Christine Koh

Hello!

I'm Christine Koh, a music and brain neuroscientist turned multimedia creative. I'm the founder + editor of Boston Mamas, co-author of Minimalist Parenting, co-host of the Edit Your Life podcast, and creative director at Women Online. Drop me a line; I'd love to chat about how we can work together!

How to Overhaul Your Closet

closet.jpgToday, Jennifer (also of Hey Girl Momma Go) shares 9 tips to help you overhaul your closet:

This unseasonably warm weather has me clamoring for a pedi appointment and my favorite bin (yes, bin) of summer shoes. But before I get to have some wardrobe fun, I always make myself purge before I splurge. Here are 9 tips to manage the sometimes daunting task of purging your closet and replenishing for the season:
PURGING

1. If it's dusty, let it go! If you haven't worn an item in two years, get rid of it. This does not apply to special event dresses, or corresponding accessories, but other than that, if it's dusty, let it go! You definitely don't love it if you've ignored it for that long.

2. Don't rationalize holding on to items. Related to #1, we often rationalize holding on to items...because they were an amazing bargain, because you love the color (even though the color doesn't work on you), because you love the look (but it's totally not comfortable). Don't make excuses to hold onto things that clearly don't fit you well. It's a big wide world of clothes out there. You will find replacements, I promise.

3. Purge the emotional baggage. I've had this clingy gray pencil skirt for about 7 or 8 years. It's just too tight. I could barely zip it when I bought it on sale, then I wore it once (after having a stomach bug and losing 5 pounds temporarily) and now it hangs there taunting me that someday, with enough squats and less baked goods, it will work. Nope. Time to purge the pencil. I look much better in A-line skirts anyway.

4. Weed out multiples. I call this the "Noah's Ark" rule. Two by two, my friends. If you love a certain pant, style of top, great -- knowing your style and what you like and what works on you is half the battle. But your favorite top in every color? Not so much. Keep it to two and try to branch out. I recommend shopping with a friend. Some of my favorite things are items that friends suggested I try on that I wouldn't have otherwise picked!

5. Share with friends. I love doing this. Parting with an item somehow is easier when I know it will go to a friend who will do it justice.

REPLENISHING

6. Take inventory. Now that you've got empty space, take a look at what you have. Where are you lacking? Think about what you really wear day to day. What are the 5-10 items you reach for the most? Why? Then make sure you get stuff you really will wear. In my opinion, your closet should be about 80% active.

7. Make a list. Shopping with a list will help you keep on track. Be specific (e.g., black sandals, a white button down, more comfy tees for playground days, a work appropriate dress). And if the mall is too much, buy online. Many online retailers have low or no shipping costs and/or free returns. Then you can save time and try on in the leisure of your own home.

8. Look for inspiration. It's common to fall into a clothing rut. Look through magazines and catalogs for inspiration (or go digital like Christine and pin items you like on Pinterest). For example, I really dislike shorts on me. So I found a happy medium in fun flirty skirts and casual dresses for summer. I got that idea out of a sporty catalog.

9. Take trends with a grain of salt. It's fun to feel like you're keeping with the times but there are some trends that just won't work on certain people, plus, keeping up with trends requires additional budget. For example, I love those chunky summer sandals with thick straps that are everywhere in magazines right now, but I find there's a fine line between "Oh those are cute" and "Headed to a gladiator battle." (Gladiator sandals look great on some, but I am not among that some.)

For many of us, we prioritize purging and replenishing our kid's closets, an obvious necessity given how fast they grow. However, moms are deserving of new duds too and I'm convinced that when you take a few moments to get dressed in something other than sweatpants and a tee, it can elevate your mood. Give it a try!

Do you have other awesome closet purging and replenishing tips? Feel free to share below in the comments!


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