Remember the show “What Not to Wear” on TLC? It was only the most satisfying fashion show on television. In it, style mercenaries Stacy and Clinton ambushed real people and offered them $5,000 dollars worth of high-end clothes — if they could throw away their entire wardrobe and start again from scratch. If this concept makes you feel exhilarated and horrified at the same time, you’re not alone. Haven’t we all wondered what it would be like to start over with our wardrobe? Get completely out of our comfort jeans zone and piece together smart, chic ensembles with brand new building blocks?
The good news is you don’t have to be nearly as drastic as the TV show to hit the wardrobe reset button. Every season is a new opportunity to see your style evolve in a different way. But what we’ve learned from “What Not to Wear” is that you’ve got to get rid of the old so you can properly appreciate the new. Here are our tips for getting the wardrobe you really want this fall. No camera crew or emotional break down required.
Purge & Fix
Unraveling hems, missing buttons, a pilled cashmere sweater; at best, these things are frustrating when you’re trying to get ready in the morning, and at worst, a horrific wardrobe flub if you actually make it out of the house without noticing you’re wearing a piece of afflicted clothing. Now is your time to go through it all. Inspect older and more worn garments extra carefully. You just might save their life.
Yes, I realize that’s a little dramatic, but it’s true. For example; jeans have a tendency to blow out where the belt loops connect just below the waistband. If you catch this early, and have a seamstress add an extra stitch or two, you could save your favorite jeans from the waste bin for a few more years.
Don’t Forget Your Drawers
It’s easy to focus on the closet and forget about everything you have tucked away in your dresser drawers. But the truth is, these are likely the most basic staples of any outfit, from bras to tights. Get rid of anything with holes in it. And get rid of those bras that do not flatter your chest. We all have them. Either they didn’t fit in the first place or have lost their elasticity and now look like a droopy mess. It doesn’t matter how much they cost or how comfy they are — let them go.
The One-Year Rule
If you haven’t worn it in a year, toss it. A year is a good amount of time; it accounts for weight fluctuations, style evolutions and myriad different life events. If you haven’t found the right weight or the right way to wear a piece of clothing in a whole year, it’s over. Give it away and let it find happiness on someone else’s hanger. It will feel amazing, we promise.
If it Doesn’t Flatter, Forget it
Even if your weight fluctuates, most clothes that are just plain unflattering will always be that way. If you really love it, get it tailored or get rid of it. If every time you try a piece of clothing on you’re reminded of what you don’t like about your body, well that just takes all the fun out of getting dressed, doesn’t it?
Get the Work Basics
Every girl needs the baseline to a serious work wardrobe. Whether you’re a boho blogger or confined to corporate chic, you need to have a pencil skirt, a solid color or black sheath dress and perfectly tailored trousers. Get two of each and you will have the base for 5 work outfits (plus a spare) every single week. It’s crucial they fit like a dream, so plan on getting them tailored.
The best part about these three essential work pieces is that they can be dressed up or down by simply changing the top and/or accessories. Pair your pencil skirt with a nighttime top for drinks after work, or with a tucked-in graphic tee for a downtown street-wise look for brunch with friends.
Accessorize What You Already Have
Accessories are the easiest way to update your look. You know what looks good on you, so opt for accessories that scream style to keep your outfit up to the moment. A gorgeous leather tote with modern details takes even a simple sheath dress to a whole new level. And statement necklaces are having a moment, maybe not for the office, but we love them on the weekends with jeans and a T-shirt.