Editing for Presence

This post #4 in the Essentialize Series. Click here to view #1

Now that you are able to see the items in your closet — it’s time to edit.

At this point you may have already taken some pieces out of your closet. You probably found some things you forgot you had, and maybe you are today wearing an outfit that you had not put together before.

Most likely you are staring at too many clothes. With fast fashion and the plethora of stores that stock inexpensive items, it’s easy to accumulate clothes quickly.

Most often women shop by event.

If there is something to go to, then we shop for that specific day. This often leads to much of our clothing NOT having anything to go with it. With what I call orphan pieces.  Sometimes the tags still remain on the items meaning you can at the very least get a store credit.

By being able to see your wardrobe more clearly, it’s time to assess what stays and what goes. Hopefully you have answered the questions in Part 3 of this series. Some items will have left your closet automatically.

You just “know” that you will not wear them again or they have gone on to charity, a person who will love and wear it, or you have sold it online. And some pieces you are crazy about, want to wear tomorrow, and know they will stay in your closet — please take special note of the design elements in these items.

Now that you have asked so many questions of your wardrobe, it’s time to answer those questions and release many of the items that no longer serve you, and time to try on the items that remain.

If you have to do this over a day or two (or more) please do so. Do not skip this step. Because each piece needs it’s own set of questions IF you are trying to decide whether to keep it or not.

Here is what you want to ask:

  • Does this fit? Or am I frequently pulling, tugging, rearranging it during the day? Is it too tight?  Too loose? Am I willing to get it tailored?
  • Did someone else influence me to buy this piece and now I regret it? If you are feeling any of this, it’s ok to release it. 
  • Do I love the color on me? If you are holding a pair of black pants, the question may be instead: do I already own this style of black pant? If not, keep it.
  • Does this piece go with at least 2 other items in my wardrobe? Have I worn it in the last year or two?  Does it have the tags on? Chances are you could get some return on your investment by selling it.
  • If I were to see this in the store today, would I want to buy it? Do I love it and can’t wait to wear it tomorrow – somehow?  Good chance you should keep this piece.

Closet audits are not always easy, but they do help us not only to pare down our overstuffed closets, but also to clarify our own story of who we are.

We want what we are wearing to allow us to be seen and heard in a natural and authentic way.

Any deep reflection will not be wasted, and the idea is to have a closet that fulfills you and your lifestyle in every way, and not just wardrobe that “works”.

So often when I ask my clients if they love a piece they own, they answer:  “well, I like it” and “it works”. This is not often enough to consider keeping the piece.

Really ask yourself, “do I love this?” Do I feel — empowered, smart, confident, attractive or another strong value that you want to embody. Your clothes do need “to work” for you, but they also need to feel amazing.

You know the difference – because you just finished trying on everything in your closet, and hopefully there was at least one piece that makes you excited, really excited to put it on again. If not, then it’s time to start looking for an inspiration piece – first in a magazine or online, and then in the stores.

If you are truly stuck, head to your local fabric store and find some fabrics that you love. Look at the texture, pattern (if there is one), color and feel of it. See if you can define any of your personal traits in the fabric

Hopefully you have been able to pare down your closet to a more profitable and exciting space to enter into. For most of my clients, just being able to view their pieces, find ways to make new outfits by pulling out items they forgot about, and not being frustrated in the morning has brought them not only successful days, weeks and months of getting dressed, but also fulfillment and ease as they make their way through the day with less attention on themselves and more attention to the people, events and environment around them. And that’s a good thing.

For more information on essentializing your closet to a place that looks and feels honest, please go here, and I’ll be glad to answer any question you may have.

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