Closet Audit... Chances are your closet is bursting at the seams with clothes, shoes and bags that you don’t wear or use. Photo courtesy of Annette DalyThe New Year has begun and many of us resolved to clean up our act in one way or another. Maybe you’re interested in a new look or style – the first step should be to organize a closet detox. Chances are your closet is bursting at the seams with clothes, shoes and bags that you don’t wear or use. Where are you going to put those new clothes and accessories you received as presents recently? Here are a few tips to help you make room for stepping out in 2014 with a new style.

Doing a closet detox can be overwhelming and stressful, therefore make sure you start by getting in the right frame of mind. Have a friend over, burn some candles or put on your favorite music to help you over the hump of tackling this project. You will need a full length mirror and several large size plastic bags to donate what no longer suits you.
We have all heard of the 80/20 rule and the same goes for the clothes in your closet. Most of us wear the same things over and over and only wear about 20% of what we own. This could be because we get stuck in a rut. It could also be because your clothes are so jam packed together that you can’t see what you have and have forgotten what you own. It is time to fix that right now.
Begin organizing your closet working from left to right. Make four piles. One stays, one goes, one needs alterations, and the last pile is a maybe. The maybe pile is to be used as a last resort because it’s time to make hard decisions in order to move forward with your new style.
When deciding if something is a yes or no try using this criteria suggested by Jesse Garza and Joe Lupo in the book, Nothing to Wear? 1. Do I love it? 2. Is it flattering? 3. Does it represent me, and is this the image I want to portray?
In order for an article of clothing to be a yes, and earn valuable real estate in your closet, it must fit all three criteria. If you love it but it has a little stain, then it goes in the trash. Do not donate stained articles of clothes to charity, no matter how much you paid for it. If you love it, but it is two sizes too small and you haven’t worn it in three years, then it goes.
Some people have a hard time determining if something is flattering on them. If you don’t know what looks good on your body type, have a friend over or get expert advice from an image consultant. If you feel confident and positive when you wear an outfit, it is okay to assume it is flattering.
Lastly, your image communicates a lot about you. Before you throw on those yoga pants and sweatshirt, think about whom you might run into while running those errands. Is this the image you want to portray? This is not how you want to look if you run into someone who has the decision-making power for your next promotion. Dressing in age-appropriate attire will also gain you the respect you deserve.
Next month: Closet audit- update your style in 2014.
Annette Daly –Your Wardrobe Wizard is a Fluvanna County image consultant, speaker, and columnist specializing in teaching women of influence fashion and wardrobe skills that convey confidence and authentic style.