Vail stylegazer: Best shopping may be in your closet | VailDaily.com

Vail stylegazer: Best shopping may be in your closet

Laura A. Ball
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail DailyEven if your closet doesn't quite look like this, it's still a good place to find new fashions, the Vail stylegazer says
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VAIL, Colorado ” It’s springtime in New York and Vail, and the big city’s sidewalks are blooming with the latest fashion.

Each morning, I throw open my closet door harried to get dressed and reach for the same few things over and over, conveniently blocking out the mass of occupied hangers nearby. I run outside donning a hybrid of my winter wear and in no time feel the urge to shop. I am American, but is more really better?

Consuming is certainly not in the interest of Mother Nature ” imagine the mountainous pile of unwanted, unworn items discarded from women’s closets around the world. Meanwhile, the heap could be accumulating in our savings accounts.

I am determined to lessen the waste and utilize the purchases of my past. I decide to start shopping right in my own wardrobe and that means getting organized.

I called upon a trusted girlfriend, who happens to be successful in the world of fashion writing, to rescue me from the throes of my wardrobe and help me take personal inventory of my closet. I prepped our efforts by sorting everything stored, folded and hanging (including shoes and belts) into four piles:

1. Clothes I love and wear

2. Clothes I love and don’t know how to wear

3. Clothes that are a maybe

4. Clothes that need mending/cleaning

We started with my over worn, obviously loved favorites. Like a true friend, she applauded my favorites and affirmed my fashion judgment from my cigarette jeans and flowy pants to my menagerie of tunics and dresses.

Quickly we moved on to the clothes I love and don’t know quite how to wear. The secret lies in silhouettes, we agreed. A fitted blouse can be paired with loose or slim slacks. A breezy blouse looks best slightly tucked in with slim bottoms. It’s a lesson in symmetry, a trick of the eye.

Like an experienced sommelier, she stirred new life into a several dusty items by suggesting new pairings. A studded black vest and floral print dress appeared like lost treasures and we put them together to create a soft but edgy ensemble ” very modern. And with just a roll of my oldest, baggiest jeans we transformed them into the uber-cool relaxed look of the season.

I tried on everything in my maybe pile ” bound for storage or good will. It wasn’t as hard as I thought, especially with a second opinion.

We decided I should store any pants that fit but are outdated, ditto with dresses, blouses and skirts. They could literally come back in style tomorrow. By minimizing the options in front of you, you can actually make better use of what’s there.

To the unfit sweaters and tired tanks we said an immediate farewell and tossed to the goodwill pile. I recommend keeping the bag a week or two in case you really can’t part with that sentimental garment destined for Salvation.

When we were done, I reorganized and stored according to season, color and article. Suddenly before me were weeks’ worth of new possibilities. Surprisingly I didn’t need much, maybe a new white tee and a belt to hold up my slouchy slacks.

But maybe not ” less really is more.

Have a fashion question you need answered? E-mail stylegazer@gmail.com.

Laura A. Ball is a former Vail Daily High Life Writer and fashion columnist. She now resides in Brooklyn, where she observes New Yorkers and especially what they wear.