At closet cleanout time, have a plan

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Once you’ve thinned the herd, be smart on buying replacements

By Kelly Hockenberry, Columnist, The Times

UTKellyColumn copyTransitioning your closet from season to season is a task that may be THE definition of “necessary evil”.  On the bright side, it is an opportunity to purge and rebuild.

I have written articles in the past about editing your wardrobe quarterly and donating those items that you seldom (or never) wear to charity. Once that process is complete, I recommend formulating a checklist of necessary items for the current season. Having a note tucked into your wallet (or electronically in your phone) will be an essential tool when you are out and about!

I also answer the following 4 questions before I buy anything:

1. Is it flattering? I do not mean “does it fit”.  Simply being able to zip yourself into a dress does not mean that you should purchase it. Does it accent the positive and distract the negative? For example, after giving birth to my children, even if I can squeeze into extra-low rise skinny jeans, they are in NO WAY ever going to be the right option.

03384e0c422c853c9433ef17f10e0cb92. Will I really wear it? This one gives me considerable pause. Impulsive shopping is not a foreign concept to me. I am a sucker for a rhinestone or ruffle or leopard spots. I immediately want to buy things that have any one of the aforementioned accoutrements. Case in point…my animal print jeans of years past. I HAD to have them. Yet they sat, collecting dust, in my closet until I took them to Salvation Army along with armfuls of other “not so age appropriate” items.

3. Name at least 2 things you can wear with this current purchase! This is really a follow-up to the previous question. I force myself to envision what I am pairing with the item in my hand. If I can only imagine wearing it with one specific thing, I put it down.

4. Can I afford it? If you line up twenty accessories, I will be drawn to the most expensive one. It’s a gift….and, a curse. What can I say? However, with age comes wisdom. Considering that we have a looming college tuition payment in the not-so-distant future, my hopes and dreams of carrying a Hermes alligator bag have dissipated. Cost must be a factor in determining a purchase. If you can’t pay the electric bill, you shouldn’t be writing checks out of a Louis Vuitton checkbook cover. Ya know?

What are your tried and true methods when it comes to shopping?

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Happy Weekend

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