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Shop Your Closet

Rachel Bachrach

Ever find yourself staring at a closet full of clothes, thinking you have nothing to wear? In moments like this, you need someone like Eve Cantor, the founder and owner of Shop Your Closet. She knows exactly how to make the most of the clothes you already own, and help you revamp your wardrobe — without spending a penny. What to keep, what to toss, and how to create nice new outfits with the clothes you already own.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Eve learned the art of bringing new life to old clothing when she worked as a personal shopper at the luxury department store Barneys New York. Serious customers would drop $20,000 or more in one shopping trip, and in order to keep the clients satisfied and loyal, Eve often went to their homes to help them assess and organize their wardrobes. This way, they got a clear idea of what they did and didn’t have, and they happily came back to Barneys to shop with Eve.

After her father’s death, Eve couldn’t wear new clothes for a year, so she started creating different outfits from the stuff she already owned. That’s when she decided to make the transition from personal shopper to “closet shopper.”

Eve now lives in Passaic, New Jersey, and works with women to reevaluate their wardrobes, helping them donate or toss what they don’t wear and teaching them to maximize use of what they already own. “Clients show me their closet, and I show them what they can do with the clothing in it,” says Eve.

If you want to make over your closet, you should tackle the project when you have enough time and energy, advises Eve. All that purging and unloading can be an exhausting process. You should also try everything on before making any “keep or toss” decisions. If possible, says Eve, do it in front of someone else, because there are certain gestures, postures, or facial expressions you make when you’re wearing something you like or dislike. You may not recognize the signs, but another person is more likely to pick up on whether you’re a fan of what you’re modeling.

As you sort through your clothes, separate them into piles by season, then style and color. Dealing with the current season first, set aside the things you like and wear regularly, and put the pieces you absolutely know you don’t want in a bag. You can give unworn or lightly worn pieces to friends, relatives, or a charity. Expensive purchases can also be resold through a consignment shop. Stained or damaged items should be tossed or donated to a charity that sells unusable clothing to rag shops.

What about the “maybe” pile? If something is a little too tight but will fit if you lose those five pounds, keep it if you really, truly plan to lose the weight. It’s also okay to hang on to a few of your favorite outdated pieces — you never know when things might come back in style! If you’re really unsure about a piece of clothing, flag the hanger. If you don’t wear it by the following year, give it away.


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