by Gabrielle Manchester

I know we have all heard of spring cleaning, but I would advocate that fall is also a great time to practice letting go of what no longer serves us (in all aspects of life, not just our closets!). This is my rule: at least twice a year, at the start of spring and fall, do a thorough closet cleanout. The seasons are changing, the warmth of the summer sun is fading away, and the leaves are falling off the trees. We should follow suit, and let fall away the clothes that no longer fit our lives or us. When you clear out space in your closets, you make room for new and wonderful things to come your way. Likewise, now is the moment to start planning your fall wardrobe. Consignment stores will start to fill with luxurious leathers and sumptuous silks and cashmeres. So let’s make room!

Let me reassure you that while the process might seem intimidating at first, it will become easier each time you practice letting go. Here are my steps to cleanout success:
1. Get help:
So often, it is hard for us to be objective. We get attached to things that remind of that time, that place, that guy, and that’s normal. Don’t be afraid to recruit a trusted and fashionable friend or family member to help discern what should stay with you and what should go to a new home. There are also many wonderful wardrobe consultants out there who can help you navigate the process if you are still feeling unsure. Or you can take a picture of yourself in your on-the-fence pieces. The distance of a picture often gives a better perspective on what works and what does not.

2. Check the list:
Does it fit (right now!)?
Clothes that are too small only make us look bigger. Likewise, wearing oversized clothes when we feel big only makes us look larger than we are. Dress for where you are now, so that you can feel your absolute best in the present moment, which (I promise you!) will give you the motivation to move towards where you want to be.
Is it a flattering color?
Is the material comfortable?
Does the cut highlight what I love and hide what I don’t?
Have I worn it in the past two years?
When I pull it out of the closet and put it on, does it make me feel my best?
(I mean your best! Not just ok. I’m talking about the I-feel-ready-to-take-on-the-world outfit!)
Does this fit my lifestyle?
Any life transition warrants a parallel wardrobe transition. If you are graduating college and starting your first big job, get rid of the casual clothes and transition to a more sophisticated wardrobe, etc. Dress for where you are and who you are – now!

3. Let it go:
The thematic song from the movie Frozen nailed it: “Let it go, let it go!” (I’ve joked with clients who go back and forth over whether they should consign something that I need an emergency button that will play that song on repeat until they are ready to release it.) If it has made it into the consignment pile, it’s there for a reason. Let. It. Go.

Personally, reminding myself that there won’t be a sudden dearth of beautiful clothing allows me to release them graciously with the mentality that I’m making room in my life for something fresh and fabulous to come my way. Speaking of…

Sam Edelman Petty Bootie in Leopard retails at $159, purchased for $44
Gillian Julius Multi-Tube Bracelet retails at $275, purchased for $18
Equipment Sloane Camo Cashmere Sweater retails at $298, purchased for $80