Monday, 7 January 2013

Make Your List and Check It Twice!

Make Your List and Check It Twice!

By Mary Michele Little

Chances are you're in the throes of holiday gift-giving, checking off your shopping lists and testing your patience. Yet there's one list I want to encourage you to spend a little time on that you may not have thought of, and that's your very own personal wardrobe list.

While your social calendar may be overflowing and your budget stretched to its limits, now is one of the best times to begin to think about your wardrobe for several reasons. First, if someone is buying you a gift and you know what you need, instead of ending up with another knick knack that just collects dust, you could actually be adding to your wardrobe. Get specific - "Gee, I could really use a new statement necklace in gold" or "I would love to have a few new short sleeved t-shirts from Michael Stars in jewel tones". When you give them details, you actually do yourself a favor - and them a favor as well! And second, this time of year (now through late January) is amazing for scoring deals. So when you're out shopping for friends and family, if you see a not-to-be-missed deal on one of your must-have items, you can snap it up knowing it's not an impulse buy and that it will be adding life to your wardrobe.

Many of my clients come to me with a closet filled with clothes, yet no strategic plan. Year after year they add to their wardrobes without any real thought on how all the pieces will fit together. They spend hundreds and thousands of dollars, but come away from their closet feeling desperate and depressed. This, of course, leads to more shopping, which really only exacerbates the problem. An once the mega clearance sales start, they're tempted to snap up something for all the wrong reasons, out of desperation to have something new. So how to you get off the wardrobe hamster wheel?

Start a list. Here's how:

1/ Take stock - No matter how busy you are, carve out some time whether it's a few minutes each day for a week or a few hours one evening. This is your uninterrupted time to get up close and personal with your wardrobe. Go through each item and assess whether or not to keep it. Does it fit? Does it flatter? Do you love it? If the answer is no, then purge it from your closet immediately.

2/ The Replacements - If it turns out that a well-loved favorite is now pilled, has stains or no longer fits you, ditch it and begin to look for a replacement. These will be some of the first items to put on your list, and chances are some of the most worn. Buy the best you can afford because these will be some of your go-to staples. If you feel inclined, buy two.

3/ The Staples - What basics are you missing? If you don't have a favorite pair of jeans, are in need of some cardigans to layer, or a few separates to stretch your work wardrobe would make a difference for you, put these on your list. You want to choose items that go with at least 3 items you already own.

4/ The Spice - Now, ask yourself what you really want to wear. This could be anything from the latest boost to a beautiful bracelet or a pretty top. Think of items that bring your look current and you can't wait to wear. This is the fun stuff, and if it's trendy, you'll most definitely catch a great bargain over the holidays.

5/ What's Now, What's Next - As you make your list, ask yourself what items will work for you now, and what will work for you in the spring. A little planning and strategizing now will make a big difference for you in the coming months, and will also help you to view your wardrobe as a unified whole that will take you in and out of seasons for the next few years.

So make your own shopping list, and check it twice. Go back to it as often as needed, and add to it what you desire. This 'work in progress' is something that you can keep going continually so that you always know what you need, and to get a better handle on how to take advantage of some of the rock-bottom crazy sales we're going to be seeing post-Christmas. After all, a bargain is not a bargain unless it's something you'd pay full price for. And when you have your eye on the prize, even though it's worth it to pay full price, it's so much sweeter when you get a bargain!

Mary Michele Little
Your Signature Style Coach
One Chic Mama, Inc.
(919) 828-7529

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