Here in West Michigan the temperature is in the 50's today. Later this week there is a chance for snow flurries. <sigh> Dressing at this time of year can be tricky. You don't want to feel too wintery and you certainly don't want to be in shorts or skirts with no leg coverings or capris or any of that business. The key to dressing during this tricky transition is layering. The key to your layering is knowing your closet. As with any other season, if you know your closet you can feel great every day about what you are wearing even if you don't feel the same affection for the unpredictable weather.
Though it isn't time to say good bye to cold weather dressing completely it is time to start pulling away from some of the bulkier "woolier" (technical term?) fabrics. The best way to do this is to begin your seasonal closet changeover. There is no better time than now to start your season closet change over. I like to get a rolling rack and a couple of bins and get started. Label one bin "winter keep" and one bin "winter consign". In addition, you will need a bag for give-a-ways and another bag for those things you should simply toss. You may need an additional pile for cleaning (either wash or dryclean). I know this sounds overwhelming but I promise it's not because you aren't doing your entire winter wardrobe just yet. Now, pull all your wool sweaters, bulky knits, winter wool pants or bottoms, and any corduroy items you have as well. Next, take a look at all of these items. First, pull out anything you know you didn't wear this year. Now is a great time to evaluate if you need these items at all. If the answer is no, it's time to decide which place they go. Is the item in "near-new" condition? Is it free of pilling, stains, rips, tears, etc.? It may be a candidate to consign. If it's clean fold neatly and place in your consignment bin. If it should be in that bin but not clean the item should be cleaned and then properly placed after that. Next, pull your favorites out. Ask yourself the same questions: Will I wear it next year? Do I feel great when I wear it? Is it still in great condition? Is free of needing repair? Is it clean? If you answered yes to all of those questions, fold and put in your "winter keep" bin. If you don't feel great when you wear it or if you think the item has "run it's course" then decide which area it goes in. If you have items for either keep, or consign, or give away be sure they are clean before they are placed in their respective areas. All that should be left are the items you aren't sure about. Maybe you wore it a couple of times at the beginning of the season, maybe you aren't sure if it's your style, maybe you just aren't loving it anymore. I challenge you on these pieces! They take up real estate in your closet! My advice? Wear it one more time within the week or so. Ask yourself the questions again. Typically you will know immediately. You either wear it and say to yourself "why haven't I worn this?" or you say "oh, I know why I haven't worn this" :) Either way, you will know where the item should go.
You should now be left with some action items. First, get to cleaning so you can put stuff away where it now belongs. Next, pack away your first "winter keep" bin. It's time to pack away the "winter consign" bin until August when most consignment stores begin accepting Fall/Winter merchandise. The last easy step? Take your give a way pile to your favorite donation center. (note: please be sure the items you are giving away are clean and still wearable).
Now, for fun...pull some of your early Spring pieces back in to your wardrobe. Again, think layering. Cotton cardigans, short sleeve shirts, canvas pants, skirts, etc. Think about wearing the cotton cardi now instead of the thicker wool one. Think about wearing the canvas pant or khaki now in place of the corduroy pants. Think about pairing a lighter weight skirt with opaque tights and shoes instead of the winter wool skirt and boots. Think about a jean jacket as a layer instead of a thick wool sweater. Top the jacket with a great scarf on the 50 degree days for a new twist. Try shoes without socks with your longer pants for a fresh update. Clogs or oxfords are the best for this look. You don't want to look like you are trying to rush Spring but .... no one wants to be stuck in January snow anymore either.
I am starting this process myself this week and I am already feeling like I have new clothes :). You can do the same.
Need some advice? If you're here in West Michigan let's meet and design a closet package for you. Live further away? Let's chat and see how I can help.