Over the course of the last month, I've been talking a lot about cleaning out your closet. I've offered advice, hosted a challenge....heck, I've even been on TV talking about the importance of getting rid of what's not working. I've loved seeing the pictures of bags upon bags of unwanted, unworn, unneeded clothing being taken out of closets, and sent to places where people who DO need clothes can give them new life.
But, as the old saying goes, those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat it. What I mean by this is, if you don't understand how your closet got to the state it was in, taking clothes out is great, but I guarantee eventually, it's going to look exactly the same as it did if you don't change your ways. What habits do you need to break to end the closet overwhelm cycle for good? Here are just 3 things I see clients do repeatedly. Recognize yourself in any of them?
Buying the Same Shirt in Many Colors
I understand the appeal of this strategy. You like the top, so why not make life easy and buy it in 4 or 5 colors? Well, here's what happens. You leave the store with 4 tops you like, but after a few months, you're bored and feel like you look the same every day. So, you hit the stores again, and find a NEW favorite top. You like it, so why not buy it in a few colors? Later, rinse, repeat. Problem is, you probably don't get rid of the 4 you bought previously, so now you have 8 tops, but really only 2 different styles...so, bored of looking the same everyday, you hit the stores again. It's a never ending cycle. There's an easy fix for this--stop buying the same top in lots of colors. If it's a good basic layering piece, stock up in 2 or 3 colors (I have the same tee in white, black, and gray), but if it's the main point of your outfit, just buy 1.
Keeping the Items You're Replacing
This one I see ALL the time, and it drives me crazy! Here's the scenario. Your favorite jeans have seen better days, and it's time to replace them. What to do with the old ones? Well, common sense would tell you that since they're worn out and unwearable, you should get rid of them. However, more often than not, tired pieces get "downgraded". "I'll just keep these for gardening", women tell me. Really? You don't have a garden, Linda. "I'll just keep this in case I need to run to the grocery store" is a line I've heard a thousand times.. This one just plain confuses me. Let's assume you're in your pj's, and need to go grab milk. Why change into something shabby? If you have to change anyway, put on something suitable to be worn in public. They'll let you in the grocery store with decent clothes on, trust me. I've seen it. If you need a few 'lounge around or go the grocery store" pieces, why not pick up a couple of casual, comfortable dresses that look nice, and let these ratty things go?
I've even seen work blouses get downgraded into "lounge around the house" clothes, and I ask you, in the history of ever, have you EVER gone and deliberately changed into a button up polyester blouse to lay around on the couch? I bet my entire collection of cute sneakers that you haven't
Also, in case my husband is reading this--you do not need 4 pairs of painting jeans, for the love of pete!
There's a simple fix for this one, too. Stop doing it! If you really need clothes for gardening/painting/cleaning, keep just a few things for those activities, but stop downgrading other clothes you won't actually wear into these categories.
Thinking Your Things are Worth Something
Before you get offended, hear me out. I once had a client, we'll call her Linda, who, during our phone consultation, told me about all of her expensive, high-quality shoes she just couldn't part with, even though she wasn't wearing them anymore. Given her address and profession, and the way she spoke about her things, I was expecting a wardrobe full of red-soled beauties. Instead, when I got there, I found a closet full of dated Bandolinos. Don't get me wrong, I love a good Bandolino as much as the next girl, but you gotta admit, they aren't investment pieces. If you're planning to bequeath your 2002 Bandolino mules to your kids when you pass on, you can pretty much rest in peace knowing they won't be fighting over your estate.
Anyway, I had to point out to Linda that these weren't the investment pieces she thought they were, that she couldn't make any money by selling them, that her friends wouldn't want them, and no, they weren't too nice to donate "just anywhere". Yeah, it was a little awkward.
