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Summer Closet Cleaning, What to toss and What to Keep this Year

Late summer is a great time to clean the closets. You can sort out old winter items, and make room for new things from summer clearance sales! Plus you can make space for fall clothes. Here are some essential tips for organizing a closet that has been stuffed full.

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* Take everything out of the closet. Depending on the closet, this can be a very big chore, but it is essential. Remove everything from the closet and assess it carefully. Is it possible to put more shelves in, and is the space being used as well as it should? Many people realize that their closets have unforeseen storage potential that was hiding behind the old clothes.

* Get some garbage bags. If there is a full closet to deal with, it is frequently a good idea to have some garbage bags on hand. Fill these bags with clothes that need to be disposed of and clothes that need to go to a thrift store or second hand store.

* Sort the clothes. Sort the clothes that have been removed from the closet into piles by function. Shirts should go with shirts, socks with socks and so on. Sorting these clothes allows the owner to see what they have and what they might need. Plenty of people realize that while they have just enough tops to get through the week, they have dozens of of skirts. We buy our clothes one at a time, and some discrepancy is bound to creep in.

* Throw out or donate anything that does not fit. Do not save old clothes that no longer fit. It takes a long time to gain or lose weight, and in most cases, it is more efficient to simply buy new clothes rather than allowing old clothes to sit in valuable storage space. Do not hang on to a garment because it may fit again someday. Keep clothes that are still in style or which are great foundation garments.

* Check old clothes for wear. If there is a rip, a stain or a wear spot that cannot be fixed, get rid of the garment. Even donation places do not want things that are damaged in this way.

* Assess each garment for the joy it provides. There are always some clothes around that do not necessarily delight the wearer but which they will wear simply because it fits. If there are many things that do not delight lurking in the closet, now is the time to get rid of them.

* Get some friends to help. Cleaning a closet takes time and effort, and if the job is very large, it can be very daunting. Consider asking a close friend to help cull old clothes out and to check the fit on garments which are more iffy. Having some moral support during this chore can be very helpful.

Consider what kind of benefit a clean and organized closet can be, especially when dealing with the fruits of a spring sale. A little organization early in the spring can prevent a wardrobe explosion later on. Get started on a thorough closet reorganization today!

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5 Must-Have Summer Fashion Items

The summer of 2012 has brought in a wave of fashions inspired by retro, ethnic and modern influences. Whatever your shape or size, there’s something in this season’s collection to flatter your figure. Here are five of the top trends:

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1. Peplums

If you’re under 65, there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of the word “peplum,” let alone considered wearing it. A peplum is a short, gathered skirt attached to the waistline of a dress, jacket or top. This short skirt is typically made of the same material as the rest of the outfit to give it a pulled-together look. With a cinched, belted waist, a peplum gives you an instant hourglass figure. Thanks to the movie “Mad Men,” this retro look is making a big comeback.

For summer, sleeveless and halter peplum dresses and tops show off tanned shoulders, while peplum skirts put the focus on legs. On runways, designers are even pairing peplum jackets with matching shorts for summer.

Givenchy has reinvented the classic little black dress as a slender, pencil-skirted dress with wide lapels and a flared peplum. The designer’s dresses also come in stark white, one of this summer’s top colors.

2. Maxi dresses

Despite the yards of material, maxi dresses are incredibly cool and airy. Paired with flat, strappy sandals, the maxi dress is equally at home on a windswept beach and a restaurant in town.

For an ethnic flair, look for styles that have beaded necklines or tribal-inspired prints. Also popular are flowing maxi dresses in jumbo-print paisley. For an elegant evening style, try a silky maxi dress with a voluminous, flared skirt skimming the ankles and glistening beads decorating a plunging neckline. Supertrash has an eclectic collection of maxi dresses, including tiered or one-shouldered styles. The clothing designer has even created a form-fitting, strapless maxi tube dress reminiscent of the slinky tube tops of the 1970s.

3. Jumpsuits

If you equate jumpsuits with the uniforms of test pilots and mechanics, you haven’t seen the ultra feminine jumpsuits that top designers are creating for women in 2012. Designer Michael Kors has put together an amazing collection of jumpsuits for both day and evening wear. For work or travel, choose a slim-legged jumpsuit with a menswear collar or a draped hood. For evening, check out a jumpsuit in a silky or shimmering fabric with a plunging halter or a strapless neckline. For chilly restaurants or nightclubs, a halter-necked or strapless jumpsuit can be paired with a coordinating jacket.

4. Skinny cropped jeans in pretty colors or prints

This is not the summer to wear one pair of faded denim jeans with every top. Designers like Calvin Klein are showing skinny cropped jeans in bright jewel tones and bleached-out pastel colors. This slim profile is perfect with a loose top. Slender cropped pants are also showing up in floral prints for summer. Wondering how to wear cropped jeans? You can dress up any of these styles with a tall pair of platform heels or dress them down with a pair of sneakers.

5. Asymmetrical hemlines

Asymmetry lends an air of modern chic to clothing styles this summer. Designers are showing asymmetrical dress hemlines in two ways. One way is to wear the front short and the back long. Some have dubbed this style “the mullet dress” after the ubiquitous men’s haircut of the 1980s. The other way to wear the asymmetrically hemmed dress is to wear one side short and the other long, also called a diagonal hemline. DKNY envisions the asymmetrical hemline as a diaphanous, tiered creation worn with a 1960s-style floppy sunhat.

Dresses aren’t the only fashions that are being created with asymmetrical hemlines. They’re also showing up in loose-fitting, lightweight summer jackets and tops, perfect with a skinny pair of jeans.

Michelle is a writer for Adventures in the Stiletto Jungle shopping blog, which has been delivering daily fashion and beauty shopping advice since 2006.

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