Your Fall Wardrobe Step 1: Girl, clean out your closet!

School is about to start. Sweaters and booties are appearing in stores. Fall is coming. But, for us in Texas that means pretty much nothing. It will be hot through September. If we are lucky, we will have cool mornings in October, followed by warm afternoons. It’s hard to get excited about fall clothes when it is literally 100 degrees outside. I am here to help you get excited though! I want to show you how you can follow fall trends without spending tons of cash. I am not the blogger who is going to be showing you $500 booties. I love the $500 booties. I stare at the $500 booties. I pick them up and lust after them in the Nordstrom shoe section, but the $500 booties are not conducive to my lifestyle. Or my budget.  Or my marriage. I’m getting off track. Shoes will do that to me.

Before you start planning for your fall wardrobe, you need to clean our your closet! Not like “Ho-hum, I’m getting rid of a shirt or two,” I mean, go through EVERYTHING in your closet. This is a good habit to get into twice a year. You will be amazed at what you will find. For example, when I was cleaning out my closet I found this dress. I bought it in the fall of 1998 as a Homecoming dress. That was twenty years ago. And by the way,  I never even got asked to Homecoming that year. I’m not bitter about that at all. It was just my senior year homecoming… no big deal. This dress has never been worn. It is 20 years old and has been moved more times than I can count. Why do I have this dress? It doesn’t even fit me right anymore. This needs to go!

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Another dress. This white dress was purchased in the summer of 1999 at Saks for rush at UT. Ugh… that is a story for another time! Anyway, the day of formal night (or whatever it is called – I’ve seriously blocked it from my memory) I got a call from an older friend who had gone through rush. She told me “I heard you have a white dress. Don’t wear a white dress. Go to Emeralds and find something else.” So I did. And this white dress sat in my closet for TEN years unworn. I finally had a chance to wear it to one of my bridal showers nine years ago. I haven’t worn it since. I’m probably not going to wear it again.  Why do I have this dress? It needs to go. (ps – can those of us who lived in Austin have a moment of silence for Emeralds? Miss that place!)

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(Can we also pause to talk about how I obviously don’t know what to do with my hands in these photos?) (Perhaps, we should also talk about how I use too many parantheses.)

Ok, one last “can you believe I found this in my closet?” story. My friend in Mandeville asked me to help her clean out her closet. We went through every piece of clothing and I kid you not she had this hat. A real-live Britney Spears wannabe hat. I think hers was corduroy though. We died laughing when it was unearthed. Why was she hanging on to this? She wasn’t about to put it on and head to the Mandeville PTA meeting! I told her to either put it in her costume bin and do a couples Halloween costume with her husband (Britney and JT forever!) or get rid of it!

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Do you see what I’m getting at? You have stuff in your closet that you haven’t worn in years and will never wear again. It’s taking up space in your closet and it’s hard to know what you have and how to put an outfit together when it is so cluttered. So how do you start making headway in your closet to prep for your fall wardrobe? Put on whatever music gets you going (I usually gravitate to 2000s hip hop) and just start pulling items out.  Take a look and ask yourself when the last time you wore it. Ask yourself where you would you wear it in the future. Be honest. Don’t hold on to something because you feel bad getting rid of it. My suggestion is to make four piles. A resale pile, a donation pile, a keep pile, and an unsure pile. Your resale pile can make you money! That’s a win! Keep in mind that resale stores really only like to buy clothes that are less than two years old. If you bought something in the past year and it didn’t fit quite right or it served it’s purpose, but you aren’t going to wear it again put it in the resale pile. The donation pile is anything you don’t want, but that is older than two years old. The keep pile and the unsure pile are self-explanatory.

Once you’ve sorted ALL your clothes (this will take a while), take the keep items and organize them into your closet. Different people like to organize their clothes in different ways. Some like to do it by color. I like to do it more by occasion. Casual shirts go together. Casual Dresses, Cocktail dresses, jeans – you get the idea. Once you have put all the keep items back and organized them, go through your unsure pile. You’ll have a better idea if you want to keep it or not once the clothes you know you are keeping are hanging in your closet. Also, take stock. Do you have four black maxi dresses? Maybe pare that down to two and don’t buy another black maxi for a while.

When you’re done I can guarantee you will feel lighter. Your closet will seem bigger. You will actually be able to see the clothes you own. Check out this photo of my friends closet before and after. So much better!closet

And sometimes, when you clean out your closet, you will find an eight-year-old $15 Forever 21 top that you think… yeah… I can make this work for fall. And that leads us to step two which will drop Monday. Until then… have fun cleaning out your closet!

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