Throw Out Fifty Things

If you'd told me that I didn't NEED any new clothes for the summer ( I knew I wasn't going to BUY any, but I was sure I NEEDED them...) I wouldn't have believed you - until I followed the advice of most of the current women's magazines and went "shopping in my closet." I'm not kidding. I decided I'd look at all my stuff as if I'd never seen any of it before - shoes, belts, skirts, pants, T-shirts, jackets - and see what kinds of new outfits I could invent. I'd really never done that before. Usually, I just switch my winter clothes for my summer clothes, or whatever, and that's that. Same old stuff; same old looks. But not this spring. (See? Necessity really is the mother of invention.) And guess what? I've put together some pretty nifty looks. I found one belt that was (no exaggeration) over 20 years old and paired it with a 4 year-old, low-cut dress that I calmed down with a T-shirt and added a pair of (again not exaggerating) 11 year old platform sandals. The effect? "Wow," Jim said, "but I thought you weren't going to buy anthing." Okay, was I camera-ready for InStyle? Maybe not. But I felt great. I never thought I'd get such a kick out of not spending any money...

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Comment by Katie Zee on July 26, 2009 at 11:37am
Shopping in your closet! Great idea.
I always say that I have my own Barnes & Noble-- I'm always amazed at the wonderful books I have on my shelf that I didn't even know I owned.

Here's a great technique from an article I read years ago. The author said to put on panty hose, bra, and make-up (so you won't get distracted by your face.) Then you try on all your clothes, see what goes with what. Make a list of what you need to complete ensembles. (Maybe you haven't been wearing a pair of wonderful slacks because you need a certain belt.) Create boxes labeled "Donation" "Repair" and "Memento". The last one is for clothes that you keep for sentimental reasons - the dress your mother wore on her first date with your dad should not be the first thing you put your hands on in your closet. The author said the "Repair" box was really full of donations in disguise, and suggested donating them away after a certain amount of time. She also said that women tend to dress below their status, and that you should move your best clothes out of storage, and start wearing them! I love the way she wound it up: You will be able to get dressed with a speed and a clarity you have never known.

I read that article years ago and have never forgotten it. I applied it way back then, but clutter clothes have accumulated in my closet and it's time to do it again. Because these days, I'm definitely not dressing with speed & clarity.
Comment by Gail Blanke on June 18, 2009 at 4:40pm
Okay, so that's a little hing that maybe you don't need to buy all that much stuff, right? (Smilely face..)

Comment by shawn slevin on June 18, 2009 at 7:39am
I was amazed at all the things I found still in their original packing material!

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