SEATTLE — 7 things to do right now but when it comes to fashion, we can sometimes be led astray. Style expert and founder of Styled Seattle, Darcy Camden, has 7 tips to get you started on a new fashion journey for 2021.
1. Remove everything that does not fit from your closet.
You can’t wear clothes that don’t fit you. Pull those items physically out of your closet. You don’t have to get rid of them (I recommend keeping a box of Too Big and Too Small, somewhere other than your closet, you can go to the boxes as needed). You should set up your closet so that every item in there is relevant and you could wear it.
If you’re not sure if something fits, try it on and find out! If you don’t care enough to try it on, donate it. 9 times out of 10, if you think something is too tight or too baggy, you’re right.
2. Separate your Fantasy Self from your Reality Self
Consider how you really spend your time, and buy clothes that align with your actual life. It’s always tempting to imagine fancy scenarios and buy fancy things, but if you only shop for your Fantasy Self, your Reality Self will have nothing to wear…and that’s how you end up in sweat pants every day. Give yourself permission to evolve.
3. Institute the Tomorrow Rule
Whenever I buy something new, my rule is I HAVE to wear it the very next day. This puts everything into very clear perspective for me when I’m shopping. If it’s not something I’m excited to wear right away, or I have no reason to wear it immediately, or I can’t wear it (because I don’t have anything to wear with it, so it requires more spending), then I immediately put it back. And usually I never think about it again! This rule also helps me integrate everything new that I buy into my regular rotation of clothes, and prevents me thinking things are too precious or need to be saved for "something special”.
This is a term that retailers use, it basically means rearrange to make everything look exciting in a new way. Most stores remerchandise a couple times a week. Take everything out, put it back in a new order. I like to do this a couple times a year, and I always purge a few things in the process. I always feel like I have a bunch of new options and my closet feels fresh without spending any money.
5. Commit to “Plus one, Minus one”
Every time you get something new, remove and donate something old. This is a great method to institute after you’ve done a lot of work to organize and purge your closet, so you don’t end up overwhelmed with stuff again in a year or two. I recommend using ThredUp.com to donate clothes. It’s so easy! They’ll send you a free bag. I keep this in my closet all the time, and I add things here and there as I realize something has a hole or doesn’t fit, and when it’s full I send it in. You can even get some money back!
6. Shop local
This is so important. Our local boutiques and retailers need us now more than ever. We lost too many great shops last year, and more will go under if we don’t support them. I know it’s tempting to order online, and I know it’s a challenge to go anywhere these days, but please: shop local whenever you can. The experience of shopping small is so rewarding. And BONUS!! If you are in a style rut, it’s probably because you’re shopping the same one or two stores, and you’re bored. So visiting a new store will help you invigorate your closet, just as much as it will help the community. I’m putting a list of my favorite local boutiques on the website.
7. Be kind to yourself
Stop saying things like “I’m bad at shopping” and “I’m not stylish”. Style is not like artistic talent that some people are born with and others are not. It’s a skill that you can develop and learn. Anyone can be stylish if they are willing to be positive and try new things. True, some people enjoy shopping more, so they end up spending more time doing it, and they get better at it. But the same cycle works in reverse: if you tell yourself you hate shopping and don’t go often, you’ll disconnect from feeling stylish and it will get harder and harder. It costs $0 to change your narrative.
Need help getting started? Follow Darcy's Closet Clean-Out Challenge: Each day, tackle a section of your closet. Remove and donate clothes that don't fit, are worn out, no longer serve you or you do not like.