Make A Resolution To Reshape Your Closet; Create A ‘New’ Wardrobe


I don’t like to admit it, but I really like clothes — too much. It’s a hereditary thing though — my paternal grandmother loved clothes, so did my father and so does my mother.

I live in a small house. The closets should be adequate — but one is filled with “craft” things (another excess) and the other isn’t nearly big enough for all my clothes, even if I rotate them with the seasons.

So, when the Soroptimist Club presented a special program Fashion 101: Reshaping Your Closet this past fall, I had to attend.

The speaker was Inga Chouinard, who has an extensive background in fashion and styling and is a fairly recent transplant to the Rim Country.

Well, the title of the program was a little misleading. (I read reorganizing) your closet. It was about looking at the clothes you have and creating new outfits with them — it was about “shopping” your closet.

Perfect: Once I unearth everything.

“You feel good when you look good,” Chouinard said.

A resource she recommended for seeing styles that look good on mature figures is the Chico’s catalog.

She provided the following guide for “revamping your closet”:


• All solid colored tanks, camisoles, shells and T-shirts — “T-shirts are your friend,” she said, adding worn with either jeans, slacks or a skirt, they can be dressed up or down by adding a jacket and accessories.

• The “little black dress.”

• Animal print tops, scarves, jeans and purses — they will always be in style and are easy to accessorize.

• At least three, basic A-line or Godet skirts (preferably in black, gray, brown and beige).

• Any solid color “flat front” pants/ slacks.

• Solid jackets or blazers with proper fit, though oversized blazers are still OK.

• Cropped jackets, which can be updated by wearing longer T-shirts.

• All jeans, both “skinny” and boot cut — Chouinard said any woman can wear “skinny” jeans and look really good in them.

• “Non-dated” patterned jackets, but avoid plaid jackets.

• V-neck or cowl-neck sweaters and tops.

• Long scarves with simple patterns — avoid loud, geometric print scarves.

• Any big, clunky, chunky jewelry — Chouinard said this kind of jewelry doesn’t go out of style.

• Any unusual, big, bright-colored statement purses, especially those in red, yellow, orange, etc.

Remove, donate or toss

• All items too small or too short.

• Anything with a “turtleneck.”

• “Waist-accentuated” items.

• Items with extra large floral prints.

• Plaid or paisley printed dresses.

• Anything with a frilly neckline.

• Any “fad” clothing that you see everyone wearing — “Learn to be an individual when dressing and avoid the ‘cookie cutter look,’” she said.

• Any items you have in multiples in the same style and color.

• Anything you haven’t worn in two years and are not planning on wearing anytime soon.

• All patterned pants over a size 12.

• All baggy, parachute or “cargo” pants.

• All boot cut or straight leg pants that show the ankle.

• All elastic pull-on polyester pants or pants with elastic or ties at the ankles.

Try out your new wardrobe

Pick out one item you really want to wear. Lay item on your bed on a white sheet. Choose a top and a jacket to complement. Pick out accessories — chunky necklace/hoop earrings, fun bag and shoes). Try it all on in good light and see how it looks.

I can’t say I agree with all of Chouinard’s guides — I don’t like animal prints, don’t have any and will not buy any. I also don’t like the look of cropped jackets.

But, overall, the suggestions may be worth giving a shot. The tips might help me pare down my collection and donating some might help someone else.


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