How to Revamp Your Wardrobe by Cleaning Out Your Closet
Turns out shopping for more clothing is not the first step to creating a wardrobe of items you love to wear and feel represent you as a person. If you want to truly update your wardrobe so that it works for you and your life, then the most important thing you can do is clean out your closet.
It’s counterproductive to continue purchasing items and cramming them into a closet that’s already not working for you. Holding on to pieces you don’t like to wear or aren’t functional for your daily life hinders your ability to dress with confidence and ease. So before you hit the stores, follow these tips for creating a clean wardrobe slate.
Clean Your Closet Out Regularly
Attacking your closet with vigor once a year doesn’t benefit you much. It’s better to clean it out at regular intervals and only display seasonally appropriate pieces so you can stay on top of it and have a better idea of what clothing you have. Katie Schlupper of KS Style Consulting is a seasoned vet when it comes to cleaning out closets and wardrobes. She advises her clients to “store any unseasonal wardrobe pieces away so they are out of sight and out of mind. When you do this at each change of season you can look through and toss anything you haven’t worn that previous season.” This makes it an easier process for you and improves your awareness of the clothing you own and what type of pieces you naturally gravitate toward.
Know What You’re Looking For
The key to cleaning out your closet is analyzing the pieces you have and knowing what questions to ask of each. Katie recommends asking these questions:
- Is it dated?
- Is it worn out?
- Is it the wrong color of silhouette for you?
- Is it age appropriate?
If the item is a yes for the first three questions or a no for the last one, you should let it go so you have room for new pieces in the future.
Have an Organizational System
Cleaning out the old items that don’t serve you is only the first step. A messy closet will be difficult to work with no matter how well you’ve tossed those old items. An organizational system is the key to having a visually digestible wardrobe. Katie has a few rules for that as well:
- Invest in no-slip hangers to increase the amount of room in your closet and keep things hanging securely.
- Purchase a shoe rack or over-the-door hanger to hold your shoes. These keep your shoes organized where you can actually see what you have.
- Place purses and bags in a bin on the very top shelf.
- Fold all sweaters and basic tops (tees, tanks, camis) in a drawer.
- Organize hanging items by sleeve length (from longest, thickest sleeve to the sleeveless) or by color. Choose which one works best for you.
Analyze What’s Left to Determine What You Need
After you’ve tossed the items that needed to go, take a long look at what’s left. What kind of pieces do you love to wear? What gaps do you now have in your wardrobe? Use this to determine what you should purchase in the future. You might be surprised by what you need to buy after you’ve cleared some space. It can be eye-opening to suddenly realize you were holding on to six pairs of jeans that didn’t fit properly and need some new pairs.
Write down a list of the items you absolutely need to purchase in order to have a better-functioning wardrobe. If you find something you really love, like a specific cardigan or pant, Katie suggests buying it in multiple colors. This ensures you have multiple items that fit well and enough colors to create outfit variety. If you’re trying to build a wardrobe from the ground up, Katie proposes purchasing “3-4 pairs of shoes per season (casual, work, night out options), 3-4 blouses to pair with skirts and pants, 4-6 tops to wear under blazers or cardigans, and a few pairs of versatile earrings and necklaces.” This will give you enough options without creating an overstuffed closet you can’t navigate.
Most importantly in her professional opinion, however, “less is more when it comes to defining your style. I really think a smaller wardrobe is the best way to hone in on your personal style.”
Choose Quality Over Quantity
When you can finally venture out to purchase some new items, remember to choose high-quality items that won’t wear out within a year. That doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money. You can find high-quality items at a reasonable price if you’re willing to do a little legwork. However, don’t be afraid to splurge on staple items. Classic items, like blazers, suits, and timeless black dresses, have longevity and are worth spending a little more for good quality.
With these tips, you can create a wardrobe that works for your life in a functional and personal way. The important thing is to make sure that the items you keep in your closet meet all of your needs and to not settle for items that don’t.
Last modified on January 15th, 2019