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Create A Working Closet, Part 5: Remixing

I have had the hardest time writing this post. Not that I can’t usually string a few words together in a logical sentence (well....) but for some reason I hit a block on this post. How ironic. Remixing is the name of my game. Literally (cough, the 30 for 30 Remix Challenge, cough). So why can’t I write about it? Why can’t I give you tips on how to remix? What’s wrong with me?!!?*

Then I figured it out. No matter how many cups of coffee I go through this morning, I will never be able to tell you how to remix your closet. I can give you tips (and I will) but ultimately remixing is a habit that you have to form on your own. That’s the best part of remixing -- it’s up to you. It’s up to you what you remix, how you remix and why you remix. I can not tell you any of those things, it’s just something that you have to decide. With that said, I will tell you how I go about remixing. These are my own theories that I’ve tried out and that work for me. This may or may not work for you, heck it might not even make sense to you. But that’s okay. Figuring out your closet is what you need to do. Figuring out my sick, twisted brain is not what you need to do.

Before I start let me explain some lingo that I use here in Kendi Land (different from Candy Land, but not too far off). Remixing is simply a word that I use to describe the mixing and matching of the contents of your closet. Since that definition is a bit bloated, I just say remix. I did not make this word up, however. I think Stacey and Clinton made that up.

At this point, we have purged our closet, assessed the inventory, organized the mess, shopped for essentials and now we are ready to remix. This is the ultimate skill in order to have a working closet. If you learn to work you closet by remixing, your closet will work for you.

1. Remixing starts when you buy an item. I know that we've already covered shopping, but it's an important element to remember. Because of this, it takes me a long time to shop. If I am ever rushed, I usually make a bad decision. This is why I tend shop by myself. So what takes me so long? Before I spend money I have to decide if it fits in my closet. I am that girl standing in front of a rack of clothes staring into space. (I'm thinking okay, leave me alone.) I picked this tip up along the way: If I can’t remix an item at least 5 times, then it doesn’t belong in my closet. Let’s be honest -- 5 times isn’t a lot. But it’s a good basis for me to start with on a new item. If I can easily think of 5 outfits off the top of my head, I know it will be a great addition to the closet. (Your number might be different than 5, it's up to you.)

2. Shop your closet. No really. Look at your closet as if it were someone else’s. Look at your closet as if it were the cutest boutique on the block and you get to wear anything you’d like. How lucky are you??Take a few minutes and try on some things. Try crazy patterns together, try different color combinations, try something that you haven’t worn in a really long time. I think one thing to remember when remixing your closet is that no rules apply. If you want to wear a striped top with a floral skirt, try it. It just might work. Take the rule above of “5 outfits” and see if you can make 5 outfits out of each item in your wardrobe. If you have 30 items in your closet, that’s 150 outfits! (the bold means I'm screaming at you right now) That’s 40% of the year covered by just 30 really good pieces. You see where I’m going with this right? If you fill your closet with good, quality pieces that match your style, you don’t have to worry about getting dressed. This is your closet working for you.

3. Make a plan, each week. I say start weekly with your plan, since that’s normally when you wear clothes, during the week, right? I’m assuming that most of you take the weekends off from wearing clothes like I do. Your plan can involve a pen and paper, an excel spreadsheet (don’t hate) or simply by hanging outfits together in your closet. Normally I do laundry and start planning on Sunday. I start with my events for the week and plan accordingly. I usually plan about 7 outfits each week, so that I can have a few fall backs. And I usually hang them at the front of my closet, by outfit.

By simply making a plan, taking 30 minutes or so on a Sunday, my mornings are that much easier. I can walk into my closet on Monday and not have the usual routine of pulling items off of the hangers in anger and then walking out in a mish-mash of an outfit.

Just how do I go about making this plan? Well, I will tell you. If I am working all week, I know that my remix will consist of mainly skirts and pants. So I pull a few skirts and pants to the front. Let’s say I end up with 4 skirts, 2 pairs of pants and a dress, just to be crazy. I like to think of the bottom part of the outfit as the base or foundation. So I take a skirt and find 1-2 tops that I could wear with it. Then I hang them together with the skirt. If I’m feeling good, I’ll take some accessories and hang them on the hanger as well. That way I literally have to get up and get dressed without thinking. I do this over and over until I get my 5-7 outfits.

4. Be inspired. Sometimes all it takes is a little inspiration to help you out. I keep a folder on my computer for outfit inspirations. Sometimes it’s the color that inspires me to put a combination together, other times it’s the pieces. I might not have the exact piece, but that doesn’t mean I can’t build a similar outfit. Seeing how other people wear an outfit is extremely helpful when putting outfits together in your own closet. Style blogs keep me on my toes when it comes to inspiration. The internet is filled with inspiration, so there is no excuse in being bored with your clothes. Sometimes it just takes one outfit to get that creative spark going.

So that is my humble list of tips on remixing. I am by no means an expert on this, but I am an expert in my own closet. Just as you are the expert of your closet. So experts, have any tips you’d like to share? Don’t hold out me. I will find you.

(And if you want to jump head first into remixing, join the 30 for 30 challenge starting February 1st)

Part 1: Purging
Part 2: Assessing
Part 3: Organizing 
Part 4: Shopping

*Don't answer that.