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Starting A New Diet? Spring Clean Your Closet!
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Starting a new diet and doing it on a budget? Begin with a spring clean of your closet, clothing shelves and drawers. Choose an evening or weekend, when you can devote a few hours to this task, and invite a stylish friend to help.

Her task is to relax, while offering wise insights into what truly does flatter you, and what just has to go. You’re is to try on everything you own, including lingerie, swimwear and shoes, and listen to what she has to say.

What You’ll Need

The over-stuffed closet, of course (that would be the one with three or more sizes and outfits you haven’t worn since the last century), a big comfy chair (for your friend), possibly some white wine, and a full length mirror.

What to Keep

Keepers are anything designer/high quality that you also have worn within the past two years, classics such as good black or dark-coloured pants and skirts that fit or are within a size of fitting, anything you absolutely love, and anything with extreme sentimental value (the purse you wore on the first date with your true love would be in that category).

Keep accessories (except duplicates or ones you simply don’t like any more) because they are great for perking up same-old basics, and because whether they’re bright or earth-toned or neutral; delicate of chunky; clutch or shoulder bag, boots or booties, bold or muted, skinny belts, wide belts, chain belts or any kind of scarf, hat or gloves - if they aren’t in style right now, they will be again soon. Unless you are strapped for space, accessories are almost always keepers.

What to Give

If you haven’t worn it for two years, but it’s still good; if it’s still got the tags on and what were you thinking, if it’s more than 2 sizes away (in either direction) from where you are today, if it just isn’t flattering (no matter how nice) – it goes in the Give pile.

Trust your friend about this – that’s why she’s there. Take the Gives to a fashion consignment store or charity shop. Another idea is to get together with friends and have a New To You Clothing Exchange party.

What to Toss

Ratty, faded, baggy, stained, falling apart? Time to say bye-bye. The only exception is one pair of jeans, one pair of shorts, and a couple of tees for the times when you are doing something so unavoidably grungy (digging the garden, for example, or painting your bedroom a happy new colour) that it poses a serious threat to clothes that deserve better.

Restock Your Closet With Budget-Smart Choices

Assess what you’re missing, then head for the consignment boutiques, charity shops and outlet malls with a list. Keep in mind that you don’t need a lot of clothes while you’re losing weight – just buy exactly what you need right now for the current or upcoming season.

Resist the urge to stock up end of season. Don’t forget a swimsuit – and choose one made of synthetic fibres that won’t fade in chlorinated pools. Swimming is a terrific – and refreshing – way to exercise. Go for budget-booster pieces, such as cheap and bright tees – you can find them at discount and the big box grocery stores. They’ll fade after several washes, but by then you’ll be ready for a smaller size.

Starting a new diet? It doesn’t have to blow your budget! Find more practical tips and strategies for smart women who want to lose weight and keep it off the healthy way. Just 10 pounds to lose?

Street Talk

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