After talking it through, we got to the root of the issue--she bought them at a time in her life when it really was a stretch to afford Bandolinos. So in her mind, the shoes were a luxury purchase. I pointed out to her that she wasn't in the same place anymore--either in style or lifestyle, and that she needed to let her wardrobe evolve to reflect the woman she was today.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again--Clothes are inherently worth nothing. Their only value lies in what they can do for you. A piece that is versatile, flattering, and makes you feel good has a lot of value, right? A piece you cant wear, or aren't wearing anymore, has none. It doesn't matter how much either one cost. One is valuable, the other is not. Focus on having a valuable wardrobe, regardless of how much something cost.
Monday, April 16th Phase 2 of the Cut the Clutter Challenge starts! This is where we really dig deep into what's working for you and what isn't, and what easy steps you can take to have a wardrobe you LOVE! The challenge is taking place in the Spring 2018 Capsule Community Group, which means you need to be a Community or VIP subscriber to participate. There's still time to join, and you can even catch up on Phase 1 before we start!
I hope to see you there!
Looking to update your wardrobe for the Spring 2018? One of the easiest ways to make your wardrobe look more current without a total overhaul is to simply add the "colors of the season". Adding on-trend colors is simple, affordable, and unlike a lot of other trendy items, colors have a longer shelf-life, which means you won't look at that pink top next year and say "Ugh, that's SO 2018!". Here are 3 of the biggest color trends for Spring 2018 (and a bonus to keep an eye on!)
From the palest of lemons to the brightest of sunshine yellows, this happy hue is everywhere this season. It looks fabulous paired with navy, white, light denim and tan. Keep the spring-to-summer vibe going with bright, contrasting accessories. Dress from Zara.
I know what you're thinking...pink's been a "hot trend" for a few years now. What's the big deal? Not so fast, sister. Recently, we've been seeing a lot of blush, not pink...and at the risk of sounding like Shelby from Steel Magnolias, there's a difference. Blush is more neutral than pink, and can be very hard to pull off. It can leave you looking pale and colorless. This spring is different. This season's pink, is....well, pink! Again, everything from baby pink to fuschia is out there, so find a shade that's right for you, and fall in love with pink this spring! Pink top from Zara.
Rounding out spring's ladylike trifecta is lavender. Purple is a more universally flattering color than either pink or yellow, so if you're wondering which pastel-colored water to dip your toe into this spring, give lavendar a shot. Do your style a favor though, and swap black pants for navy. Navy and lavendar is chic, polished, and gives your major style points! Sweater (this sweater is a personal fave) from Zara.
Keep an Eye On....Dark Brown
A funny thing happened a few months ago at Loft. I saw a pair of dark brown pants. Not tan, not camel, actual chocolate brown pants. In case you've been in a sartorial time warp, dark brown has been out of fashion for years. Sure, you can find dark brown pants in department stores in the "mature" brands, but in stylish stores? Not so much. But, it's making a comeback! I've seen chocolate brown in fast-fashion stores, high-end stores, and everywhere in between, I'm not quite ready to declare brown "the new black", but I think it might be having a bit of a revival in the coming months. Top by Zara,
Speaking of trendy colors--do you have this season's Capsule Guide yet? Both the Casual and Workwear editions use pink and yellow to create on-trend wardrobes that make it easy and fun to get dressed. The capsule guides have been called "life changing" and "revolutionary"--if you don't have yours yet, what are you waiting for?
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, This means if you purchase a product through a link I provide, I may, at no cost to you, receive a small commission, which help subsidize my coffee habit. For this, I thank you.
Recently, I was being interviewed on the Minimalist Moms podcast, and the conversation turned to dressing appropriately for our ages (and aging bodies). Specifically, are there things you have to say good-bye to as you get older? I highly recommend listening to the whole episode, but in this case, my general thought is "no". Dressing appropriately for your age is more about feeling confident in what you're wearing, than choosing an arbitrary cut-off age for wearing things you love. In your 30's but still love crop tops (and they way they look on you)? Go for it. In your 40's and still rocking short-shorts? Rock on.
