Know when to let go. You’re not alone if you’ve developed an emotional attachment to some of your clothes. It can be hard to part with certain garments, either because they were your go-to item for years, like your chewed up black pumps that are way past their prime, or because you paid good money for that outfit and still hope to wear it someday (we’re talking to you, leather mini skirt impulse buy with the tags still on it).
“A lot of my clients have some guilt about getting rid of things that may have been expensive or still have tags on them,” says Taylor. “I remind them that if they keep it, it’s staying in your closest on the hanger serving as a daily reminder that you’re not wearing it. By getting rid of it, you’re not beating yourself up over it every day.” Let someone else get some use out of that outfit by donating it or by bringing it to a consignment shop so you can get some cash back, taking the sting out of the money you’d spent on it.
Evaluate your clothes. Imagine your clothes are contestants on “Survivor”—find out why they’re here and assess how much they deserve to stick around. Go through each item in your closet (pants, jeans, dresses, skirts, blouses, t-shirts, you name it). This will take some time, but you’ll have the best wardrobe full of clothes you feel good about in the end. And isn’t that the whole point—to feel fabulous in your clothes? To suss out whether it’s time to part ways with certain items, hold up each one and “ask yourself, ‘How does it make it me feel?" suggests Taylor. “If you look at this piece and think it’s such a pretty blouse or dress, but you feel fat or self-conscious every time you put it on, you’re not going to wear it. The label doesn’t matter.”
Ditch or donate any clothes that make you fuss and fidget, such as that strapless dress you’re constantly pulling up to avoid a wardrobe malfunction of the R-rated kind, or those khaki shorts that give you an instant wedgie each time you wear them (never a good look). “When you’re fidgeting with clothes, your focus is on that all day and not on your life,” she says.
Follow the rules. Still not sure if you’re ready to part ways with a certain item of clothing? Check your emotions and follow these two rules recommended by Taylor: the seasonal rule and the rule of multiples. If several sundresses of yours never met the light of day once this entire summer, it’s unlikely you’re going to wear them again. Say buh-bye. Also, chances are you easily have at least 10 or 20 pairs of jeans or black slacks hogging your valuable closet space. Following the rule of multiples means that if you have, say, 20 pairs of jeans, it’s time to pare them down. Pick your favorites—a pair of skinny jeans, boot-cut jeans, causal boyfriend jeans, a long pair to wear with heels and a hemmed pair to wear with flats, for example—and donate the rest to someone who could really use them.
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