If you are anything like I used to be, you hang onto clothes forever (and by that I mean, way past the expiration date). Part of it is the guilt factor – I paid for it, I am not going to get rid of it. The other part, sad but true, is that I think about when my children will have 90s or 00s day at school. Instant access to authentic vintage clothing! I know that is crazy…but platforms did come back in style last year and I had only to walk into my closet to hone in on the latest trend. The real question we all should be asking ourselves - how much of what is hanging in my closet am I actually wearing? Let’s be realistic here, we need our wardrobes to serve us, and serve us well. We truly do end up wearing the same things over and over, so simplifying is a good thing.

A fresh pair of eyes on the interworkings of your closet could result in a life changing lesson in how to pair different things together to get the most out of your wardrobe. The first thing to consider is your lifestyle. What you want and need out of your clothes. Then identify and develop your essentials wardrobe. This consists of quality pieces in your key neutrals (black, brown, white/off-white, olive, charcoal, navy). For example, everyone needs a pair or two (or three) of fabulous black pants that transcend season. Invest … these pieces should last a long time.

Once you have inventoried your essentials, stand back and take a long, hard look at what is left. Is it safe to say that what's left in your closet are non-essentials? Perhaps that's why you have a hard time coordinating outfits that work well for you and your body shape. Start purging items that no longer work by (1) consigning, (2) giving to good will, or (3) sharing the love by giving to a friend or family member. And don't forget, tailoring those keepers-but-not-serving-me-now pieces will completely change your look. It's eye opening! Each season, add colorful and modern pieces to freshen up your style. This allows you to add in some trend, while grounded by your essentials. If you don't know your color palette, reach out for help.

Be smarter about your purchases. I recommend shopping alone, as to not be influenced by others. However, if you must shop with others, bring an honest friend with you. I have a friend that is brutally honest (I compare her to shopping with my mom). Her opinion is transparent by look within 2 seconds and by mouth within 3. Gotta love a good friend. Remember, if you have any doubts about a purchase, it's not meant to be. If you think it might work, walk away. If you continue to dream about the item for days, go back and get it. New purchases should only be made in knowledge and love.

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