New year, fresh start!
Year-to-year fashion trends cycle in and out (remember when Uggs and low-rise jeans disappeared? Now they’re back!). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve struggled to condense my closet because of the ‘what if’—“what if there’s that one oddly specific occasion I need this piece for?” Over the years I’ve become more practical about my closet keeps and choose pieces that work for every season and every reason. Here are some of my life-by closet cleaning tips that help me decide whether to keep or give away!
Remember that instead of tossing old re-wearable clothes in the trash bin, alternative options like GoodWill, Crossroads, Depop, or Clothing Donation Drives are always there—second-hand shopping for the win :)
Keep pieces that are literal transformers in fabric! For example, I love a good solid-colored midi dress—you can wear it alone, dress it up with a heel, make it cozy with a cropped sweater over it, or make it street-style with a distressed denim jacket. See what I mean? It’s a year-round piece! Some other clothing transformers are cardigans, cargo pants, midi skirts, and tube tops. A great question to ask yourself before potentially getting rid of a goodie is—Can I wear this piece with at least 3 other items in my closet?
Always keep a set of basic tops to rotate
Whether it’s solid colored crop tops, turtlenecks, or bodysuits having 3-5 basic tops to rotate between is always a guaranteed outfit make. Basic tops can be dressed up or down for the perfect occasion. Need to dress up a plain black tank top? Throw a leather jacket or oversized blazer over it. Need to make a work blouse look casual? Wear it buttoned down with a crop top or turtleneck underneath. Basics might not always seem like the most fun or eye-catching option, but you’ll never be disappointed to have them on deck. Colors for all seasons: Sage green, Blush pink, Teal blue, Oatmeal off-white, Mocha brown, Onyx black
White sneakers, comfy heels, boots, repeat!
There once was a time where—I kid you not—I rotated between the same three pairs of shoes. White sneakers (I opt for Nike Air Force 1’s or High Top Converse) never fail me. They pair with any bottom and more importantly I can last in them the whole day. Comfy heels are a must. ‘Comfy’ means different things to different people. I have friends that can spend their entire night dancing in 6-inch heels, but I know myself, and that’s not me. Comfort is key when it comes to heels. Whether it's a 2-inch or 6-inch heel, there’s no denying they elevate any outfit both physically and fashionably.
It’s finally boot season! Depending on your style, maybe you like seek pointed toe boots or maybe Dr. Martens are more your thing. Regardless, find a pair that empowers you to strut the street. You could be wearing a traditional summer outfit, but boots somehow make them fall. When it comes to dwindling down your shoe options, ask yourself two questions. A) Are these shoes comfortable enough to last in? B) Is it a pair I can wear day and night?
In the world of fast fashion and consumerism, it’s far too common for us to wear a piece three times and have it never see the light of day again. Really assess your closet and keep pieces for their quality over their quantity. If a piece can pair with almost anything in your closet and can withstand multiple rounds in the washing machine—it’s a keeper! Ask yourself: Do I own this because it’s trendy (might phase out) OR do I own this because it fits my personal style (a lifetime pair)?
Does it make me feel comfortable and confident in my body?
At some point, we’ve all worn something we’re not comfortable in and as a result have spent the entire night second-guessing our decision. It can be hard to avoid nitpicking every part of our bodies in the mirror, but something my college roommates used to say to me before a night out is that ‘we perceive ourselves more critically than other people perceive us.’ Remember that our bodies are all beautiful and it’s how you rock the outfit that gives off your energy. Whether it’s a loose t-shirt or a corset top—keep pieces that make you feel content in your own skin!
The main question to ask yourself here: Does this piece make me feel like the most confident version of myself?
By: Shei Marcelline