When my clients and I are in the getting to know each other phase, I often request that they send me a picture of their closet. I had a woman respond, “Do the doors have to be open?” Ladies, we cannot build a house if we cannot find the tools in the shed.
So, what’s in your closet? Close your eyes and visualize the space or lack thereof, the assorted hangers, the plastic bags, the shoeboxes, the piles of workout clothes, dog walking clothes, laundry and dry cleaning. OMG, wake up from the nightmare! Admit you have a problem and either attack the closet or outsource the work to a qualified stylist! Your closet should be an intuitive, inspirational source of joy. Your items should be by category and if you have a double rod, your items should set up in your closet similar to how your body is ‘set-up’ – tops on the top and bottoms on the bottom.
2. The clothing in there doesn’t fit ~
Now it’s one thing to save a size or two up (but seriously, who plans to go up a size) or a size or two down (for the day you are whatever-you-define-as-your-perfect number). But saving clothing for a size that chances are you will never be again, now that’s just a waste of real estate. I call that the Dreaded 2 W’s – Weight and Wait. You need to look and feel pretty today, and stop waiting to feel that way tomorrow or 6 months (or 5 years) from now.
3. You have your closet set up by color ~
When did that ever become even marginally a good idea? Perhaps In the Color Me Beautiful era when women wouldn’t leave home without their swatch-cards. Don’t get me wrong, I am a colorist and firmly believe there are good colors and not-so-good colors for your hair and skin tone, but it is also okay to color outside of the lines! We even have adult coloring books now so we can just plain color for the hell of it! Having your closet set up in big blocks of color only tells you what color you might have too much of (does black come top of mind?) It doesn’t allow you to function by category! The best way to know if you have a well-balanced wardrobe is to know your ratio numbers. How many pants, how many jackets, how many blouses, how many sweaters, how many shoes and so on and so on. The desired ration of tops to bottoms is 3 to 1. When I was a buyer in the women’s market and had 6 million to spend to fill 5 stores, I had to make sure my dollars filled the store by category and ratio! Your closet should be the same. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard, “I had no idea I had this many sweaters.”
If your closet is set up like the rainbow how the hell do you even find your pants? Or even know how many pair you have? For a deeper analysis of how your closet should be set up and a DIY on how to perform your own closet edit – link here to purchase Confidence Is Always In Style – you will love Chapter 3 – What’s In Your Closet!
4. Your hangers suck ~
Come on Gloria, the crappy plastic hangers from Target were not part of the price! Those stores practically beg you to take the hangers! Why? First they don’t want to take the effort to remove the garment from the hanger and fold it, they would much rather just jam the whole kit and caboodle in the bag and send you on your merry way. Second, most manufacturers ship on hangers! As a consequence the stores are on hanger overload and they have to dispose of them. Do you really want to be their stock gal after the prices they already charge you? Remember next time when the ringer glares at you and says do you want the hangers – your response will be no thank you Darling, I have my own at home!
5. You have no clue what goes with what ~
No doubt you have been left in this paralysis stage as a result of 1 through 4 above! I often ask ladies if they were to walk into their favorite shop one day and it had been miraculously swapped out with your closet, piece for piece, hanger for hanger, chaos for chaos – WOULD YOU SHOP THERE? Usually the answer is a resounding hell no! Why then do we expose ourselves to such torture on a daily basis! If you actually schedule closet time on your calendar and attack the problem one category at a time, you will be amazed at the result! Wondrous lost items will float to the top, crappy ill-fitting items will crawl across the floor to the donation pile and the rest of the wardrobe soldiers will breath a sigh of relief because they are on comfy new hangers and have elbow room. Less is more ladies – you don’t need a lot of clothes, you just need the right clothes! When you step away from your newly intuitive closet and take a gander – your eyes will see a bevy of new combos. Outfits, colors, patterns and accessories will magically start to find each other.
You could even just decide on a color palette for the day. Say you are a classic girl and you like black, camel and white. You open the door and then shop by category – it goes something like this. Okay, black pants, white blouse, camel sweater, black/camel tweed jacket, camel or black shoes, gold accessories and top it off with that geometric black, camel, charcoal and white scarf. Voila! Once and done. Tomorrow pick a navy, cream and jade color palette the same way. Think of it like Goranimals and you will be amazed at the combos you start creating. Still stuck – pick one scarf the night before – then select all your hard pieces (pants, jackets, sweaters, etc) based on the colors in the scarf!
As always comment below – I love hearing from you. And if you edit your closet, let me know how it goes!
My recently published book Confidence Is Always In Style has a 20-page chapter with step by step instructions on how you can edit your closet, complete with steps and photographs, tips and tricks!