A Pre-Fall 2016 Style Check-up!

Before navigating the racks of fabulous new Fall merchandise, stop and schedule a style check-up with yourself. By doing so you will not only get rid of the items that you no longer wear or never wore, and more importantly make room in your closet for new purchases. You can then use the items in your closet as benchmarks for all future shopping, and know exactly what it is that you are shopping for!


First, block out some alone time when you can focus totally on your closet — no phone, TV, interruptions and not even music. That way, nothing but your clothes set the emotional tone.

Ready? As you peer into the closet ask yourself if your wardrobe accurately reflects who you are today. Not last season, not last year, but now. When you open the closet doors does everything inside capture you? If you were a character in a movie would this be the wardrobe of that character? Put the first item on, and take a good look in the mirror. Do not just focus on the item but how you look in the garment. Does the color, fabric, cut and condition express your authentic self? Would you rank this as an ‘A+’ look? Continue this analysis with each item. Start by putting those ‘A+’ ranked garments on the left side of your closet. Put the ‘B’s in the center. The ultimate goal is that eventually everything in your closet ranks an ‘A+.’

Remember that the garments in your wardrobe have different types of value:

Emotional value: The personal associations with an item are what create its ’emotional value.’ This type of value can lead us to hold on to clothes that either don’t work for us anymore or never worked for us in the first place, but these clothes have no ‘use value’. Take a deep breath and slide the items to the right side of your closet.
Monetary value: If the garment doesn’t make you look and feel fabulous, what good is it to you? Maybe spending all that money on it was the right decision at the time or maybe it wasn’t; either way, you’re not getting any use value out of letting the expensive item hang in your closet, and you’re actually creating negative use value by wearing it when it doesn’t suit you. Put it to the right also.
Don’t beat yourself up if you find several pieces are not cutting it anymore. We change. It could very well be that you lost weight, transitioned from student to the workforce or perhaps you even switched careers. All of these reasons can contribute to why an item in your closet is not reflecting the very best version of who you are.

Don’t confuse your closet for a clothing museum

Many people hold on to garments for historical reasons: the tee commemorating the high-school reunion, the rehearsal dinner shoes, etc. You do not have to get rid of them completely, but please don’t leave them in your closet. Create a memory box or find a storage closet with an extra shelf and store your memory clothing there, the way you keep other kinds of souvenirs.

In short, if you don’t feel great in it, or need to talk yourself into it with “it was expensive” or “my best friend gave it to me” it needs to go. It clearly is not reflecting and magnifying who you are. Our clothing should be thought of as raw materials to showcase us at our best.

Now back to your closet:

Dress from the left

After you have gone through and ranked each item, push all of your ‘hit” and “near hit’ clothing a little farther to the left so you can look at them as a group. Take a moment to appreciate how all of the colors, patterns and textures relate to one another and tell the story of who you are.

Now, for a week or so before you go shopping for new Fall clothes, try dressing yourself only from the left side of the closet. Discern what it is about this group of clothing that gives it the ‘A+’ rating. When you wear them, do you get more compliments? A different type of romantic attention? More respect at work? Do you feel more confident? Take what you learn from this existing group when shopping for new items, and also use the palette, fabrics and cuts that serve you so well. In other words, take the clothing that makes you feel at your best, and repeat your past successes!

Get rid of the rest

It is at this point you should feel free to try on the ‘C’ and ‘D’ list items from your closet for comparison. It is now so much more obvious that they do not serve you the same way that the ‘A+’ ones do. You might even have come to the realization that some of the “B”s are actually “C”s! This is the moment that you can bundle them up and drop them off at the thrift shop on the way to go shopping for your new Fall clothes! Whether you’re shopping for slouchy pants, embracing the rounded shoulder or choose to “go for the green”, make sure that every new piece ranks “A+”, and captures exactly who you are!

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from David Zyla.