Trapped in the Closet

April 19, 2010 at 5:28 am (Uncategorized)

In one of my recent posts I lamented about how I didn’t have the ca$h money to make the shopping splurges that I used to. *cue world’s saddest song played on the world’s smallest violin*  After weeping bitter tears into an Anthropologie catalog, I dried my eyes and assessed the state of my closet to see if I was fated to slip into a fashion coma.  That resulted in the following chain of action:

  1. There was a lot of too big/too tight/not me items, so my first order of business was taking my unwanted goods to a “trendy” resale shop, and then donating anything they didn’t take to a local charity resale shop.  Just to clarify, the clothes that I ended up donating weren’t tacky rejects! Many cities have resale shops like Buffalo Exchange or Crossroads Trading Company, which will take your in-season clothes in exchange for cash or store credit.  They won’t buy things out of season, so if you’re looking to get rid of a mountain of sweaters in July, you’re out of luck…however your local Salvation Army or hospital resale shop will be happy to take your donation.
  2. Try to overcome any fashion hangups that might have been holding you back.  For instance, I’d had a pair of black lace tights that I had only worn once because I thought they were a little too racy for my usual style.  Instead of pitching them, I looked through the rest of my clothes to see if there was anything I could pair them with that would take the edge off of them, and I ultimately found a conservative button down shirt with a black lace trim that was remarkably cute when paired with the tights and a simple black skirt.  Problem solved.  You can do this with other wardrobe pieces that you’ve been shying away from.  Pair tights with a skirt or dress that might be on the short side, wear a camisole under a low-cut top, or throw a cardigan over a sleeveless dress.  However, it’s important that you’re comfortable in what you’re wearing.  If you really have doubts about whether you can make an outfit work, don’t push it.  There’s nothing worse than walking around in an outfit that you’re self-conscious about, and it’s not worth feeling silly to resurrect a piece of clothing from your closet.
  3. Accessorize! I have some outfits that I wear so often, that I worry that friends and colleagues are sick of seeing me wear them.  Sometimes I’d take an outfit “off the roster” for a while, but there’s no need to do that when you can simply mix things up with accessories.  A statement necklace or a chunky belt can do wonders to transform an outfit.  This can even help to take your clothing from one arena and change it into something entirely different.  I find myself stuck with a lot of office-appropriate clothing that I don’t need right now, but I’ve managed to make some of it wearable outside of the cubicle.  A simple black dress is the easiest to transform, as a pair of saucy boots or a pair of colorful tights with chunky heels can take the dress from dowdy to rowdy (Groan, sorry for the wordplay.), but you can probably mix up almost any outfit you have.

So even though I may lust over Target ballet flats and vintage dresses on Ebay, at least for now I know that with a little bit of creativity, I can maximize the current contents of my closet.  It just takes an open mind, a bit of patience, and some confidence.

***Oh! And one more thing…though you may be tempted to recycle all of those catalogs that come your way without even cracking them open, I recommend giving them a look for inspiration.  You may find that an older piece in your wardrobe has found its way back in style (if you hold onto anything long enough, it inevitably will) and you may see new suggestions of how you can wear it that you hadn’t thought of before.



  1. Sara Jo said,

    Dyan! I had no idea you were so into fashion. I mean you ALWAYS look fabulous, but you seem to really be a fashion style expert. I LOVE this! Thanks for the tips! Lord knows this girl could use a little help in the fashion area 🙂

    • dyan f. said,

      You are too kind, Lady Buffington!

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