Tip of the Month

"You have to love what you have and who you are, and work with that."
This tip comes from singer and fashionista Mary J. Blige.

Mary J. Blige

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Dear Friends,

I spent last Friday afternoon in a friend's closet. We've been talking about a Closet Rescue for her for months, so we decided to go for it.

I could tell you that we got rid of two-thirds of her clothes (which we did) or that we laughed our heads off at some of the items still in her closet (circa 1996) or that there were moments when she was trying to pull things out of the giveaway bag and sneak them back into the closet (she was).

But none of that is the real or important story. The real story is that when we were finished, she had more options in her closet than she had realized - and a surprisingly short shopping list for the few things she actually needed.

You can't turn on the TV these days without hearing about the economy. Sometimes I feel like sticking my head in the sand and ignoring it. Other times, I can't stop watching the news. Either way, it's tough, for a variety of reasons. For me, one of those reasons has to do with shopping. Yes, shopping. Something we aren't supposed to be doing these days, but it IS spring! And it sure would be nice to have some fresh new looks to wear on those wonderful days when the sun peeks out.

To that end, I recommend making a visit to your closet. I like to call it "shopping in your closet." After all, you can't know what you need unless you know what you have. Go into you closet with the commitment that you will only keep what you love. This can be hard due to regret ("that dress was so cute but never fit me right") and practicality ("I've only worn that once; it's still perfectly good"). But, once you get rid of everything you don't love, you have a closet full of clothes you DO love! At that point, it's much easier to commit to buying only items you love in the future.

So, while my friend and I worked in her closet, I made a list of what new looks she could find within her closet and what she needs to make it complete. The "needs" list is very short - she really didn't need much after shopping in her own closet. As a bonus, having her space cleaned out was very freeing after getting rid of four (yes, four) garbage bags of clothes.

We can use this slump in the economy as a way to start looking at many things in our lives differently. There's a song with the line "love the one you're with" and though I know the intent wasn't your closet, it can't hurt to start thinking along those lines. When you love what you wear, it can only make your day brighter and your outlook positive. Give it a try. It may even save you money, and wouldn't that be nice?
Patricia Gorham

Patricia Gorham
Inside/Out Style
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Bra FittingIf you haven't purchased new bras in the last six months it's time for a bra fitting. Nordstrom has well-trained fitters who will educate you on what's best for your body type. Call and make an appointment, and when you get there don't be afraid to discuss your areas of concern. They've heard it all! If you are looking to "boost" your look, start with the basics and that just may be a new bra.
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Save Your Favorite Shoes
Save Your ShoesReview your shoes and take any in for repairs. This saves on replacement cost and keeps your look complete. Find a trusted repair shop that will give you the real story: can these shoes be saved? I like Jim's Cobbler Shoppe in Magnolia. It's a true mom-and-pop shop and they are very honest about what they can and can't do. You'll save more in the end if you take care of your shoes up front.
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