Closet update: The yearly edit

Closet update: The yearly edit

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By Valli Herman

My husband and I move around what seems to be too often. Although it can be tiresome, the good news is that -- right in step with my philosophy -- it forces me to set a good example for my clients (and readers) by reassessing my wardrobe often and with merciless scrutiny. Divesting yourself of clothes that are not in style, don't fit, should never have been bought in the first place, cost a "fortune," are sentimental in value, may come back in style (you think) or are no longer in their best condition can be painful. Even a professional like me is not spared. But the rewards for this discipline are well worth the pain it takes to accomplish.

To start, picture a neat, easy-to-navigate, well-edited closet filled with only the clothes and accessories you truly love and really wear. Find out where your closest Goodwill store or local thrift store is. Goodwill was a huge beneficiary of my yearly purge. Because I once loved everything I donated, I try to imagine someone else's delight in finding the clothes, accessories and other items I decided to part with.

My reward is that I feel "lighter" somehow and can make better use of everything I own. This is particularly important to someone like me who's always in a hurry and wanting to dress quickly but nicely, even for everyday errands. The criteria for the wardrobe items I keep is that they fit, are modern in style and cut, are in the best condition, have great mix-and-match potential and work well for my personality and lifestyle.

Sherrie Mathieson has worked extensively as a film and television costume designer and stylist. Now a style consultant, she has shared her expertise on "The View," the "Today" show and CBS's "The Early Show," and she is the author of the style guidebooks Forever Cool and Steal This Style.

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