This is a great way to find out what’s in your closet. Basically we wear 20% of our clothing 80% of the time. Closet shopping helps to break through that routine. There are several steps to effective closet shopping:

  1. Do this alone. Well-meaning friends will direct you to their style and what they like. This is about YOU.
  2. Sort like items together–all your skirts in one area, pants in another, long sleeve blouses together, etc. Separate suit pieces and put their respective group.
    • While sorting ask yourself if you wore that item within the last week. If you did, then continue sorting. If you didn’t, challenge yourself as to why, i.e., doesn’t fit right, stained, too long/short, too much trouble to iron, feels funny or any other “excuse,” set the item aside.
  3. Put on a pair of neutral pants. Neutral colors are black, white, dark gray, dark brown, camel, ivory, and navy.
  4. Try on EVERY single top you have remaining in your closet. It is vital that you try on everything. Just because the top doesn’t have navy in it, doesn’t mean it can’t be worn with navy pants. You may “know” it won’t look good together, but put it on anyway; you might be surprised.
    • Look in the mirror at each outfit and do an HONEST review. Do you feel attractive? If not, you won’t wear it. Make a note of the fact that Top #1 doesn’t work with these pants. You will try this top on again with a different pair of pants.
    • If you do feel attractive, consider how you would complete the outfit. Would certain jewelry work well with it? Would adding a blazer give it more polish? Go ahead and put those on. Now, do you feel like a million bucks? If so, you’ve got a winner. If not, move on.
    • If a certain piece of jewelry, different shoes, different blazer would take your outfit from drab to fab, make a list of that item.
  5. Those outfits that make you feel like a million bucks are your “go-to” outfits. Keep track of them by taking a picture. This is not a modeling session. You can snap the picture by either standing in front of the mirror (yes, there will be flashback) or taking the entire outfit off, placing them together on the bed and snapping a picture.
    • It is not important that you see how the outfit looks on you. You’ve already decided you like it. The picture is for memory purposes only.
  6. Repeat with all your pieces of clothing.
  7. Print out the photos you took and post them somewhere near your closet. On those days that you “can’t find a thing to wear,” you have a ready-made, visual reminder of what you can wear.
  8. Take the list you prepared in Step 3.c. and keep it with you. When shopping Stick. To. The. List. This will keep you from impulse shopping. (See related post on how to shop.)

Try it and let me know how it goes!