by Chrysa Smith

Well, there they are. Yep, I just ordered them from, um, Forever 21. Am I trying to be, um, 21? I hope not. But I am trying an experiment. I’m shaking it up.

Sure, I love some of the classics. Nice black pants and skirt–the quintessential little black dress. But I also like to have fun with fashion, and for too long–too 25+ pounds too long, I haven’t had much. So now, some 25+ pounds less of me, I have the courage to not be a crouching shopper and shake up a sleeping wardrobe. And boy, is the credit card swiping as I ready myself for fall fashion. I’m shaking things up.

I’ve circled the aisles and I see plum and navy as big trends this fall. And I’ve just purchased a cool plum vest/skirt dress (sounds weird but is adorable), a cozy gray sweatshirt type zipper-down dress, a plum A-line number, a long sleeve black sweater tunic and a cute black and red polka dot cardigan. Oh, plus these funky red/blue pants pictured above (and a similar one in black/cream—shhh!). It’s not a lot in terms of cash, but it sounds like I’ve been a binge shopper. And it’s exactly because I’ve had too many vests that cover the belly bulge (but let’s not kid myself; there’s still some there–just not enough for people to say ‘Is she kidding?’) Too many brushed cotton loose-fitting mom pants. Too many blah turtle necks that can look great, but also blah on the wrong figure. So, I’m shaking it up.

I’m not ridding myself of everything Coldwater Creek and Jones New York. I’ve realized that you can pair the fun, little fashion finds from stores like Forever 21 and H&M with the classics From Saks and Bloomies & Macy’s and not look, um, 21—but look fashion forward, as they say. I intend to pair this little, fun pair of pants with a classic, crisp white button-down oxford and some red or blue flats. I think it’ll be cute. I’ll tell you once I try them on. At any rate, I’m at least trying to shake it up.

And I’m helping to fund the super shopper trips through something new to me—consignment. Just this summer, I scored $25–ok, not enough to buy a dress–but enough to buy some tights or a top, with new-found money. It was clothing I was trying to shake, and it was better than just dumping some rarely worn clothing in the collection box. Of course, they didn’t take nor sell everything, so I’m trying again this week. There are those brushed cotton mom pants, jackets and vests that have a lot of mileage left on them, and somehow, it doesn’t seem so hard to part with ‘good’ stuff, when you know there’s a little return coming your way. Shaking it up can put some money back in your pocket and let you indulge again—if only a little.

So this fall, take a serious look at your closet. Do you look forward to putting on your outfit each day, or is it just a grab it or yuck, I hate my clothes kind of thing? If you don’t like what you’re putting on, if it doesn’t make you feel good and confident and feminine and pretty, I say hit the consignment shop, then hit the mall. Head to the trendy shops and if it’s just a pair of tights, a scarf or pair of hip shoes, I say it’ll change an attitude, light up a closet, up the confidence, decrease the boredom and encourage you to have a closet that you spring into each day, anxious to pick out the item you love that day.

Need a little motivation? Shake, shake, shake senora! Turn it up and start clearing out!

Can you use a closet makeover? What’s stopping you?