Kai Milla Helps You Spring Clean
As a girl who loves her Louboutins and is always ready to clutch the latest “It” bag, I know it’s not always easy being green (unless of course it’s this season’s gorgeous Roger Vivier stacked heels in green). And spring cleaning is always a chore. But with these tips, you’ll save a little green and be a bit more green in your own closet!
Let’s face it: The more space you have, the more you fill it. Getting rid of clothes can be overwhelming, and like a dysfunctional relationship, the overstock somehow sticks around a lot longer than it should.
Start by editing down picks to only those in your smallest size. It will keep you focused and frugal. Bring in a fantastic tailor and a friend who is ruthless. Try on everything and trust that honest friend to help you decide what can be saved and reworked. Cropping pants, shortening sleeves, changing hems, removing shoulder pads, or tapering legs can make old pieces great again (but only if you are really going to wear them). Revamp some looks with new accessories like a belt, brooch, or bangles.
Once you decide on keepers, put the rest in a “maybe” pile. Then continue sorting by this rule: If you haven’t worn it in a year, chances are you never will. No matter how high the price or how good the name, if the tag is still on it, let it go. Donate castoffs to Dress for Success (dressforsuccess.com), the AdDress Boutique (theaddressboutique.com), and One Voice (onevoice-la.org), which are all great ways to help others in need. Great designer items can always be put up for resale at boutiques like Decades Two (8214 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, 323-655-1960; decadestwo.com) or on eBay’s A Red Carpet Life (stores.ebay.com.my/A-Red-Carpet-Life), where the überchic check weekly for hot buys.
Save a couple of choice picks to trade with friends. Home shopping takes on new meaning with the ultimate recession-chic secret: the fashion “swap meet.” The most fun way to downsize, organize, and socialize is to have a group of your favorite fashionistas over for a night of toasting and trading. The first person gets to swap with anyone they want, then the owner of that item is up next. Trying on and critiquing brings out the inner Project Runway judge in all of us. And the best part? These new outfits don’t come with a credit card bill.
Another way to keep your fashions eco-friendly is to take clothes to the dry cleaner in a reusable garment bag. Try the Green Garmento (greengarmento.com), which is made of biodegradable, machine-washable material. It comes in lots of colors and helps eliminate the need for single-use plastic bags.
A great time-and-energy-saving trick is Polaroiding. Spend time taking photos of all of your favorite looks, fully accessorized. Keep a visual library tacked on your wall and change it out each season. This simplifies everything when you need to get dressed (and will lower your electric bill because you’ll spend less time with the closet light on). Knowing what works and looks good will get you in and out of your closet in no time.
photograph by Beth Coller
Fashion shoot: December 2013 issue of Los Angeles Confidential magazine.