The BIG Closet Cleaning


As spring fast approaches, the task of cleaning out our closets seems more overwhelming than ever. After all, we’ve still got a few chilly days ahead, right? Well, don’t let your good intentions grow cold. Here’s something to get you inspired: it’s the short list of the clothes and accessories to hold onto, to get rid of and even a few ideas of what to add to your spring shopping list.

Prove it with prints. Keep cold-shouldered tops. The off-the-shoulder looks are here to stay. The cutout sweaters made the transition to winter and the peasant blouse silhouettes will be worn by trendsetters come spring and summer. Get rid of oversized drapey knits and crinkled cottons that make you look like you grabbed them off the bottom of the laundry basket.

Keep bell-sleeved blouses. WIt’s all about the sleeves this coming season. Bell sleeves, kimono sleeves, ruffled’s all about going with the flow—or the flounce. Just remember that these billowy sleeves do tend to get in the way when wearing more structured jackets—even more reason to put a lightweight vest on your spring shopping list.

Keep your sequins. Bring back disco and get your sparkle on! Rethink your sequined pieces that you normally wear to parties and pair them with denim for daytime glamour. Or go head-to-toe with shiny lacquered leather. Get rid of any glitzy clothes that have lingered too long in your closet...say from 1982. Some things just don’t look great the 10th time around the dance floor. And make like Cinderella and try on a new pair of bejeweled shoes to give everything in your closet a little twinkle.

Keep your ponchos. It’s the perfect time of year to want to wear those “cocoons” that are hanging in your closet. Layer them up with turtlenecks and knit tanks for more cold-weather style. Then strip them down for warmer days and nights. Just make sure to pair the roomy toppers with slim bottoms and sleek boots. Skip the chunky cable-knit granny cardigans for now.

Keep your jean jackets. These are always classic staples. And with the latest trend of wearing denim head-to-toe, your jean jacket will become even more versatile. If you want something new, try a colorful boxy denim jacket in a springtime pastel like lemon yellow.

Keep your leggings. Pantsuits may be coming on strong, but slim pants and leggings are here to stay. We’re not talking yoga pants here, but heftier knits that can go the distance from work to cocktails. If you haven’t invested in a few pairs of the newer, more substantial leggings, then rid your closet drawers of old, worn-out skin-tight pants and stock up on a fresh crop of slim bottoms in knits and denim. They’re the perfect match for spring and summer’s blousey tops.

Keep your pencil skirts.  While the A-line skirt is making fashion news, the pencil skirt is still a working girl’s go-to must-have. Ditch the bell-shaped skirts that are rarely flattering. And if you really want to update your skirt wardrobe, then invest in a pleated maxi skirt in a shimmering metallic. Stick to fitted tops and jackets to keep it all in proportion.

Keep your sheath dresses. Floral prints are going to be profusely blooming on dresses this year, but you can’t go wrong with a sleeveless dress, even in a solid color. Try updating them with a faux fur jacket this winter or a sheer chiffon floral kimono this spring. Do retire the shirt dresses that you’ve had since the ‘90s and have a little trouble buttoning.

And never keep clothes that don’t fit. Whether they’re too small or too big, chances are you won’t be wearing them anytime soon. Bleep them out of your closet and give yourself a new fashion lease on life.

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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