You may not have a colour-coordinated, revolving wardrobe and a personalised ‘dress me’ computer program like Cher (a Clueless reference, for those who can’t remember the days before Windows) but your wardrobe deserves exactly the same attention!
Look to Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex & The City 2 for inspiration – Carrie’s new wardrobe in Carrie and Big’s New York City apartment is the most beautiful, drool-making walk-in-wardrobe; the epitome of any sartorialist’s dream. So, what if you could create your own stunning wardrobe just like the fashion icons of the silver screen?
Well, perhaps it won’t be quite the perfect wardrobe like in the movies or filled with vintage Christian Dior and endless Fendi baguettes, but with just a little tender loving care, your wardrobe could actually help you become a more stylish dresser. How? Choose a free day (you’ll need plenty of time for this – at least two hours), get it all out and re-assess the whole lot!
However daunting and unpleasant a task you may find it, before you even contemplate actually trying to tackle the situation that is your wardrobe in its present state, I urge you to consider how much more you will love its final transformation.
Whilst the weather remains miserable and freezing, you are no doubt more than happy to stay toasty in your boyfriend jeans and cable-knit jumpers. But there has never been a more auspicious moment than the present to get control of your closet for the spring ahead.
Just imagine the renewed appreciation you will feel for a beautiful custom wardrobe, because that’s what a wardrobe should be; a personal, ever-evolving collection of pieces, which should reflect the very essence of you.
Picture the ease with which you will be able to choose your outfit every day; last-minute occasion-dressing dilemmas may be a thing of the past if you have full visibility of a wardrobe that looks stunning; every piece should tempt you as if you were shopping in a designer boutique.
You could be dressing in anything from an embellished Warehouse shift or a floral maxi dress by Michael Kors, whatever the item – whether designer or high street – it will look stunning and feel just right for you if presented in an organised and aesthetically pleasing fashion.
The bottom line is this; every item in your wardrobe should make you feel good, each piece should be cut to suit your shape and fit your size comfortably.
So, now for the difficult bit, here’s how to organise your wardrobe without going completely insane…
- Prepare – purchase uniform wooden hangers for a consistent look and ensure that you have a good amount of storage boxes suitable for clothing and accessories should you wish to store such items. Pick up some hooks to hang on the back of the door for hats, bags, scarves and belts.
- Enlist a willing friend to help you, preferably a fashion-savvy female who will tell you the honest truth. Grab a bottle of wine and get started.
- Cover the floor space with some clean sheets, to ensure that your clothes don’t get dirty.
- Empty out your wardrobe from left to right and divide everything into piles of different types of clothing (dresses, tops, jeans etc.)as well as a pile for accessories, shoes and bags (you can focus on these separately).
- Measure all the dimensions of the wardrobe in question. This will provide you with a realistic idea of how much you can actually fit in your wardrobe. This is an important step because it will enable you to have complete access to all of your items, which will allow you to get ready with ease.
It may also help to save you a few pennies – by simply being more style-aware when you shop, you will be able to easily reject tempting purchases if you are not completely sure they will suit you or go with other outfits in your wardrobe.
Organisation expert Peter Walsh estimates that you should be able to fit six jackets, twelve pairs of trousers or fifteen shirts within the length of a 30cm ruler.
Jot down the measurements and work out roughly how many pieces you should be able to keep in your wardrobe. Hang all items if you can apart from heavy knits, however if you are limited for space you can choose to fold jeans, tops and knitwear.
- Go through each category pile and start to separate the items out into three sections:
Throw – any worn out or not-fit-to-wear pieces; look for saggy bottoms of trousers, tears and holes or bobbles in the fibres of the fabric.
Charity – donate, sell or give away any items which may be out of date, no longer fit or any items that you don’t wear or dislike.
Keep – this section is only for items that you know fit well, make you feel good and that you have worn and will continue to wear in the future.
Consider whether you would buy the item again given a second chance.
Get rid of items that may be associated with unhappy memories and reserve sentimental items, fancy dress costumes or mementos from college or university for storage later.
Be strong and rigorous – your friend can hold you accountable – with the editing process; remember if you have not worn the item in several years it is quite unlikely that you will be compelled to wear it again in the future.
- Once all the clothing piles have been separated into three piles, take an inventory of all of the pieces that you are keeping and decide how you want to organise your wardrobe.
A nice way to keep your wardrobe is to colour coordinate the pieces and organise by types of clothing i.e. tops, blouses, shirts etc. Some do prefer to organise items into outfits for a full wardrobe blueprint. It may be simpler to organise by item if you wish to mix and match up your separates when you dress.
- when organising the items, be as precise as you like, for instance organise your dresses by day and evening or by strapless and long-sleeved; you might choose to arrange jeans by style, wash or by brand.
Remember: Don’t pack any items to close together as clothing needs to breathe and Do not store any items in plastic dry cleaner covers as the fabrics can attract moths.
- Start on shoes and accessories, which you may wish to store on a shoe rack, shelves or in the boxes depending upon your preference. Bags keep their shape best if filled with tissue paper and propped up for display on shelves.
- Give your lingerie drawer the same treatment and arrange by style, shape and colour in storage boxes.
Once you’ve finished…
Re-organise your wardrobe twice a year, this will help you to keep on top of seasonal changes.
Make an effort to replace pieces in appropriate areas to keep the wardrobe as tidy as possible
Consider purchasing a light for your wardrobe so that you can see all the items clearly.
If you are limited for space, you may wish to adopt the rule to get rid of an item if you buy a new item.
Purchase vacuum-pack storage bags to store your winter wardrobe throughout summertime, and visa-versa.
Shop your wardrobe, try out new ways of wearing your items and have fun with your style.