Urge to Purge: Tough Love Tips to Help Condense Your Closet

It’s something about the spring season that makes us want to clean, organize and purge the things in our lives. We accumulate so much stuff within a year and most times we don’t even use all of it. Though it seems easy to discard or donate the things we don’t wear, for many it’s quite a stressful ordeal.

“I mean, what if those Bongo jeans (remember those) come back in style?”

“Come on, I’ve been working out and eating right. I’ll be able to fit my high school homecoming dress really soon.”

“I know I already have four bridesmaids dresses, but I might be invited to a presidential ball. What will I wear if I get rid of one?”

I imagine that these are the conversations many of you have when attempting to clean out your closet.

Fact: Most people wear 20 percent of the clothes in their closet. That means 80 percent of your wardrobe is taking up (wasting) space. Here are a few tips to consider before and during your purge session:

  1. If you haven’t worn it in 12 months…PURGE IT
  2. If it has large stains or holes beyond repair…PURGE IT
  3. If you have a drawer full of random, over-sized t-shirts…PURGE THEM
  4. If you need to lose several pounds before you can get in it again…PURGE IT
  5. If you purchased it several months ago and it still hasn’t “grown” on you…PURGE IT
  6. If it doesn’t complement your current body shape (forget about how it looked when you first purchased it)…PURGE IT
  7. If for the past several months it’s been folded in a shopping bag and thrown in your backseat as a reminder to take it to the tailor…PURGE IT
  8. If you’re uncomfortable when you wear it (constantly tugging at it, pulling it up or down)…PURGE IT
  9. If you don’t love it and simply tolerate it…PURGE IT
  10. If it doesn’t make you feel good about yourself…PURGE IT

I think these tips are tough to hear, but are needed if you really want to de-clutter your closet. One additional rule that I try to follow is, whenever I bring something into my closet, I identify something to take out.

Hopefully, you’ll put these tips into practice and won’t say mean things about me under your breath as you’re condensing your closet.

Happy purging!

shannon b.


Fashionably Fly and Not Breaking the Bank…How?

So how do you do it? How do you keep up with the latest fashion trends without maxing out your credit cards or dipping into your kiddos college fund? Keep reading and I’ll share a few tips that have worked for me over the last several years.

  1. DON’T chase trends

Chasing all of the latest fashion trends and crazes will surely put you on the next bus to the poor house. I wish I had a jaw-dropping statistic to share with you about the trappings of basing your whole wardrobe around trendy pieces. Instead of spending your hard-earned dollars on that pair of floral print Birkenstocks, (come on, will you really wear them 12 months from now?) invest your money in classic, staple pieces that you are prone to wear more frequently, i.e. a coat, handbag or shoes. Classic pieces are usually of good quality and can be worn season after season, which means you save money.

2. Shop off-season

I might need to make a category on this blog for “things my mom told me”. She taught me at a young age that shopping off-season is a great way to save money. For example, that Burberry puffer coat that you’ve been stalking all winter…okay, that I’ve been stalking all winter long, would definitely cause your bank account to go into cardiac arrest if you were to purchase it right in the midst of winter. The best time to get an expensive item like the puffer coat is at the very beginning of the spring season, when the stores push all of the new seasons fashions to the front and cram all of the winter items to the back on a crowded rack. That cramped rack is your gold mine where you can find items from last season at a heavily discounted price. Try your luck!

    3. Outlet malls are NOT a fashion faux-pas

Some people think that outlet malls are where once “in-season” clothes go to die. I don’t buy into that theory and have actually found some great pieces at the outlet mall. Maybe it’s because I don’t subscribe to the idea that wardrobe pieces go out of season. Just to clarify, I don’t mean that I would wear a pair of shorts and open toe shoes in the winter. I’m referring to style seasons. For example, two springs/summers ago, neon was everywhere. Now, pastel colors are popular. Does that mean I still don’t break out my neon J. Crew clutch? Absolutely not!I buy items that complete my look and that I won’t mind  wearing no matter the style season.

I hope these tips will help and not hurt your bank account the next time you go shopping!

shannon b.

Kick rocks, winter!

This winter season brought great, new wardrobe pieces to my closet, like my over-the-knee black, suede boots by Sam Edelman and my sandy-colored J.Crew winter coat that I wore practically everyday, BUT, spring can’t come soon enough and this Friday is officially the first day of the new season!

Good riddance to my stockings, tights, coats, gloves and heavy scarves. Am I being a bit harsh? Probably, but I’ve never loved the winter season. Even though I’m a December baby, in my heart I was born right in the midst of the spring season when the tulips and cherry blossoms are in full bloom, the sun stays out longer and the atmosphere is covered with a thick coat of pollen (sorry, I’m one of the rare breeds that doesn’t have allergies).

Okay, now that I’ve gotten all of the negativity out of the way (cold weather makes me say mean things), let’s talk about some of the awesome items I’m looking forward to this spring.

White spring coats
So, I might have become a bit obsessed with white spring coats. Just earlier this week, I had two of them in my closet. I am happy to report that I returned one. Having two white coats is a bit much, unless I’m a doctor. Here are a few that I really like.

Spring dresses
I love wearing dresses all year-round, but there’s something magical about wearing them in the spring, when your bare arms and legs finally get to feel the warmth of the sun after winter’s cold grip. I can imagine myself wearing one of the following dresses while there’s a subtle breeze and the bottom of my dress sways with the wind.

Wooden platform wedges
Full disclosure…in my mind, I’m tall and statuesque like a giraffe, but in reality I am short, petite and stand five feet tall. I totally love and accept my actual height, but I’m definitely looking forward to breaking out my wooden platform sandals this spring. They elongate my profile and I love the way they look with a sundress or a pair of white or flared jeans.

shannon b.


Never say never…

So…I never thought that I would start a blog. There are so many really awesome and entertaining sites out there and I never thought anyone would really care about what I have to say.

Well, I’m pushing my apprehension aside and publishing my first post (insert Kanye Shrug).

So if you choose to subscribe, what will you find on my page? Good question! I’m still figuring that out. But since I just launched my independent Personal Style Consultation business, shannon b. styles, at the beginning of 2015, most of my posts will focus around fashion, styling, beautiful dresses, Lupita Nyong’o wonderment, pretty flowers and anything else that fascinates me.

I hope you’ll stay for the ride. I can’t promise that it will be life-changing, but I definitely think you’ll learn something new and hopefully be inspired to look at fashion as another effective way to express yourself.

shannon b.

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