New Year, New Rules

Experts say we only wear 20 percent of our clothes 80 percent of the time. Here are some tips for beating the odds.

With each new year we start fresh, ready to conquer and prevail. We face challenges and commit to being better at the things we have yet to master. We want to be smaller, more organized, wealthier, healthier and happier and live life to the fullest.

All of our resolutions are about turning negative situations into positives, and sometimes we forget to do that in our closets. This year, commit to being your best you yet. Let your light shine through what you wear.

Start by creating a budget. Whenever I begin working with a new client, they usually have no idea what they spend on clothes. We have a budget for what we can afford on rent, house, car payments, etc., but rarely do we take time to budget for ourselves. You are just as important as those other expenses. Invest in the greatest product that has the highest rate of return: you.

Get organized. There is nothing as gratifying as knowing where everything is. Take time to go through your closet and colorize, purge and reacquaint yourself with every piece. You might be pleasantly surprised when you find your favorite sweater that has been MIA for the last few years.

Let go of things that no longer serve a purpose. Create space for new things that fit more into where you are with your own personal style. Get rid of those jeans from years ago that you hope to fit into again one day. Once you are that size again, you are going to want to celebrate and treat yourself to something new with more current styling. They say we only wear 20 percent of our closet 80 percent of the time. This year, challenge yourself to be better than the statistics.

Assess where the gaps are in your wardrobe. Are you really great at accessorizing? Or do you tend to buy the same thing over and over again? Look at what you have and ask yourself what you struggle to find in your closet when getting dressed each day. This year, eliminate frustration by searching out the missing pieces when you need a shopping pick-me-up. Or create a shop-and-swap with your friends and have a party where you all bring your unwanted pieces and let them find their next treasure.

Allow yourself to splurge on something that you have always wanted this year. Whether it’s your first pair of designer shoes or a great handbag, determine an item that is going to fill a gap and take your wardrobe to the next level. By reselling your old items, you might be able to make this purchase happen faster than you think.

Make a promise to yourself to only buy things that fit right now. There’s nothing more depressing than having something beautiful that you can’t wear. This goes with shoes, too—no pair of shoes is worth ugly feet because you squeezed into them. If you only follow one of these steps, this is the most important. It will work wonders on your self-esteem.

Remember the cost-per-wear rule. Even if you only spend $40 on an item that you never wear, it is still far more costly than something at $200 that you wear three or four times a month. You will thank yourself if you only buy one really great thing at a time that you love and can’t wait to wear, than 10 things that are “good enough.” If you know you can do better, leave it on the rack for someone else and wait for the best. Now go get ’em, tiger!

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