A recent study showed women wear 20-30% of their clothes. So, for every 10 pieces of clothing in a woman’s closet, she’s only wearing two or three pieces. That’s crazy! Especially when we look at that closet full of clothes and think, “I have nothing to wear.” It’s probably time for a closet audit to see what you own and what type of use you’re getting out of it.

How To Build A Good Wardrobe

Closet/wardrobe filled with clothes

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I highly recommend going through that exercise. Do it yourself or work with a personal stylist. You’ve probably heard the saying that if you haven’t worn something in the past year, get rid of it. I’m not completely stuck on that rule, especially with the pandemic. We weren’t going anywhere for a time but that’s no reason to get rid of your entire wardrobe. You may have been wearing the comfy uniform (sweatpants and a t-shirt) but now are getting back in the public eye and need to dust off the pants and blouses.

Going through your closet and determining what you want to keep should be easy. Discard things you are not wearing. Again, that won’t be too hard. Then you’ll have things in between. For advice on what to do with those pieces? Well, that’s what I get paid for.

One question is what to do with clothing and accessories you don’t wear anymore. Here are a few options:

  1. Donate them to a charitable organization that has a thrift store to resell your items.
  2. Sell them to a consignment store and make some money.
  3. Give them to family and friends.
  4. Host an apparel swap where folks come together to trade merchandise.
  5. Find organizations like Dress for Success that take gently used apparel and outfit people in need.

Ten million tons of clothing fill landfills every year. That’s deplorable. We must stop this and become better stewards of our planet. One out of every two articles of clothing is thrown away. There’s no need for that (see above options).

The average woman spends $960 annually on new clothes. (Depending on who you are, that may be a shocking statistic. Frankly, I wish I could get it down that low. I’m sure my husband does too). Where is she going to put them? She needs to have a closet audit and throw out the old so she can bring in the new.

A great time to do a closet audit is the change of seasons, spring and fall. Before you pack away the previous season’s wardrobe, make sure it’s all worth keeping. As a personal stylist, I help people with this process, organize their closets, and show them how to rotate their clothes so they never have to do another audit. It’s very liberating, by the way.

That takes me to another point of an efficient closet. ORGANIZATION. How can you responsibly dress if you don’t even know what you have? Categorize clothing. For example, all coats should be together as well as footwear like boots and sandals. It will help you get ready faster and become very clear on what you’re not wearing.

Don’t just stop at your closet. Go through drawers and sweater bins. You also need to do this process with jewelry boxes and armoires. There are vendors that travel the country buying metals like gold and silver. A friend recently brought old gold jewelry to one and got about $400 in cash. Pretty nice for less than an hour’s work.

Sustainability is really coming to the forefront in the fashion industry, and I’m glad to see it. Be part of the solution and not the problem.

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