Careful editing is one of the best-kept secrets of a well-dressed person. Styles change, figures change, taste changes. A few times a year, take time to weed your closet and free up space for new adventures in fashion. If something isn’t an absolute 10 on a scale of 1 to 10 (a Bo Derek) AND you can’t picture a time that you’ll wear it in the next year, then it’s probably time to let go. The exception to that rule is special occasion wear, which I tend to keep indefinitely unless there is another reason to cull it.

When I buy something new, I make an assumption that there’s something in my closet that doesn’t suit me anymore. Why else was I buying? My closets are already overflowing, so I can’t just keep shoving new things in it unless I edit. I love the idea of recycling things into another girl’s wardrobe and supporting Goodwill’s cause. When you eliminate all the things you never wear, you’ll find it so much easier to assemble winning combinations. It’s the same principle that libraries use with their collections: when you delete old, unused books, circulation increases on the newer, hipper books, partly because people can browse and find things better. Look for something to weed every time you buy and you’ll keep your closet in good working order. That probably sounds like an odd recommendation coming from a vintage collector. Where will the vintage clothes of the future be if people are constantly weeding their closets? That’s a subject for another post!

Use Goodwill as a fashion laboratory.

Goodwill is not just my preferred way of dealing with weeded items; it’s how I experiment with clothes without spending a fortune. For most of my life, I’ve worn solids almost exclusively. It’s a habit I formed from having a limited budget for clothes. Some of my vintage sisters have recently shown me the wonder of mixing prints for an interesting effect. That’s a departure from my personal style, so I’m experimenting with that idea using affordable garments found at Goodwill. If I can’t make that idea work successfully, I’ve spent what? $4.99? At that rate, I can afford to fail once in a while.

I love the people who work at Goodwill. How do they find such sweet employees? On my last visit to donate, I met Kevin who greeted me with a warm, genuine smile and a beautiful spirit. I drove away with a clear imprint of joy on my mind, wishing I could express how much this meant. Then I remembered that my camera was in the trunk of my car. I circled back and met him at the door, camera in hand.

I’m so glad I did because that’s how I learned that Kevin is a Christian rapper who performs at events and celebrations. When I asked if I could share this photo, he gladly said yes and gave me a copy of his latest CD, Swag Like Jesus. It’s available at his site, which is loaded with free downloads of video and music. I have to admit wasn’t aware that anyone was rapping Christian music until I met Kevin. This is an awesome CD, loaded with uplifting music and redeeming lyrics that extol God, family, and a relationship with Christ. I should have known he was a Christian by the joy on his face.

So there you have it, the last of my four-part series on looking great in your clothes. I hope there’s something here you can use to stay sharp!

Life is short. Wear the good stuff.