Dressing Room

The clear-the-clutter closet makeover

The clear-the-clutter closet makeover

We have more clothes than our closets have room for, and yet getting dressed in the morning is always a frenzy of trying on and flinging off. Celebrity stylist Monica Schweiger, who has worked with Gwen Stefani, believes that a well-edited closet will cut down on morning stress and make you a better dresser. “With closets and drawers bursting at the seams, it can be more difficult to find something to wear,” says Schweiger. “But when there is space to actually see your clothing and accessories, it gives you the opportunity for creativity.”

Identify and evict your wardrobe’s deadwood with these tips:

Main squeeze We cling too much to clothes that cling too much to us. Not only do we believe we’ll eventually fit into that slinky dress again, we even buy new too-tight items as an advance reward for future weight loss. Weight may fluctuate, but the solution to the sausage-casing problem is clear-cut: ditch the blouses with buttons that gape. Ditto for those trousers with the too-snug crotch and jackets that are too tight at the armholes.

Yesterday’s news Let’s say you’re lucky enough to wriggle into garments from a decade ago. If the miniskirt fits, wear it, right? Wrong, most of the time. If you’re no longer club-hopping or attending karate class, you need to dispose of the leather pants and martial arts whites. For borderline cases, seek a second opinion. Invite a friend over to give you tough-love advice on what still works on you.

The frivolous frock Inexpensive garments from fast-fashion shops are easy to part with after a season or two, but what about the teddy bear print designer dress that you splurged on? Put up for sale any designer piece of clothing that you haven’t worn in a year, on an auction site like eBay. This tough bottom line will benefit your bottom line since brand-name labels fetch a premium price.

The sentimental keepsake You turn a blind eye to the hand-knit sweater squatting in your chest of drawers. It was a gift. It was what you were wearing when you met your boyfriend. It’s a family heirloom. As long as you have worn the “cherished” piece one time for your friend/boyfriend/relative to see, you’re home-free. Let it go.

Ladies in waiting You’re savvy enough to recognize that fashion is cyclical, so why let go of anything that may make a comeback in, oh, a decade or two? True, but style revivals always bear an update. Marc Jacobs’ line of ’80s getups looks current; the power suit with lumpy shoulder pads from your attic most definitely does not. Solution: Allot yourself one head-to-toe look of your favourite retro pieces.

Logo OD Clothes make the woman, but it should be the cut and materials of your clothing—not the advertising plastered on it—that telegraph who you are. Eliminate any item with a graphic bigger than your fist; keep the rest strictly for runs to the mailbox or corner store.



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Laurie Pike is the editor of “The Paris Blog.” Her fashion past includes stints as assistant to designer Rick Owens and writer for MTV’s “House of Style,” which she named.


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