Your Year-End Wardrobe Edit

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Do you feel it? This time of year fosters a giving mood. I find myself being more generous with my time, my resources and interestingly enough, my possessions. Doing what I do for a living, I know better than anyone that we don’t wear everything we own. (If you’re curious about the percentage, most of us wear 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time.) And I know that we could all do with a little less – present company included.

So it’s no wonder that this is usually the time of year that I turn my wardrobe editing skills on myself and head into my own closet. Just like when I am with a client, I am pretty decisive about what stays and what goes. That said, I will share with you that it’s a whole lot easier to let things go when you know they are going to someone in need. Curious as to my process? What follows below are some of the highlights.

Your Year-End Wardrobe Edit, clothes editing, style tips, carol davidson, the three tomatoesStep 1: The Preparation.  It’s going to take some energy. And some time. So I suggest you eat something before and have plenty of snacks on hand. Ditto for water. Make sure you set aside a few hours – sans interruptions. This means no emails, phone calls or little ones (on two or four legs). You also need to set the mood so I suggest you have a playlist of your favorite tunes at-the-ready.

Set aside clothing and shoes for one season plus anything that can be worn year round. (Note: I divide the year into two seasons: warmer or cooler.) Make sure they are all in one area to eliminate unnecessary back-and-forth.

Step 2: The Process
.  Now that you have all of your items together, you must try them on! I’m sorry, but just looking at the items is not enough. You’ve got to look at the items on you. Here’s why. Dry cleaning has a nasty habit of shrinking clothing over time. And let’s face it…”Things” (a.k.a. bodies) change one year to the next. Not to mention it is easier to see stains, open seams, holes etc. when the items are actually on you. (Hopefully I’ve made my case here.)

With each item, think about the following:

  •  Color – Does the color flatter your skin tone?
  • Fit – Does the item fit you now? If not, what is the likelihood of it fitting in the near future?)
  •  Style – Does the item represent ‘you’ and the image you want to project?
  •  Currency – Does the item look ‘dated’?
  • Relevancy – Make sure you get rid of the clothing that does not reflect your current lifestyle and who you are today. Your closet should not represent who you were before children, when you worked in the city or when you weighted 10 lbs. more or less. This will only promote confusion and insecurity.
  •  Condition – Is it worn out? (If so, please do not donate these items but instead place them in the ‘circular file’ – a.k.a. the garbage can.)
  •  Last Date of Wear – Let’s be honest, if was longer than 2 years, there is a good chance that you will never wear it.

Make your decision based on these objective criteria and take the emotion out of it!

Your Year-End Wardrobe Edit, organized closet, style tips, carol davidson, the three tomatoesStep 3: The Payoff. Once you’ve gone through each of the items, organize what’s left. (There are different ways to do this but most people find it most useful to organize their closets by type of item.) Reward yourself with uniform hangers, pretty storage boxes and other boutique touches. Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back for a job well done!

Next, assess your castoffs. Determine items will be donated to a charity, given to a friend or brought to a thrift shop. Don’t forget to clean your items (if needed) before giving them away.

Your Year-End Wardrobe Edit, donated clothing, style tips, carol davidson, the three tomatoesAs an aside, you may be able to write off a portion of the value of your donations. You will want to consult your accountant for guidelines.

There’s no better time than now for a wardrobe edit. Sure, you’ll have a closet filled with items that fit and flatter you. You’ll enjoy each piece and a more streamlined wardrobe. Most importantly, though, you’ll savor the feeling that comes from giving to those in need. It’s a feeling that’s much warmer than any sweater you could possibly own (smile).

For additional information please email me at For more of style tips n’ picks, please visit me on FB: /StyleworksofUnionSquare and follow me on twitter @CarolDavidson.)

Wishing you a warm and stylish holiday! Xx CD


  • Carol Davidson

    For over 15 years, Carol Davidson has helped women transform their appearance, wardrobe and self-esteem. Her style and life coaching advice has helped women tackle their careers and personal lives with confidence and enthusiasm. Clients have told Carol they look better and feel better about how they look and the life they lead. They move forward with greater ease and confidently show up for matters most. Carol is an educator at the Fashion Institute of Technology and has been quoted in countless media outlets including:,,, SmartMoney and Real Simple. While she calls NYC and South Florida “home,” her reach includes the Tri-State area and beyond. Her Skype consultations and easy-to-use, private, online closet, shopping and lookbook platform allow her to work with clients across the country and around the world. For more of Carol’s style picks and lifestyle tips, please visit her at: and like her on FB: CarolDavidsonLifeStyleStrategy. You can also find her on twitter @CarolDavidson.

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