Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Closet Post Clean-Out and Prepping for Fall

 As you can see, the armoire isn't as crowded as usual.  I've pared down my summer wardrobe significantly, since I acknowledged that I'm leading a more casual lifestyle this time of the year and don't have to get dressed up often.  One thing I'd like you to notice is the purple afghan on the top left-hand side of the armoire.  My Mom made that for me over 30 years ago, and it's still going strong.  I love that afghan!
 The top of the closet stays pretty much the same.  Those are all my handbags, some shoes in boxes and bags, and of course, my Dad's snakeskin that he brought back from New Guinea, in the blue shoebox.  Everyone's got a weird little something hiding in their closet, don't deny it.
 A close-up of the garments in my closet.  To the left are my belts and my fall/winter handbag, which I put away for the summer.  There are some button-down shirts (I can't even remember the last time I wore a button-down shirt, but you never know when you'll need one).  Then there is a white cardigan, my gray velveteen LL Bean jeans, my blue cropped pants, a blue sundress, a brown sundress, a denim skirt, and my navy pantsuit and blue robe.  Then there are the scarves.  As you can see, it's a lot less crowded than it used to be.  There are even empty hangers on the left.
 Here's the bottom of the closet, mostly shoes in boxes, and the black case is my violin.
 My personal care station - from the left, Banana Boat tear-free sunscreen for Kids, SPF 50+.  That stuff is great, I don't even burn when I wear it, and I burn very easily.  In the wire pencil caddy are my lip glosses and emery boards; in the little wooden box are lotion, deodorant, perfume and hand sanitizer; then there's The Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Body Butter (delicious!) and my keepsake box - my sister made that!  Didn't she do a great job?  She's so talented.  The clear plastic shoebox has the rest of my personal care items.
Here's the view of my entire armoire, with the clothes hamper next to it, my traveling bags and seaside wreath box on top, and various and sundry items below.  The rest of my room is pretty messy, because I moved from a two-story colonial, then to a one-room studio, then to a two-bedroom apartment with a roommate, in the course of six years.  I just have a lot of stuff, and not a lot of storage space.  Organization is a constant battle.  But at least my armoire and closet are well-organized!  I don't have a lot of clothes left to organize.  I have to pick up a skirt and the Old Navy capris from the tailor's.  Then I'll have three more items I can wear, yay!  I'm looking forward to it!

I hope you enjoyed the tour.  I'm sorry you had to wait so long until I got a memory card for my camera (I finally found the right kind in Walgreens, of all places).  It's almost time to start thinking about switching out the wardrobe for fall!

I think saving money is going to be more on people's minds this upcoming fall season, because clothing prices are going up.  I noticed the prices on the LL Bean website went way up.  So, my advice is to start looking at the magazines and newspapers, online and print, and the various style blogs that are out there to spot what the trends will be for fall.  You might want to go through your fall wardrobe now, to check for what you already own, what can last another season, what has to go or be repaired (rips, tears, stains, holes, missing buttons, poor fit, etc.), and make a list of items that you will need to make complete outfits and basic items that need to be replaced.  This way you'll be prepared when the pre-season sales start, and you'll know what to get, and you'll be set until spring.  I know Nordstroms already had their pre-season sale, but some stores like Macy's haven't started yet.

It's best to update the trends through accessories - you can pick up inexpensive accessories at places like Claire's or Forever 21.  Chico's, J. Jill, Coldwater Creek, Limited, Talbots, Ann Taylor, Express, Lane Bryant and Avenue all have accessories that you can use to update your look, depending on your budget and style.  If you really like a funky, trendy look, you can go to Hot Topic or Torrid.  Don't forget places like Target, K-Mart and Walmart.  Just remember you don't have to spend a lot to look like a million.  As long as you like it and it makes you feel positive and confident, that's what matters.

And don't forget your outerwear!  Check your outerwear and make sure it's in good shape for the coming season.  If you haven't already cleaned your outerwear before putting it away for the summer (which is a good idea, but *ahem* I didn't do that), wash it or dry clean it before you start wearing it for the fall and winter.  If dry cleaning is out of the question, for whatever reason, you can brush your outerwear clean with a garment brush, and, if it's safe for the fabric, you can spritz it with water and brush it off and hang it to dry, or you can spray Febreze on it and hang it to air out.  If you're lucky enough to have a clothesline, you can hang it outside.  Obviously, one should never put water or liquid on suede, nubuck or leather.

If you're in the market for an investment handbag, and you have a Coach store near you, I recommend signing up post-haste for their preferred customer list, so you can get one of the coupons that they send out for their pre-season sale.  Last year they were offering $100 off a $300 purchase.  I think you have to make an initial purchase in order to be considered for the coupons, but maybe not.  Ask at the counter.

There's also the Coach Outlet, which has similar handbags and leather goods to the regular Coach stores, but at sale prices.  You can signup online, and they have flash sales.  HOWEVER!  Do not spend money you don't have just to look good.  Save first, then indulge.  That way you won't put yourself behind the 8-ball in terms of your finances.  This is a lesson I'm still working on, but if you're lucky enough to work for a living, and earn a decent salary, you're in a position to save for what you need and want, and there's no need to go into debt.  Avoid the debt trap at all costs.