For women like me, who are in their early twenties and about to become immersed into the “professional world,” I believe that it’s important to start cleaning out your closet of clothes and accessories from your teenage years. From experience, I know it’s a nostalgic and time-consuming task to actually part with those theme-party getups and piles of sorority t-shirts, but it’s time to grow up and realize that part of becoming an adult requires this sort of “cleansing” of your immature past. No, you definitely don’t have to throw out (or as I recommend, donate) all of these items that you’re most likely keeping for only sentimental reasons, but you do have to reduce the inventory greatly. I, for example, have SO many oversized t-shirts from various sorority/college events and childhood vacations that I could fill up my entire walk-in closet with just those shirts. I still haven’t been able to get rid of a lot of them, but it’s a continuing process. I’ve had to face the fact that the only time that I’ll be wearing these shirts now, since I won’t be wearing them to class anymore, will be at the gym and in my own privacy. More importantly, I’m now realizing that I also need to start weaning myself off of wearing these baggy shirts, even at the gym and bedtime, because I’m a “young professional” now and I guess I should start dressing like one.
Just like me, I’m sure that many of you have one or a few parts of your wardrobe that need to be slimmed down and updated for the professional life. Since most of you are probably entering the workforce or graduate school, your way of dressing needs to be very different from what it was in college. Tees, jeans, and flip-flops are no longer acceptable and should be replaced with classic and more mature outfits. Think timeless flats, black and nude pumps, classy watches and jewelry, a simple and versatile bag, and lots of pencil skirts, blouses, and nice-looking pants. Now is the time to really pay attention to those annoying little phrases in life that you’ve previously ignored in respect to your way of dressing such as “less is more” and “quality over quantity.” These little phrases are actually relevant now. Of course, updating your wardrobe in this way doesn’t mean that you have to become a boring dresser- trends are still important and you should also feel free to show off some personal style and fashion sense! Aside from cutting down on the number of t-shirts that I own, I’ve also gone through all other parts of my closet and forced myself to realize that those items that I hadn’t worn over the past year needed to go to someone who would actually wear them. I’m a bit of a hoarder and getting rid of nostalgic items or generally anything from my past that has value is always a tough process; so for those of you who aren’t like me, this process may be quite easy and fun! For everyone though, I promise that you will feel much better once you drop those bags of old clothing off at goodwill and return home to a clean and updated closet!
Check out my tips below on how to clean out and update your closet!
- Turn on some music- this may take some time so you might as well relax and have fun while doing it!
- First eliminate everything that doesn’t fit anymore or has irreversible stains, fading, tears, etc…
- Then, take out the items that you haven’t worn over the past year or so. If you haven’t worn it in that long, then you probably won’t in the future.
- Double-check if anything left is out of style or unflattering- toss those items out as well!
- Now make sure you’ve eliminated those silly party clothes and accessories- you likely won’t need them anymore so get rid of them!
- Spend more money on better quality staple items such as black and nude heels, comfortable flats, fitted blazers, nice and classy dresses, pencil skirts, jewelry, etc…
- If you can afford it, check out stores like Anthropologie, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Banana Republic, and JCrew for good work staples
- If you’re on a budget, go to TJ Maxx, Kohl’s or Target
- Try to use the same type of hangers for everything in your closet and hang as much as you can to keep away wrinkles
- Turn your hangers in the same direction!
- Color-code and separate everything by clothing category (ex: skirts, shorts, dresses, blazers, etc…)
- Put shoes on a shoe rack or hanging organizer
- Organize your jewelry so that it’s easily accessible and not able to tangle together (ex: earring tree, jewelry box, and/or necklace organizer)
My own jewelry station- necklaces hanging and earrings, rings, and bracelets in the box!