Many moons ago, when I left Days of Our lives in 1992, they gave me Kayla’s wardrobe. In the next couple of months, I got pregnant and didn’t wear any of those clothes for the next year and a half … that then quickly turned into two years.
My dear friend, Cynthia, came to town and I told her how my closet was jammed, but I didn’t have anything to wear. She said the first thing we needed to do was edit my closet … scary! We took EVERYTHING out, examined each piece and made some brutal cuts.
Part of the problem was I knew that many pieces were rather expensive, since they came from the show, and I didn’t know how to let them go. But, most of them were actually too fancy for my more casual lifestyle. We kept the best, and I gave alot to my best friend’s mom, who was about my size and a working woman. Then, we donated some and put the rest in a consignment shop.
Over the years, Cynthia and I have done this several times – and man oh man, what a difference! The cuts only hurt for a minute, but to have space between the items in my closet is the greatest! It seems odd, but I always feel like I have more to wear after a good clean out! I once heard that a clean, uncluttered closet equals a clean mind, and I do think they go hand in hand!
Give it a shot, and take Cynthia’s other tips (below) to heart … you will not be sorry!
Fall Fashion Forward
by Cynthia Carr Gardner
I’m fortunate to say that I’ve been Mary Beth’s friend now for 26 years. Our family moved to Pasadena in August of 1990, and through a mutual friend, I was given the gift of a lifetime friendship. I had to re-establish myself as a stylist in the mecca that is L.A., and who better to be my cheerleader than MB!
Fall was beginning to unfold and she mentioned that her closet was stuffed but then, the common refrain … “I have nothing to wear.” That launched a whole new phase of my business that hadn’t really been tapped by stylists … the Closet Edit. I went through every hanger in her closet with a keen eye, and together we donated, re-thought and created a whole new direction that gave Mary Beth’s wardrobe a fresh focus.
I know that she remembers this day as one of great bonding and a lot of fun. Lots of women became recipients of some great wardrobe that our girl was never going to wear again – one girl’s hand me down is another girl’s hand me up!
My return to Boston doesn’t allow for as many ‘adventures with Mary Beth,’ but she does call me when she needs to step out. And when she’d like some fashion input for the blog.
With the end of Summer upon us, the days here on the East Coast are becoming shorter, the light brilliant and crisp … all setting the stage for the beautiful patchwork of leaves that will begin to turn. This is the time of year when I encourage my clients to practice a little ‘tough love’ and dare to open their closets to do a review.
Twice a year, an edit is a not only cathartic, it’s money-saving and affords a window into what you own and what you truly need. Instead of heading to the stores to do some Fall shopping, turn to your own closet, see what’s of value, what can be elevated or reinvented and only then, wield your credit cards with a sense of direction. As a seasoned stylist, I can tell you that you probably have more jewels in your own wardrobe than you think. If you need a trained eye, engage a stylist to come and do the deed with you. You’ll pay for his/her time in what you unearth!
Here are a few tips to inspire you…Happy Fall!
- Edit your closet twice yearly. Hire a professional if you need a little tough love and can’t detach. Donate or consign. One girl’s hand-me-down is another’s hand-me-up.
- Make a List: Determine what you need to update favorites, replace the forlorn or to add seasonal currency. Have a focus when you shop so you’re not tempted and your budget will thank you.
- Buy once and buy well. Shop with a purpose and think about quality vs. quantity and timeless vs trendy. Fabric and fit are everything, so buy the best you can afford and make sure to tailor even lesser pieces so that they fit perfectly. The nominal cost will elevate the look. The key to chic is in the mix so don’t hesitate to pair Valentino with Vince or Gap with Gucci.
- Dress the part! Find your look and build on it. Consider what silhouettes enhance your figure and focus on your best asset…great legs, narrow waist, slim hips. Flaunt it with looks that are current and age appropriate. Colors can bring life to your look so find a new hue this season.
- Foundations are key! They don’t call them ‘foundations’ for nothing. They are the building blocks of every look. Own a wardrobe of bras that have different purposes; plunging, balconette, strapless, etc and camisoles and body shapers to enhance every curve.
- Put your best foot forward. The simplest outfit will sing when paired with a fabulous shoe. Your LBD with red patent pumps, all white with metallic or a sedate suit with an elegant suede. Flats, booties, kitten heels or the newest block heel … there’s something for everyone this season.
- Carry on! Handbags, totes and clutches add the perfect polish. Whether you’re armed with the latest cross-body bag, toting just the right clutch or shouldering a beautiful and practical tote … find your ‘IT’ bag this Fall.
- Accessories: From the simple to the sublime. Do you love chains or are you a pearl girl? Amp up your outfit with a necklace, wrist wear or ear candy. Experiment with embellishment but know when less is more. Signature jewelry is always in style so dig into grandmother’s trunk or know that your diamond studs are just ‘you’.
- TLC: Ask about maintaining your finery when you purchase a piece. Own a steamer to save on dry cleaning wear and tear. Know when to wash vs dry clean. Be kind to your boots and shoes in New England weather and hand them over to Gepetto on a regular basis to give them some spit and polish!
- Dress with Confidence!