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Four steps to a great wardrobe

Stuck in a fashion rut? TODAY style editor Bobbie Thomas helps you develop a game plan for dressing in the new year.
/ Source: TODAY

There’s no better time than right now to get organized for the upcoming year. And by evaluating and exploring your options, you can truly be your own style guide. Bobbie Thomas, TODAY style editor and co-host of Fashion Police, helps you solidify your style for 2007.

ReduceIt’s downright difficult to get rid of your possessions.  But believe me, downsizing will make a difference.  Don’t fall victim to the black hole of an overstuffed closet – after all, how can you wear what you can’t see?  If you’re having trouble figuring out what’s in and what’s out, start by emptying everything onto your floor, and create “yes”, “no” and “maybe” piles. Put back the "yes" pieces first, then gather the "no" items together for charity. The maybe pile will then seem less overwhelming, and will be easier to tackle now that you know how much space you have left in the closet after putting back the "yes" pile. Be sure to ask yourself, "How often will I wear this, and is it worth the space it will take up in my closet or dresser?" If the answer is "no," then move on and make room for something better.

It's important to take inventory, and know what you have to work with. Take the time to try on your clothes, and if something doesn’t fit or flatter, say buh-bye! (Unless it goes to the tailor.) Comfort equals confidence, and if you don’t feel good in your fashion, people will notice.  Though it may feel at first like you’re eliminating options, by editing yourself you’re actually ensuring that every day will be a great fashion day.  After all, if you only keep what’s best, you’ll always look your best!  And in the future, don’t forget to make room in your wardrobe.  For every new purchase, something else must go.  Out with the old and in with the new.

ReviseOrganize a workout wardrobe you love, rather than digging through tattered clothes in the bottom drawer. If you look good, you’ll want to work out, and in turn you’ll feel great. And don't forget the lingerie drawer ladies! Foundations come first, no matter how fabulous your fashions may be. Be sure you own the right underpinnings to reshape. You'll also want to keep a kit of pins, double stick tape, spot remover sponges, and other tools that will be beneficial in a bind.

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ReinventYour style makes a strong statement about who you are, so take time at the start of the year to figure out what you want to say.  Style icons, fashion designers and artwork can serve as great sources of revitalization, and can help inspire you to find your own signature style.  Collect images that represent your world, and create a “style scrapbook” to help take you from inspiration to expression.  From there, expand your wardrobe, but start by shopping in your own closet.  Set time for a “fitting,” fix your hair and makeup, and fool around with what’s already in your wardrobe.  With your fresh outlook, the combinations you come up with may surprise you.  And while you probably prepare a grocery list, you may not have thought to maintain a ‘most wanted list’ for your fashion.  What you’re missing will limit you, and those are the items you should be looking out for.  Take bags of clothes to the mall, and use them to help you complete a look, or match a hard-to-wear piece. 

RewardEmotional shopping is as unsatisfying as emotional eating, so resist the urge to impulse buy and binge shop.  But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t shop at all.  Plan and budget time and money for your seasonal needs and wants.  While some splurges may be a luxury, think of new clothes as a necessity, and count on making a few strategic purchases that you covet each season.  The start of the year is the best time to shop for deals and find discounts, both fall/winter (thanks to post-holiday promotions) and spring/summer items are on sale. Avoid a trend trap by building on basics and classics in your closet with pieces that will spice up your style.

Keep in mind, it’s all about attitude.  A bright smile can make you look more youthful and energetic, while good posture can even help you look leaner. Having confidence and being comfortable in your own skin can make the difference between being quirky and unique, or being a fashion victim.  Just look at Gwen Stefani.  Like it or leave it, she knows how to strut her style.  Two words to remember – own it! Be sure to check in with you. How you feel? Does a new purchase make you happy?  Is it exactly what you were looking for? If you listen to your instincts, chances are, they’ll steer you down the style path you’ve been looking for all along.

Now you’re all set to be your own style guide.  But remember -- enjoy the process.  Getting ready can be more fun than the party, so pump up the music and prepare for a year of style and cheer!