Now that you know what trends are coming down the pike for spring, it’s time to shop…right? Not quite. Before you start updating your wardrobe with the latest and greatest the new season has to offer, you must address what you already have.
The first time we meet a client is always in their closet. You can’t move forward if you don’t know where you’ve been. The closet will give you valuable insight into your style and wardrobe. It’s like reading tea leaves!
Here is a step-by-step process you can take on your own to get organized and ready for spring shopping!
1. Say goodbye to wire hangers.
When it comes to hangers, I get Joan Crawford-Mommy Dearest on my clients. No wire hangers, ever! They ruin clothes and are only meant to be temporary. We recommend flocked space-saving hangers. Functionally, you will marvel at how much more space you have in your closet. Plus, they are kind to your clothing. Visually, your closet will become your own mini boutique – which is what we create for our clients during our Closet Audit service. Most dry cleaners will accept wire hangers for recycling. I gather mine in a bin next to our dry cleaning. When I drop cleaning off, the hangers come with.
2. Create four piles of clothing.
Keep, Store, Donate, Tailor/Repair.
3. Divvy up the work.
We audit our closets in one, fell swoop. We are focused, strategized, and organized. But that is not how real life operates. Many of our clients have attempted to spring clean their closets on their own. They pull everything out, and end up feeling overwhelmed after an hour. Hands are thrown up and clothing is shoved back into the closet. My advice? Don’t do it all at once. Make your closet clean-out into several mini-projects to be completed over a few weeks. Tops come first, blazers second, trousers and skirts next…you get the picture.
4. Be brutal.
Ditch it it if it doesn’t fit, is worn, you have forgotten about it, or is dated. Some items are sentimental. We get that. I usually limit this to five items and put into storage or hang in a separate area of the closet. What stands in the way for most people searching for an authentic personal style that truly works is letting go.
5. Make repairs.
Repair heels on any shoes, fix any jewelry you want to keep, take pieces in to your tailor.
Dry clean coats and sweaters that will be put into storage.
Truth be told, I don’t do a closet switch. If it doesn’t fit in my existing closet space, it goes. It’s my goal when working with clients as well: everything in one closet (not shoved or squished). However, if you are doing a swap, storing in canvas boxes allows sweaters to breath. If you prefer keeping off-season items in plastic bags or bins, put pieces of chalk into a small cloth bag and place in the container. This will absorb moisture, protecting your clothing! I recommend doing this switch the second week of April, when winter is truly over.
We always organize by clothing type (and sleeve type for tops), light to dark. This makes it easy to find what you are looking for and create outfits. Sweaters should be folded always.
Tape a piece of paper up in your closet and make two columns: “Spring Needs” and “Spring Wants.” With your newly organized closet, you are going to write down in the Spring Needs column those essentials you are missing for work and weekend. This is your first priority list. For you “Spring Wants” list, you can check out past posts right here on Alexandria Stylebook, browse in person some of our partner boutiques, read fashion magazines and more to find inspiration. The trends that speak to you, write in “Spring Wants.” This is your second priority list. Create a budget for both lists and total.
Now you are ready to shop smart this season. Still struggling with your closet? Never fear. We’re just a phone call or email away. Happy spring!