I’ve been preaching the gospel of purge, purge purge to clients recently and even tried to put my own philosophy into practice.
So far, so good, right?
But then I opened my closet one day and realized I didn’t have a whole lot to choose from. (I still prefer that to a closet full of stuff I don’t like or that doesn’t fit.) So in the last week, I’ve been hitting the stores in a long-overdue restocking. My budget reflects the current economy, but that doesn’t mean I can’t get a few things to freshen up my look this fall. Anyway, after spending close to a full day shopping for myself over the past week, and logging equal time for clients, here’s what I’ve concluded.
1. Size really doesn’t matter! My bras were looking a little tired, so I started in the lingerie department. No one ran to help fit me, so I was on my own (in a mall chain store). I decided to go up a size, even though I didn’t think I’d changed much. Lo and behold, a much better and more comfortable fit.
Takeaway: Don’t stick with that size 36B when you may really be a 38C. You too will look and feel better in a bra that fits!
2. Color DOES matter. I saw a cute apple green fine cord jacket on a mannequin and asked where it was. Sold out, the salesperson told me, and showed me to another cute jacket, this one in a midnight purple-blue, a lovely color. And by that point I was thinking about all the things I could do with a corduroy jacket. But that blue was just wrong, wrong, wrong for me — it would have made me look sick and tired — so I passed. (The green, which is perfect for my reddish hair and freckles, turned up in the back room, and I pounced.)
Takeaway: Identify the colors that make you look younger, happier and more wide awake, and then wear them! (Not slavishly, but most often.) (And lest you wonder what you’d ever wear an apple green cord jacket with — what CAN’T I wear it with? I’m thinking brown slacks and an orange and ivory bold flowered tunic, with the tunic longer than the jacket. A more subdued look would be the brown slacks with a brown or ivory tank or T-shirt. Really, the possibilities are endless!)
3. Pickiness is a virtue. As with the jackets, there were other things I liked in the store but didn’t love. Those are the things, I’ve learned the hard way, that I wear once or twice and then pass over every morning in favor of something I do love. With a small closet and a small budget, I am trying really hard to pass them over before I’ve bought them!
Takeaway: Approach stores with a discriminating eye, and if you have to think too hard about it, you probably should pass. (Well, unless you tend to be supercautious, that is — in which case, I recommend trying on a TON of stuff with an open mind. You may well be surprised at what you discover you like!)
4. Identify what makes you feel great. I’d really let my lingerie go, and it was definitely time for some cute, new matching lingerie. It just makes me feel better. I want to try to remember, when I’m shopping, what does (and doesn’t) make me feel great, and not get distracted by beguiling displays that having nothing to do with the priorities on my shopping list.
Takeaway: Think about make a small investment to get your wardrobe stocked with the things you love (and return the sentiment!). What makes YOU feel great? Do you have it in your closet and do you wear it regularly? If not, what’s stopping you?
5. Update your jeans. I’d been living my life fairly happily and then — wham! — I decided my jeans were a little dated looking. One pair had somehow become just too darn short. Another was in a wash that wasn’t looking current. The last of today’s purchases: a new pair of flared jeans in a dark wash. I’ll be wearing them into the ground.
Takeaway: Update your jeans at least every two years. No arguments, no exceptions. (And no, it doesn’t mean a complete purge every two years, just that you’ll need to add a fresh pair into the mix.)
I want to hear what you’ve been doing and noticing as you shop this season. Are you changing how you approach new purchases? Being more — or less — discriminating? I’d love to hear about it!