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The 8 essentials for your wardrobe

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It happens to all of us. You loved the shirt or dress in the store when you first bought it; but, you never actually wore it after you got it home.

 "I might use it one day." It's a common phrase many of us are all too familiar with. And it really sums up our clothing dysfunction.

"I think I might wear it, eventually; but, then I look at it six months from now and go ‘Oh, I never did wear it… But I might!'"

What often makes this worse is our inability to give up the very clothes we know we aren't wearing.

It might surprise you to know that most people wear only about 20 percent of the clothes in their closet. The retail industry counts on you over-buying and under-wearing.

But, there is a way to stop the madness. The key is to focus your wardrobe on just eight essentials.

"I think your closet should be in real-time. You should be able to walk up to your closet and wear anything that's hanging there."

That means focusing on the classics. Think of your clothing rack as your clothing food pyramid.

Here are the 8 must-haves for men:

1.    A gray year-round wool suit
2.    A blue blazer
3.    A crisp white shirt
4.    At least 1 nice "finishing" T-shirt for casual days
5.    A simple sweater
6.    A pair of well-fitting khakis (Note: Your pair with the pleated front are fine, but the current look is a flat front and straight leg)
7.    Brown Oxford shoes
8.    A pair of dressy jeans

Here are the 8 must-haves for women:

1.    A little black dress
2.    A blazer
3.    A biker jacket
4.    A cardigan sweater
5.    A basic shirt
6.    A pair of jeans
7.    A pair of simple pumps
8.    A pair of ballet flats

"You can dress it up! You can dress it down. That's the whole premise behind the little black dress."

And, if there are some wardrobe keepsakes you just can't bear to part with …

"Put them in another area, so when you walk up to your closet and you're wondering what to wear, you know everything fits."

It's almost unavoidable that your clothes may start to stockpile; that includes your clothing and, possibly, your spouse's, too. The trick is to keep it under control.

"No, we have separate closets finally. That was part of the retirement planning."

And, don't  forget,  a good wardrobe purge now and then can be fun!

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