In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, sometimes it can be downright difficult to look your very best each day. After all, most women today have extremely busy lives between the demands of work, social engagements, parenting, and partnering. With all this rushing about, its no wonder we sometimes leave the house looking less put together than we wish. Here’s what I’ve noticed after 25 years of image consulting: while most women may own great pieces, they often don’t put them together in a way that creates the best look for themselves.
We often can put a lot of time into shopping for clothing. But, if we don’t know what is in our closets or don’t know how to put the right ensembles together, we are not going to look our best. This is especially true on busy mornings, when you don’t have the time or energy to search through your clothes, shoes, and accessories for an outfit that really helps you shine.
Even though most women have a good selection of clothes, they often forget what they have, or their clothes are so poorly organized that they can’t conceptualize the pieces they have to work with. Some women also hold on to pieces that are no longer appropriate for their current lives, or accumulate too much of one type of clothing or too little of another. These common wardrobe pitfalls create the perfect storm, in which women either can’t access the clothes that match or have outdated wardrobes that may not look as great as they could.
Deciding what to wear shouldn’t be a daily source of stress. In order to create looks that reflect who you truly are (and reclaim your serenity!) you must take the time to consider and arrange your wardrobe so that you always know what you have, what you need, and which ensembles reveal the real you.”
Keep reading for some tips that will help you do just that.
First, reconsider your concept of abundance. We usually think of abundance as having more than we need. But when that translates to an overflowing closet, it’s time to rethink what abundance really means.
Where your clothing is concerned, abundance means having the right amount—no more, no less—than the high-quality items that fit you well and make you feel great when you’re wearing them. It also means carefully curating your wardrobe with items that belong in your life right now—and allotting the time you need to keep them orderly and ready to wear at a moment’s notice.
Get familiar with what you really have. If your closet is packed full, poorly organized, and cluttered, you’re likely unfamiliar with some of its contents. Take all of your garments off the rack and give them a good look. This is a great way to reconnect with what you have and to identify items you no longer want or need. Getting rid of worn out, outdated, or redundant pieces is a great way to simplify your closet and free up space for new items.
Find a way to organize your clothing, shoes, and accessories. Now it’s time to put back the pieces you want to keep in an orderly fashion. Remember, if you can’t easily see and access your clothing, it’s virtually impossible to know what you have to work with. (This is also the reason many women end up buying the same type item multiple times!) To help with this, organize your clothing by garment and then by color.
First, place all of your shirts in one section of your closet, and then group them by color. In this scenario all blue shirts hang together, followed by green shirts, and so on. To be even more organized, arrange the blue shirts by sleeveless, followed by short sleeve, then long sleeve. You’d be amazed how much this simplifies your closet. Another great idea is to hang up individual outfits together. Using this method, you might hang a great pair of slacks beside a crisp tee, a blazer, and scarf.
Use your time wisely. Many women put time into shopping for the perfect clothing, but don’t take the time to keep it orderly and easy to view. Further, they may spend a lot of time styling their hair and makeup, only to throw on a lackluster outfit because they ran out of time. The secret is to schedule time to keep your clothing orderly and visible so you never have to rush in the mornings.
Whether daily, weekly, or monthly, set aside time to hang up your clothes in their proper places, declutter your dressing area, and ensure that you’re ready to select and wear your best pieces at any given moment. Never put a garment back in the closet that needs to be repaired, pressed, or dry cleaned. Also, be sure to give yourself ample time in the mornings to get dressed and deal with any fashion emergencies that may spring up unexpectedly—like discovering a hole or stain.
Stop relying on your “uniform.” Having a few tried and true outfits is great for days that are truly hectic and rushed. But if you dutifully wear the same jeans and tee (or skirt and blouse) combos every day, you could be selling yourself short. Resolve to regularly venture outside of your comfort zone, and plan these new looks ahead of time so you can deal with any styling issues up front.
Create great new outfits…In order to get the most out of a fabulous wardrobe, you’ve go to actually wear it—all of it! But all too often, a new outfit that looked great in the store is less than stunning once you’re wearing it. This is why it’s so important to plan your various looks ahead of time, so you can troubleshoot them until they are perfect.
Whatever you do, don’t plan out a new outfit in your mind and expect it to look the way you’ve imagined it. That’s a recipe for rushing back to your ‘uniform.’ Instead, give yourself time to create outfits that truly work, and then try them on to make sure they make you feel confident, poised, and stylish.
…and then photograph it. Once you have created a fully accessorized look that you love, snap a photo of yourself to keep on hand. If you do this each time you create a great new outfit, before long you will have a catalogue of looks you can recreate in an instant.
Be on the lookout for fashion inspiration. Keep an eye out for looks you love in fashion magazines, or on Pinterest or Instagram. You may find some amazing new ways to wear many of the items you already own!
Put your off-season clothes in deep storage. No one enjoys digging through their sandals, tanks, and sundresses just to get to their sweaters in the middle of winter. This is why it’s important to store your off-season items in a spare closet or an out-of-the-way storage area. Doing so frees you up to display your clothing without having to deal with items that aren’t appropriate for the current season.
Remember that getting dressed for work, the weekend, or a special event should be a joy—not a time-consuming struggle. You’ve already got a great closet full of clothes; now it’s time to go one step further and figure out how to wear them well! When you organize your clothing, and put a little extra effort up front into creating stunning looks, getting dressed becomes a delight. And in the end, you’ll look better than ever too.