But, while I still think articles like this are just plain silly (should ANYONE be wearing platform flip flops?), the truth is, our wardrobes DO need to evolve as we age, or we risk looking like we're stuck in a time-warp, or like most of my clients dread..like we're "trying too hard". Here are 3 ways to make sure you look age-appropriate when dressing your ever-evolving, ever-maturing self.
Don't Stop Being Trendy
Most of my clients live in fear of looking "trendy", so let's use my favorite word, "current" instead. Just because you've found yourself in a new decade of life, doesn't mean you should stop looking current. In fact, it's just the opposite. Eschewing current trends is a fast pass ticket to looking old. That said, you've got to be a little more careful in choosing trendy items as you get older, so here are a few tips
Finally, Look for the trends reinterpreted for your age range. The pearl embellished jeans at H&M this season looked way different than the pearl embellished jeans at Ann Taylor. Look to the stores that cater toward women your age to see how (and if) a trend is being shown.
When it comes to cleaning out our closets, we start off with great intentions. We imagine the streamlined, clutter-free wardrobe of our dreams, and vow that this time, we're going to do a full-speed-ahead, take-no-prisoners approach to our wardrobes. We get the trash bags and donate bins ready, take a deep breath, and then..... Oh, and then. Then we start second guessing our choices, telling ourselves, :"Well, maybe I'll wear this someday" or "I spent a lot of money on that. I should hang on to it", Sound familiar? I've seen a lot of closets, and a lot of angst over getting rid of clothes in my career, and here are just 5 reasons I often hear for hanging on to "stuff". Which ones resonate with you?
I Spent a Lot of Money on It
Perhaps you're hanging on to your first pair of premium denim jeans, circa Britney Spears in 2004, or a dress you bought last minute for an event when you had nothing to wear. (you know--where you're willing to spend ANYTHING just to have something that fits and looks appropriate). Either way, you're not wearing these things now, but getting rid of them just feels so wasteful. Here's the deal, friends--the money is gone, and leaving items unworn in your closet isn't going to increase their value. If they're still current, sell them on eBay or Poshmark, but if the resale value is also gone, simply donate them.
It Was a Gift
I ran across this quote from Marie Kondo the other day, and it answers the "It was a gift" problem perfectly:
“Presents are not 'things' but a means for conveying someone’s feelings. When viewed from this perspective, you don’t need to feel guilty for parting with a gift. Just thank it for the joy it gave you when you first received it.” - Marie Kondo The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
I highly recommend never giving clothes as gifts. I see more clothing gifts kept because of guilt than I ever see kept out of love. Thank the gift giver, wear it once (take a picture for good measure) and then donate.
It Might Come Back In
Chances are, at some point, you bought an item whose time has passed. Don't hang on to it, thinking it might come back into fashion at some point. First, you could be carrying those shoes around for 20 years waiting for their return to glory. The bigger challenge, though, is that while fashion is cyclical, trends always come back reinterpreted a little differently. Your items will still look outdated, and you'll look clueless, Here are a few dated items that might be hanging out in your closet!
I Might Want/Need to Wear This Someday
Right now, go find "someday" on your calendar. Go ahead, I'll wait. You couldn't find it? You don't say! Someday doesn't exist, and there will NEVER come a day where you'll want to wear clothes that make you feel frumpy, self-conscious, or physically uncomfortable. The very best day to clean out your closet is when your need to do laundry is at a crisis point. In your closet are all the things you're saving for a '"someday" just like this, and yet you still don't want to wear the things in there. Let them go, The wardrobe doomsday scenario in your head is never going to happen.
