My Closet, Myself

I love taking my daughter shopping for school clothes. She is, as they say, growing like a weed, so we always do an inventory first. We try on last year’s jeans to see if they’ve hit high-water status, and chances are that none of last year’s shoes will fit. She is also old enough to have her own sense of style and taste, and it’s fun to see what she gravitates toward when shopping. The last time we were in a dressing room with her choices, she exclaimed to me after trying on every outfit, “They are all perfect!”

Her excitement got me thinking about the last time I felt that good trying on clothes. I think I was probably around 35, before hips and back fat joined me in the dressing room. I’ve never been a style guru, but I can say that I’ve always known how to put myself together professionally and have never seen a statement necklace I didn’t like. Over the last few years, however, I’d started to hide in my clothes and was feeling frumpy. I am heavier than I feel comfortable being, and it wasn’t until recently that I began to realize that it was not only detrimental to my health (I’m working on this part), but also to my sense of style.

No matter your style, budget, or hem length, our closets say something about us. And lately my closet was saying, “Srsly?!”

I decided it was time for a makeover. I didn’t necessarily need new clothes, but with a recent career change (I’m no longer going to an office on the daily), it was the perfect time to reorganize and make my closet a welcoming space for the mom bod I’m rocking right now.

First, I took out every single stitch of clothing and threw it on my bed. We’re talking every t-shirt, top, bottom, suit, dress, and workout wear.



Next, I held up every piece and asked a few questions:

1. Do I wear it?
2. Does it fit?
3. Does it feel good?

If it didn’t pass the three-question quiz, I bagged it up for donation. The Shelter House of Iowa City just happened to have summer clothing on its list of most-needed items, so it was great timing to purge. The frumptastic khaki shorts that do nothing for me? Gone. Did I need six black tees? No. Everything that I love, wear, and feel good in earned a spot back in the closet. Because I am on a quest to be a healthier weight, I did keep some of my higher-end clothing that had gotten too tight, like my two favorite suits and some dress slacks that cost me some cash. I’ll reassess in a year, but for now I put them in the “Aspirational” section of my closet.

Next, I bagged up all the plastic, mismatched, and store hangers and invested in a set of matching, good quality hangers. You guys. This changed everything. I bargain-hunted and found a good deal and it just makes me so happy to see matching hangers.


Now, when I go to my closet in the morning, I can see everything that fits and feels good.

Taking care of my closet is, for me, an extension of taking care of myself. Now, because I work at home there are many days that I wear shorts and a t-shirt while sitting at my desk. But when I “get dressed” I can walk into my closet knowing I can put together something that feels and looks good.

I also feel like the style universe rewarded me for cleaning my closet because this week when I went to the opening of Evereve, a new women’s clothing store in Iowa River Landing (they have a play area for the kiddos by the dressing rooms!) I found a cute new weekend look, including jeans that fit! Cue the angels singing.

My Closet Myself4

Ok, now it’s your turn. Are you more frump than fashionable lately? Take an afternoon to empty your closet, put each item to the 3-question quiz, and get ready for another school year rocking’ the mom bod you’re in!

(If you find yourself with a nearly empty closet when you’re done, follow these tips for revamping your “mom closet” with new items!)


Sherri is a transplant from Oregon who came to be a Hawkeye in 2006 and stayed for the sweet corn...and for the Iowa boy she met along the way! She and her husband (Kyle) have a 9 year-old daughter, Aissa. Sherri earned her Ph.D. in Higher Education and Student Affairs at The University of Iowa and works for Ruffalo Noel Levitz as an Enrollment Marketing Consultant for colleges and universities. When she's not working, you can find her with her family, enjoying Iowa City and cheering on the Hawkeyes.


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