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Create a Working Closet, Part 2: Assess

{via Pinterest}

So you've purged your closet already right? Of course you did! What else were you doing the week before Christmas?

Since you've done step 1 to creating a working closet, let's keep going. Step 2 is assessing your closet's needs. I didn't say YOUR needs, I said your closet. There is a difference. Your needs are simple: to be clothed. But your closet on the other hand has a responsibility to cloth you every single day. This can only be possible if you stock your closet accordingly.

1. Take inventory of what you have. This could just mean figuratively or literally, however your brain works. I take a mental inventory of everything in my closet every once in a while; it's a nice reminder of what I have. I am Kendi and I have short-term closet memory loss. It's nice to have a refresher of what I have.

2. Make a list of closet needs. So let's say you went through your closet and you discovered that you don't have a black pencil skirt that fits any longer. A black skirt would work perfectly with what you already own,  so this would be a basic need. Create a list of items that would really tie your wardrobe together. Everyone's is different but mine would looks something like this:

black pencil skirt
high-waisted khaki trousers
cable-knit sweater

Put this list in your purse or type it into your phone. That way the next time you are out shopping you will know what you really need. It's just like a grocery list, you don't need three loaves of bread just like you don't need three black identical skirts. Also, it helps to have direction when you are shopping. Misguided shopping leads to a misguided closet.

Make sure that everything on your need list fits into your current wardrobe. Remember, you want a working closet -- a closet that you can walk into and create an outfit by simply choosing a few items. If everything works together, then this is possible. (Working together doesn't mean everything has to match. It just means that you don't throw something random into your closet that you'd never wear but you bought because it was one sale.)

3. Now make a want list. I treat this list as a splurge list. Maybe there is a new trend I want to try or maybe I just want something that isn't a direct need. That goes on this list. So my want list looks like this:

full a-line skirt from Anthro
brown suede heels from Urban Outfitters
drapey cardigan from Gap

You notice that I got really specific on this list. These are my wants -- I've seen these items online and I know that I'd like to add them in. But they are not essential to my working closet, although they could work. Your Want List should also be saved somewhere. But this list does not get fulfilled until your Need List is fulfilled. Once you buy your basics, you will find that your wardrobe will be easier to build upon.

I like to think of the want list like the frosting on a cupcake. It's the first thing you taste but the last thing you need.

4. We touched on this a little bit last week, but set your two lists aside and step back into your closet. Since you've assessed what you want and need, now look at what you have. Put your remix skills to work and start creating outfits. As you are putting items together, try them on and make sure the outfits work. Yes, that's right play dress up in your closet. Or as I like to call it "Kendi's going out and trying to figure out what to wear". Just be sure to hang up your items after you take them off and don't toss them on the ground like I do. Not that I do that, I'm just saying that to help you, of course.

5. Wear some of your experiment outfits that you put together. You'll quickly figure out what you like and don't like to put together. This also helps with your need and want lists. Maybe you hate pencil skirts after all. Mark that off your list and figure out a new style. Maybe you love them and want more. You get the idea. But mainly get to know your closet and figure out what you expect from it. Soon you'll be on your way to figuring out your style and telling your closet exactly what that is.

As always, leave your tips below! Seriously. You guys have really good tips. Leave them, or else.

Part 1: Purge