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There are many ways to buy clothing: online, catalog, local stores and joining a club that sends mystery items each month. So why is one of the major complaints by women, "I have nothing to wear?" Magazine articles say we need to organize by color and fashionistas enthusiastically tell you to put a whole outfit together including jewelry and shoes on a hanger. Gee whiz, that's some kind of hanger and who has that much time? In the morning, there's starting the coffee, waking the kids and everything is a blur after that, right?
Can you make seven outfits or more out of three key pieces ? That's another ploy to get you to buy pieces that all match as you watch your monitor at a home shopping channel. Soon you see a black top, black pants, black skirt and tops that lack character and off trend. But wait, they have the exact same outfits in burgundy, navy, olive and pewter. Cookie cutter fashion is not attractive, but sometimes finding your signature style can go horribly wrong too.
When I was younger, I'd open my closet to see a blast of different colors, patterns, textures and, well, nothing that matched. I think sometimes I purposely bought the loudest most colorful shirts on the planet. Stripes, polka dots, paisley, abstract and OMG, I was saying to the world, "Here I am, look at me."
A few years in Hawaii cured my personal buying trends. I like to tell friends these days that it was a twelve step program that finally gave my wardrobe a break. I had purchased so many Hawaiian prints in the first three months, that my twelve co-workers gave me an intervention party. The participants told me that no one in Hawaii wears a Hawaiian print except the ancestral Hawaiians and vacationers. Seriously, one by one all of my clothes came out of my closet and into Goodwill bags. I had a huge hangover, but I was cured.
My Humble Advice
#1 When choosing clothing know yourself. You are not buying what would look cute to the girls at school, your office or the group you hang out with on the weekends. Look original and you'll sparkle to everyone around you.
#2 Trends are okay if you see yourself wearing the item in the future after the trend.
#3 Know your seasons. If you live in California you can wear most of your clothing all year. If you live in Washington there are two seasons, really cold and pleasant. So keep seasonal stuff together for snow days and summer heat.
#4 Separate activity clothing from sleep clothing and hanging out with friends clothing. I say this because more than once I accidently wore my purple pajama top to the market (I swear it looks just like the purple long sleeved tshirt) and a pair of loose black pajama bottoms instead of my Palazzo pants with a nice blouse to lunch with a friend. I have also purchased better lighting in my dressing area.
#5 Don't lie to yourself. It won't fit "someday", the piece must be worth the price and if the clothing isn't your color...pass.
Building a lasting wardrobe takes time. Knowing yourself and what your dreams are for the future will sculpt the perfect closet just for you. Have fun.