Friday, 29 June 2012

Pre-Sale Closet Analysis

This is a NEED post. The last week in June makes me start thinking about summer sale shopping. In France, my first priority this year is my linen closet not my clothing closet. I'll be going to Bordeaux to visit the Yves Delorme store for some fitted sheets. I have purchased some beautiful "ancien" linen flat sheets but I prefer fitted for the bottom sheet and Yves Delorme sheets are my first pick. But that's my linen closet, sorry for the digression.

As far as the clothing closet goes . . .

Analyze your closet (whether linen or clothing) before you start sale shopping.

1  Organize all your clothing in categories - tops, blouses and shirts can be one category, pants (that are not part of a suit), skirts (that are not part of a suit), suits (jackets and bottoms together), stand alone jackets and knit cardigans may constitute one category and "dress-up" or "formal wear" and any other category you have. Remember underwear, pyjamas, and bathing suits.

2  Organize the categories of clothing by colour from lightest to darkest. Whites, beiges, light colours to their dark counterparts, for example light blue to navy, greys, blacks. Denims go in their relative colour categories.

3 Within the colours, organize the tops and dresses from sleeveless to long-sleeved. Your closet then has sleeveless white tops, short-sleeved, three-quarter length sleeves and long sleeves, followed by off white and beige in the same sleeve-length range, next light pink to reds, mauves to purple, light blue to navy, browns and black.

4 Do the same for sandals, shoes, boots, and other accessories, categorizing based on your own criteria.

Now stand back and look. What do you see? Analyze relative to wear. Whether expensive or not, your choices can be evaluated by "cost per wear". If you paid a cheap price for a t-shirt you have worn once, the cost of one wearing is the price of the t-shirt. However if you bought a t-shirt that you love and wear all the time and you paid a designer price for it, guess the number of times you have worn it and divide into the price you paid. You may be surprised to find that your cost per wear may be less than the cheap one. Another thing to think about is the quality. The cheap t-shirt probably would not have lasted the number of wearings and washings.

As you analyze your pre-sale shopping organization, you begin noticing where your colour focus is. Do you have six pink sleeveless tops? If so, you will not even look at a pink sleeveless top, no matter how inexpensive it is, when you are sale shopping. The same applies for trendy colours since you are buying at the end of the season and may only wear a particular trendy colour till the end of the summer.

Be realistic! In all that stands before you - what do you wear over and over again? If your cost per wear is minimal, in what condition are those favourite clothes? If they are showing wear, replacing those items should be the priority on your sale shopping list.

5 Decide what clothing needs to be relegated to the "consignment store, charity, the "dirty" work clothing, the rag bin (I have a friend who is a carpenter and uses a lot of cotton rags) and the garbage. Having four or five bins ready for this purpose makes the process more efficient.

What is missing? What do you NEED? When you look at something, can you say, "if I had a . . .  I would wear those . . . more often." Put the missing blank on your sale shopping list.

Consider the cost per wear when buying on sale. This is your chance to buy an expensive item, that you will wear a lot, at a reduced price.

Now you know what NEEDS to be replaced in your clothing closet. The same principle works for the other closets in your home. If you don't NEED anything, you can still go shopping but you will have a clearer mindset about the clothing you have, the clothing you have not worn, the clothing you wear all the time and the clothing you would like to have.

1 comment:

  1. My friend A.M. often emails me with her analysis and so I am transferring her email comment to this venue.

    ". . . your organizational skills for the sale shopping wore me out! I am lucky to have my closet organized loosely around color and item, ie pants, skirts, t-shirts, etc, let alone long or short sleeve. . . . To me, sale shopping is an opportunity to pick up one or two items, maybe five or six (!), that I will be able to use next year. But I do not go with a list as such in hand. Whatever takes my fancy, as long as the price is right. This is more true for summer clothes than winter. Quality becomes more important to me then. But summer stuff is usually a one season thing. But if there is ever a sale on the perfect t-shirt, I'll by a dozen in white and black, with a dash of color thrown in as well!!


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