Apr 2015

Waiting to buy clothes when you lose weight? Why that is the worst idea EVER….

I have a very special treat for you today:). People are always telling me how fashionable I am — just kidding, no one ever says that, haha. Even though I don’t strive to be a fashion icon, my clothes are very important to me. Slipping on jeans that fit me just right and having that perfectly casual, yet cool shirt in my closet just makes me feel like I could take over Google. But this wasn’t always easy or available to me…

I spent many years feeling like I had nothing to wear. I either felt like my clothing was so last season or was convinced it would look perfect if I could just lose fifteen pounds. Every morning I would open my closet and would feel like my clothes were saying, “lose some weight you fatty!” Of course, I never considered going out and buying new clothes, why would I when going on a 21 day juice cleanse seemed so much easier? Well, you know that story… I never lost the weight because as long as I was spending my days feeling uncomfortable, unconfident and uncool, I was a grumpy a–hole. And Ben and Jerry were the only friends who could soothe my bad mood.


When I decided to start living more to weigh less (instead of the other way around) I did all the things I was waiting to be thin to do and a big one was to invest in my wardrobe. A few weeks ago my personal stylist and dear friend, Melanie Kluger, founder of The Confident Closet and the popular style blog, Head Over Heels with Melanie came over to help me clean out my closet because I still had some lingering pre-baby clothes I had a death grip on that were taunting me daily. I knew that in order to fully embrace my new body, I needed an intervention.

Today, I invited Melanie to walk you through how to clean out your closet and create a great wardrobe with what you already have, so you only need to spend money on a few keys things. Don’t worry, this isn’t about going out and spending thousands of dollars, it’s about finding the gems in your wardrobe and creating an environment in your closet that promotes feeling confident in your clothes and falling in love with your body.

Look, I totally get how you could feel like spending time on how you look is a waste of time right now, I’ve totally been there. However, from personal experience, and coaching hundreds of women through this exact conundrum, I know that spending some time cleaning out your closet and curating a small wardrobe that makes you feel amazing is the best investment you can make in your health.

And don’t worry, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, we’re going to walk you through how to do this step by step right now.


From Melanie:

Hello ladies! I’m Melanie Kluger Founder of The Confident Closet and I’m so happy to be here to help you with all your closet clean out woes. This is something that is near and dear to my heart. I have spent countless hours with women cleaning out their closets and helping them find new clothes they adore. I absolutely love how a new outlook and wardrobe can have such a lasting impact on a woman’s life. It’s preeeeetty awesome. I had such a blast helping Sarah, and I want you to know, I’m here for you too!

Step 1: Defining Your Vibe

Defining Your Vibe – Defining your look is one of the most helpful ways to gain confidence in your personal style. When you are trying to dress like someone else (sometimes even a younger version of yourself) it can be challenging to really know what your style is. Your personal style says a lot about you and gives you a really fun and interesting way to say “This is me.” Have fun with it, learn that it will change and grow with you, your lifestyle and the times. Otherwise we would all still be in Kelly Kapowski inspired dresses, and if that’s still your jam, you go forth and rock that side pony girl!

“If you are looking for ways to learn how to define your vibe and feel a little lost, these three things will help.”


Step 2:

Remove the clothes you don’t wear right now (don’t worry we aren’t throwing it away yet!).

There are a ton of questions that will help you clean out your closet… but there is one question that beats alllll the others out, hands down.

Do I love it?

If you don’t love it, get it out! If it’s something like a t-shirt that feels functional and in good shape but it’s not a LOVE, think about ways that would make you love it? Accessories, layers etc. Also, do you love how it feels? Do you love the fit? There should be things you love about your basics just as much as your favorite special dress.

Here’s the deal, when your body is going through a transition (gained weight, lost weight, had a baby, etc…) we have a hard time getting rid of our clothes. Sometimes we keep them for a loooong time just based on principle. We spent money on it, or we used to love it, or we even think we are supposed to like it! Whatever the reason is, sometimes we aren’t ready to throw these items away. That being said, it is REALLY important that you remove the items from your closet. Staring at things you can’t wear adds SO MUCH FRUSTRATION when getting dressed. It’s a constant reminder of a former self… and well… your new self is pretty rad.

I talk more specifically about this in my free training series “The Top Three Mistakes Women Make in Their Closets (and what to do about it). If you are someone who is having trouble letting go, there are certain questions to ask yourself to help guide you through this process that I talk about in this free training, you can click here to see it.


Quick note from Sarah: these questions were super helpful for me when cleaning out my closet and helped me get really clear on what I truly loved, and what I was just holding onto because I spent a lot of money on it.


Step 3: Separate into 4 piles

After asking yourself if you love every item in your closet, you are bound to have a lot of clothes that you don’t know what to do with. Take the clothes that have made their way out of your closet and categorize them. You can also do this as you go along. It’s up to you and how your brain works! Cleaning out your closet is a lot about instinct and what works for you.

