Fashion Uglies

It's about the time of year when many of us step back, take a breath and plunge into our closets - ready to take on the job of getting ready for a new season and reconnecting with our winter wardrobes. Yet, for many of us, the fashion blahs rear their ugly heads. We take one look at the piles of shoes and the mounds of sweaters and we quickly slam the door. OK. We might as well go shopping, right?

Wrong. First, open up that closet door and get back in there. We're going to toss a few of those things that make us feel downright dowdy, or at least put a new spin on them. Then it will be time to make a trip to the mall.

Get rid of old leather and suede. There's nothing worse than trying to revive outdated bulky coats and jackets that are scratched and stained. Instead replace them with one new piece that has a buttery soft finish.

Stash the old suits. If you have rows of suits hanging in your closet, chances are many of them are a little on the outdated and frumpy side. Trade in your severely tailored ensembles for something on the softer, more chic side.

Don't go with the flow. It's time to take a break from those long, flowy Bohemian prairie skirts and caftans. If you do want to keep them, try adding a belted, slim tunic sweater for a more updated silhouette.

Bag the baggy. If it doesn't fit, then out it goes. Unless you've got a great tailor and it's worth spending money on, then give your ill-fitting clothes to charity. Yes, that includes the mom jeans too. I know the fuller pants are a big trend this season; however, if you're not 6-feet tall, then you might want to skip this trend.

Hide the camouflage. Or rather get it out of the house ... unless, of course, you feel that you might have to go into combat at any moment with those teenagers who happen to live with you.

Eliminate the clunkers. You know the shoes I'm talking about. The ones with the heavy soles that look like they were designed by orthopedists. There are plenty of comfortable, stylish shoes out there now, so you don't have to wear old-fashioned clunkers.

Forget itty bitty. I know some of us have cherished charm bracelets and diamond necklaces from our childhood that we would never give up. But statement jewelry that's big and bold is the way to go this year. So if you have to look too hard to see "all that glitters" in your closet, make some "big" changes. Ditto for sunglasses and handbags.

Get rid of faded black anything. It's easy to forget that those old basics we've worn for years can get a little ugly, too. There's plenty of new ways to update this classic this fall - perhaps a new trench coat in black patent?

Check out the costumes. Yes, we know you adored being the Wicked Witch of the West in your high school play, but don't let the big cape with moth holes take up room in your closet. Besides, it's time you starred in a new role, isn't it?

Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association.

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