In the never-ending struggle of wardrobe maintenance, ensuring a perfect outfit for every occasion from walking the dog in monsoon rains, attending a fashion show on a balmy spring evening and battling the furnace that is Arizona in the middle of an August day… let’s just say I have my work cut out.
Not only can this be a costly endeavor but an overcrowded one, and with neither a pile of money or a spacious closet, strategic measures must be taken.
Thanks to Marie Kondo, letting go of the things we don’t ‘love’ has become an appealing option! However, I don’t love my no-show socks, but I need them so I would be mindful about getting rid of everything you don’t love. The key is to hold onto the essential basics (no-show socks included), timeless classics, the pieces that never date and lots of accessories – all of which can create oodles of outfits (except for no-show socks) whilst taking up very little space.
The biggest downfall is when we buy something that we already own! The new one is deemed better in some way, whether it be fit, style, color or whatever it was that drove us to make the purchase. The chances are you’re not going to wear the old one anymore making it redundant, so before your closet becomes closet chaos, pull out the displaced pieces and decide whether to sell or donate.
to sell or to donate? that is the question!
The reason I suggest selling is because it brings in a few extra pennies from heaven, cha-ching! This supports your fashionista habit, it brings down the average cost per wear of the clothes you buy and extends their life to someone who will continue to love them. It’s a win-win situation.
Here's my criterion in deciding whether to sell or donate:
There are many on-line auction sites, but E-Bay remains one of the best. I’ve been using E-bay for several years, it’s relatively easy using their free phone app. Snap some good pictures of the item for sale, upload to the app, write a detailed description and include any faults with the item, weigh it (including packaging) to establish the buyers shipping cost and list it! I have a lot more recommendations on listing items on E-bay, but that’s another blog post! Let me know in comments if you want me to cover that topic.
It’s not just designer labels that sell on E-bay. It’s anything popular, trending, well known brands (including inexpensive brands like H&M). Zara sells well on the used market place, another great reason why I love to shop at Zara! Lululemon has continuously been a fast and easy sell on E-bay for several years.
You can also sell via consignment stores, but you make a fraction of the money as they take a very large cut of the sale, however they also do all the work and have the cost of overheads, so it’s fair! Click HERE to learn everything you need to know about consignment.
make what you buy work hard
Choose what you buy carefully keeping versatility in mind. Can it be worn a myriad of ways, for different occasions or events? Dressed up, dressed down, and anywhere in between… all goes to ensure you have different outfits from one new purchase when mixed and matched with your existing wardrobe. First thing I do with a new purchase is have a try-on session creating different looks with pieces from my closet. If it doesn’t measure up in the versatility department, it goes back.
Sometimes our favorite clothes just get tired as trends move on, in need of a face lift to feel fresh again (I know the feeling)! No worries, fresh can be just a few nips and tucks away! Check out this blog post (DIY - High Low Hem Jeans) on updating old jeans to a trendy new hem line.
Consider modifications to bring back that loving feeling, like replacing buttons to something new. Perhaps narrow a kick flare leg to a tapered leg, or shorten a maxi dress to a midi, mini or even tunic length. Adding darts to a billowing shirt or dress to create a more streamlined silhouette. If you can’t do this yourself, find a good tailor. Here’s a link to my blog post (A Tailor Made Fit) that tells you exactly how to do that!
May your closet be the perfect playground for your self-expression and a bottomless pit of appropriate outfits for every occasion all the while staying contained within the confines of it’s walls and your bank balance!
Karen Serino is a life and style blogger, sharing fashion, fitness and fun for youthful women in their forties, fifties and beyond.
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Click the picture below to see my interview with the lovely Jonet Wooten from Fabulously Chic Over 50