Monthly Archives: March 2017

Simple Step Guide to Figure the Rid of Clothes

We have a feeling you’re pretty familiar with the act of cleaning out your closet—unless you’ve been blessed with a space that’s big enough to hold warm-weather clothes, cold-weather clothes and everything in between. That said, you might also be familiar with the act of standing knee-deep in mounds of shoes, shirts, trousers, sweaters, and sequined dresses, only to realize they’re doing nothing for you but taking up valuable real estate. Time to get rid, ladies.

Sure, you could shove everything back into your closet with the hopes of liking it better in a year or two (won’t happen), but by doing that you’re only working against yourself. Meaning, by hoarding clothes you never wear, you’re likely to start drowning in stuff, which makes it more difficult to find things to wear. Luckily, we’ve put together a 10-step guide to help you understand when to get rid of clothes. Trust us: Your closet will thank you.

1. It’s truly stained.
The fact is that—with a little effort—most stains can be removed (have you seen our handy guide to stain removal?) whether it’s via a professional or by employing clever tricks. However, there are things that can’t be fully removed—intense ink stains, bleach, dried paint, large oil stains, and certain dyes, for example—so it’s best to bid adieu to garments marred by these offenders, suck it up, and buy a fresh piece.

Keep in mind that thrift stores don’t want irrevocably stained items any more than you do and won’t put them out to sell, so it’s best to recycle them, as opposed to donating them.

2. It smells odd.
Certain materials hold onto certain smells longer than others no matter how many times you wash it. While there are ways to remove musty odors from fabrics (spritzing them with a vodka and water mixture, for example), there’s no guarantee all scents will disappear. If your piece smells of must, food, or body odor even after you’ve washed it, it’s time to replace it.

3. It’s damaged beyond repair.
While a tailor can replace a zipper, a button, or even the lining of a coat, they can’t fully fix a gaping tear on the side of your silk blouse, or a huge hole in the middle of a wool skirt. Denim, however, is a different story thanks to spots like Denim Therapy so if you’re in love with a pair of jeans that are starting to rip, you may want to hang on to them and get ’em doctored.

4. You wouldn’t buy it right this second.
When it comes to getting rid of clothes, the true litmus test isn’t whether you’ve worn an item in a year, but rather if you were out shopping right this second, would you buy it? If the answer’s no, out it goes—even if it’s only a month old. We’ve found this method to be highly successful, and can effectively cut down your closet by 25%.

5. It doesn’t fit.
Some women keep too-tight clothing with the hope they’ll lose enough weight to wear it again, to which we say: why? It’s silly let a dress or one pair of pants pressure us into dropping pounds, especially since it might not be weight we’ve gained, but our bodies have shifted, causing older clothes to fit differently. Getting fit for yourself is fab, but not for a cocktail dress when there are 100 just like it waiting for you in your size. 

Same goes for items that are way too big: Unless you really love it and plan to pay to have it altered, why not use your closet’s real estate for awesome pieces that look amazing on you now?

6. It doesn’t convey the message you want it to.
Let’s not kid ourselves: We all use fashion as a means of sending unspoken messages about who we are, or—at least—who we want to be. Oftentimes, that message changes as we get more mature, as we come into our own, or as we experiment with different styles. Certain pieces simply no longer remain relevant to the image we want to portray and that’s okay, but—unless it’s a piece that will appreciate in value, or something of sentiment—it means it’s time to part with these pieces.

7. You equate it with bad memories.
If you look at a wool overcoat and automatically associate it with the winter you lost your job, faced a family hardship, got dumped, or simply were going through a particularly rough patch, toss it. Same goes for pieces left behind by painful exes, friends, or anyone negative. Purging your closet of bad memories can be powerful, and it’ll force you to buy new things you really love (and are totally baggage-free.)

8. It’s simply not trendy anymore.
We’ve all bought super-trendy items that simply don’t stand the test of time, like that pair of clunky sneaker wedges you swore you’d wear every day, or a pair of neon floral jeans. Of course, if you still love and wear these items, by all means, don’t stop! But if you’re over them and know you won’t reach for them, it’s time to let ’em go. Same goes for items that might not ever have been trendy, per se, but those you loved a few years ago and think they look dated/frumpy/matronly today.

