Transform Your Style: How to Love ALL the Clothes in Your Closet

Why don’t we wear most of our clothes??? 

If you want to transform your style, it’s useful to look at why we don’t wear most of our clothes! Here is an image consultant’s opinion on the matter.

Did you know that research shows the average American woman wears only about 20% of the clothes in her closet? This means that 80% are simply clutter.

So, why not pare your closet down to the 20% that you wear? The reasons are many, and complicated.

You probably have clothes cluttering up your closet that you haven’t worn in years. These may include clothing for special events like weddings, funerals, graduations, black-tie dinners, ski trips, and more. Special occasion clothing.  I’m not talking about these items.

I’m interested in the rest of the clothes hanging in your closet — and falling out of your overstuffed drawers.

How I Got to Closet Sanity

For most of my life, my closet was a big, fat mess. It overflowed with clothes that I couldn’t even remember why I’d bought. There were piles on the floor that I would go through each morning — because I could never figure out what to wear!

Sound familiar?

Just thinking about it makes my heart race!

But today, my closet is like a beautiful soft melody. It is full of clothes that absolutely love! And yours could be too.  This is my main goal for my clients. You deserve this, and it will change your life.

With a bit of organization and intentional thought, now all of my hangers match. I have an overhead light that let’s me see everything in my walk-in closet. My clothes are organized by type and color. I only keep the current season ain the closet. And, significantly, I only have clothes that fit me.

My closet is a place I like to be. The accessories are readily accessible. And all my shoes are stacked neatly.

Trust me, it wasn’t always this way!

The Path to Closet Reform

But here’s what I tell clients:

What about you?

Even if you have a well-organized closet, I recommend reviewing everything you own twice a year. Do it in each transition from winter to spring and summer to fall. I touch everything. I have an intimate relationship with my clothes. We are on a first name basis. I know what’s there and when I wore each item last.

Can you do this???

As a starting point, I recommend you go through everything you own and ask yourself:

  • Do I wear this item, even occasionally?
  • Does it still fit me well?
  • Is it still in good repair?
  • Is it an outdated style?
  • Do I love it?

Then, if the answer to any one of these questions is no, Houston, we’ve got a problem. Let’s try to figure out why.

Is the problem because the item is an “orphan” (an item with nothing that matches it)? If yes, that is the only reason to keep it. And, in that case, please make finding pieces to complement that item the goal of your next shopping trip. Otherwise, it’s time to let it go.

Best Practices to Transform Your Style

The point of all this closet talk, you will remember, is to find the pathway to really transform your style.

To transform your style, commit to only have things in your closet that you love! These gems must have all the following characteristics. They must:

— look amazing on you,

— tell the story of who you are, and

— complement your body type and your features

It’s not uncommon to wear things that don’t meet these criteria — and it’s not uncommon to have beautiful clothes taking up space in your closet that you never wear.

Reform Your Habits

Habits are Hard to Break

Let’s face it. We are creatures of habit. Our whole life is built around thousands of tiny habits. Perhaps we are just habituated not to wear many of the clothes in our closet. Yet to transform your style, you’re going to have to take a look at this.

We get up at the same time, to the same sound from the same alarm clock. Then, we sleepwalk to the shower, or the coffee pot, or our closet. and we wear our favorite jeans, slacks, dress, with our favorite jewelry and shoes and the day continues like this. It’s how we’re built.

If we want to break a habit, or create a new one, we need to be intentional about it. There are lots of ways to do this, but it starts with an audit. I recommend these steps:

Audit Your Closet

  • Get comfortable and set aside a few hours to focus on you and your wardrobe.
  • Dress up a little! Put on make-up and do your hair so that when you look in the mirror you like the reflection you see.
  • Plan to touch every item in your closet. If you don’t have time to do it all. Start with the high-value pieces and focus on the current season. Make sure you evaluate the pants, dresses, skirts, tops, shoes, belts, scarves, and jewelry that you think you would wear in the next 90 days.
  • Try everything on. Ask yourself if you were trying that item on for the first time in a store, would you buy it? If not, why would you keep it? You deserve to feel beautiful, stunning, your best, every day!
  • Check out the condition of each item. If it is pilling, stained, ripped, or just worn out, it’s time to let it go.
  • Is is dated? Does it make you nostalgic for a time in your past? There’s a clue. It’s likely a visual reference for times gone by. Let it go.

Separate the “Tin” from the “Gold”

This idea of only keeping what looks great on you and what makes you happy is a big one. We’re so used to settling! No more! Here’s how you get started building a wardrobe stocked with only clothes you love:

  • Keep it if you love it. Put it neatly on a shelf, or in a drawer, or on a hanger.
  • Don’t love it? Decide if it should be donated – or “consigned” to a retail shop, so you reap a small return on your investment.
  • Finally, among what’s left, if it is not something you will wear this season, pack it up and store it. Anything you won’t wear soon is clutter!

Yes, it takes a time commitment to do this work. But when your closet is organized and tidy, it becomes more and more a place you want to be. You will feel inspired to create outfits — and you will leave the closet each day feeling great about the way you look.

If you need help figuring any or all of this out, you’ve come to the right place! I’m Northern Virginia-based style and image consultant Cyndy Porter, and I’m happy to talk with you anytime!

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