When back-to-school ads start showing up, you know it's about time to store the swimsuit and get out the fall-ish clothes. To make this seasonal exercise more effective, think in terms of categorizing your wardrobe in three ways: items to keep for the new season, items to store, and items to toss out.
Some things you keep in your closet year-round. Maybe it's a little black dress you couldn't get along without. Some items you keep to wear again, but for now, store them until warm weather arrives again.
Usually the toughest part of this process is tossing out items. These are the ultra-trendy clothes and accessories that likely won't be coming back next year, and they're not worth storing until they make a return.
Whether you give these castoffs to friends, donate them to a charity or throw them away, the deletion will make room in your closet for fall's must-haves.
Retailers have definite opinions on what to keep, what to store, what to toss and what item you should make sure you have in your wardrobe this fall. Here's what some are recommending:
Ultra low-rise jeans or pants
A good black pant
Pencil skirts, graphic prints, boyfriend jacket
Leggings and skinny jeans, tunics, big hoop earrings
Full trouser pants
Scarves of all sizes, shapes and fabrics
Long sweaters, long vests, skinny leg jeans, short, fitted jackets, wide leg trousers and wide belts that are worn at the waist
Ankle pants, especially because you can tuck them in boots.
Versatile black dress
A sweater wrap
Something rich in texture, such as a sweater.
Skinny jeans and solid-colored tights, in blackberry and rich berry colors, teal and mustard
Luxurious wraps, especially cashmere
Matching suit, instead of mixing and matching jackets with pants or skirts. It should be a bit stylized, not totally classic.
Great riding boots
Pencil skirt, a great day dress and a boyfriend jacket
Boots (ankle or over-the-knee) and buy a bold, oversized ring
Ethnic or Bohemian prints
Shoes and handbags
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.