9. You keep trying it on but never actually wear it.
You know those pieces that you always seem to try on at home, but never seem to grab when you’re actually getting dressed? Odds are, you’ll never wear them outside of your bedroom, so why are you still hanging on to them? Better to use the space in your closet for  things you’ll actually reach for regularly.

10. It’s totally stretched out or pilled.
One surefire way to not look chic and pulled-together? Wear clothing that’s stretched out. Sure, the laundry can help certain pieces retain their shape, but when you wear items often, they do stretch. If your trousers have sagging seats, your sweaters have necklines that are stretched or sleeves that are pilled, a coat doesn’t fit the way you want it to anymore, or your bras and underwear are totally shapeless, it’s time to get new ones.

Special Key Tips From Fashion Icon Iris Apfel

You might call 92-year-old Iris Apfel somewhat of an expert on personal style; the former interior designer and now-icon got her start collecting knick-knacks and building her accessories collection as a small child in New York’s Astoria neighborhood, where she would frequent thrift shops and home décor stores on the hunt for little items that excited her.

“I used to cut classes every Thursday afternoon and get on the subway and go some place else in the city,” Apfel told us. “I fell in love with the Village. In those days it was really interesting and very Bohemian. I’d look in all the shops.”

As such a longtime adamant collector of pieces she uses to embolden her wardrobe and express herself, Apfel is the perfect person to speak on how to inject your personality into your style. Below, find her tips for going for the gold every time you get dressed, and how to find your personal style.

1. First and foremost, know thyself.
“If you know who you are, and what you can carry off, and what you’re going to be comfortable with, you do it. Go for it. Don’t be afraid. The fashion police won’t haul you off if you’re doing something that doesn’t turn out so well. But if you’re happy with it and it’s not totally freaky, just do it.”

2. Go with your gut, and be open to new and different things.
“Everything with me is very, how shall I say, visceral. I look at things, even if I don’t know much about them, and if I like them, I learn about them later. I like things that speak to me. I don’t have to know everything about it before I [wear] it—I think that makes things a little bit uptight. I’m always open to something new.”

3. Pick pieces that excite you.
“People have told me how much happier they feel having pieces to express themselves. Clothing and how you dress can be a creative form of self-expression. I’m not a person who lives by plan. It takes time and it takes effort and experimentation; it doesn’t come all at once. You really have to do it yourself, because everybody’s style is individual. That’s what makes it style. You have to live with yourself and go to bed with yourself every night. And you have to do things that you feel comfortable with. If you want to please everybody, you’ll end up pleasing nobody.”

4. Know what you can pull off—and what you can’t.
“A normal Chanel suit is very nice, but it doesn’t do anything for me. There are just certain beautiful things that just don’t look well on me. You have to know how much color you can carry off, and so forth. Otherwise you can end up looking like a Christmas tree or very dowdy. I think you have to be true to yourself, and not try to be six different people because that’s the look that’s on-trend now. I mean if something is in-trend and it looks good on you, by all means—but just because it’s a fashionable designer, if he doesn’t suit you, or something is very “in,” don’t wear it if it’s not you.”

Some Questions to Ask Before Buying Something Expensive

There a comes a time in every shopper’s life when the idea of splurging on a designer piece arises. With so many gorgeous bags, shoes, and clothes out there, how could it not? But, in order to ensure you’re shelling out your hard-earned cash for the right reasons, there are a few things you should take into consideration. Namely? The below 10 questions to ask yourself before buying anything expensive.

1: Do I already own something like this?

First things first: Take a cold, hard look at your closet and see if you already own something that resembles your potential pricey purchase. If the answer’s no, move along to question two.

If the answer is yes, there’ a little more work to do. Let’s say the item in question is a fabulous black designer cocktail dress. Do you own a million similar less expensive black dresses that you love and find yourself reaching for often? If so, you might want to skip shelling out big bucks for a new one unless you’d rather get rid of those, and only have one. Why? Because it’s a known fact that the more you own, the less you wear.

2: Do I love shopping? (Or: Am I addicted to fast fashion?)

This is a big one, ladies. We’re not going to condemn you for shopping often for things you probably don’t need—we’re totally guilty—but we will say that when comes to spending on an investment piece, you might want to think about whether you’re still going to want other items in the same fashion family.

