If your closet is bursting at the seams, but you're tired of wearing the same outfits week after week, it's time to refine and reorganize your wardrobe. A good wardrobe revamp will not only unearth those hidden gems, it will help you hone your personal style and step away from old, safe outfit choices so you can have a fresh look in the new year.
Half the battle of de-cluttering the closet is in the preparation. Style expert Phillip Bloch says, "it's all about getting yourself mentally set to do it. Think positively about how much better you're going to feel after it's done. Get yourself psyched like an athlete going into the big game." Bloch also suggests making space for a throwaway pile and a donate pile and having masking tape and a marker ready for labeling bags. Be ready with labels and a marker pen for bags of rejects.
Take a good, long look at your closet. It's best to take absolutely everything out and lay it on the bed ready for your equally essential try-on session. Bring all your shoes out of hiding, too, as some items you've previously ignored can be revived with the right shoe. If possible, have a trusted friend on hand to give an honest opinion when you begin sorting through clothes and shoes, as well as trying on your garments.
If you really want a sleek and chic closet, you'll have to be strict. If your jeans are too tight and give you a muffin top, they have to go. If an item doesn't fit and flatter, get rid of it. Get rid of things you never wear, even if you like them. Jess Zaino, New York-based stylist says, "if you haven't worn it for six months, if it still has a tag on it, or has any yellowing and frays, ditch it!"
The Perfect 10
Ensure you have a great set of basics. "I believe in 'The 10,' " Zaino says. "Essential pieces that are the foundation of every good wardrobe." Everyone should always have: a fitted T-shirt; a white button-down shirt; a V-neck sweater; dark denim pants; business-chic work pants; a little black dress; a sheath dress for work or play; a cocktail dress; a great piece of outerwear like a trench coat; and a pair of flats to wear with everything.
Dare To Be Different
Honing your style can be easier than it seems. Bloch suggests choosing basics with a slight twist. A little black dress can have an "interesting sleeve or an interesting neckline that makes you a little bit more chic," he says. "It can also be navy or perhaps, deep plum or forest green." A classic black suit could be charcoal gray or brown.
Listen To Yourself
When trying on items, Bloch says, "ask yourself, does it look good on my waist, my arms, my hips? Go down your body." Zaino also suggests going with your gut. "If you put it on and it makes you look and feel divine," she says, "keep it and wear it. Listen to your inner stylist and go for what looks and feels great."
Categorize To Accessorize
Accessorizing is almost impossible when your jewelry is in a tangle and your scarves are stuffed in a drawer. Create separate areas for everything using boxes with compartments. "Categories are important because they save time," Bloch says. "If everything has a place, then you can find it very quickly. I hang belts behind the door and break them down into different categories. I have wider ones, thinner ones and belts that go everywhere."
Donate and Ditch
Finally, Bloch suggests putting rejected clothes in a labeled bag directly into the trunk of your car. "Do not put them back in the closet," he warns. "Don't allow yourself to procrastinate. Put a date on the label and drop them at Goodwill or sell them on that date." Don't be tempted to delve into the bags – stick to your guns and enjoy your new, accessible closet.