Recently, one of my clients asked me if I would be interested in donating my old work clothes, to underprivileged women trying to break into the work force. The answer if of course, yes, but it will result in my doing the bi annual nasty earlier than usual.
From time to time, I will go to the homes of my clients, to help them edit and weed out what is hopelessly passe. I warn them that I am pretty brutal and that the experience is not for sissy's. No one has ever turned me down. Like a good cleaning and scaling at the dentist, it's not fun, but necessary.
I will share with you my experiences and recommendations from the trenches:
1) Put your label blindfold on. I know, how hard it is to part with
expensive, designer clothes...but trust me, that red Valentino coat dress with the Amazonian shoulder pads, is not on the fashion horizon...it has got to go. Ditto for high waisted, slim cut pants with pleats, shapeless charmeuse blouses and pinstriped power suits with mid thigh grazing jackets...Fini.
2) There are exceptions...evening gowns generally have a timelessness to them, as well as some cocktail dresses. Dolce & Gabanna pantsuits and sheath dresses have a long shelf life because they rarely change their cuts, however, you have to do your part by still being able to fit in them. A few sentimental favorites; the dress you were proposed to in, the dress you wore to your child's first communion or Bar Mitzvah can be placed (way) back in your cedar closet. The only items that have life long reprieve, are those from the house of Chanel or Pucci. This is in the Bible.
3) Clothes that have yellowed, faded or pilled go in a Hefty. If you have gained or lost weight, be judicious about what you alter. Alterations are time consuming and expensive. You will never put 4/5 altered garments on your body, ever again.
4) Don't fall into the trap of thinking that some trend in your closet is going to resurface. When it does, your daughter should be in it and the current designers will have changed some slight component anyway to render it impossible, (if it were a car, it would be the engine).
5) You really, really, will never remember, miss, wish for, or think about any item, (including shoes), that you get rid of, that hasn't had an outing in 3 or 4 seasons. Scouts Honor.
6) You will feel positively giddy with relief after a good purge and it will make the task of reorganizing your closet for the new season, almost bearable.
7) Someone will be happy to have your cast offs, (my lovely housekeeper cuts a mean figure in Armani) or if it is being donated, you are entitled to a tax receipt.
8) Check through pockets before donating or discarding. Occasionally you will be rewarded with a $20 or a long lost earring.
So, I have given you lots of reasons to get moving on those closets and I promise not to have led you astray...now all that's left for me to do is heed my own advice. Anybody know of a good Personal Shopper, who makes house calls???