because they are one of my most favorite pairs of pants and (yay!) have amazing fit.

Only keep what you love
Trust me when I tell you that you will be tempted to keep something. Early on, I kept a lot because it fit well, not because I loved it. Now, my Poshmark shop has a few barely worn pieces for sale. As much as something fitting well feels amazing, avoid the temptation to keep it unless you L.O.V.E it.

Don’t fall into this trap 
You’ll pay a $20 styling fee for each fix. If you make a purchase, your fee is applied to the purchase of the item. If you send everything back, you lose your fee. I’m pretty sure every box has something that costs $36 – $42, like an accessory or scarf, just so you say, “Well, it’s only $16 more!”

I can’t tell you how many times I kept a dumb scarf, which I didn’t like, only because I was going to spend $20 anyway. Instead, if you don’t love your fix, send everything back, pay the $20, work with your stylist to get pieces worth buying and keep the junk out of your closet.

Give it time
Have some patience with the service. My first order back was great. I took the time to update my style profile and wrote my stylist that I was looking for better casual separates to dress up or down for the holidays. I loved everything she sent. Because I kept all five pieces, I received a 25% discount on the order.

My most recent order was ok. I wasn’t crazy about a few of the pieces, and didn’t need others, but did end up with a new pair of jeans for the spring. I figure, just like when you stop in a store, not everything is going to blow your mind all the time. I also don’t need to always be spending.

Overall, I’m delighted with the service. If you are looking for casual, easy, well-priced pieces to update your wardrobe, and hate to shop, give it a try.

This post is NOT sponsored.

How to Clean Out Your Closet in 60 Minutes

How to Clean Out Your Closet in 60 Minutes

This weekend marked the official start of Spring which makes now the perfect time to clean out your closet.  Since we had a taste of spring-like weather earlier this month, there is no turning back for me mentally. Even though, as I write this, I’m wrapped in a shawl with my space heater blaring at my feet under my desk.

I love spring cleaning.

L.O.V.E.

If I could I would take an entire week off and spend it moving from one room of my house to the next, clearing out, organizing and labeling. I’m hoping to get a little bit in this week, so we’re ready. Once spring break is over, we are in full-on softball and tennis season and there is little time to do anything else.

Your closet is a great place to start. You’ll get instant gratification; it will be easier to put laundry away and your mornings will be more efficient. Who doesn’t want that? The good news is you don’t have to spend a lot of time. Just one hour is all you need.

How to Clean out your Closet in 60 Minutes

What you’ll need:
– rolling rack (this is the one I use)
– trash bags
– a dry cleaning bag
– laundry basket
– multi-surface cleaner and vacuum
– notebook and pen
– plastic storage container
– extra hangers (velvet hangers recommended)
– wine (optional, but helpful)

7 Steps to Clean Out Your Closet

1. Set up your workspace.

I love my rolling rack. It makes packing, season swapping, and cleaning so much easier. I like to have a few trash bags and my dry cleaning bag on hand so I can work quickly. If you plan on storing your winter pieces elsewhere, be sure to have your bins ready as well. Also, an extra laundry basket to collect items that do not belong in your closet is helpful. Finally, have a notebook and pen handy so you can jot down a quick shopping list as you notice new items you need or things you have to replace. (Total time: 5 minutes)

2. 15/15 game.

Take 15 minutes and pull any piece that is out of season, and place it on the rolling rack. Next, take another 15 minutes and pull out anything that is dated, damaged or that you just don’t like anymore. After, you’ll have just your seasonless basics hanging in your closet. (Total time: 30 minutes)

3. Clean.

Care for your closet the same way you care for the other rooms in your home. Wipe down shelves and vacuum the floor, clean out the light fixture and sanitize the doorknob and any other surface. (Total time: 5 minutes)

4. Hangers.

Keep your space visually tidy by using the same hanger. We love huggable hangers. They save space and look chic. It’s amazing what happens when your space is perfectly organized. You’ll be calmer and see more outfit options instantly. (Total time: 5 minutes)

5. Pack.

If you like to pack up and remove winter items for spring and summer, do that now. Plastic containers with some cedar are an excellent solution. Be sure to remove dry cleaning bags as they will hold moisture and can damage your items if you let them stay in them for too long. Unpack your spring/summer pieces if necessary and add them to your cleaned closet. (Total time: 10 minutes)

Note: Because I travel frequently, I keep all of my clothes in my closet. At the beginning of each new season, I move the old season to the back and the new season to the front. Doing so saves me loads of time and allows me to pack quickly for a tropical vacation in the dead of winter.  To see how I organize my closet, check out this video.  

6. Process.

Before you finish, gather up any trash and dispose of it. If something needs to be clean or mended, add to a pile and put in your car. Organize donations and pack them up neatly. Drop them off as soon as possible. Whatever you do, do not leave action items hanging around, or they will never get actioned. (Total time: 5 minutes)

That’s it! In one hour you will have turned your wardrobe around.  Need some extra help?  Call send us an email and set up an appointment with one of our local to you stylist.