A very important reminder is once you make the decision I want you to automatically put it into a bag. No one wants a tough decision lingering and staring them in the face. Make your piles and then immediately put them into labeled trash bags for the appropriate place!

Pile 1 – Toss    ||   Pile 2 – Donate    ||   Pile 3 – Sell    ||   Pile 4 – Give to a Friend

Step 4: Create new Outfits

There may be a few items that you just don’t know how to wear. You feel like you love them, but they don’t seem versatile or functional. I’d like you to step out of your comfort zone with these items. Maybe take a trip back to your Pinterest board and get the creative juices flowing. For example, Sarah had a green shirt that she loved the color of, but she couldn’t button it up. I asked her to try it on open as an extra layer (perfect for San Francisco!) and we created a few outfits based on her new opened up button down.

I also helped Sarah style this cute “fancy sweatshirt” which still had the tags on it because she didn’t feel comfortable in it. You can see how we did a casual look with sneakers and a scarf, and a more dressed up look with fun accessories. If you feel totally lost about how to give clothes you’ve had forever a new look, you’ll love these videos.

Step 5: Go Shopping

As you are going through your closet, I’d like you to make a list. Every time you see an item that you want to get rid of, but you have held onto it because you need SOMETHING, I want you to write iit down. This will become your shopping list. I find it much easier to let go of old clothes if I know the goal is to replace it with something better.

Once you have your shopping list, you’ll be much more focused in the stores. Also realize that depending on the season you may have to order things online or hold off buying them until there are more options. For example, you aren’t going to have a lot of options for new winter coats in the middle of summer… but that’s ok! You won’t need your winter coat in the middle of summer!

Look, we both know this can be a lot. It’s like a mixture of going down memory lane and facing some difficult feelings around overspending, gaining weight and procrastination. In order to get through this, I’d like you to keep three things in mind:


Ask yourself: “How can I make this a party?” – By making the process more fun for yourself you are way more likely to enjoy the whole experience. Make yourself a snack you like, invite a friend over (only one who will stay focused with you!), or even create a playlist.


Focus on the end result. Omg… the feeling of a cleaned and organized closet full of clothes you love is HUGE. It’s a game-changer. When I have a closet that is easy to find things in and I like everything in it, I literally function better. It changes my mood, my whole day and my mindset. Let that be your motivation!


You aren’t in this alone. A lot of times we put off a task like cleaning out our closet because it brings up a lot of emotions. I want you to know that you don’t have to do it alone. I have tons of resources for you including a free challenge called The Confident Style Challenge which starts on May 4th, which will guide you through doing small things everyday to help you build confidence and discover your personal style. And as I mentioned, I have the free video training series The Top Three Mistakes Women Make In Their Closets (and what to do about it) which will help you to realize we all have these same habits but that doesn’t mean we need to be stuck with a closet we hate! If you are reading this post and you really want more support, I hope you use one of these free resources.


Sarah and I both know first-hand what amazing things cleaning out your closet can do for your self confidence! I hope we can stay connected, so I can give you that added boost you need.



Photos by Rosa Delgado

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  • Christa

    I needed this today. Thank you!

  • Sue Singer

    This really resonated with me. I recently relocated and want to also change so much about myself. I start each day feeling frustrated by all the clothes in my closet that do not fit. My life has been all about waiting to buy the “better” stuff after I lose the weight. I doubt that I even have 3 outfits that I love, but I am going to try and improve my outlook and efforts. Thanks for the awesome pep talk!!!

    • Hi Sue, If you find some outfits that you like, but maybe don’t love, think about how you could transform them into something you love. Maybe it will just take some really great accessories.

    • Hi Sue! I feel you! It can be so frustrating when you have clothes in your closet that you don’t love. I’m so proud of you for making the commitment to think more positively about getting dressed!

  • Connie V

    Oh, Sarah, thank you for this. The daily taunt from the smug “when you were skinny” clothing. If I buy the size that’d fit now, it means I’m accepting this size/weight, I’ve given up, been defeated. Of course, sitting down with a block of cheese and a bottle of wine doesn’t say that! LOL – unlogic!

    • Haha Connie, I totally know that smug from the old clothes in the closet! That’s why I tell all my clients they need to get those clothes out! Who needs that!?

  • Kerry

    This is just what I needed! Do you have advice on those few “basic” wardrobe peices that every woman should have?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Kerry! While every woman is different, I do believe that every woman needs 1) a dress they love that can be dressed up or dressed down 2) a great pair of jeans that make them feel amazing (even in just a t shirt and jeans) and 3) a statement piece of jewelry that can add some personal style to something basic 4) a button down or casual shirt that is high quality and makes you feel beautiful 5) a comfortable and cute pair of shoes. I talk a lot about this kind of thing on my site and am inspired to write something specifically about this now that you wrote this comment. So THANK YOU and stay tuned cause I’m totally going to address this!

