Well, it is official. My closet is so stuffed, I can barely find a thing in it. That means it is the semi-annual event in my house referred to as “donation station.” I must organize, edit and tidy my clothes so they all get a chance to be worn. Here are some helpful hints on how to accomplish this quickly.

1) I organize my closet by pants on bottom, shirts on top. Some people organize by outfits together but I find that limits your creativity. You don’t always have to wear that suit together, break up the pieces! Therefore, when you begin, do a pass through for anything you do not wear anymore, has something wrong with it (stains, holes, worn), or doesn’t fit and pull it out.

2) Second time through, I match each piece with something, starting with tops. If there are bottoms or tops that do not have something to go with them, pull them out too, but place in a different pile.

3) Step three may involve more trying on than the above steps, but start looking at the loner items carefully. Are they really loners? Or are you just not thinking the pieces through? Maybe that printed skirt can be matched with a printed top, if the prints go together.

4) With the remaining loner pieces, now write a list to keep in your purse when you are out shopping (note-not setting out to find these pieces, just having them with you when you are browsing) of the pieces that you think you might need to create an outfit with the loner piece. If you can’t even think of what should be worn with it, then perhaps it should also be in the donate pile.

5) Compile the donation station items, bag and place in the car for your next trip so they can be donated shortly.

Now enjoy your clutter free and managable closet!

This weekend was tax-free weekend on clothing and shoes (and also diapers) in Iowa. Off I headed to Williamsburg which was a good hour and a half drive to inspect the Tanger Outlet Mall. I have never been there and thought it would be a fun day of back-to-school shopping. There are many stores that I needed to visit- Gymboree, Children’s Place, Nike, OshKosh, etc. But there were also stores for me-LOFT, Banana Republic, Gap and Coach! Hello, you had me at Coach. I printed out coupons online before I went- LOFT’s coupon was just mentioning the coupon for a “friends and family discount” and getting 15% off. I purchased the kids clothing and also found a few goodies for me. My purchases included: three summer tees for playing with the kiddos for $50 and a pair of jeans from the Gap for $20 (cheaper than some Wal-Mart pairs). At Banana Republic I found a summer skirt, a sexy date night top, a colorful blouse, a t-shirt looking blouse, a nightgown and a headband for just under $100. But my best find of the day was when I walked into Coach and the sales attendant handed me a coupon for 30% off anything in the store (yes, even clearance!). This was all I needed to tempt me. I looked around for a good fall purse, something in a bright color. Who needs a neutral? But didn’t find many options but blue and I’m not a big blue person… But I did find two small clutches on the clearance rack- a canvas one with a sequins starfish and also a faux croc one in neutrals. Score! Both purchases from Coach for less than $50. Whoohoo! Gotta love back-to-school sales, tax-free weekends and outlet malls!

Here is an example of how I put an outfit together.

I have a function coming up, what’s the first question I ask myself? That’s right, “What am I going to wear?” That’s my favorite question and I usually have the answer.

This particular event is casual, but has some high-brow people in attendance at a all-women summer luncheon. Therefore, sloppiness is not allowed. Here are my options:

1) Casual skirt (aka cotton or other cosy material), casual blouse

2) Maxi dress

3) Capris with casual blouse

Which to choose… Well, the maxi dress although is a “dress” and also casual enough to go to any low-key event, may give the impression of too casual. That leaves options number one and three. When the event is all women, it makes me think wearing something that is maybe in the not so “work appropriate” category. And by that, I do not mean, something I would wear to a club, but something more on the really girly side. Let’s check the closet for option number one.

First, let’s find the skirt. These are more limited in my closet that blouses and therefore with less selection, the blouse will be easier to match. What do I have that fits casual, feminine and conservative?

Answer: a floral skirt from H&M in navy blue. It is girly, casual and yet has a retro feel. Now, what blouse to match? This is more difficult than I thought. The best option would be to find a color in the skirt’s floral print and match it. However, I find a cotton navy tank from the GAP with ruffles on the front. Perfect! Now, on to accessories. This is where you get the most versatility. They can take your basic outfits to many different places. I do believe I will try my new necklace and earrings set. Lastly, but sometime the hardest part, shoes. There are three options to try: grey suede heeled sandals, white strappy sandals with a kitten heel adorned with pink flowers or my heeled nude faux croc strappy sandals. The grey suede matches the best but I choose the white kitten heels for a more demure look. Now I’m set!

Yes, this is really how I think when I put together outfits. And no, I don’t do this on a daily basis (at least to this extreme) but for events when I know I’m going to be representing myself in public. Now think about that one…

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Images by © Wild Soul Weddings © 2020 Style from the Sticks

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