House of French

November 13, 2008

Perfecting Your Wardrobe – Cleaning (Step 1)

Filed under: Building Your Perfect Wardrobe — xfrenchx @ 9:36 pm

Common complaints among women is that they don’t have anything to wear, their outfits have been outworn, or almost nothing in their closet works together. Although sometimes this is actually the case, most of the time it’s in fact bad organization that causes them to see past everything they actually have. Keeping your closet fresh and organized at all times is the key to sustaining a great wardrobe. When your clothing is organized properly, it’s easier to see what you have and what works well together, and it will be easier to locate what you’re looking for when you’re in a hurry. The first part of re-organizing your closet is to clean up.

Preparation: Make sure everything in your closet is seasonal. There is no need for you to keep your summery clothing in your closets when there’s snow outside. If you have room for them in another closet, that’s better but if not you could either store the clothing in storage bins, or at the back of your closet if there’s room. If there isn’t room, don’t do it. Cramming clothing in your closet creates chaos, and the friction caused from clothing constantly rubbing against each other will cause wear. To keep your clothing in great shape, make sure they have enough room to breathe. Make sure you wash all your clothing before you store it, to avoid bugs and nasty smells that will ruin them. To protect your more expensive clothing, as well as dresses and skirts, store them in hanging canvas bags.

Planning: Put aside an entire day to do this. You may not use the whole day, but you don’t want to leave in the middle of a closet overhaul; you may never get back to it. Ask a friend who’s honest if she’ll help you sort through them, that way when you need a second opinion she’s there. You’ll need to have a few things before you get started: a full length mirror, heavy duty garbage bags, labels and a lot of hangers. You may also want to have a camera on hand, to get a clear view of what things look like on you.

Sorting: You should have 5 piles: definite keepers, items that need attention (either need cleaning or tailoring), items you’re unsure about, garbage, and clothing to be donated to charity. You should only ever throw out clothes when they are damaged by stains, holes, or a bad smell. Anything else should be donated, since it’s the civil thing to do. Any items that end up in the unsure catgeory, you should ask your friend, take a picture and then run it through the list of questions below. Be prepared to try on every single item in your closet. It may sound like a long and boring day, but it will be worth it, and provided you keep your closet clean all season, you should only have to do this twice a year.

The Keep or Toss Checklist

Run any items you are unsure about through this checklist. If you answer no to any of them, toss it.

1. Do you love it?

2. Have you worn it in the last year?

3. Is it still in style?

4. Does it fit – or could it fit with minor alterations?

5. Does it flatter your body shape?

6. Is it in good condition?

7. Is it comfortable?

8. Are you keeping it for any reason other than gift-guilt?

Once you have cleaned your closet of all the unseasonal clothing and stuff you shouldn’t keep, move on to part 2 of Perfecting Your Wardrobe.

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