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How to Overcome Closet Anxiety

How to Overcome Closet Anxiety

How to Overcome Closet Anxiety

Have you ever walked in your closet and felt totally overwhelmed? If this sounds like you, you are suffering from closet anxiety. Closet anxiety is what you have when you walk into a closet filled to the brim with clothes and still feel like you have nothing to wear.  

We all have this issue from time to time. I have come up with a few simple tips to help overcome closet anxiety.

  1. Complete A Wardrobe Edit

  2. Assess Your Current Style

  3. Build Your Wardrobe Basics

Complete A Wardrobe Edit

When completing a wardrobe edit, ask yourself the following questions while cleaning out your closet:

  • Does it fit?
  • Have I worn it in the past year?
  • Does it represent my current style?
  • If the item is damaged, am I ever going to have it repaired?
  • If given the chance, would I buy the item again.

If the answer to any of those questions is no, then put the piece in either your trash pile or donate pile (depending on the condition of the item).   Put everything you haven’t worn in the last year in the donate pile.  Separate your keep pile into what will go back in your closet and what will be stored (out of season items).

Assess Your Current Style

Before you start building your wardrobe basics you need to take stock of your current lifestyle. Ask yourself the following question:

  • Describe your current style. What do you like or dislike about it?
  • What’s your daily routine?
  • What are your after hours activities?
  • What do you wear to work each day?
  • What’s your normal weekend wear?
  • What colors work best for you?
  • What are some of your favorite pieces in your closet (clothing, shoes)? Why are they your favorites?
  • Is your current style a true representation of you?
  • How long does it take you to pick out something to wear?
  • What’s missing from your current style?

The answers to these questions should help you figure out what pieces you need to add to your wardrobe.

If you are still struggling to define your personal style, here’s a little exercise that can help you figure it out.

To get started get online and pull photos of different people that fit what you have determined your style to be. Figure out what looks you would like to recreate, what color combinations you like, and whatever detail you like about the looks. The point of this exercise is to show what type of styles you tend to lean towards.

Pinterest would be a great app to use for this exercise. Build a “My Style” board on Pinterest. Pinterest can be used to pin looks you like from different websites. If you don’t already have an account signup at  Once you have signed up, add the pin it button to your browser by following the instructions at That’s all there is to it. Now create your board and get to pinning.

Add accessories and shoes to your board and this will serve as your style guide.

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Build Your Wardrobe Basics

The basics are the foundation for an amazing wardrobe. Once you have the basic pieces, finding something to wear each day should be a piece of cake. When building your basics try to limit the more trendy pieces. Your basics should be able to last from year to year. These pieces should be more classic. Your basics should be able to stand the test of time.

A wardrobe with a solid foundation should last from season to season. Your wardrobe should provide you with several options that you can mix and match, no matter what the season is. The purpose of building your wardrobe basics is to create a functional wardrobe.

With a solid wardrobe foundation you should be able to repurpose the same pieces over and over again. The goal is to cut down on shopping to add new pieces and to start utilizing the things you already have.

You do not have to break the bank when building your wardrobe basics. I believe you should invest in staple pieces like, blazers and pumps. Believe me you can find quality pieces at bargain prices. Use the following tips when searching for pieces at bargain prices.

Tip 1: Be sure to check how the piece was constructed. Getting an item on the low means absolutely nothing if it only makes it through one wash cycle.

Tip 2: Shop thrift stores and consignment shops in high income areas.  You will not believe the pieces some folks will wear once and get rid of it immediately after.  I have found a lot of my high-end pieces in consignment shops.

Tip 3: Watch out for end of season sales at nice boutiques.  You can get really nice pieces at great prices during these sales.  I try to stay away from trendy pieces during these sales, since I most likely won't wear those items until the next year.

Tip 4: Outlet stores are my absolute favorite.  There's a J. Crew Factory Store around the corner from my house.  They run 40 to 50% off sales just about every week and the clearance section is my first stop.

Tip 5: Just because something is on sale does not mean you need to buy it.  Ask yourself how many pieces already in your closet can you wear this item with.  If you can't see several outfits with this item, leave it.

Here’s a list of key pieces you should definitely have in your closet:

  • White Button Down

  • Chambray Shirt

  • Long Sleeved Tees

  • Silk Blouse

  • Little Black Dress

  • Skinny Jeans

  • Bootcut Jeans

  • Dress Slacks

  • Suiting Skirt

  • Pencil Skirt

Once you have cleared your closet of the clutter and stocked it with the basics, you should have a much easier time putting together something to wear each day.  This should cut down on those 30 minutes in the closet each morning trying to figure out what to wear. Closet anxiety should be a thing of the past. 

Need a little more help with figuring out your personal style? The Style Guide will help get you together.



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