Step into Fall with a DIY Wardrobe Reset

Closet full of clothes and nothing to wear? Tired of wearing the same outfit over and over? Overwhelmed by the clutter in your closet? This fall, simplify your life with a DIY wardrobe edit.

Before you begin, set aside a couple hours, pour yourself a glass of wine and assess your wardrobe through the perspective of your lifestyle. Are you a high-powered executive? Are you a busy stay-at-home mom? Do you practically live at the gym? Do you travel a lot? Understanding your lifestyle and how to dress for it will help you assess each piece in your closet and decide whether to keep it or toss it.

Let Lifestyle Determine Your Wardrobe

Make a list of keywords that your clothes need to embody in order to fit into your lifestyle. For example, if you are a working mom, you need professional pieces that are comfortable, washable and versatile enough to go from the office to the kids’ soccer game to the grocery store. Or, if you are a gym owner, you need breathable mix-and-match athletic gear with a few dressier outfits for meetings and date nights.

Get Tough with Your Closet

Pick up each item in your closet one by one and ask yourself a few questions: Does this piece satisfy my lifestyle keywords? Is this piece in good condition—free of holes, stains, pilling and fading? Does this item fit and flatter my body? Have I worn this in the last year? Can I pick out three to five other items in my closet that I can wear with this piece? If the answer to any of the above questions is no, put it in the goodbye pile.

If the answer to all of the above questions is yes, take a sip of wine and smile as you hang that beautiful, versatile, flattering item back in your closet. Keep following the process and make sure you assess each and every item in your closet including shoes, bags and accessories.

Ditch the Baggage and De-Clutter

Refresh your wine glass and circle back to your goodbye pile. You bought each item in this pile for a reason, and you may have a memory or emotion attached to it. Go through each piece in this pile and acknowledge its place in your past—the dress you got engaged in, the top you wore to your daughter’s first dance recital—take a picture, honor it and say goodbye. If you simply cannot part with an emotional item, show yourself some grace and respect its significance in your life by storing it carefully in a place free of moisture, dust and light.

If your goodbye pieces are in season, on trend and in great condition, bring them to a local consignment shop to get some cash for your next shopping trip. Make sure to call them ahead of time to understand what items they are looking for and their consignment policy. For those pieces that don’t make the cut, there are so many great organizations that would love your gently used clothing.

Don’t feel bad if you get stuck. We all have emotional attachments to certain items or feel guilty when we spend money on a piece that we end up never wearing. Consider hiring a wardrobe consultant whose expertise is to help shepherd you through the process. In the end, you will have a streamlined wardrobe that is comprised only of pieces that fit, flatter and function within your fabulous lifestyle.

— Bri Maxwell is a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant with BriStyles. 

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Keep it:

  • Does it fit your lifestyle?
  • Is it in good condition?
  • Is it flattering on my body type?
  • Have I worn it in the past year?

Donate it:

  • Is it a newer piece and in good condition but doesn’t belong in your closet? Pack it up and take it to a consignment store to get cash.
  • For all other “no’s” in your closet, donate to charity.

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Getting Rid of Unwanted Items

Goodwill, the Salvation Army, Dress for Success, women’s shelters and local churches are all great places to bring your gently worn items.

For those pieces that are clean but damaged or worn beyond repair, consider contacting a local animal shelter like the Dumb Friends League, Humane Society or the Horse Protection League to see if they could use these items as towels or rags.

Five Timeless Fall Investment Pieces

1. A cashmere sweater that fits like a glove

2. Mid-rise dark denim that is perfectly tailored

3. A black skirt that makes you feel powerful

4. A white blouse with a twist

5. A plaid blazer that is as bold as you are


Closet: The Redtail Plan at Betts Lake at Colorado Golf Club
Designed by TKP Architects
Built by Masterpiece Custom Builders