The Fashionable Closet Or Not The new year, a new you as it goes. It is the time for being inundated with diets, low fat foods, recipes and exercise ideas wherever we turn. So if you need all that, go ahead and jump on the bandwagon and get motivated. Those who already enjoy eating healthy and exercising on a regular basis, refocus and get back on track after the craziness of the holidays. This is also a great time to take a look at your wardrobe. Open that closet door and take a good look at what is in there. Are there enough classic pieces, too many fads or trends that have fizzled? Don’t wait till spring cleaning to figure it all out. Remember this is the New Year and a new you. It is a good idea to do some research first. It will help later on making decisions on what to keep, donate, ditch or buy. Fashion magazines are a great place to start. On a tight budget and don’t want to buy a ton of magazines? Visit your local library and check out the periodical section. Some even have a magazine swap area and get some for free. Another place to look at is to peruse the internet. Search for spring fashion trends. After doing your research and figuring out what you like and don’t like, head to the malls. Go to the higher end stores first that would be the most fashion forward; Nordstrom or Saks for example. Spring styles are being stocked already. Find what looks you like and even try on some styles. See what works for you. Not only style but colors also. Know what colors work for you and which don’t. Look also at the accessories. Then compare what you saw in magazines and the internet to what is actually available in the store. Now you have a good starting point. First off, start with looking at what fads you have. Look at outdated colors and styles as well. If they make it past one year, fads only last 1-3 years. These are not worth holding onto unless there is some major sentimental value with it. Maybe you are nostalgic and like to save a few for the sake of history. I have an old pair of red leopard skinny jeans (once called straight legs) in my storage. I bought them while in Europe on an exchange program during the height of the punk rock era there. Just can’t part with them. Start a pile to donate and add the fads to it. Next take a look at the fashion trends. Trend unlike a fad will last 3-5 years. These are great pieces to have and will stretch the dollar. Skinny jeans I say is more of a fad. They are still the hot item to have. The problem is, not everyone can wear them. You need to be in good shape to carry the look well. And frankly speaking, they are not as comfortable. My daughters wear them because they are so “in” but complain because they hate wearing jeans. I predict them to be a fad. Boot cut jeans fit the overall population well and still look fashionable. They are more the trend. Look over what you have to see if they still fall within the trends. If they are too worn out, those accidental bleach spots or just shrunk way too much, time to get rid of them. No act of God is going to fix it. Don’t donate these either, they really need the “G” file. Get rid of the clothes that are too small. If you stick to your diet and lose weight, do you really want to reward yourself with something old? Going to the store and shopping in a size or two smaller is a much bigger reward and great feeling! Now that the weeding is done, take a look at the staples that everyone should have. Basically, these are classics that last beyond 5 years. These are basics to mix and match with the fashions that come and go and still look great. You have heard it before. Everyone should have that little black dress in your closet. It is so versatile. Add great heels, layered fancy necklaces and a lace shrug and you are set for an evening party. Change to pumps, that trendy scarf and a conservative jacket and you are ready for work. Throw on those trendy boots and a sweater and you are ready to hit the mall shopping. See, versatility. The same as above goes with black slacks. Dress them up or down and go anywhere. A white button down blouse is a must. A great look no matter what you wear with it including the accessories. Camisoles came into the trend and are a great addition. Have one in black, white, and a brown is a good selection. Worn solo in summer, under shrugs in the spring, under blouses in the fall and under sweaters in the winter. You’ve got all the seasons covered. Two or more pairs of jeans are good, one for ballet flats and one to wear with heels to dress them up. Get them in skinny jeans or boot cut, whichever look is best for your figure. Nice black boots are a must, another versatile piece. They can be worn with jeans or even skirts. A great looking button down sweater that can be worn with anything is a must. Last but not least, a stylish jacket that again can be dressed up or worn with a casual look. So, the classics have everything to do with versatility. They can be dressed up or down, worn with the trends or even the latest fad. Done the weeding, too inventory of what you have and now make a list of what you need. Head to the malls and have fun shopping. On a tight budget, plan a little better before you go. You have already done your homework and know what the fashion trends are and also what you need. You don’t have to shop at all the high end stores to look fabulous. Head to Target and Kohl’s to look for great styles. My favorites are TJ Maxx and Marshall’s. You may have to dig a little more on the racks and make several trips over a period of time. It is amazing how many different items come in from week to week at the discounters. Eventually, you will find all that you need at a great bargain. Patience and planning will help turn your closet into a fashionable and likable place.