If you are a frequent Sixty and Me reader, you probably have heard me mention closet edits, how they go, what they accomplish and how wonderfully fabulous your wardrobe looks on the other side of that activity.

Let’s dive into what is always the most abundant category in the closets of gorgeous gals over 60! Sweaters!

Once we move to that category it is as if the floodgates open. They come from the drawers, the bins under the bed, the hope-chests, the attics and the basements. They just keep on coming.

 
 

Here is how to rake them in, downsize and bump up your sweater uniform at the same time.

Let’s forge ahead; one knit, one purl at a time.

As you hunt and gather, divide the sweaters by category and then place one category at a time on the bed by color. What are sweater categories you ask?

Cardigans

Cardigans tend to be the largest category – literally! Not only do women own them in all colors, but they also have them in all shapes and sizes.

First, take the cardigans and divide them into two areas on the bed by shape. Put the demure little crew neck cardigans – no doubt adorned with pearl buttons – on one side and the behemoth, “I might get stuck outside in a snowstorm styles,” on the other side.

Then, line them up by color and watch what happens. No doubt there are duplicates – did you hear me – duplicates! Multiple black cardigans, multiple cream cardigans, multiple multiples!

Start by going through one color and playing the “let’s be honest game.” Ask yourself what actually fits, flatters and functions on your body, and whether you still like it. If the answer is no to any of those parameters, it goes in the giveaway pile.

There are plenty of folks who could use a nice warm sweater! Then keep on keeping on! Go through all cardigans by color and then neatly reintroduce the keepers to your inventory either on soft-grip velvet hangers or uniformly folded in your drawers.

Crewnecks

The crewneck style tends to look good on certain body types. Remember a crew neckline is a horizontal line, which tends to make you look wider. The V-neck sweaters elongate the neck and the vertical line makes you look taller and thinner.

So, decide if the crewnecks are even for you. If your crewnecks are cable knits, you are adding twice as much volume to your upper body!

V-necks

As mentioned above, V-necks tend to be flattering, but make sure they fit throughout the top area – not too baggy, not too tight, not too long, and not too bulky. They key words here are “not too.”

Turtlenecks

A t-neck is a neck’s best friend – in some cases! Some women have short necks and feel that the “turtle” overpowers them. Conversely, some women embrace the turtle as it disguises the liability of neck wrinkles.

Either way, the turtleneck category is usually the first victim of downsizing because really now, how often do you wear them?

Funny thing though … the one or two that make the cut, survive the dumpster and get reintroduced to the wardrobe, are the black ones! No surprise there.

Face it – the iconic black turtleneck has a strong, sleek presence. It hugs your body, your arms and your neck, accentuates your face and gives the illusion of a long lean frame. What’s not to like?

Today’s turtlenecks are in fact sleek, stylish and sophisticated. Gone are the days of super high necks and ribbing that created uneven vertical lines around your bust line.

Next Steps

Once you get your inventory pared down you can assess what you have, which might then uncover – pun intended – what is missing. If all of your sweaters look like you are a repeat shopper, then it might be time to infuse a bit of style into your sweater inventory!

Shop for new knits that might have shawl collars, textured tweeds, chunky yarns, long silhouettes, shorter sweater jackets and styling details like zippers, leather, buttons and grommets. The options are endless!

Shop wisely and use a few of these tips:

Pay Attention to the Labels

Avoid fabrics that make your skin crawl. Many women hate even the slightest hint of wool due to skin irritation or hot flash irritation! Read the fine print before you purchase so that new sweater doesn’t become part of the 80% of your closet that you never wear.

Be Careful of Proportions

Don’t opt for the chunky, shawl collar, belted, cable-knit, knee-length sweater coat if you are 4’5″ tall. It would be a challenge just walking around in that thing! Be sure the sweater isn’t overpowering you by opting for finer knits, vertical patterns and asymmetrical bottoms.

Be Conscious of Patterns and Their Effect on You

Avoid horizontal stripes or color blocking in all the wrong places if you are fuller on the top. Use a discerning eye when you stand in front of the mirror by walking towards it and seeing where your eyes are landing.

If your eyes are landing on the largest portion of your top, which could be the shoulders, the girls, or the extra-in-the middle, then put it back on the rack. Shop for sweaters that accentuate your assets and disguise your liabilities.

Think of your sweaters as more than just plunking on something for warmth or draping to hide something that you do are not fond of. Instead, think of them as outfit makers and frosting on an already fabulous body! The sweater already looks better with that mindset!

Do you need more “category” inspiration? Download Confidence Is Always In Style so you can fall back in love with your wardrobe and your body!

Do you have a favorite sweater that you love to wear? How big is your sweater collection? Do you have a neckline or color preference when you buy a sweater? Please join the conversation and share your ideas.

Doreen DoveDoreen Dove empowers women to use style as a tool to take strategic control of their image. She is an image consultant, personal stylist, speaker and author of the sassy style guide Confidence Is Always In Style.

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