bal harbour blog

Closet Control

Q&A

If you’re one of the millions of women who stare into their bulging closet only to declare “I have nothing to wear,” we have news for you: you probably have too much to wear! Jill Martin, Today Show contributor, fashion expert and author outlines a 12-step program to de-clutter your closet—and your life—in her New York Times best-selling book “I Have Nothing to Wear,” co-written by Dana Ravich.

We caught up with Jill to discuss streamlining your wardrobe, having a trusted friend and making every piece you wear “a 10.”

What led you to write “I Have Nothing to Wear!”?
After writing “Fashion for Dummies,” which was more of an informational book, I was constantly getting emails from women saying ‘I feel so overwhelmed in front of my closet,’ and ‘I have nothing to wear.’ Then it sort of clicked, and when I thought of that line for the book title, I couldn’t believe it hadn’t been taken yet. It’s something we all say!

When my co-author, Dana Ravich, and I began to write the book, what we realized is that we all have too much to wear, which is kind of ironic. So really, this book was written out of the need to teach people what to ditch and what to buy to make their closet complete. It's about quality not quantity.

Did your and Dana’s own experiences help to shape the book?
Yes, we definitely learned from each other. Dana—who is a fashion stylist—is a minimalist. When we first met [in Miami], I didn't want to let anything go. And she sort of taught me how to assess your closet, and that every piece should be “a 10.” No matter if it's a white T-shirt or a pair of jeans, you’ll always know how you look and you should feel your best.

So it’s important that you know your body type and what works on you.
Yes, but more than anything it's about what feels good on you. And if there's a trend you like that doesn't work for your body, don't get in on that trend. Also, having an honest friend is key. We all see ourselves a little differently than everyone else does, so having a trusted and honest opinion can really help.

Within the 12 steps that are outlined in the book, which do you think are the most challenging?
I think it’s hardest for people to get rid of things. Whether it’s for sentimental reasons, or that it was an expensive purchase, it’s hard for us to part with things. But the fact is, if you haven’t worn it in six months, it probably doesn’t belong in your closet.

When you left Miami for New York, how did your wardrobe change?
Overall I did a major clean up; when you move it’s a great time to purge.
Now I only buy things I love. That’s the criteria.

And from season to season, how do you adjust?
I really don’t store anything. There are few transitional pieces, but mostly I like to layer.

Do you have one key piece in your wardrobe that’s sort of your power tie, so to speak?
I have a few things like that, depending on the occasion. There’s an A.L.C. sundress that’s become my go-to. You don’t have to wear anything underneath. I know exactly how I look in it, and that gives me confidence. I think Donna Karan said it best, that she only wears things she can sleep in. I love that quote. When you’re comfortable and feel sexy, there’s nothing better than that.

With Summer on its way, what do you recommend as seasonal staples?
White jeans, a great pair of flat sandals and a fabulous tote.

Beauty Routine?
I’m a no-makeup kind of girl off camera. Lip gloss and some bronzer and that’s the end of the story.

What’s your fitness regimen?
I do kettle bells three times a week – which I started back in Miami. And I do SoulCycle.

Who are some of your favorite designers and labels?
A.L.C.—my new obsession, Phillip Lim, Helmut Lang, Michael Kors and to the Met Ball I just wore Zac Posen.

Do you have a weekend uniform?
I’m pretty casual on the weekend. You can usually find me in jeans—old Seven jeans—and a T-shirt.

And your shoe preference?
I’m in heels when you can see me, and flats on the way there!

Any fun summer plans?
I’m going to London for the Olympics to do a few segments for the Today Show, otherwise I’ll be paddle-boarding in the Hamptons all summer long.

Do you have another book in the works?
Yes, Dana and I are just finishing up our third book, which will be out at the beginning of next year. We’re still working on the title, but I can tell you that it tackles more than just fashion... stay tuned!

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