Now that it’s March, it’s time to start thinking about spring cleaning. Call me crazy, but I look forward to spring cleaning. Especially when it comes to my wardrobe. I love the process of weeding out what’s old and making a list of the new items I want to hang on those empty hangers. But I understand that this can be daunting, so I thought I’d dedicate this column to making the task organized and do-able.
What to weed out
Now, I know this can be stressful, so see what you can do to make it a fun experience. Turn on some music, pour a glass of wine and throw open the closet doors.
1. To start, designate several piles, such as Donate (bring to the Salvation Army), Resell (sell at a resale shop) and Give Away (hand-me-downs to friends and family).
2. When you conduct your closet audit, there’s one golden rule: if you didn’t wear it last season, you’re not going to wear it this time around. Choose a pile and discard.
3. Be sure to try on, model in the mirror and make sure you love the to-keep pieces and want it to take up real estate in your closet for another year.
4. If you need guidance on what’s in and what’s out, browse Second City Style’s online magazine to see the latest trends. I also defer to Harper’s Bazaar’s â€œBuy, Keep, Storeâ€ article in every issue. It’s an excellent source for understanding trend cycles.
What to do with your old stuff
Now that you have separate discard piles, figure out where you want each of them to go. If you’re donating, be sure to check your Salvation Army’s local website to find delivery times and instructions. Also consider looking into programs such as â€œDress For Successâ€, which accepts professional clothing for women in need or the Glass Slipper Project, which collects dresses, shoes and accessories for girls who need these items for prom.
If you choose to re-sell, call ahead to the consignment shop of choice to check on their policies (some require clothes to be pressed and on hangers, etc.) and make sure you understand the terms (whether it’s a 50/50 split, etc.). Or if you’re the entrepreneur sort, host your own garage sale and impress your neighbors with your fashionably, gently-worn selection.
What to fill it back up with
Hopefully, there will still be a fair amount of items that will return to your closet. Inspect every garment before re-hanging, checking for buttons that need to be re-sewn, items that should be dropped at the dry cleaners or any other needed repairs. (This is a good time to have shoes re-heeled!)
And now for the fun part – create that to-buy list of pieces that will complement what’s already in your wardrobe, yet update your looks for the season. As always, I’ve provided mine for inspiration.
Happy Spring Cleaning!
A. Jovovich-Hawk for Target Flutter-Sleeve Blouse with Navy Linen Shorts $26.99 each
B. Gap Chambray Puff Sleeve Dress $54.50
C. Lauren by Ralph Lauren â€œBethâ€ Gladiator Wedge $120
D. Paisley Mini Skirt $75
E. Matthew Williamson Pearlescent Collar Dress $1,995
F. Karen Zambos Vintage Couture Long Strapless Print Dress $350
G. Catherine Rapetti Natural Creased Leather â€œElizabethâ€ Envelope Clutch $180