Recycle, Reduce, Reuse: Shopping in Your Closet


By: Andrea

I remember a commercial when I was a kid that would come on, a nice little sing song that I don’t remember all the words, but I do remember the part they would belt out “recycle, reduce, reuse!” Being a kid, I had no idea what that meant and honestly can say wasn’t that interested. But as a full-grown adult and inside the times we are currently facing, I believe in the power of those words, especially when it comes to my clothes.

Of course, we want to wear the latest and greatest, be chic and fly, cute up, down and sideways. But the climate is just not that way. First of all, “where are you going?” That’s what my hairdresser asked me when I told him I was spending money online shopping. I couldn’t answer with a solid answer because I didn’t have a one an honest answer. I was just buying just because it was convenient. I had a little extra stashed, and I freaking love to shop! But I didn’t realize it until another friend and I were texting and she mentioned she was reusing and recycling some of her makeup that she was going to “make work”. She also told me to just shop in my closet. I thought about that. I have a closet full of clothes, shoes, jewelry and purses, some I’ve never even worn. Why wasn’t I shopping in my closet? I wouldn’t have to worry about social distancing, the person that wore the clothes before me was me, and I could make it fun; put on some music, try on as many clothes, make a ton of outfits, and I wouldn’t have to worry about the awkwardness of someone knocking on the dressing room door asking “are you ok in there?”

The light bulb went completely off! That’s what I needed to do. When I started to do a scan of my closet, I noticed there were so many outfits that I could mix and match, outfits I could wear just about anywhere and get away with it. And some of them still fit too! Or even better because I came down a size (wink!). I believe in making things work for you when you have it and during these uncertain times it’s really a no-brainer. What’s the use of wasting when you essentially have all you need in that moment to work for you?

So, here is what I did to reassess my closet and “work with it”:

  • Set the mood: how do you feel when you walk into a store and the music is playing and it’s got just enough beat and life to it that wakes up your energy and makes you want to shop? Well, if you were like me during hard times and didn’t have the money, the music could be as happy and energetic as it wanted to be, but I wasn’t spending a dime, just browsing and wish shopping. But in your closet, you don’t have to worry about that! Play what you want to play as loud as you want. You can even have a glass of wine or whatever cocktail you want. Again, this is YOUR closet!
  • The scan: super easy and simple; scan for the clothes you know you wear on a regular, are your favorite pieces, and pull them out into a pile or hang them up separately. It’s also important to scan and pick out the pieces that you know, under no circumstances, will you EVER wear that again in your life. That’s going into our recycle pile for later…stay with me.
  • Workable piles: you have all your workable pieces together in a pile. Now we need to try these on to make sure they still fit right. Trust me, I was in for a rude awakening with some of my clothes either not fitting properly or fitting just right. Knowing what I knew, I took the ones that didn’t fit and put them in the pile that would later be recycled. Also in those workable piles, I put outfits together and saw how they looked, putting together dress up or down looks. The goal was to make sure the outfits weren’t outdated and that I wasn’t a hot mess.
  • Accessorizing: it’s not only fun mixing and matching your outfits but also fun to add your accessories that still look cute and most importantly not falling apart. Add your shoes, jewelry, hats, scarves, and purses to your outfits to see what pops. It also doesn’t hurt if you put a lip on and add some makeup to fun. Just for fun!
  • Recycle pile: your recycle pile is essentially the “I give up” pile. You don’t need to put anymore thought or energy into this pile because it’s a done deal…let it go! Reduce your closet by getting rid of what you don’t need. There are people out there that would benefit more from what you have…right?
  • The clean-up: so, you know what you’re working with. You have your outfits and accessories and you know what’s staying and what’s going. The organizing can be fun because you can put all the outfits you want together that are more dress or dress down, or even all your dressy blouses together in one area and the everyday shirts together, dresses, skirts, etc. I mean, organize it the way you need to, boo, this is for you!

I hope these tips help you and you guys are able to really take command of your closet. The goal is to reuse what you already have and recycle your clothes by giving them away and thus reducing your closet space for what you don’t need and make way for what you do. Happy shopping, loves!

Peace and love

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