Congratulations! You successfully (or not so successfully) survived Black Friday, Sell Your Soul Sunday, Cyber Monday, Trick Your Husband Tuesday and the rest of the horribly tempting sales days around Thanksgiving. But you’re not in the clear just yet, we all know it’s an up-hill battle from now until January 2nd. And I say the 2nd because Lord knows one of my FAVORITE shopping days is New Year’s Day—screw Black Friday, that’s so ~last year~ I want brand new junk for a brand new year!!!
But listen, if you’re anything like me, the LAST thing you need is more clothes, shoes, accessories, purses…you get it. But wowowow retailers make it hard to stay away! Don’t fret young grasshopper, I’m here to offer a solution. A solution that can actually be quite fun if you make it so: SHOPPING IN YOUR OWN DAMN CLOSET! Okay Shopper-Suzy, I hear ya, how could my old boring shit (some of which still has tags on it) be anywhere near as fun as sparkly NEW shit?! The key to making this venture worth your while is going into it with a few key elements, many of which are a “given” in a true retail environment, but you might take for granted at home:
Just like retail shopping, you don’t want to set yourself up for failure by being a crabby shopper.
While this might seem like a nuisance to organize your whole closet before ripping it apart, but I promise it’s not. Have you ever gone into a store and the racks are a complete mess and the tables are strewn around like a modern-day gremlin broke in? (Lookin’ @ you Forever21…) It’s NO FUN! Same goes here, you want to make your in-home “store” sharp and ready to “shop”. If you have to break up the two activities, that’s fine! Clean up one day, “shop” another.
Either do this project during the day and in a room with windows or haul a couple lamps in during the evening—and by evening I mean anything past 4:30pm if you live in Nashville…erg.
I personally organize my closet this way, which if you don’t, 10/10 recommend an organizational refresh. (More content on that coming soon, per your request.) When pulling out items, I chose to prioritized pieces that I never wear but want to experiment with. So, I started with jeans/pants/leggings/skirts, then moved on to shirts (all kinds, blouses, t-shirts, sweaters…), then outerwear (cardigans, jackets, etc.) and lastly shoes. You can throw in some accessories too if you own specific pieces you want to play/experiment with. Remember those items are a lot easier to just reach for once you’ve put an outfit together, so don’t feel like you need to lay out every necklace you own—those items can stay in their homes for now.
As you pull out items, place them all together, stacked on top of each other by category so that it’s easy to transition from layer to layer, and you can scroll through the pieces within a category easily by lifting the hangers and looking at what’s in the pile. It should end up looking a little something like this:
Work through items, start with anything and then begin pairing it with other pieces until you find an outfit you’re obsessed with! This can be a slow process but that’s okay! In stores we often get caught up on hero pieces, which is great, we all need a great fun piece that you can whip out on any given day to spruce an outfit up. But here, we can be more realistic because we don’t have to spend an arm and a leg building a head-to-toe look!
Sometimes you’ll put a look together just feel lukewarm about it—it’s not ugly, but is it that cute though? My system for sorting through the funk is taking pictures of every variation of every outfit I put on. You’re going to end up with a shit ton of pictures but that’s okay! Because once you’re done, you can go through and “favorite” the ones that you can see now were FABULOUS! Then either delete the rest or simply reference the ones with hearts later when you’re needing to find an outfit. Here’s what mine looked like:
See what I mean?
I did this the day before Thanksgiving and picked out outfits for winter, summer, New Year’s Eve, Christmas parties, casual days, and so much more! Don’t worry about WHEN you’ll wear the outfit, pay more attention to how you FEEL in it. If you feel beautiful, you’ll know exactly when to wear it when that day comes.
If you’re like me, you might own some pieces that as stand-alones are great! But you never ever reach for them, and even now, when there’s no pressure, no rules, you STILL can’t find a reason to wear them—it might be time to say goodbye. I had a handful of pieces that broke my heart because I never wear them, which makes them feel like a total waste of money! But, when I’m honest with myself, I know I will continue to neglect them and let them take up PRECIOUS real estate in my closet–which is a no-no in my house! I personally decided to donate my items, I mean, we gotta remember the reason for the season, right? While we may have the luxury of buying new stuff, or even having such an excess that we can shop in our OWN HOMES, so many people out there do not. What a better way to really maximize this experience by bringing light into someone else’s holiday through donations?
STOP before you’re too tired to clean up – I personally made the mistake of doing this on a day when I had to be somewhere in the evening and ended up rushing around throwing items misshapenly back into their homes. If you want this to be a pleasant experience start to finish, you gotta be responsible and make sure your closet ends up back just as beautiful and organized as when you started. Or let it linger and stress you out for 4 days after like I did. 🙂
If you have a group of girlfriends who might enjoy this, once you have your pile of “I just can’t make you work” pieces, meet up with everyone, crack open bottle of Moscato and have a little swap party!
There you have it, folks! A fresh and surprisingly fun way to find ~new~ pieces to rock! Keep slaying those bad hair days and really soaking up the good ones!
Until next time!