Have you guys checked out my first article published on the Unwritten blog? If you haven’t – I’ve compiled a list of fun and inexpensive activities to help keep you busy during your Christmas holidays, check it out! One of my favourite boredom busters on the list is the classic closet clean-out; not only is this activity kind of like shopping (seriously you will find things you forgot you even owned), but it’s productive too! What could be better than that?
As the New Year rolls around, I think it’s important to start off the year with a clean closet, along with some brand new staple pieces to help you accomplish all of your goals and resolutions. However, I think it’s easy to get a little carried away in both respects. Sometimes you feel like you have to get rid of an item simply because it’s no longer trendy, or you’ve worn it too many times. And other times, you head to the mall and get so overwhelmed by all of the post-Christmas sales that you end up buying things you never end up wearing – therefore rendering your closet clean-out useless. So in hopes of making this process easier for you guys, I’ve thrown together a list of clothing items that I consider to be closet staples (for winter) – this way you can decide what you need to replace, what shouldn’t be bought, what you need to go get right now, and what can stay!
1. Black Skinnies: I swear I live by this piece, but there really is nothing that black skinnies can’t do! They instantly dress up any outfit, and they look more professional than leggings. These are my go-to pants when I have an important commitment that isn’t fancy enough for a skirt or dress, but I still want to look dressy.
2. Neutral T-Shirts: Long sleeved, short sleeved, gray, white, black, and nude. You don’t need one of each, but having a few, or even just one of these options will be extremely helpful for you. These pieces can always be paired with a vest, a blazer, a cardigan/jeans, khakis, coloured skinnies, and virtually anything else you may have in your closet. The versatility of these pieces should be reason enough to take advantage of all of the 3 for $25 deals or whatever that’ll be going on after Christmas.
3. Your Favourite Hoodie: This may be slightly controversial, but you know all of those high school hoodies you’ve been hanging onto? Toss ’em. When I was cleaning out my closet last week I realized just how much room all of my old hoodies were taking up in my closet, when I really wasn’t wearing all of them that often. Now I’ll be generous here and say that a good amount of hoodies is hmmm, 3. Because if you’re wearing more than 3 hoodies a week you have bigger problems to deal with. And how do you decide if you want to love it or lose it? Well is it…. ripped? Toss it. Is the colour faded? Toss it. Are you holding onto high school memories that are better off forgotten? TOSS IT! Do yourself a favour and treat yourself to a brand new hoodie this new year!
4. Leather Leggings: It’s no secret that these are hot right now, and will be for a while! In my opinion, leather leggings are the best way to jazz up an outfit – not so much in a professional scope, but definately in a night out kind of scope. These are perfect for winter seeing as sometimes it’s just too cold to wear a skirt, but you can still put together an outfit with the same impact using these.
5. Plaid Flannel: A winter classic with a girly twist, this piece can be paired with so many different outfits from casual to glam. I think the best part about these tops are the functionality… like they’re actually warm! But super cute at the same time.
6. Black and/or Navy Blazer: Maybe it’s my inner PR girl, but I sure am a sucker for blazers. I love that you can pair them with a fancy blouse, a plain shirt, a dress, or whatever and they just always seem to go! Heck, I’ve worn them over sports jerseys before and I have to say that I felt like a pretty classy sports fan (I swear if I ever work in sports marketing, this will be my uniform). I have both a black blazer and a navy one, and I find that I wear the black one way more often. But having just one of the two will instantly give you way more options.
7. Skater Skirt: I am so in love with this trend, and paired with tights I think it’s the perfect winter style. These skirts are super girly, and will probably make you feel like you’re 12 years old again. But despite the flaredness/girlyness of this piece, they actually look super professional and classic. Consider purchasing multiple pieces like this – the leather style is a must have, but who doesn’t love purples and burgandys for winter?
8. Fur Vest: Don’t knock it ’til you try it, seriously. I too once scoffed at the idea of wearing such an obnoxious piece of clothing, but I found the perfect fur vest for me at H&M of all places, and now I can’t imagine my wardrobe without it. You wouldn’t think it, but it’s extremely versatile (mine is a tan/brown colour and it goes with almost everything), and it instantly makes your outfit look that much more trendy.
9. White Cami: It should be obvious why this piece is so essential to your wardrobe, but if it’s not let me clarify: a clean, white cami can be paired with a blazer, a cardigan, it can be worn alone…. like, how do people live without this in their closet? Such a piece doesn’t even have to be as boring as it sounds.. I recently purchased an adorable one with lace appliques and I can’t imagine how I survived without it. And the best part about this piece is that it can make the seamless transition into your summer wardrobe as well.
10. Figure-Flattering Jeans: Always remember that the jeans you’re wearing are a direct reflection of your current personality. I used to be a jeans hoarder, but I’ve recently narrowed my collection to 3 pairs. I have an extremely destroyed pair for casual days, a mid-wash bootcut for every day, and a dark wash skinny for those more put-together professional-but-casual days. But in my personal opinion, all you REALLY need is one pair of figure-flattering jeans. Pick the most flattering style and wash for your body type, and you’ll find that this is one of the most versatile pieces in your closet. Use Rachel Ray’s jeans-finder to find out what’s most flattering for you!
11. Leather Jacket: I’m sure you have the necessary down-filled bomber jacket covered, but what happens when you’re going out for dinner and all you need is a little something to keep you warm for the 2 minute jaunt from the car to the restaurant? This is where a leather jacket comes in handy – they’re in season for winter, but they’re not bulky and they don’t take away from your cute outfit like your puffy winter coat does. Do yourself a favour and splurge on this item, that way you’ll have it forever, seeing as they never go out of style! I purchased mine 3 years ago, and I swear the leather just gets more beautiful with age.
12. Red Pants: Flashy? Yes. Cute? YES. Red is an awesome colour for winter because it’s on season, but it’s so much brighter and more fun than all of those other ‘winter colours’ appropriate for this time of year. This is also the perfect example of where your neutral t-shirt will come in handy – because red pants are such a statement by themselves, you’ll want to wear a calmer top to keep the outfit from becoming too overwhelming. You make the outfit, the outfit doesn’t make you!
13. Bright Cardigan: Cardigans are the best way to work some bright colours into your wardrobe even though winter is meant for darker shades. Just like the red pants, bright cardigans can be paired with other neutral, darker shades and still look seasonally appropriate. Some good colours to consider are a daffodil yellow, royal blue, or of course, firetruck red.
14. Sequined Partywear: Forget the little black dress for a minute, sequined skirts and dresses are where it’s AT this winter. Sequins are so hot right now because anything sequined-covered ends up being a little too warm to wear during the summer months. So if you’re looking for a way to stand out during your next night out – look for a dress, a skirt, even a blouse or blazer that’s covered in sequins! The look I’m loving is a sequined dress paired with thick tights, or a sequined pencil skirt with a chunky knit sweater. Can you say New Year’s Eve?
15. Infinity Scarf: 2013’s best accessory, if I do say so myself. Nothing says cozy like a chunky, knit infinity scarf. These are obviously super cute and functional, but did you know about all the ways these can be worn? I found an awesome infographic on Pinterest that really shows just how versatile these accessories are – you can essentially use the same scarf to create hundreds of different outfits!
Happy closet cleaning everyone, I hope I could help make this task a little less painful for you! Stay tuned for The Closet Clean-Out: Spring Edition coming to you once the snow starts to melt!