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How to Retool Your Wardrobe

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nov6homespunweb.jpgBy Mark St. John Erickson

RISMEDIA, Nov. 6, 2008-(MCT)-With the change of seasons well under way, you may have already found yourself rummaging through your closet in search of cold weather clothes. Though a little confusion is to be expected in this annual shift of attire, any hunt that’s more than a few seconds long could be your cue that the things on the hangers-or on the floor-have finally gotten out of hand.

Fortunately, fall is the perfect time to clean out and reorganize as you retool your wardrobe for the winter.

Here are a few tips from RealSimple.com, HGTV and other expert sources that can make any attempt at an overhaul easier and more effective:

Get help. Emotional attachment, habit and even guilt over the price you paid for things you don’t wear can make wise choices elusive. So tap an honest, preferably tasteful friend as your confidant and decision-making companion.

Start fresh. Empty your closet completely. Then give the floor, walls, shelves and ceiling a good, therapeutic cleaning.

Divide and conquer. Sort your clothes first by frequency of use. If you haven’t worn something in more than a year, it’s a prime candidate for being discarded. Consider condition, fit, longevity and the flattery quotient, too. If the trend is dead, the size reflects a long-past body or your confidant winces when you try it on, the garment probably should be abandoned. Ditto for anything irreparably stained, torn or worn.

Seal the deal. Set each item aside in piles or boxes marked “Keep,” “Dump,” “Fix” or “Give Away.” If you’re still undecided, ask yourself if you would buy the garment today. Sentimental keepsakes that you don’t wear should be stored in some other place.

Get re-organized. Divide all the garments that you’re keeping by type, season and frequency of use. All-season chino pants should be followed by winter corduroy pants, for example, while your white tuxedo pants should hang at the end of the row. Though some closet zealots argue for coordinating by color, too, the main point is simple: Create a kind of order that will make your daily clothing decisions easy.

© 2008, Daily Press (Newport News, Va.).
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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