Friday, January 4, 2013

Organizing You Wardrobe in the New Year!

Thank you to my dear friend Jaime for inspiring this post.  She and I have been friends since I was in kindergarten, and she is one of the few people allowed to call me Jenny.  Jaime is starting down a new path, which means no more scrubs for work and getting to put together a fun, new wardrobe...woo hoo!

I have had a lot of amazing feedback about my 3 Months of Clothes and Wardrobe Planning posts last August.  It is a new year, and most of us are trying to get organized again after the holidays.  When I started my wardrobe planning, it was to amp up for a new job...back to work full-time after 5 years home with two boys!  Let me tell you, I truly believe that the time I spent planning paid off ten fold.  Mornings are stressful enough, without trying to decide what I want to wear and then scrambling to find the (hopefully) clean pieces and jewelry to pull everything together!

Now it's a new year and my three months are up, so I'm going to need a new "3 Months of Clothes" to incorporate some of the new pieces I've acquired over the last three months.  One of my favorites is the sweater dress/boots combination.  I just checked and the sweater dress I am wearing on the right is now $12.48 at target online. 

If you've read any of my blog, you should know that I truly do shop at shame in my game : )  You can imagine how excited I was to find out that I am only a 15 minute walk from work to a Goodwill store.  My husband and I commute together, so I don't have a car during the work day.  Once every two weeks or so, I jaunt over for my lunch break...and work scour the racks.  Most of the time, I come out with nothing, but that is the thrill of the hunt.  At the beginning of December, I found three pair of Ann Taylor pants for a total of $12!  One was a "purple tag" and half off.  Here are some tips for finding deals this winter:

Some tips for putting together an affordable wardrobe:
  1. My first tip is to find a "good" Goodwill, although there can be a gold mine at any of them, you always want to be near where people with a little more money are donating their goods. For me, the best finds at Goodwill are dress pants, button down shirts, dresses, and structured blazers. They don't experience the "wear and tear" of other items, like cotton tops. Women fluctuating in size and dropping out of the work force to stay home with kiddos often take like new work wardrobe staples to Goodwill. Now is probably a good time to go, as people are organizing and cleaning out their closets right now!
  2. For things that can get worn out through regular wear and washing, I scan the Kohl's, Target, and Old Navy clearance racks. In fact, to stay on my budget, I don't even look at anything not on sale/clearance. With Target, sometime the best deals are online (like my dress above!) Remember, you can buy online and easily return to the store (did that with two other dresses that were unflattering). Same with Old Navy and Kohl's. When I buy online, I always check for coupons for free shipping or an additional amount off to "cover" the cost of shipping.                                          
  3. In the next month, winter clothes are going to be moving off the shelves to make room for spring break outfits...but we still have several more months of winter to go! My favorite places for finding real bargains are always TJ Maxx and Marshalls. Again, I stick to clearance racks, and keep in mind what I already have and what I am looking for to stay on track.

Like with grocery shopping, make a plan of what you want your wardrobe to look like, and make a list of the "ingredients"...that's what I used Pinterest for. Always keep in mind what cuts and colors flatter you!

And now for putting it all together:
  1. Have a camera handy...batteries charged!
  2. Take one morning (or day) to get completely organized. No interruptions so you stay on track...have a yummy beverage and fun music playing while you are at it! 
  3. Have a space set aside, with decent lighting and a place to hang a shirt and pants. Haul out ALL of your possibilities.
  4. Take a pair of pants, and then start matching up tops and shoes to go with them. Start snapping pictures!
  5. Move on to the next pair of pants, or skirt and repeat.Upload those outfit pictures to an album and start looking at 5 day sets. Assuming you have five different pair of pants to choose from, you should be able to mix and match so that you are wearing a variety of colors and styles each week.
  6. Print off the pictures for the week, and you will know ahead of time what to make sure you have clean and ironed at the beginning of the week.
  7. Each evening, be sure to set the outfit you are wearing the next day out so that in the morning it is just grab and go. Make sure you put the jewelry out the night before too, so you aren't searching for matching earrings ; )
I hope this serves an inspiration and direction for those of you looking to make some changes to your look, or the flow of your morning, in 2013!!

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