5 simple steps to pare down your wardrobe

It's a new year, and you know what that means: 
it's time to detox your wardrobe.

I'm going to admit it: I'm a clothing hoarder. I buy new clothes all the time but I almost never get rid of my old stuff. I am one of those people that a) forgets she has clothing and is surprised when she finds it, and b) comes across a shirt I bought 5 years ago and have never worn, but still keeps it, just in case one day it's perfect.
I also get extremely frustrated every morning getting dressed, because there is too much to choose from. These two items may or may not be related.

But now it is 2012, which means it's a new beginning, which means it's a new year and it's time to look frickin' fabulous. And we start that off with detoxing your wardrobe. So here are 5 simple steps.

1. try it on.

Does it actually fit you? Does it hit you in a flattering place, do the darts fit you, are the sleeves the right length? Is the colour flattering on you? Does it have any stains or holes? Is it too tight and you're self conscious when you wear it, or is it too loose and makes you feel slobby? Is it the right length for your body type? Do the pants fit you where it counts? Scrutinize it! If you don't know how something is supposed to fit you, Google it.

2. take no prisoners.

 Lay down the law with your wardrobe! If you don't put it on and love it, consider getting rid of it. If you put it on and have no opinion either way, you probably don't need it in your closet. If it has a hole but you have been promising yourself (for years) that you'll get the hole fixed, either DO IT or GET RID OF IT. Be honest with yourself. Are you actually going to fix it, or are you just saying that? And #1 rule: if you've had it for more than a year and never worn it, TOSS IT - the only exception for this rule is if it's very formal and you haven't had the right occasion.

3. ask a friend.

 Consider inviting your best friend over and trying a few things on for them. They should give you an honest opinion on if it looks good or not, and might have some new ideas on how to wear something. Who knows, maybe the two of you will even be able to swap some clothing that will look better on the other person.

4. ask yourself.

Do you love it?
Does it make you feel amazing?
Is it in good condition?
Does it fit you correctly?
Do you like it ON YOU, or do you just like it?
Is it practical for your lifestyle?

5. get rid of it immediately.

I'm guilty of this - I take bags of old clothing and put it in my basement, waiting for a day that I can take it to the Salvation Army and donate it. But I forget for months and then one day, when I go to donate it, I decide to just DOUBLE CHECK that there isn't anything I like. Inevitably, I end up taking back at least 3 or 4 things and they end up back in my closet and we're back to square one.
Get rid of it right away! Clean your closet and then take everything to the local donation center right away. Value Village, Salvation Army, Women's Center, etc. 

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