Edit Your Closet Like a Pro!

In this Episode, Lessons From Linda shares the story of a Linda who wasn’t fully engaged with her life–because she didn’t have the right clothes for it. Has this happened to you?

Yoke is our word of the week, and it can help you find jeans that fit your booty best. Remember, the more slanted the yoke, the curvier the rear of the jean. If you’re a flat-butt girl like me, look for a straighter yoke.  Click here for more info.

In Office Hours, I answer a question from Kim, who wonders if there’s a way to dress to make people stop commenting on physical features

Finally, in the Everyday Style Lecture, I share my 3 Step System for Editing Your Closet like a Pro. Don’t throw everything you own in a pile on your bed before you listen to this! We cover how to organize your closet, how to know what to keep, and what to toss, AND what to do with clothes that don’t fit!

Need more help?  Get The Ultimate Makeover Masterclass–it’s the closest thing you can get to having me in your closet!

Links and resources from the show:

For a Fall Capsule Preview, head to Pinterest

File folding, not pile folding, is crucial to actually wearing what’s in your drawers.

My favorite folding rack for guests, parties…and especially editing your closet!

Marie Kondo’s take on gifts that don’t “spark joy”

Got stuff to part with?  Ebay, Poshmark, Mercari, Tradesy, and ThredUp are all good options. How much effort they are, and how much you’ll get back for your things will vary widely.  For designer pieces, check out  sites like the Real Real. Local consignment/thrift shops are a good place to try as well, as is Facebook Marketplace which is growing all the time.

Use code EVERYDAY15 at holdinghangers.com to take 15% off of your purchase. Seriously, they’re worth every penny!

Ditch the drycleaner hangers and plastic tubes for Velvet Slimline Hangers.  The light color makes your closet look a little more upscale, too!

Banish your dark closet corners with puck lights, like this.

A simple hook can help you look more stylish, feel less stress in the morning, and use more of what you already have in your closet. Picking out your outfit the night before is the easiest way to boost your style.

The Style Lounge has closed. We invite you to join our member community in The Style Circle to continue the conversation.

Get Capsule Wardrobe Guide

Listen to the episode now!

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/jennifer-mackey-mary/everyday-style-school
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/5cZhBRkkB5NpM3kmOEV75X
Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/everyday-style-school/id1464962252

Read the full episode transcript below! – Ep 14 Edit Your Closet Like a Pro

Hey there–welcome back to the Everyday Style School Podcast where we believe that style should be easy, and getting dressed can be fun.

Today’s episode is full of fun stuff, but what i really want to know is, did you do the homework from Episode 13? That was to give up a

In the word of the week, we’re talking about yokes. Not the ones found in eggs, but rather the ones found on your jeans–and how getting the right yoke can help you fit your booty best.

In Office Hours, Kim asked a question I had to think about for awhile–I’m finally ready to answer it.

Then, in the Style School lecture, I’m sharing how to edit your closet like a pro. I wish I could work with every single one of you, in your closet, helping you decide what to keep, what to toss, and what to add to make the perfect wardrobe, but given this podcast is being listened to all around the world, probably not likely–I mean, if you do want me to come to you, I’m just a plane ticket away, I’d be happy to.

But, if that’s not realistic, today I’m going to share my Three Step system for helping you cut through the clutter, and discover the gems I know are living in your closet.

Before we get started, I want to share another crazy kind review from another listener-

Design App Junkie, 05/24/2019
Love This Podcast!
For a about a year now I’ve been in a style rut. After job changes and messy breakup my sense of self kinda fell by the waste side. I used to love getting dressed but now my clothes don’t feel like me and I didn’t know why or how to change it.

Listening to this podcast has been a crash course on how to rehab my wardrobe. It’s given me tips on how to dress my body, items to invest in, and how to shop. I feel like I’m on the right path to feeling good about what I wear again.

After listening to Jennifer I feel like I have insider knowledge. She really know her stuff! Most importantly Jennifer really cares about making women feel beautiful and her excitement about fashion is contagious!

Hey, if you’re listening and loving the podcast, and have a minute to leave a review, it means the world to me. Reviews tell other women know what kind of information they can expect on the show as well, so thanks for taking a minute to leave those awesome 5 star reviews!

All right, let’s get this party started as always, with today’s Lessons from Linda.

Today’s Linda is one of my all-time favorite clients. Now, you might be wondering, what gets someone on the all time favorite client list?

There are really 2 ways-some of my favorite clients have just been downright fun. Working with them felt more like a day of hanging out with a girlfriend than a day at work. I can think of one client I worked with that as I was driving home from our shopping session, my sides literally hurt from laughing for hours.

