"Project Runway" judge and style maven Nina Garcia has written a follow-up to her first book, "The Little Black Book of Style."
Read and excerpt of "The Style Strategy" below and CLICK HERE for all of "GMA's" authors and excerpts at our special books page.
This is the hard part. The really hard part. For me anyway. Don't think that I offer the same advice in this section as I've heard others give; "Purge, purge, purge of all that's unnecessary, and streamline your closet for a better you."
We all know that what we wear isn't the be-all-end-all of our eternal souls, but fashion is a key form of self-expression, and just about anything we were once committed to via an actual purchase, usually comes with an incredible array of life's great memories. Strategizing what you can and can't live without is hugely important.
I hate the idea of throwing away anything that once thrilled me to euphoric heights. That rush! That feeling most of us get walking out of that amazing boutique, perfect dress, blouse, trousers (whatever!) in hand, our heads held high, our confidence heightened and ready to take on the world. Parting from that garment which saw you through a first date, a job interview, or a fabulous party, the garment that's now entwined with these memories can be so much harder than you thought. I get it. Ugh, I absolutely get it.
Make no mistake, I don't want you to make a clean sweep and create an entirely new wardrobe. I simply want you to take stock and rethink your look. My plan is all about having fun while economizing. So rather than going through your clothes and deciding what to get rid of, go through your clothes and decide what you could salvage and repurpose for a new day. By the end of this book you will have all of the tools necessary to envision your style potential and, even better, achieve it in ways that prevent the needless spending of hard cash. This sorting process is the first step in that direction.
We all have what I call "the old boyfriend pile." The hidden stash of items in the back of your closet that you simply can't bear to part with. You never know when that Norma Kamali sweater dress, circa 1984, with the huge shoulder pads will be in again, right? Actually, it just may be in again now. I know many stylists encourage you to let go of the past when revamping your wardrobe, and it's true that you don't want to appear age inappropriate or as if you're in costume. It can be a fine line between modernizing a vintage ensemble and looking like you haven't gone shopping since college. But if you bring just a few choice pieces back into rotation from time to time, it's not so bad to hide your treasures. Fashion lives in cycles. I have clothes that I was tempted to toss many times and now I bask in the covetous looks I get when I wear them. And, I never see anyone else wearing the exact same outfit. Love that.
Like most events that open the doorway for growth in life, taking stock of what you own will make you stronger and better. And it will ultimately fatten up your bank account too. What's more, the process can be thrilling. Not quite in the same way that Jimmy Choos are, sure. But thrill you, it will. And there's no shame spiral afterward.
So take a deep breath and prepare to go through everything in your closet. Everything.
What exactly is in this closet?!