Spring Clean Your Closet and
Refresh Your Brand

Spring Clean Your Closet and Refresh Your BrandEvery so often, when I clean out or re-organize my closet, I find some gems. It could be a beautiful blouse that is perfect for spring or a pair of vintage heels that will match my new dress. I call this closet shopping. Inevitably, when I wear one of these buried treasures, friends will ask if it’s new. I always feel a bit sheepish to admit that the fabulous jeans or funky t-shirt they’re admiring has been lost in the mass of fabric that I rarely consider when I get dressed.

Why is it that we tend to go to our old standbys—the comfortable slacks and blazer we’ve worn every week for two years—and let some of our other great looks fall in with the clutter? If you are wearing the same pieces of clothing again and again, it’s time to do something about it.

If you want to build a wardrobe that you love, that truly represents the brand YOU, it’s imperative that you become a ruthless editor – weeding out the items that no longer speak to you, or even fit you for that matter. Diana Vreeland said it best, “Elegance is refusal.” It’s the ability to know what works for you, and then just say no to the rest.

Real style starts with purging. You must get rid of what no longer works (or never did) to allow your closet to breathe and make room for those special pieces that make you shine.

To start the process, create four boxes and label each accordingly: Donate, Gift, Alterations, Save. The Donate box will be for what you no longer wear or want. These pieces will either be donated to charity or taken to a consignment store. The Gift box is for those items that you would like to give to specific people, and the Alterations box is for those items that need a little tweak in order to wear them. The Save box is for those pieces that you just can’t bring yourself to get rid of, even if you haven’t worn them in years.

Spring Clean Your Closet and Refresh Your Brand

As you go through your closet and try on each item, ask yourself three questions:

  1. Do I absolutely love this?
  2. Does this communicate my personal brand message?
  3. Would I want to be seen wearing this for a date/interview/important meeting etc.?

If you can’t answer YES to at least two of these three questions, then the item should be tossed into one of your four boxes. Ideally, you want to be able to answer each question with a resounding YES.

Once you have gone through your entire wardrobe and purged items into the Donate, Gift, Alterations and Save boxes, you should now be left with only those pieces that you love. Now here’s where it really starts to get good: go through the entire closet again and arrange all like items together. So, all pants should hang together as should short-sleeve shirts, long-sleeve shirts, skirts, dresses etc.

Then do another pass-through and make sure that within each category, items are organized by color. In other words, all of your black skirts should hang next to each other, gray skirts, denim skirts, and so on. As you look at the remaining items in your closet, ask yourself, “Does this feel like me? When I wear these items, will I be projecting my ideal image to the world?”

You may be wondering what the Save box is for. Tape up the box and don’t touch it for 60 days. If you don’t need any of the items during this time or even forget what you have put inside, it’s definitely time to donate this box to charity, bring certain items to a consignment store or sell them on e-Bay.

Now that you’re on a roll, do the same thing with your accessories. You may have a fantastic necklace from your trip to Paris that is a perfect match for the sleeveless turquoise blouse you forgot about. You may want to donate the costume jewelry you never wear anymore. A productive attempt at closet organization may lead to many other acts of cleansing that can help you pinpoint your best look and improve your overall environment.

One of the biggest benefits of your closet overhaul is that you will diversify your wardrobe without spending extra money. This process will also give you some ideas of pieces that will work well together to create a fresh, modern look, so don’t forget to take a few snapshots of those new looks you’ve put together. You will have many more outfits with less clothing. And with fewer pieces of fabric to choose from, you’re more likely to make more diverse choices to find the look that best suits you.

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