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If you’ve watched this year’s award shows, you may have noticed Rooney Mara’s new hard-edged look, seemingly representative of the androgynous ensembles of recent seasons. Swoon-worthy? Yes. With that said, get ready to turn your attention to a vibrant, eye-popping spring peppered with a new crop of florals. And before you stock up on new sunny essentials, it’s time to assess your closet and make space for brighter days. Here’s a stylish plan.
Declutter All the Way
“It’s said that clothing, like other areas in life, follows the 80-20 rule -- we wear 20 percent of our wardrobe 80 percent of the time,” says Peter Walsh, professional organizer and author of de-cluttering books, including How to Organize Just About Everything: More than 500 Step-by-Step Instructions for Everything from Organizing Your Closets to Planning A Wedding to Creating a Flawless Filing System and Enough Already!: Clearing Mental Clutter to Become the Best You.
To keep a tidy, well-edited closet, Walsh says the solution is very simple: “You only have the space you have, and you need to work within the limits of your physical space. You can only have as many pairs of jeans as will hang reasonably in your closet.”
Dress for Now
Start by tossing anything that no longer fits, or does nothing to flatter your body. Apart from old jeans (or baggy cargos), this includes dresses, tank tops and blouses that you hope to wear when you “lose 5 pounds” or “get to the gym.”
“If you’ve kept a lot of clothes for several years because you think they may fit again, choose just one favorite piece as an incentive and get rid of the rest,” advises Walsh. “When you shed those pounds, reward yourself with a new wardrobe.”
Pare It Down … With a Friend
It’s not uncommon to hold on to items that have sentimental value, reminding you of a happy moment or a milestone in life. What you sometimes don’t realize is that over time, these pieces actually age, but because of the emotional attachment, you become oblivious to the fact that the ends have frayed, the fabric has thinned and the whole piece has actually become dated. This is a good time to ask a friend for a second opinion and a fresh take on older items. A stylish, or at least honest, gal pal can let you know that that white linen button-down with the puffy bell sleeves -- the one that got you that first job -- has actually yellowed and may no longer be appropriate.
Another benefit of paring down one’s closet is that having key pieces that fit and flatter make getting dressed every day a breeze. Do this at regular intervals throughout the year. Also, for every item you purchase, discard something or donate it to charity and you’ll reap the benefits of an always stylish, clutter-free wardrobe.
Now that you’ve made room in your closet, it’s time to review exciting up-and-coming items. Head-to-toe prints graced the runways of the Spring/Summer 2012 shows -- garden floral pants paired with a dainty bouquet blouse (Erdem), magnified white islet-like cutouts (Diane von Furstenberg), painterly tangerine frocks (Matthew Williamson), and even paisley (Emilio Pucci and Jil Sander). It’s a happy palette of florals, big and small, ready for the wearing.
Spring Style Notes
Accessorize an all-white ensemble with a punchy Marimekko-print bag or head scarf. Pair a summer dress or floor-length frock with gold ballet flats and a neat ballerina bun. Let a colorful outfit take center stage by keeping hair, makeup and accessories sleek and minimal, save for a pop of cherry lipstick at times.
If dainty flower prints are too, well, dainty for your style, get inspiration from Williamson’s full-length Japanese-print sleeveless kimono dress. Or, try the cheekier Dolce & Gabbana fruit-and-vegetable prints.
Remember, part of easy-wear and clutter-free style is purchasing items you can use over and over again.
Mariel Chua is the managing editor of The Style Glossy. She is the former beauty editor of the Philippine editions of Seventeen, Cosmopolitan and OK! Magazine. She has also contributed to various print and online titles, including Marie Claire, Lifestyle Asia Travel and Yummy.ph.
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