I almost felt like I should give her money back because I had so much fun that day. I mean, I didn’t, because I’m a business, but it was just that much fun.

Mostly though, my favorite clients are the super transformative ones. The ones I think about now, years later, and still get goosebumps when I think of them, and how far they came.

I think I’ve shared that I think extreme makeovers are BS, and they don’t last, so it isn’t about that. What I mean by transformative is the moment a woman looks in the mirror and sees herself like she sees herself in her mind.

I’m getting goosies right now thinking about it. Helping a woman be the best version of herself is what I live for–not making someone into someone else.

This is one of those Lindas.

Linda called me one December, and told me she’d gotten my name from a friend and told me I probably couldn’t help her, that she was beyond help, but she thought she’d try.

Two lessons:
Don’t let your wardrobe hold you back
Dress like YOU–just a better version of you. Don’t try to be something you’re not:

Let’s move to office hours with a question from Kim.

What’s your question Kim?

I love this question Kim, and in full disclosure, this was a conversation you and I had in the Everyday Style Lounge, and I asked you to record it so I could answer it to everyone. I remember middle school math, my teacher always said, if you have a question, don’t be afraid to ask. Chances are there are a lot of others with the same question who are just afraid to speak up. So thank you for speaking up

I’ve given this one a lot of thought, and there are 3 things I’d like to say:
#1 A lot of people are thought less. They Don’t intend to be. People notice something different, and just don’t stop themselves from commenting. Last name mary. Anything that is different needs to be commented on, but, and this isn’t for you, Kim, it’s for the world at large. We know we’re tall, we know we’re short, we know our last names are weird. Shut up. Commenting on it isn’t orginial. My mom taught us by example that people are people–teach your kids that

#2 Accept that there’s little you can do to change your physical attributes. I get this from vertically challenged girls a lot “I don’t want to look short”. You’re 4’11’, Linda, I’m not a miracle worker. Don’t try to dress to hide it–are there things you can do to dress your body best? Absolutely. Will it make you look 5”8 Kim, no. So, even though you didn’t ask that, I’m going to give that advice anyway to accept the things you cannot change, and the limitations in clothing to camouflage things.

#3- Famed jeweller Harry Winston once said “People will stare. Make it worth their while”. Dress your body beautifully–in a way that makes you happy. Wear the loud print dress if floats your boat. Will it be the first thing they notice? Maybe not. Will it be the second, probably. Create a style that is personal, and signature to you. I worked with a very large woman many years ago, but she always had the most beautiful scarves. It was what she was known for. Find a style that is true to you, and authentic, and then rock it. Give people something else to comment on.

Thanks for your question Kim, a copy of my 31 Day Style Challenge is on it’s way to you. These 31 simple tasks will help you cut the clutter, use more of what you already own, and help you love getting dressed again.

IF YOU want the 31 Day Style Challenge you can buy it at hafsarana.co/blog or you can go to my podcast page, hit the big orange button and ask a question. If your question gets used on the air, I’ll send you a free copy.

We’ll be back in just a minute to talk about how to Edit Your Closet Like a Pro

Are you like most women, counting down the days to pumpkin spice everything and of course, Sweater Weather? We think think of fall as lots of crisp, cool days, scarves and sweaters, boots and puffy vests…and then we spend months cursing the warm days and struggling with what to wear.

The Fall Capsule Guide is designed to dress you for the entire season, from the warm days of September through the cool days of November. You deserve to love the way you look all season long, feeling comfortable, confident, and dressed for anything. The Capsule is coming out September 1.

You’ll get a little taste of what Capsules are all about, and you’ll be on the list for the Fall Guide. I can’t wait for you to to have the most stylish fall ever.

Today we are talking about Cleaning Out Your Closet

Why this is important now.
Its as much about what you take out as what you put in
It’s an opportunity to wipe the slate clean. Fall is Fashion’s new year. We make resolutions, we vow to do better–why not clear out to see what you’re working with

Covering my 3 phase system for editing closets. If you want to bring me to you, great. Call me. If you can’t do this, follow this plan

Disclaimers- Your closet, your set up is unique to you, you may have to make adjustments. One question I always get is about transitioning seasons. This depends on your closet.

In our old house, when I had a big ol’ walk in closet all to myself, I didn’t have to. In this house, I share a much smaller closet with my husband, so I do swap out seasons.

The answer to when to swap out again depends on your seasons, etc… The rule I use for myself is that when I’m going to my off season storage more than I’m reaching into my closet, it’s time to fully switch.