  • Becca

    Perfect timing! I was watching one of those ‘makeover’ type shows a few months ago and realized a lot of the ‘before’ shots on there looked like stuff I owned. Eeek! I’m guilty of just buying stuff because it’s cheap and comfortable. It may fit, but it does NOTHING for me. I was so used to spending money on things the kids needed, and I’m an after thought shopping from the clearance rack leftovers. Sadly, I have TONS of this unflattering stuff in my closet since I’m holding onto at least 3 sizes of pants (I did finally ditch those size 4s I would need to have ribs removed to wear). I’m realizing a few carefully chosen pieces I LOVE are so much better than piles of stuff that serves to just keep me decent in public. I think I’m going to hit up Pinterest to find some more style ideas.
    Are there some “key pieces” or basics we should try to have in our wardrobes?

    • Oh girl, its sooo easy to buy things that we don’t love if we see a good deal. Then once the clothes are in the closet we start thinking “Ummm why did I buy this again?!”. It can be so much easier to spend time, effort and money on the kids but it’s really important to do that for you too! So glad you realized the importance of a few great pieces opposed to a plethora of things you don’t love. A few basics I would try to have are 1) a dress you can dress up or down 2) a pair of jeans that make you feel amazing 3) a great blazer, jean jacket or leather jacket – something to wear over an outfit that adds the chic factor 3) a button down or casual shirt that is well made and makes you feel beautiful.

      • I agree with Melanie. And if you find something you love, get a couple colors or a variety of accessories to wear it a few different ways.

  • Perfect timing! I have these two ugly plastic bins of summer clothes that have been sitting in my room taunting me, while I procrastinate the seasonal closet clean-out! I am on it this weekend! Thanks….

    On another note… I have this weird memory of wearing my moms 70s clothes in high school that I found in the attic. You think daughters will appreciate a bin of mom’s clothes later in life? Maybe it’s another excuse not to just say goodbye to those jeans that just don’t work 3 babies later… LOL

    • Mia! So glad this piece was great timing for you! I would go through those clothes in those bins and only keep a few sentimental pieces that really mean something to you. Chances are there are a few things in there that you don’t really love and can let go!

    • Let us know how the cleanout goes too Mia. I’d love to know how you feel after you get them out of your space.

  • Erin

    I love this entire post. I just cleaned out my closet, although I don’t think I did it quite as thoroughly as I would like to but I have a bit of an issue. The shopping part!! I have money set aside for clothes, I have decided I want to go buy new clothes, cleaned out my closet, I am pretty much all set to go but I can’t shop!! I am a terrible outfit builder, it just isn’t in my genes! I don’t know where or how to shop and I am in desperate need of help. I have tried to find a friend to go shopping with me but that didn’t work at all. I have tried to go alone but just wander around aimlessly, I have tried to take my husband HAHAHAHA!!

    HELP!! What does a woman do who doesn’t know how to shop?! I am not skilled in the area of building an outfit, let a lone a functioning wardrobe and I am just lost. I love the idea of having some key pieces that go together in different ways but I just don’t know how to make that happen. I look at pinterest for ideas and have an amazing wardrobe online 🙂 Again, no idea where or how to obtain any of the pieces I see there. I am even willing to hire a personal shopper if need be but I really just don’t know where to turn.

    Thanks so much for any help you might have.

    • Hi Erin,

      A personal shopper is definitely an option. You can share your pinterest board with them and they can go find the clothes for you.

      There are also great subscription services that allow you to go through and pick some things that you like and don’t like and they will send you a box each month, week (however often that you choose) with a few selections so you can try them on at home and keep or send back what you don’t want!

      A few to check out are stitchfix.com and letote.com. I know with Stitch Fix you can share your pinterest board with your stylist. Let me know how it goes for you.

  • This is wonderful. I’m definitely going to be sharing this post with my self-love e-course participants. The information here is so stinkin’ valuable! Thanks!!!

    • Akirah I’m soooo happy you loved this and are going to share it! It’s totally self love related and directly relates to loving yourself! If you are posting about it on social media tag me so I can continue to be a part of the conversation!

  • Katie

    Sarah, where did you get those jeans?! They’re great!! Piece by piece I’m trying to replace my old, crappy, dress-like-my-partner-because-he-pays-the-bills wardrobe and dress like the cute, nearly-40 mom that I am. Great jeans make everything better, but the pair I have/had are a size too small. Damn! Thanks for the step-by-step instructions, guys!

  • Alex

    Great article, super helpful.

    • I am so glad it resonates with you and that I can be of support. Which part spoke to you the most? xo

  • Hi, I absolutely loved this post. Such great ideas when buying new clothes. I hope it’s ok I’ve added a link to this in a future blog post of mine (to be published on the 8th of August)

    • Absolutely, Dee! So glad this piece was great timing for you and inspired you for your blog. I would love to hear any updates about your closet and wardrobe. xo

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