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To Keep or Trash

It is a difficult task at times to get rid of something from our wardrobe. We may have spent a lot of money on an item, or we loved it at one time but it just doesn’t seem to flatter us the way it did before, or maybe we never wore it but we thought it was a great idea at the time. Whatever the reason, we gals seem to have a hard time parting with things, especially from our wardrobe.

Statistics show that 95% of women wear only 20% of their closet. Why is this? The reasons are numerous but here are just a few I have found with talking to my clients:

1. Women buy on impulse, often for an event that is quickly approaching and they buy just to have something new to wear to the event (leading to an outfit that is just so-so instead of a well thought out, creative outfit)

2. Women’s bodies change with having children, hormonal issues, aging, stress, etc. Instead of purchasing things that fit our body at the time we continue to shop at the same stores/brands even if they aren’t working anymore.

3. We don’t like to get rid of garments that have good memories associated with them so we keep items that are out of style, don’t fit or are too worn to wear-resulting in a closet full of things that just take up space and frustrate us.

4. Women often do not understand their body shape and figure challenges so they buy things that they like visually but may or may not be the most flattering for their figure/coloring, leaving them confused as to why something seemed good in the store but doesn’t look so great on them now.

5. Women often shop for leisure and do not have a plan to build their wardrobe resulting in purchases that may not work with their existing garments, leaving them to feel that their shopping is frustrating and a waste of money or just plain unsuccessful.

So what do we do?

I have found that having a set of “rules” for whether I keep or discard something from my wardrobe is helpful. These are not hard and fast rules but guidelines that help me to keep my wardrobe fresh, exciting and in style.

Guidelines for keeping or trashing items from my closet:

1. Does the garment/accessory work with my current lifestyle and activities? Often times our life changes and our wardrobe needs to change along with it. The most popular problem I see is that women’s business attire has gone from a professional business dress to business casual and this brings up coordination issues and questions of where to shop. A Wardrobe Revive can help you get on the right track. Click here to view my free Lifestyle and Wardrobe pie to see where you may be lacking the correct clothing you need for your lifestyle and activities.

2. Is the color and style flattering? Both of these have to be a big “YES” for you to love the garment. Each woman has unique colors that will help her to look her best and styles that will bring out the best in her figure and face shape. A tip if you haven’t had a Color Analysis – hold the garment up to your face by a window with natural light with no makeup on and have a mirror to look into-then remove the garment from your face and put back again. Notice what happens when you place the color by your face-look at your line prone areas or any imperfections such as red marks-do they decrease when the color is by your face or look like they are sticking out more? The correct color placed by your face will make lines and imperfections look like they have been erased, whereas the wrong color will make imperfections stick out. If you have not had a Style Infusion, look at the styling of the garment when it is on your body-do you feel good in it? Is it slimming or does it minimize a figure challenge or draw attention to it? We want the former, not the latter.

3. Do I feel attractive when I wear this garment? What most women don’t know are the reasons they feel attractive in a garment. You can learn the reasons through a color and style consultation. But… I have found that when my clients put a garment or accessory on they will know how it makes them feel. You should feel good when you put a garment or accessory on…it should tell something about you and mesh with your personality and the things you like. If it doesn’t, look at guidelines 1 and 2. Probably one or more of these guidelines are out of sync and the item may need to go.

4. Do I wear this garment? (and why) Some stylists will say this should be #1, but I disagree. Oftentimes we are not wearing something because we just don’t know what to pair it with. When I am in a wardrobe audit with a client I not only ask when they wore the item last but also why. Is it a seasonal item? Did they love it but they got rid of something that went with it and now they just don’t know how to style it? If you are not wearing the item because it doesn’t fit or you don’t like it on you then it should definitely go…but if you love the item and just don’t know how to style it then a Wardrobe Revive can breathe life back into that piece again!

5. Is the garment “in style” and is it “my style”? These are probably the most complex questions you will ask yourself. Let’s tackle the “Is this in style?”. We can follow all the trends and try to be on top of it all, but at the end of the day I feel the most important question is “does it look good on me?” I say this time and time again to my clients- not everyone can wear all of the trends…not successfully anyway. So a figure flattering classic garment will trump a not so flattering trendy item every time in my book. Next let’s work on “Is this My style?” Each woman is different with a unique figure and style. So first and foremost, be true to your style. Find out what your style is if you don’t know. Here is a fun way to start. Check out my “What is Your Style Personality” quiz and find out what designers to follow and what styles you like. During my style consultations we start with this quiz but then dig further into local brands and stores that will fit your style and Knowing where to find garments and accessories that fit all the above is the next challenge that we tackle…but that is for another day.

I hope these guidelines will help you along the way as you start to look at transitioning to your fall wardrobe. I would love to help you with a Wardrobe Revive-you will gain new outfits, clear out the clutter, and have a plan for fall shopping! Remember you will save $25 when you book in August!!! I hope you know that you are so worth the investment!

– Pat

Pat Gibson is a certified Image Consultant, Personal Stylist, and owner of The Artistry of You, LLC. To learn more about how Pat can help you achieve your best personal style and image call 440-212-2269 or email, or click here to schedule a complimentary style discovery session!