The first step toward having a great wardrobe is being able to work with what you already own. You may think you need to start from scratch, but what about those great clothes you already have in your closet? If you have a great skirt and no matching blazer, why buy a new set? Just buy a blazer instead! What about those wonderful wool pants you haven’t worn because of a broken zipper? Replace the zipper, not the pants!
Here are some tips you can follow for maintaining an updated, streamlined closet.
First, go through your closet and donate anything you haven’t worn in two years to a local charity. If it does not fit, why are you keeping it? Unless you are really planning to lose a few pounds, give those too-tight garments to someone who can use them now.
There are few things as satisfying as cleaning your closet and helping someone else at the same time!
- If you haven’t done so already, store away all your spring and summer clothes. Make sure they are soil-free and hang or fold them carefully. Be sure all garments can breathe while hanging in your closet. Do not store your clothes in plastic bags. Make sure the storage area for your clothes is cool, dry, and free of direct sunlight.
- Sort through your fall and winter dresses, suits, skirts, pants, blouses, and jackets. Determine which ones need repair, cleaning, or pressing. It may be helpful to make a chart listing item, color, style, state of wear, and any repairs or cleaning needed. You can take this chart with you when you go shopping to help make rounding out your wardrobe easier. You may even want to clip a small piece of fabric from an inside, unexposed seam of each garment and glue it on your chart next to the description for that item.
- If you have an old skirt that you love but is seriously out-of-date, consider shortening the garment to give it a new, fresh look.
- Inspect your shirts, blouses, and skirts. Are shirt collars frayed beyond repair? Are buttons missing? Are hems sagging? Vary your wardrobe by wearing different shirt and skirt combinations.
- Check your pants to make sure they fit properly. Remember, if the fit is tight, you will be uncomfortable. If possible, consider moving a button to make it more comfortable.
- When inspecting your jackets, remember that a great jacket can make an entire outfit. Check for fit – jackets should be comfortable – not cumbersome.
- Suits are an important work investment for many people. Check for quality when buying a suit and take care of your purchases to get many seasons of wear.
- Take all your skirts out and look at how many different colors and styles they represent. Are all your skirts straight and black? Or do you own only full, floral patterns? Either way, even though the style may be your favorite and your most flattering, everyone can use some variation.
- Coordinate new outfits. Maybe the jacket you received as a birthday present is the perfect match for those new suede pants. Coordinate several new outfits and arrange your closet in a way that’s convenient for you.
- Don’t forget to inspect your shoes and boots. Have heels and soles replaced as necessary. Remember that ill-fitting shoes can cause misery for your feet and entire body.
Using sachets for your drawers and cedar blocks for your closet will help keep your clothes fresh smelling, moth-free, and a pleasure to wear!