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This closet is ready for a makeover.
This closet is ready for a makeover. / Tomas Rodriguez/Corbis

Advice for your closet

This fall youíll want to add:
A new party dress
Metallic strappy heels
A few pieces of statement jewelry

Items to banish once and for all:
Anything with a stain
Last seasonís white T-shirts
Matchy-matchy suits

Basics you canít live without:
Tank tops and camisoles
Dark denim jeans
A white button-down shirt
Cardigan sweaters
Pencil skirt
A little black dress


Did you wake up this morning, stand in front of your closet and think, ďI have nothing to wear?" Youíre not alone. But the problem isnít that you have too little to wear, itís that youíve got too much jammed in your closet. In the closets Iíve gone through, Iíve found that most people donít wear 75% of the clothes they own!

If your closet is overstuffed, chances are you canít even see whatís in there, so your nicer pieces get overlooked, or maybe theyíre crushed and wrinkled. Especially when youíre in a hurry, you tend to grab whatever is closest, even if it doesnít have you looking your best. Having only perfect pieces in your wardrobe ó and fewer of them ó means that those will be the ones you grab and they will have space to be treated with care, so they and you will always be a ď10.Ē

As a contributor on NBCís Today show, I help transform women who are looking for a brand-new start each Friday on our plaza ďAmbush Makeover.Ē Many of them tell me that when they return home, they immediately clear out anything in their closet that is not fabulous.

With our new book, I Have Nothing to Wear: A Painless 12-Step Program to Declutter Your Life So You Never Have to Say This Again!, my co-author, Dana Ravich, and I offer a program so you will never have to say those five dreaded words again. Hereís some of what we advise:

Weed out your wardrobe

Be ruthless. If you havenít worn it in a year, out it goes. If the item is stained, torn or worn, toss it. If it doesnít fit perfectly, donít let it hang around.

Divvy up the discard pile into clothes youíre donating, clothes youíre consigning and clothes that are doomed to the rag pile. And ditch those that still might fit and are still in good condition but that you donít wear anymore for various reasons. Unless you have a really strong sentimental attachment to an item (such as your wedding dress), get rid of it ó and you are allowed only a few sentimental pieces.

Assess your assets

Now, letís discuss whatís left and what needs to be added. Consider your personality, lifestyle and body type. These three components are what determine your style, and ultimately your ďuniform.Ē

Your personality naturally gravitates toward a particular look ó bohemian or preppy, classic or fashionista. Your lifestyle will lend itself to a certain way of dressing ó a corporate job, a creative job or running around with the kids all day. And your body type will determine the kind of pieces that flatter your figure. Adding all three pieces of the puzzle will help you develop your ďuniformĒ ó the outfits that truly express you. These items should make up most of your wardrobe.

And you donít need a lot: You know you wear the same two pairs of jeans all the time. The majority of what you own should be the pieces that express you, flatter you and are functional for your life. Figure out what colors work for you and stick to your palette. Buy colors because they are ďyou,Ē not because they are ďin.Ē

Accessories can make or break an outfit, so invest a little more in a great pair of shoes and buy a bag you can carry all the time.

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