Spring cleaning for style

by DGO Web Administrator

This time of seasonal renewal can inspire us to freshen up our wardrobes and be ready for the burgeoning summer with a streamlined and organized closet full of the good-looking, well-fitting and seasonally appropriate clothing we want to wear while cavorting in the sun.

An organized closet makes it easy to get dressed: everything in there will be desirable, will match other garments and you will create more space. These tips work at the transition to other seasons, too.

Spring closet-cleaning is also a great time to acquire. Look at all of your garments for what needs replacing so you can save cash and stock up during end-of-winter sales and plan ahead for what you will need new for this summer.

Change with the season

Pull anything out that isn’t an appropriate weight for spring and summer. I put all my heaviest coats, pull-over sweaters, hats and gloves as well as any winter-only outdoor gear into a lidded tub in storage, or wherever I don’t have to look at it. Leave out a hat, scarf, one pair of gloves, one pair of tights or thigh-high socks (because you live in Colorado) as well as a few jackets and cardigans.

Release what may be in storage or the very bottom of the laundry hamper, the things you do love but haven’t worn since last summer and evaluate stay/go by the same criteria of seasonality, condition and fit.

Get rid of …

What doesn’t fit right now!

Be a friend to yourself and do not hoard too-small or too-large garments. They are redundant and make us dissatisfied with the perfection we seek in this moment. Have faith that if or when you adjust your size there will be fantastic and beautifully-fitting clothing awaiting your perfection of that later moment.

What looks like hell.

Sorry, Durango, but apparently I DO have to explain this: No yellow armpits, no holes, no paint, no food stains, come ON. You know who you are, and I know you are better than this! Have low standards and just can’t tell if the thing is wearable hell? Get an opinion from someone you trust or a clothing professional who is likely more discerning than yourself.

What you never, ever want to wear.

This is where your closet-curating can get tough. Why don’t I wear it? Why is this thing still here? Common reasons for rejection can be: the piece isn’t flattering, doesn’t fit well, was an ill-considered gift, and/or needs mending in order to be wearable. Closet space is usually the hottest in-home real estate. Kick out the crap that isn’t earning its keep!

These acts of culling are liberating but can be fraught with indecision so remember that if it is not an immediate “yes,” then it is a “no.” Use the time to think about what you like to wear and why. Why is there this bad shit in your closet? The answers will help you save money, space and face.

Saying goodbye should always be gentle.

Donate the undesirables to a charity thrift store or shelter, but only the things in good shape and wearable condition! They don’t want your garbage.

Selling or trading the best pieces to a resale store is still recycling and you may make a little beer money or credit for new things. This maybe the best options for the utterly un-you and unworn garment gifts received from your auntie and the ill-considered, alcohol-fueled impulse buys. Clothing-swaps among friends are a fun way to get social while doing a chore. Help each other out and get those garments circulated and worn.

Clothing that has been absolutely worn out can be cut up for sewing or crafting (especially vintage fabric!) or ripped into rags for cleaning and painting.

Do not ever, ever throw away decent clothing as it is a douchey crime on the level of wasting food or burning down a perfectly good house.

If you find yourself having to get rid of necessary winter things, don’t worry. Use the season’s change to snag bargains on coats and woolens, then store them until the fall and be pleased and amazed at all the new-to-you items that you forgot buying for so cheap in spring.

Pull it out, pull it all out.

Make piles of what to put in storage, what you love and want to keep but needs mending or alteration, and piles of what to sell, swap or donate.

Take all the clothes needing mending and alteration to a seamstress at the same time, you will be so satisfied when you get them back fixed, wearable and with a custom fit.

Put all the bags of stuff to sell and donate in your car right away so you will actually drop them off in a timely manner.

What DO you wear?

Set aside and study the clothing you adore and want to wear every day. I bet the pieces serve your style well by being versatile, fitting nicely and by revealing your authentic self.

Make note of your reasons why you like it, who made it, the design and material used, and then buy similar things in the future. You can use these insights when shopping for your replacements of your beloved clothing pieces rejected because of worn-out condition. It is perfectly OK to buy two or three of the same garment in different colors if you love it and will wear them often. This trick helps with versatility in creating outfits, too.

Let’s use this time of renewal as inspiration to spring clean that closet, refresh our wardrobes and get excited for balmy breezes, sun and river water on our barely-clad skins.

Heather Narwid owns Sideshow, a vintage and modern clothing store in Durango. Sideshow will be re-opening 4/8/16 in a new location at 208 County Road 250, where they will be for next 1,000 years.


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