Also, how much to hang, what to fold depends on you. I believe in out of sight out of mind. Once it goes in a drawer, most people forget they own it, so I hang as much as possible. If that doesn’t work for your situation, do the best you can, and fold your clothes using a file fold instead of a pile fold. I’ll put a link in the show notes above for an example.

Most advice says do it all at once, I don’t agree with that. What happens is you get a burst of energy, you pull out all your stuff, you get tired–don’t kid yourself, this is a ton of work, and then you have a giant pile to deal with before you go to bed.

I believe my way is more manageable, but again, do what works for you.

The best day to clean out your closet is the day you have to do laundry because you have nothing to wear. When you find yourself saying that, go in your closet and get rid of anything you actually could wear, but chose not to “SAHM”

There’s a little pre-work before the 3 steps, but I promise it will make everything else easier.

Before you clean out your closet, organize it. Not counter intuitive. It’s part of the process, and it will make everything else easier and go much faster.

Here’s how I want you to organize your closet:

  • Everything grouped together by item. All pants together, tops, etc..
  • Then, hang your tops by sleeve length, skirts/pants by hem, and dresses by sleeve or hem, you choose.
  • The reason this works is: See what you have–100 cardigans/no good shells to go under them, there’s your problem.
    Do not organize your closet by color. Get dressed by weather and activity, and it’s easier when you can see what you have for those two things easily. Knowing you like blue doesn’t help you.

This should take no more than about 30 minutes. The rack I recommended in an earlier episode is super helpful for closet editing, I’ll link to it again in the show notes above.

What’s that’s done, we’re into the real stuff.

First step is low hanging fruit. This is when you get rid of everything that you know needs to go.

You can get rid of:

  • Clothes in bad shape
  • Clothes that need more repair/tailoring than youre willing to do
  • Clothes you don’t like

There is no trying on in this phase. The only things I want you to ask yourself here is “Do I Like it?” “would I buy this again, just as it is? No “if the color was different, if it wasn’t scratchy.

Again this phase should not take you long–30-45 minutes max, and less if you organized my way first.

Also a time to pull out clothes that are memories, and not part of your wardrobe. The dress you wore to your bridal shower 15 years is a memory, not a useful part of your wardrobe.

Remember-your closet should be a boutique. The only things in your closet should be clothes that serve you today.

If you use your closet for storage, fine, but don’t put memories in with your wardrobe–separate them, box them up. By wardrobe, I don’t mean the entire contents of your closet. I mean the pieces you actually wear. That’s your wardrobe

Good time to talk about why we hang on to clothes we don’t wear;

  • Memories
    We remember when we DID wear them -happy memory, put it in a box, get it out of your wardrobe
    We remember when we Could wear them.-this doesn’t serve you. If you are not actively working on getting back into them, or don’t want to do what it would take to get back into them, or you don’t even like them anymore, get rid of them
  • Guilt
    It was a gift you don’t love- If you can’t just say thank you, and donate it. Wear it once, send a picture to the giver saying thank you, and then donate it. Let it be a gift to someone else. Marie Kondo says this about gifts The true purpose of a present is to be received, because gifts are a means for conveying someone’s feelings for you. When viewed from this perspective, there is no need to feel guilty about parting with a gift that ultimately doesn’t spark joy. I’ll link to her article about gifts in the shownotes.
    You spent money on it- I get it, you made a bad purchase. Or you made a good purchase a while ago, but it doesn’t serve you anymore. The reality is, the money is gone, and the item has no value in your closet. You won’t recoup your loss by keeping it. If it was a bad purchase, vow to do better. If it was a good purchase, be grateful for the use you got out of it, and let it go

Phase 2 is what I call The Meat and Potatoes part. This is where you try on.

Again, you don’t have to do this all in one day. When your closet it organized by type, it’s easy. Just take one section at a time.

Pull out the section your working on, and get your full length mirror–side note, I am shocked at how many people don’t own one. They’re $6 at Walmart. You need this in your life.

Now, start trying on.

Even if it doesn’t fit- it might fit (mind mirror/ursula) also what would it take? Are you willing to do it.

Here’s what you’re asking yourself;

  • Do I like the way I look in this?
  • Do I like the way I FEEL in this?
  • Is this a piece that reflect the person I am today, and the style I have today–its ok to change, you don’t have to keep the clothes you used to love, that don’t work for the you you are today.
  • If it doesn’t fit, and you’re not ready to part with it, box it up and get it out of your wardrobe.
  • Clothes that don’t fit don’t motivate–they mock you in the moring, but they don’t motivate you all day long.
  • Where will I wear this- all the time–where are you going in that?
  • How will I wear this/ For maximum versatility, you should be able to wear things 3-5 ways. If you’ve got a lot of single use items in your wardrobe, you have a much harder time getting dressed each day.

