In one of my image consulting trainings with a veteran Indiana Wardrobe Stylist, she said you can see what stage of life a client is in by what is in her closet. She said… maybe someone is hanging on to his/her 20s, 30s or before that. Maybe the person is not retired but still has a closet full of career clothes from another decade. Maybe someone has lost weight but won’t donate the clothes they don’t wear.
It’s true that as an objective outsider, and , I can see these issues in your closet. It’s fun! So, what do I think about when I clean out a closet? Here are just some of the parameters from which I work…
- Colors. Most of the time, I have already done a color analysis with a client before a closet cleanse. Why? Because it is so important to know your best colors and to stop buying colors that don’t flatter you — despite what is in the stores.
- Then, I start to weed out clothes that are worn, torn, or do not fit. I do like to ask someone, what are your favorite pieces and why.
- I make mental notes about basics I don’t see such as current jeans (not 10 pairs of skinny jeans); tops to wear under jackets; a basic pair of black or navy dress pants/skirts; sweaters to layer, shirts to layer such as tanks, shells or just dressy tops; and then shoes.
- As I go through what’s there, I will ask questions such as ‘What about this item?’ If you never wear it and don’t like it, and the tags are on it; why keep it? Consign it if it’s pretty new (fewer than 2 years old and in style) or donate it if it’s older and out of style.
The photo here is an outfit created entirely from items already in her closet. We’re not done though, more accessories and possibly another color will be added.
- As I go through the closet and what you have and don’t have, I start to make new outfits you didn’t think about. This is a really fun exercise since I think out of the box, especially with colors and shapes. It’s so fun to hear people say: I never would have thought of that one, but I love it.
- I also will ask you to try on clothing that you’re on the fence about. If it doesn’t fit, you don’t like it, or it’s just very outdated, we donate it.
- I like to do a questionnaire about your style as well before the closet — just to get to know you better and to see if your style and lifestyle have changed in the last few years. This can be especially true after living through a strange time — the pandemic — when some of us gained weight, changed our careers to working at home, and overall decided we didn’t need as many “things” or “clothes” in our life. I am hearing this all the time now as I meet clients and access what I need.
- So if you are asking yourself — what do I wear today; how do I get dressed, how do I look more together, or why am I buying clothes I never wear? Contact me! I can help!
Keep it sassy,
Beth Divine, MA, AICI-CIC
Indiana Wardrobe Stylist