Oct 212013
You know fall has arrived when your boots have crept out of their boxes and onto your bedroom floor.

You know Fall has arrived when your boots have crept out of their boxes and onto your bedroom floor.

New seasons make me want to change; my perspective, my wardrobe, my mind… lol.  You have the right to change your mind you know.  Just because you thought you knew what you wanted and spouted it on the mountain tops to all who would listen, does not mean that you have to stick to your guns until the bitter end, grasping onto something you really no longer believe in.

But I digress!

I was so proud of my man last week friends!  He went through his closet and pulled out a trash bag full of clothes.  This was a big deal for him, and I know he is not alone.  It is funny what kind of emotions we can attach to something as silly as clothes.  They are just clothes!  I’ve seen fear grip someone’s eyes when I told them they should remove a piece from their wardrobe.  “What if I might need it someday?!”  We get sentimental… “I wore this to so-and-so’s wedding,” and ‘I bought this on a trip to here-and-there.”  It does not matter that the garment looked hideous on them or was 10 sizes (up or down) ago.

So, I plopped down on our bed and had my husband try on every pair of slacks, every jean, every suit, every sport coat, and every dress shirt and polo in his crowded closet.  We purged out so much that the next day he said,

“Wow, this feels so great!  This is going to make getting dressed in the morning so much easier!”

He inspired Me!

It has been a while since I’ve done a major closet overhaul.  Looking at Dennis’ bag of clothes made me want to do the same.  So far I have 3 full bags sitting on the bedroom floor, plans to dump a little more, and I know I won’t miss any of it.

Clean out your closet, and bless someone else with your goodies. Be sure to donate them!

We change our minds.  Remember, you do have the right!  Our tastes change, styles change, things get worn out, our bodies change… There are lots of reasons why we need to do this every once in a while.  But the end all reason to do it is that IT’S FREEING!  Unload that baggage you are carrying around, literal, figurative, emotional, spiritual….

Is it Overwhelming?

Do you fear tackling this challenge?  Are you not sure how to begin?  Here are four words to remember when you are trying to purge your wardrobe:

Fit, Flatter, Fun, Function

Try each and every piece on with a critical eye.  Really look at them and analyze these four categories.  How do they measure up?

Fit – How does the piece fit?  Does the button down shirt pucker at your bust?  Is the hem line too long?  Are the pants so tight that they cause the much talked about “muffin top?”  Some fit problems can be solved with a little tailoring.  Some problems are not worth the work or the expense.  Some people save things because “I might fit it again some day.”   Be honest with yourself.  Will you need to drop 5 dress sizes to do it?  Are you willing to do the work?  If you do drop all of that weight, will you be totally in love with it, or would you rather celebrate your achievement with some new clothes?

Flatter – Does the piece actually look good on you?

  • Do the colors flatter your skin tone and brighten your eyes, or do they make you look like you are not feeling well and have aged 10 years?
  • Does the cut of the garment flatter your body type?  Does it properly set off your proportions or does it add extra width where you don’t need it, overwhelm your small stature or wrestle with your curves?
  • Is the print right for you?  Does it suit your femininity or bring out your daring?  Is the scale correct for your size (the size of your body or the size of your personality!)?
  • Do you get compliments when you wear it?  Do other people notice how great the piece is on you?

Fit, Flatter, Fun, Function! Check the 4 F’s!

Fun – This is so subjective, but does it make you smile?  Is it a piece that you like to wear or is it kind of ho-hum?  Does it excite you or cause dread?  Do you feel an extra bounce it your step when you wear it?  Not every piece in your wardrobe needs to thrill you, but you really need to consider the emotions that a piece can invoke in you when you wear it.

Function -

  • Is it in good condition?  Does it need mending or other work before it can be worn again?  Is the color starting to fade?  Have moths started to eat holes?
  • Does it serve a purpose in your wardrobe?  If it is a heavy duty winter coat and you now live in Santa Barbara, CA, it may no longer be a necessary item for you to keep unless you do a lot of traveling to very cold climates.   Have you had a career change?  Maybe your beach bum wardrobe needs an upgrade with the promotion or the recent retiree needs to consider donating some of their business suits.
  • Is it comfortable to wear?  Are the shoes so painful that you get nasty blisters every time you wear them or end up hobbling after a half hour.  Is the fabric itchy?

What do I do with the “FAB FOUR?”

These are all things to consider when you are going through your clothes, shoes and accessories.  Here is what you do with your assessment.

  • If a piece of clothing does not hit the mark for one of these categories, it goes on the suspect list.  That means it can possibly stay for a while until something better comes along.  If the one problem is glaring, you probably want to just pass it on.
  • If it is lacking in 2 of these categories, out it goes!  No ‘ifs,’ ‘ands’ or ‘buts!’ about it!

And by the way, I submit that if you are buying something new to add back into this newly cleaned out closet, it better hit the mark all 4 times!



Last night I dreamed I was in a field filled with shoe racks.  They were in a bit of disarray, but nothing close to the clearance section at Nordstrom the other day.  We could hardly see the floor through the mounds of shoes!  In my dream there were at least 3 different styles of red leather boots that I was oh so anxious to try on.  Oh, to dream!!!

More Keys to Buying Success

Can you tell I did not check the red snakeskin boots off my list on Monday???  I have had those boots on my list for years now.  I had to dump my beloved first pair because I wore them till their death.  That is OK.  Incomplete success is not failure.    That is one of my Power Buying principles;

#5.  Keep a Running Shopping List.

Actually keep several of them.  You can have lists by specific stores, specific categories of things (kids clothes, groceries, beauty products, etc), or however it suits you.  I keep my lists in my phone’s “Reminders” section so it is always on me to update and reference as needed.

#6.  Eyes on the Budget.

There is nothing like the guilt of buyers remorse to ruin the satisfaction of a great day of shopping.  Before you open those doors into the shiny land of temptation, have a very clear idea of what your budget is and don’t cross the lines with your purchases.  Budgets are tricky things and they are something you should be very realistic about.

If you need a great quality pair of stylish and comfortable pumps to wear 3 days a week at the office, you are going to be hard pressed to find what you need at Payless Shoes.  Those shoes are an investment and require a bump up in the budget.  You may need to consider cutting something else off of the list to make room for the power pumps.  At the same time, just because you think you NEED a Coach handbag, does not mean you really do.  There are lots of great quality bags out there at lower price points.  Wisdom is knowing that putting yourself in consumer debt, or a compromised position, over a handbag, is complete nonsense.

#7.  Map Your Plan of Attack.

When you combine your shopping list with your budget, you can work on a map of stores you plan to visit that day.  Plan your route around your key store.  We knew we wanted to go to a mall because I needed to go to Macy’s and Victoria’s Secret.  We chose one of our two favorite malls because it also had the Ecco store my husband needed to go to to find his golf shoes.  Your list may not include a mall, but map a route based on your highest priority purchases for the day.

Once we got into the mall, we headed straight for a directory, located all of the different places we wanted to go to and then mapped the most efficient way to get to each one with out zig-zagging all over the place.  We went to a mall out of town after Christmas that was small enough that this did not really matter, but in big malls, you will save your feet and your strength if you do this ahead of time.

#8.  Reward Yourself.

Remember the pretzel?  Again I say, Wetzel’s are the best!  Give yourself a break and take a quick breather in the day middle of your excursion.

And Finally, in my third installment, I we will get to finding and trying on those clothes!