Unless you live in a perpetually sunny and warm locale, the temperature is dropping, the days are getting shorter, fall is upon us and winter is right around the corner. If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to winterize your wardrobe.
- Pack away summer bags. Spot clean if necessary. I love the Coach leather cleaner – I get it at the outlet for a lower price, and use it on all my leather goods, Coach and not. Recently was loving my Tide to Go stick to remove a few stains on the lining of my purse. Also works well on microfiber and other cloth bags. Once clean and dry, stuff with plain paper (newspaper ink can rub off on surfaces – next time you go to a discount store like Marshall’s and buy anything breakable they will give you tons of plain paper – store it for times like this and for possible moves, packing, etc.) to maintain the bag’s natural shape, and store in an old pillowcase. A pillowcase will protect the bag from dust, but will let it breathe, leaving it pliable. Store your bag on a closet shelf or in a cardboard box under your bed – do not store bags in the attic or a deep cellar for fear of dampness, extreme heat or cold affecting the fabric. Come spring you may end up with a mildewed bag with all the seams separating. I have a cardboard box I got in a set of three – it’s long, not too tall, slides under my bed and has a pretty toile pattern on it. In there I keep out of season bags and other accessories that need to have ventilation.
- Pack those summer shoes too. Flip flops should not be used except for showers at the gym. Ditto to Tevas, Merrills, Crocs, Birkenstoks and any other sort of sandal. A heavy pair of socks with these shoes does not winterize them. Same with shoes that follow the rules of summer bags – straw, canvas, summer colors, white. All those beaded leather thongs this summer need to be packed up too. Strappy heels can transcend seasons if they are of a neutral fabric (crepe, silk, satin, leather) and are worn only for evening. Same with peeptoes and slingbacks. If they are a seasonless fabric (patent leather, leather, suede, pony hair, silk) and color, they can usually carry into fall and winter. For the rest, ensure they are in good shape. Take them to the cobbler to be reheeled and resoled and any buckles repaired. Nothing is worse than starting spring with a new outfit that will go perfectly with your canvas and cork peeptoe pumps to find out last minute that the heel is broken or the sole is pulling away from the shoe body. Fix them now, so you will be ready in a few months.
- Stop wearing those sundresses. So Mischa Barton and Mary Kate Olsen wear a gauzy sundress over a turtleneck, footless tights and ballet flats. That doesn’t mean that the everyday woman can carry this off. As I say often; if you are not a fashionista, do not dress like a fashionista. It is far more flattering and stylish to dress simply and appropriate for the season and the situation.
- Do a little spring cleaning in fall. While you are packing up your swin suits, capris, halter tops and sandals, reexamine them. Are they still in good condition? Do they still fit? Are they high enough quality and beautiful enough to deserve year-round real estate in your closet? Now is the time to pare down. If you are storing a pair of shoes that never saw the summer sun, maybe it’s time to donate them and free up some space for a pair of shoes that will be adored and worn often. If those capris are looking a bit haggard, it may be best to donate them now so you are forced come Spring to buy a new pair instead of wearing a threadbare, stained, horrific mess. All too often we pull out the new season’s clothes from our attic or storage box to find clothes that remind us of what we dislike most about our bodies. So you spent $80 on that dress in March, it always slides down the shoulder exposing your bra strap, and it makes your butt look big. If it made you unhappy this season, why store it for another season of unhappiness?
- Don’t be stuck out in the cold. It’s November. It’s snowing in some parts of the world, in others it is just starting to get colder. Are you prepared?