As you pack away your winter clothes, consider each item as it goes in the box. Eliminate anything you know is a confidence killer. If you eliminate any major parts of your pie chart, write down what you will need to replace those items. Keep out any items you know need to be tailored. Also, if you hike or camp, put your favorite sweaters and flannels on top so you can access them easily.
Start by unpacking your existing summer wardrobe onto your bed, or any large area. Separate everything into three piles: A (fits well and you love it), B (you like it but it may need tailoring or new accessories), C (purchases you regret, not flattering, worn out).
Hang your A items that hang. As you hang each item, consider what you will wear with it. Do the shoes still work? Do the pants still fit? Do you have the proper accessories? Hang like items together (i.e. pants, shirts, dresses, skirts, blazers, etc.) Make sure your hangers fit the clothes and don't leave "shoulder nipples" in your lightweight knits. If you need to, put hangers on your shopping list. Use the hard to reach areas of your closet for rarely used items.
Add your B items working from best to worst. Repeat the process from your A clothes. You may need to start a tailoring pile at this point. Be specific with your shopping list. If you need accessories, note the color palette, length of necklaces, etc. If you need shoes for something, consider wearing that item when you shop for shoes.
Consult your pie chart as you work. Once you have either a workable rotation, or you reach your C items- STOP. You may be left with a rather large pile- it's ok. Never feel guilty about eliminating items from your wardrobe.
Go through your shoes, handbags and accessories. Eliminate anything you don't wear. Eliminate worn out shoes and handbags.
* Be specific
* Be generous
* Fill your largest pie division first and work your way down
* Be picky (if it doesn't work for the item you bought it for- return it)
DIGGING FOR GOLD
Plan your shopping trips. Know where you are headed and why. These are some of my favorites: (out of state readers, I'm sorry)
SAVERS: This is where I buy most of my clothes. I have several J Crew, Banana Republic, etc. pieces that I paid less than $10 for. Not the best for shoes and accessories. Takes time to dig through all the undesirables, but it's worth it. Returns are virtually impossible, so don't skip the fitting room.
MACYS: Great for anything on your list. When I go here, I don't look at anything but clearance racks. The same applies to shoes and jewelry. If you stick to items that are more than 50% off the original price, you will do well. Any time you're dealing with clearance, you'll need to dig, but not quite as bad as second hand stores.
KOHLS: My all time favorite for jewelry. Again, clearance racks only. Kohls is infamous for running 30%-50% off items all the time- unfortunately these "sale" prices are the same as regular prices elsewhere. Sometimes I'm able to find clothing in clearance for great prices, but I really have to dig.
DSW: Great for shoes and purses. Depending on your budget, you can almost always find something at a discount. I stick to the clearance section, but if you can shop the whole store, the selection is phenomenal.
OFF BROADWAY SHOES: same
ROSS: Decent for clothes. I find the brand name stuff here is still above my price range but it's good for layering pieces. Take a peek at the shoe clearance.
TJ MAXX: same
TARGET: I find a lot of accessories here. Use discretion when buying dresses or memorable statement pieces here. I don't want someone waiting in line to pay for their groceries and spotting a dress they complimented me on.
ARDEN B: Clearance racks here are a great place for trendy statement pieces.
I'm sure you each have your favorite stores, but make sure you're getting a good deal!
Tomorrow I'll be posting whatever sales I'm aware of for the weekend.