Fall is here — hooray! I love how crisp the morning air is this time of year. The trail where we bike and walk the dog has a dusting of leaves on it already and I can see the hint of red creeping into the burning bush shrub in my front lawn. I’ve even transitioned to a long sleeve shirt or fleece jacket for my morning walks. Ahhh … this is such a beautiful Pure Michigan season! As the temps drop, it is the perfect time for you to do some wardrobe editing. Personally, I switch my closet out for the seasons because I only like to have wearable clothing choices each morning — makes my morning go a little smoother (as a mother of two young kids and one puppy, any help I can get is appreciated). I encourage you to take a few hours to sort through your closet and save yourself a lot of time and possible frustration from now until spring. Here are my tried-and-true tips: Be honest How do you feel each time you put a particular garment on? Personally, I think you should feel fabulous in everything you wear — what’s the point otherwise? When you’re asking yourself this question don’t think about how much it cost, what brand it is, how in style it is or how it looks on J.Lo. None of those things matter if you don’t feel good wearing it. Has it expired? No matter how cozy, expensive or cool a garment is, it will have an expiration date. Err on the side of caution here. Look for pilling, snags and wearing at high movement areas such as the elbows, between the legs or on the seat. Do your garments look gently used or have they crossed over to just looking plain old used? The great thing about ridding yourself of expired items at the end of the season is that you will have good luck finding replacements on clearance and be all set for next year! Did you wear it? If you have items in your closet that sat there all season without being worn, it is a good indicator that they should be passed along to someone who may enjoy them more. Again, it could be a dashing piece that you got at an incredible price, but if you’re not utilizing it then it doesn’t really matter. Further, it’s just taking up space that a much better and cooler item could be using. If it’s just missing a companion item then put that on your shopping list so you can utilize the piece. Does it fit? I know, I know… nostalgia can be intoxicating. I’ve had a hard time ridding myself of a pair of black leather pants that fit me like a glove two kids ago. Perhaps my memory is a bit fuzzy, but I recall myself walking down the street wearing them, with the wind whipping through my hair and the song “Born to be Wild” blaring around me despite the lack of any type of sound system. Holding on to one or two things is fine, but a closet full of ill-fitting clothes is simply not acceptable. If you felt good in it when it fit and it’s still in style, then box it up with any other similarly sized clothes and store it some place dry. If and when you find yourself in that size again it will feel like you went on shopping spree but didn’t have to spend a cent. Detach yourself If you have an emotional attachment to your garments then come up with a point system that takes emotions out of the equation. Develop five questions that are important to you for your clothing choices and allot up to two points per question. If a garment gets between eight and 10 points then it’s a keeper, zero to four points is a no and between five and seven points means it’s a maybe and can stay around one more year. When we wear clothes that we feel great in it changes the way we react and interact with others. Aim to have a closet full of those items and it is sure to make you feel better about yourself. Now go get those sweaters out and enjoy this beautiful weather!
Shelley Davis Mielock
Shelley Davis Mielock is a certified business image coach and the founder of Mieshel Image Consulting, a Lansing-based firm that specializes in image development for individuals and businesses. She is also a co-host of In Her Shoes, a a weekly women’s talk radio show. To ask Shelley an image question, please e-mail her.