Closet Audit Helps Start the Year in Style

ANKENY, Iowa  --  We all have to wear clothes, but sometimes it's hard picking out what to wear if your closet is cluttered or you don't have anything you like.

Lydia Hornung walks into her dream closet every morning. She said, "This isn't Lisa Vanderpump or anything, but that's kind of what I went after."

Hornung moved into a new home a few months ago, giving her the perfect chance to keep a clean closet. “I have it all sectioned off so I can see what I want, so when I come in here in the morning, and I'm thinking I really feel like a sweater today, I can just go right here."

She also has help keeping her style up to date. The working mother of two hired personal style consultant Courtney Conlin last March. The first step was a closet audit.

"If you haven't touched it in a year or year and a half, it's very fair to say, okay, I need to pull this," said Conlin.

She said donate what you no longer wear, toss items that are in bad shape, and if it still has tags on it, that's a red flag.

"You need to feel that piece in the store, and if you're doubting it in the store, I always tell people, 'walk away from it,'" she said.

After setting a budget with clients, Conlin picks versatile pieces at the store, has clients try them on, and then creates a personal look book.

"They can use it via their phone or iPad, so all they have to do is swipe to get dressed. It's very stress-free living,” she said.

The goal is to find your own style. Conlin said, “It's all about getting yourself to a position where you feel confident. Because without confidence, what do we have?"

Hornung said the honest advice helped her reach her style goals. “Before, I just had so much clothes that I didn’t really know what I had, and so you end up wearing the same thing over and over again,” she said. “With this, now you can actually see and you can rotate your clothes out and have fun, and I think sometimes less is better in your closet."

Conlin writes a style blog on her Courtney Conlin Personal Style Consultant website.