This Used to Be My Favorite
You know, Hi-C Ecto-cooler used to be my favorite drink (yes, I'm a child of the 80's!). Then I discovered Diet Coke. Then coffee. Then wine. My point is, my tastes evolved, just like your style probably has. Hanging on to items because you used to love them would be like me stocking my fridge with Ect0-cooler. Why would I do that, when I need the room for wine? Let yourself grow and move on. Remember with fondness the person who loved that floral Laura Ashley dress, and then let it go to make room for clothes that better reflect who you are today.
Remember, your closet should be a boutique you shop from each morning, not a museum filled with artifacts of the life/body/style you had years ago.
This month, I'm encouraging women to Cut the Clutter. You can't have a fabulous wardrobe until you're ready to let go of the wardrobe noise you're hanging on to, and I want to help you do just that! I've got a FREE 5-day Cut the Clutter challenge starting April 2. Over the course of 5 days, I'll show you how to edit your closet in just 30 minutes per day and what to get rid of to get started on the stress-free, clutter-free wardrobe you've always wanted. Sign up for the challenge now, if you haven't already!
Leave a comment and let me know which reason for hanging on to things resonated with you the most!
I started noticing pearl embellished jeans late last summer, when pearls started to be A THING. We're not talking about the simple strand of pearls you inherited from your grandmother. Those are sweet, but they don't exactly make people sit up and take notice of your outfit. No, last summer, statement pearls started showing up everywhere--especially on shoes. Over the winter I saw a few more pearl jeans popping up, but in the last few weeks, they've been everywhere, making them a big trend for Spring 2018.
Here's why I love them so much: They're fun. That's it. Getting dressed should be fun. Your clothes should make you smile. No, these are not your wear-them-everyday, staple-of-your-wardrobe-for-years-to-come jeans, Pearl jeans are a fun add-on, and something to break up the practical, utilitarian vibe of your basics-only wardrobe. Pair them with a better-than-basic tee or a pretty blouse and your spring style is off to a great start. For shoes, you can do anything from a fashion athletic to ballet flats to loafers (my fave) to heels.
Here are a few in different price points to match any budget!
2-Guess, at Amazon
3-Nordstrom (also in plus)
4-Target (also in plus)
So, what do you think of this fashion trend for Spring 2018? Yay or nay? Is it something you'd try? I'd love to hear what you think!
This week, I'll be sharing a few more pearl-studded jeans on Instagram. If you're not already following me, click here!
Some links used in the This Week I Love series may be affiliate links, meaning, if you purchase through the link, I may receive, at no cost to you, a small commission.
Thanks for supporting Apple & Pear!
Hey y'all! Remember my weekly "This Week I Love" posts? Yeah, me neither. It's been on a hiatus for a bit ( a long, long bit), but it's back! Each week on Monday, I'll be bringing you something I simply love. It might be a specific piece, a store, a trend, a pattern... who knows, it might not even be clothing related. Check in each Wednesday to find out what I'm loving this week!
I may receive, at no cost to you, a small commission from some of the links in these posts. However, I ONLY post things I love, and things I think you may love, too.
Anyway, This Week I Love is re-debuting with Lou Lou Boutiques. I'm always getting asked where I find my accessories, and although I wear a ton of Premier Designs and Stella & Dot jewelry, my favorite brick and mortar shop for accessories is, by far, Lou Lou. I love Lou Lou because it's on-trend and affordable, so I can look current and not worry about whether I'm going to wear that cute necklace for years to come because I spent a ton of money on it, you know? However, even though it's (mostly) affordable, it doesn't look cheap. I get that spending $10 on a necklace sounds Charming (see what I did there?), but if it looks like you actually spent $5 on the necklace, that's not a good deal.
With Valentine's Day coming up next week, here are a few Valentine's-inspired pieces you can pick up for under $30. Enjoy!
1- Maya Hexagon Studs
4-Melina Tassel Earrings
5- Crushed Stone Bracelet
6- Polka Dot Neckerchief
Lou Lou has lots of locations around the East Coast. To find them, click here. For the rest of you, hang on, they're expanding--and until then you can always shop online!
See you next week!