June 19, 2018
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Time to appraise your apparel

Contributed | BDN
Contributed | BDN
By Rosemary Herbert

Mainers know late winter is the time to take care of indoor organizing, since it will be irresistible to get outdoors as soon as springtime arrives.

Just when you’re tired of wearing the same old winter clothes, the wardrobe is a great place to begin. This is where some forgotten clothes may be found to freshen up your look, and where many other garments may reveal themselves to be as frayed as is your fondness for them.

In an economic climate that causes us to cling to things more than ever, it’s helpful to have some tips for what makes a clothing item a “keeper” and some thoughts on what items should be tossed, too.

• Evaluate all clothes to see whether they are useful for a current aspect of your lifestyle. Sort according to categories: workplace duds, weekend wear, sports and exercise gear, and outfits you use for gardening or other hobbies that are hard on clothes. Don’t forget to look at accessories, such as belts, hats and scarves, along with other articles of clothing. Donate any items that were worn for any activities that you no longer pursue.

• Scrutinize all items for signs of wear and fading, and for needed repairs. Unless a worn or faded item can be repurposed as workwear, let it go. Invest time or money in repairing only items that you truly treasure.

• Assess all clothes for comfort and fit, not only when you are standing but when you are sitting. Donate or toss clothes that don’t meet your standards.

• Examine your workplace wardrobe with these questions in mind: Does each outfit provide a professional look that is appropriate to your line of work? Is it too casual or revealing? Is the color too loud? Is this a timeless classic, a reasonably current style, or a trendy fashion piece that went out of style years ago? Is the fit flattering? Does the item say something about your personality? Does the overall appearance present you at your best? When you’ve answered these questions, give away or sell online or at consignment shops any clothes that fall short of making you look your professional best.

• Look over clothes that you wear outside of the workplace for their usefulness and style. Go easiest on wardrobe purging here. Allow yourself to keep favorite old items and to get plenty of wear out of around-the-house work clothes.

• Look at your entire wardrobe with an eye to how the items make you feel when you wear them. Clothes we associate with troubled or terminated relationships, unsuccessful job experiences, life’s tragedies, or just plain awkward times of life are not apt to give us an emotional lift.

During these challenging economic times it may seem less than frugal to toss a perfectly good garment just because you associate it with an unhappy situation. Nevertheless, it is worth asking whether the garment itself contributed to a past problem. For instance, did you dress too provocatively during your final date? Did you dress too casually in a job you lost? Can you never feel lighthearted in a dress you wore to a funeral? Can you ever feel like a social success in the sweat shirt you saved from junior high school?

Remember, the emotional fit is at least as important as the size and cut of any garment.

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