For example: If you buy that $3,000 Céline bag, do you foresee yourself not buying any other bags—no matter how cheap or trendy—for the next year or two? When someone buys a new car or a new house, they don’t buy a bunch of smaller, cheaper houses and cars a few months later, right? We like to use the mentality for fashion items. If you know you’re someone who likes to own a huge variety of bags, maybe buying a super-pricey one isn’t the right move.

3: Will this item cause problems for me down the line?

Another thing to figure out: Will this expensive purchase cause real problems for you down the line? Meaning, will that pair of Isabel Marant boots set you back far enough that your phone bill or student loan payments won’t be met this month? If so, it’s a good idea to let them be for now, and start saving a little every month so you can eventually buy them guilt-free (the best way!)

4: If the label was cut out, would it still be my taste?

As fashion lovers, it’s a given that our inner Sybarite will occasionally emerge. Nothing shameful about that—most designer things are beautiful—but if you’re buying simply for a label and the item isn’t really your taste, well, isn’t that silly?

5: If Instagram didn’t exist, would I still want it?

We hate to assume you’d buy anything expensive simply so people know you own it, but alas, this is the world in which we live. Are you buying that Balenciaga bag because you really, really love it, or because you want others to know you have it?

If you buy those designer shoes, will you be able to truly enjoy them without posting them to social media (“artfully” hiding them behind a vase of peonies counts as posting, people.) If the answer is no, you might have some thinking to do.

 6: Is this an impulse buy?

Like social media, today’s world is also jam-packed with online promotions, flash sales, and deals. While these can be a fantastic if you’re legitimately in the market for something, they can be pretty dangerous for the casual shopper who—when she woke up this morning—had no idea she needed or wanted, say, a $600 Phillip Lim blouse until she got an email that it’s 20% off.

If you’ve been itching for a certain pair of designer jeans and you fortuitously see they happens to be on Gilt today, or they’re 30% off at Barneys, go for it. But if you’re ready to pony up for $500 in five minutes for a pair of shoes you’ve never seen before, well, you might want to step away from the computer for a few hours and revisit the item when your dopamine levels recede. After all, most impulse buys end up causing serious cases of buyer’s remorse.

7: Will I realistically use it often?

There’s nothing wrong with treating ourselves to special-occasion pieces now and again, but with truly expensive buys it’s worth calculating the cost per wear—especially if the item might not fit into your lifestyle.

Are you a pre-school teacher who would never wear heels to work? You might not want to shell out $600 for those Manolo Blahniks right now. Are you an attorney at a conservative firm? You probably won’t get much wear out of that bold printed Kenzo suit. Why spend your hard-earned money on something that will just sit in your closet?

8: Am I buying because [insert blogger/street style star here] had it?

Any street style addict knows that there are certain personalities that simply kill it every time they’re photographed. However, just because you saw Miroslava Duma, or your favorite fashion blogger draped in Miu Miu, Stella McCartney, or Valentino—or because you’ll be in New York during Fashion Week and want to get snapped by a street style photographer—isn’t a great reason to go out and splurge on the same stuff.

Don’t forget: Several big street-fashion players, editors, and bloggers get sent designer stuff for free to entice folks like us to go out and buy it. Others are, well, richer than us and it’s their day job to flit around the world in the latest designer clothes, which is fun to admire but not necessarily healthy to emulate.

Instead, seek out lesser-priced pieces of things you admire on street style stars, and out your own stamp on it—and splurge when it’s something you really want, not something you really want to copy.

9: Can I get it for less?

As with any big purchase, it pays to price-shop a bit before biting the bullet. For current items, check out department stores, boutiques, and every online shop you can find. For vintage or discontinued items, call your local consignment shops, or scour eBay, Etsy, and Craigslist. If it’s a new item that you really want but don’t necessarily need this second, sign up for site like Shop it to Me, which scours the web for every discount from brands you specify. Otherwise, check out these 10 places to buy designer bags for less.

10: Is this item a one-season wonder?

Let’s be clear: We certainly don’t think every spurge needs to be something “classic” that’ll last forever and ever (where’s the fun in that?) but we do think dropping a ton on something that’s so obviously the “it” item from one collection (ahem, Alexander Wang‘s $1,000 Parental Advisory sweatshirt,  or Givenchy’s $900 floral Birkenstock-style slides ) is silly.

Why? Because there’s an excellent chance that, after the season is up and the luster starts to fade, you might start to feel that your splurge was partially due to the immediacy of having something covetable, rather than having something you absolutely adore.