22 April 2010
It's Spring! Wardrobe Update Time!
Spring is definitely here, or so I hear. In SoCal the coming of Spring means our crummiest season of the year...June Gloom --overcast marine layer--usually most prevalent on days you're free to be outside or have something special planned. Many a tourist can testify that they came to SoCal anticipating warm weather only to find weather not much better than they left at home and a summer wardrobe that leaves them freezing for the duration of their trip.
I've got wardrobe on the brain. No matter the weather you are experiencing, all the shops have their Spring lines in stock and the best stuff is going fast. It's a great time to organize a planned wardrobe update. I did mine last week and I am excited to see packages start arriving on my doorstep.
Here's how I do this each spring & fall.
1) Go through your closet. Get rid of things you aren't using or that don't fit. By get rid of I mean a) give it to a thrift store if it's in wearable condition or b) if it's something you want to keep til you lose a few pounds, put it in storage and get working. If you go six months without losing a pound, reconsider. Then analyze what you do have. You may have things you've just gotten out of the habit of wearing that you can bring back into your regular rotation. Make a list of tops, pants, skirts and dresses and consider what you can do to invent new combinations and accessories to update what you have.
2) Make a list of what you need. This year I realized that my jackets and cotton shirts & tunics had become really shabby. Last year I got a lot of great dresses and a few good skirts. I also have some great skirts that are in great condition that will fit me in a few pounds. That's inspiration. So this Spring I am focused on tops and a couple of pairs of basic sandals.
3) Start "browsing." I like to check online sites, since I usually have to buy tops and bottoms in Tall cuts. So this Spring I checked 10 or more sites to see what they had. It was challenging to find things I really liked, but I came up with a good list. Some items I went to look at in store before I purchased them online. That gave me the chance to see the quality, cut, fabric weight and shape of the pieces. Read the online customer reviews. I was set to buy an expensive pair of leather sandals until I read the reviews and learned that they were very uncomfortable in the toe area and decided against the purchase.
4) Figure out your budget. I created a budget and very tight list for myself. I was willing to invest in some tops that were on the more expensive end for the quality and durability. I do my share of shopping at discount stores, but often find that items wear out quickly or lose their shape. I have found that the discount stores are great for buying scarves, jewelry and other accessories.
5) Order and buy. Look for sales, promotional codes online and free shipping opportunities. It helps to join the email list for favorite stores so you can be alerted to sales & free shipping offers. I placed all my orders last week and am looking forward to boxes arriving on my doorstep this week. I ordered a couple of pieces I'm not totally sure about but I have the ability to easily and quickly return items to store locations nearby or with easy return programs.
6) Try on and return as needed. I think I made some great choices and am looking forward to a refreshed Spring wardrobe! I hope you'll get the chance to enjoy a new wardrobe on a budget too.
I'm still on the hunt for my basic brown sandals for this summer. Looking for a pair of flats with substantial and comfortable heel, dark brown leather. I'll keep looking. Good luck with finding the pieces you will love for your summer wardrobe.
P.S. Just got American Eagle bag in mailbox. If you could see my mailbox you'd be stunned that a bag with 3 shirts could fit inside it. I was. I was even more stunned when I tried on all three shirts and they were all keepers -- even the one I hated when I saw it in the store last night on a hanger -- all made me happy and made me feel a little refreshed in the wardrobe department. I was sure I'd be returning at least one of them. Looking forward to wearing them on a fun date soon. Let's hope I did as well on my other orders. I'll report back soon.