Stores are clearing out summer fashions and putting out clothes for fall. But before you spend money on a new outfit, a local wardrobe consultant suggests you "shop your closet."
Wardrobe consultant Bonnie Kurtz of Closet Chic said people should pare down what they really love and then put those pieces with other things to make new outfits.
Kurtz said the first step is to declutter your closet to make it easier to see what's inside.
"Too many people stand in front of their closet and say, 'I have nothing to wear.' It's packed up," said Kurtz. "We want to save time, save money, and we're going to start doing that by organizing."
Kurtz starts by arranging clothes by color and, within those colors, by style. For instance, grouping sleeveless black shirts together, then short-sleeved, long-sleeved and so forth.
The simple exercise can quickly reveal what items need to go, such as too many T-shirts.
"I've seen that in a lot of closets. People get a plethora of the give-me T-shirts, and they multiply like rabbits," Kurtz said. "In most cases, you can reduce (by) half, and it's amazing how much space you can gain."
In weeding out those fashion faux pas, Kurtz finds what's she's really after -- pieces she puts together to take a summer wardrobe into fall. She often does so by layering.
For instance, layer a long-sleeved, V-neck tunic over a ruffled sleeveless blouse and a maxi-dress under that. Wrap a belt around the waist, slip on some boots, and a summer dress is updated for fall.
"I'm astounded," client Jo Carol Haynes said. "I never in a million years would've thought of putting these things together."
Kurtz took a sheer summer top Haynes wore over white capris, put a tunic under and a vest over for yet another a new look.
Kurtz says a fashion-savvy girlfriend can give a woman advice or "a person like myself can come in and give them empowerment to be released."
"You go one garment at a time and think, 'When was the last time I wore this?' If it's more than two seasons, let it go," she said.
Kurtz charges $100 for a minimum of two hours and $30 for each additional hour.
"I have a passion for fashion, but do not clutter my mind or my closet with garments I do not wear," she said. "I strongly believe in saving time and money by having an organized closet that produces current and complimentary outfits for all phases of my life. I tell my clients to only buy the 'oh-wows' and exit a garment for each new garment you add."