Bring the Joy of Spring into your Wardrobe


Most of us welcome Spring with open arms: the sun is brighter, the days are longer and the air is sweeter. We can banish Winter clothing to the hibernation it deserves and pull out the new-again lighter and brighter clothes which herald the start of Summer. It’s a time of rebirth as the exquisite Spring light floods through the windows and makes the dust quiver in fear. We drag out the Spring and Summer wardrobe only to find that it is looking old and tired compared to the exciting little newcomers we just bought. Spring-cleaning and closet tidying are in the air, and suddenly we are ready to discard some things for good.

So what goes and what stays? The first go-around of discarding is easier than you think if you take the advice of Japanese Professional Organizer extraordinaire, Marie
Kondo who brings a delightfully fresh approach to tidying up. (Buy her runaway international best seller: The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up.) No longer do you have to agonize over tough decisions she says, like recoiling over how much it cost and asking if you have wrung the value out of it yet; of avoiding hurt feelings because your mother-in-law gave you that prison-worthy orange jumpsuit; or of trying to squeeze back into the size 2 BS (Before Spandex) skinny jeans because you are addicted to a number. Marie says: Does it spark joy? Only wear things that you love and make you feel happy.

We agree wholeheartedly, and our advice: only wear WOW outfits! We would add a further distinction to the Discard list. Only wear what makes you feel happy and powerful for meetings; happy and sexy for dates; happy and carefree for vacations; happy and stunning for parties; happy and comfortable for travel. If you go by the way you feel in your clothes along with some image principles, the soiled, torn, uncomfortable and badly fitting garments naturally have no place in a joyful wardrobe.

Clothes are very social and love company. If the garment has become an outlier or a misfit, it goes to another home that will give it the TLC your wardrobe couldn’t provide. Thank it for its faithful service and let it go. With the items that are left, some will be joined at the hip and that’s fine. Enjoy them together. Most will want company and love mixing and matching with their friends. Tops are 1’s; bottoms are 2’s and jackets, blazers wraps, shrugs and third pieces are 3’s. Match 1’s and 2’s together and finish the look with one of the 3’s. Apart from fashion fads, fabrics enjoy being from one family; styles like to be compatible and colors are a catalyst for creating joyful combinations. Accessories are snobs and only gravitate to those fabrics and styles that they deem worthy of their value. But experiment anyway and have fun!

Instead of reaching out for the black-rack, start buying colors that give you joy in life. What color flowers, fruit, vegetables, leaves, paintings and interior designs do you adore? Your image consultant will find you just the shade of your very own. You don’t have to wear a whole dress and duster in lime yellow, but experiment with a scarf, even a remnant, try out a $10 T-shirt and if they look expensive, keep them and relax.

How many white, off-white or cream shirts and blouses can you wear? The most I ever saw in one closet was 24 in a row! On closer inspection, they all started out as white and I deep-sixed the faded, discolored and soiled older versions with a stern warning to call me whenever she needed a white-shirt intervention. She never missed them and happily wore the other 12 or so that were left, soon experimenting with her new color palette and reveling in a new dimension of joyful.

If your clothes are happy, you will be too. Shoes and bags adore being polished, bags enjoy being de-cluttered. Clean, repaired and well-loved clothes love you back, last longer, keep their shape and in the right color make you look taller, richer, thinner, younger and sexier. What more could you ask of your best friends?