Diana Kilgour, Vancouver, Wardrobe and Image Consultant

Diana Kilgour
Image Consulting Vancouver

Phone: [604] 688-2889

Diana Kilgour - Wardrobe Consultant
Personal Style and Image Consultant

THE PROVINCE, Monday, June 21, 2004

Sort before you shop

Look for treasures hidden among clutter in your closet before you head to the mall

AP with Kerry Moore

THE PROVINCE, Monday, June 21, 2004

Vancouver image consultant Diana Kilgour compares cleaning out an overstuffed closet to "pulling out the weeds so you can see the flowers."

Sometimes the urge to shop is so overwhelming, limits on time and money just don't matter.

But why put undue stress on yourself by going to the mall when the most convenient, inexpensive and rewarding destination might be in your own home, asks Mary Lou Andre, founder and president of Organization by Design and dressingwell.com.

"We wear 20 per cent of our clothes 80 per cent of the time," she says, so there is likely a treasure trove of togs to be rediscovered. It's probably hidden, though, by a high pile of out-of-season sweaters.

The first stop on your guilt-free shopping spree is your closet, where you'll assess what you have and what you'll wear. Once the closet is organized, it'll be much easier to put together outfits and to make a list of the few items that you really do need to buy.

"Most people are afraid to take their closets apart, thinking they'll have nothing left to wear," says Diana Kilgour. The Vancouver image consultant says she only removes the garments that are dated, ill-fitting beyond redemption, or those that collide with the personal style of the client.

What is left for many people, she's found, is a new appreciation of what they have. "It's a bit like pulling out the weeds so you can see the flowers," says Kilgour.

We are consumers who buy and buy and buy, and we never get rid, get rid, get rid," so be sure to drag all garments into one central location for sorting.

The questions to ask yourself as you look at the mammoth pile are:

  • "Do I love it? Do I wear it?"
  • "If I love it, why don't I wear it?"
  • "Was this a mistake?"

Kilgour suggests approaching wardrobe sorting with a question: "Ask yourself, 'Who am I now?' Find adjectives that suit your life at present, such as corporate, chic or sporty and ask if each garment relates to your life."

Most clothes, she reminds clients, were often bought a year or three ago, "and you aren't the same person. We are also suggestible and may be seduced by advertising, sales or a friend's advice." Kilgour's post-clean-out rule is: "When something comes into the closet, something goes out." This motto helps control impulse buys, she says.

"Once you've whittled down your wardrobe," says Andre, "the fun can begin as you find the most flattering combinations and breathe new life into stale pieces by pairing them with new -- or newfound -- accessories.

According to Andre... most people find that even with their stuffed closets they are missing a few key pieces.

Kilgour believes one good item in each of the following categories is a must for any lifestyle. "Have one good pair of pants, a skirt, jacket, coat, sweater, blouse, boot, pump and flat. Add one good day bag and an evening bag. Stick to a simple colour base -- a neutral with two or three co-ordinating colours -- and you can't go wrong."

Says Andre: "Fashion styles do come and go but an organized approach to dressing lasts a lifetime."


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DIANA KILGOUR Vancouver Image Consultant

Personal Style & Image Consultant - Colour Consulting - Color Analysis - Closet Organizer
From Corporate to Casual since 1981
Vancouver, BC, Canada