As you go through this, things you want to keep go back on hangers, and things you want to part with can go in a donate pile, or a sell pile–its up to you to decide what you want to do with that stuff. If you’re a person with good intentions to sell, but know you’re not going to follow through, just donate.

I’ll link a couple of my favorite spots to sell clothes in the show notes above.

Before we get to step three, I want to talk about simple upgrades you can make in your closet, and during phase two is a good time to do them.

Get better hangers–ditch those dry cleaner hangers and plastic tube hangers–instead, trade for velvet slimline hangers–they hold your clothes better, so you can cut those ribbons out of your shirt.

Also, don’t forget your pant/skirt hangers. If possible, hang your pants long, so they don’t get the crease where you fold them. Last year, I found a Hanger for pants, skirts and off the shoulder tops that I love.

They’re called holding hangers, and I’m going to link to them in the show notes above, along with some velvet hangers. They don’t leave clip marks on your clothes, they look nice in your closet, and pants don’t slide around making a big wrinkled mess. Seriously, check them out. They’re not the cheapest hanger in the world, but I swear they’re worth every penny!

Upgrade your lighting. It’s hard to get dressed when you can’t see your clothes! If your closet still has the 1 or two bulb builder grade light, replace it with something brighter. If you want to make your closet feel more boutiquey, put a little chandelier in there for fun.

Personally, my closet is long and narrow, so I upgraded to a 6 bulb led track light–I can see everything in there–dark corners lead to forgotten clothes. If you don’t have lighting wired in your closet, there are some great battery operated alternatives.

On Amazon, there’s a set of six stick up button lights that are remote control activated. All you have to do is stick the remote where you’d like a light switch, and you’ve got better lighting. You know there’s a link in the show notes above.

The last thing you should add to your closet, is a simple hook where you can put your outfit the next day.

I’m going to do an episode on outfit planning, but for know, just know that the simple act of picking out your outfit the night before will help you look more put together, reduce morning stress, and help you wear more of what you’ve got. As always, link in the show notes above for product ideas.

Now that you’ve done the bulk of the work, it’s time for step 3, which I Call Pruning.

This happens weeks and months after your closet edit, and it’s an ongoing, very selective, one item at a time process. When clients are on the fence about a piece, I tell them to keep it…for now.

I tell them to plan an outfit with the piece and wear it-paying attention to how they feel in it. If its a good day, and they like it, it stays. If they felt uncomfortable all day, it goes.

You have to wear those pieces you’re unsure about to see why..and understand nothing about that piece is going to change. If the color made you feel blah, that’s not changing. If the sweater was itchy, it will be itchy next time. Time to part with it.

For me, cherry picking means I have a small laundry basket in my closet. Every single time I flip through my closet and come across an item I have a negative reaction to, I take it out of my wardrobe, and put it in the basket.

At the end of the season, if I haven’t pulled it back out, it gets donated. I make mistakes too–target sweater, camel, something was just off, its in the basket. Also, I let myself evolve.

A floral top from stitch fix that I wore for a couple of years just doesn’t seem like me. It’s in the basket. Doing this allows me to really focus on getting those “its fine” pieces out of my wardrobe–and if you listened to episode 13, I shared that “ its fine” is what’s between you and great style

Pruning is what you do to keep from having to do steps one and 2 more often. In this phase, it’s important to allow yourself to change and only hang on to what’s serving you now, and to accept that we all make stupid purchases once in a while, but keeping thing you don’t like isn’t going to give you your money back.

Accept you made a mistake, sell/donate the item and move on, vowing to do better. Finally, I want to say this–I know it seems scary to let go of a ton of stuff, but like I tell my clients, in the end, you.

That’s it friends–3 simple steps for editing your closet like a pro, and keeping your edit maintained. Your homework for the week, if you didn’t already guess, is to do the pre-work of organizing your closet the way I described.

Set a timer for 30-45 minutes depending on how much you’ve got, and get to work.

Remember, there is no trying on in this step, there is no deciding whether to keep or toss–it’s just grouping like items to set yourself up for success.

Update us on your progress in the Everyday Style Lounge–there’s a post for each podcast episode where you can continue the conversations.

That’s all we’ve got for today. The next time you hear from me, it will be in September, the Capsule guide will be out, and you’ll be on your way to the most stylish fall of your life! See you next time!

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