Today’s topic is a seasonal one, and it’s very popular right now, even though it feels like winter is over in Indiana. It’s going to be over 60 degrees this week, people! Anyway, for many of my clients, my first appointment eventually culminates in a closet audit. Sometimes, I think people want an affirmation of what clothing they already have instead of a clean out.
I look at a closet for three things: Are items still in style? Are they in colors that flatter you? Do they still fit Often, I ask clients to do this before I ever look at their closet: Set aside clothes you don’t like, that don’t fit or that you haven’t worn in over a year. This is a really simple way to clean out your closet–without a stylist to help you. If you have some items that are investment pieces that do not fit correctly, consider getting them altered. For instance, if you have a fitted, navy blazer that is still current, yet the sleeves are too long, get it altered. Shorten the sleeves, or more risky, get them altered to bracelet- or elbow-length. I love this look–it’s less “business-like” and often is more flattering for most women.
Once you know your better colors, it’s easy to clean out items that don’t flatter you. If you want me to show you your best colors, consider booking a style consult!
When I look in closets, I like to arrange clothing items this way: sleeveless blouses, short to long sleeve; jackets; skirts; pants; and dresses. Within each subcategory, I like to arrange them from white-grey-pink-orange-red-purple-green-blue-navy-black. Solids first, prints second within the color grouping. What I like about this organization is that I can also see if I am overbuying certain colors. For some reason, each season I really like a color and buy too much of it. We all do this!
For knit items–T-shirts, sweaters, dresses, pants–I do not hang them: I fold them and put them on visible shelves or in drawers. Knit items can lose their shape when hung on hangers, etc.
I like to shelve denim jeans and pants in one large drawer and skirts in another. I keep pretty, unusual tops in a separate drawer; sweaters and T-shirts in another drawer, organized or color, from cream to navy. I keep black tops in a corner of my skirt drawer. I keep scarves in their own drawer as I do belts. Workout wear is in its own area/drawer.
I encourage you to keep as many items as possible easy to access and within sight. Don’t use racks that hide pieces–chances are, you will never wear them.
Another important point: if possible, keep all jackets near your other clothes–this especially pertains to denim jackets, leather jackets, trench coats and olive (and other color) military jackets. These pieces complete outfits, and when they are in another closet on another floor or room of your house, how often are you going to put some thought into using them as the finishing touch for your outfit? Hardly ever. That’s why I encourage clients to keep these “complete pieces” near their closet, along with scarves and jewelry. Keep it close at hand. If you don’t have enough room to do this, you probably have too much. Clean it out!
Finally, often with clients, as I clean out their closet, I take existing pieces and make new outfits out of them. We usually end up taking many pictures. You can do this, too. Take pics of your outfits; print them out, and put them close by for reference. You won’t believe how many outfits you already have and how you can make them work in new and unusual ways.
I like all of these closet images–the last one is a snapshot of a shoe closet organizer one woman’s husband built her. Isn’t it fantastic! I am envious?
Keep it sassy,
Beth Divine, Personal Stylist