A Closet Audit for the Stylebook Editor

A few weeks back, Alexandria Stylebook’s very own editor, Madelyn Smith Orfitelli, reached out to DC Style Factory for a closet audit. After three kids, including twins, she felt her body type had changed, but much of her closet had not. “It’s time a professional came in to help me address my closet, wardrobe, and personal style.”

The Closet

During a closet audit – one of our most popular services — we help clients weed out items that are worn, dated, don’t fit, or don’t suit their lifestyle any longer.

When we audited Madelyn’s closet, we had two man goals in mind. First, we wanted to clear out clothing she no longer wore so she could see and access the clothing that truly worked for her. Second, we wanted to make the best use of space in her closet so she could find items easily and create outfits.

One thing we nixed right off the bat were the dated suits – harking back to her career as a consultant. They were gathering dust (Editor’s note: Yes, literally. Gross.) and taking up valuable real estate in her closet. We also got rid of dated button-down collared shirts that she paired with the suits. They all hung in the “dead” zone of her closet that we wanted to bring back to life!

In terms of organization, one of the first things we noticed when we surveyed her closet is that Madelyn had her dresses and pants hung, cramped, in a very small long-hanging section. We audited her pants, getting rid of bootcut work pants that she no longer wore. We then hung what we decided should stay over pant hangers instead of on clip hangers. We lined them up on the bottom row of short-hanging items that, up until this point, had gone completely unused.

madelyn closet 1 copy

Now we had plenty of space for her dresses! We went to work, organizing dresses by category: sleeveless, short-sleeved, long-sleeved and finally, evening. Within those categories, we organized from light to dark.

madelyn closet 2

We moved to her tops, weeding out the ones that were worn, dated, or did not fit. We organized using the same system as the dresses

madelyn closet 3

The next big project in Madelyn’s closet was her shoe section. We noticed Madelyn had her shoes in the “cubby section” of her closet. Each cubby could really only house one pair of shoes – she simply did not have enough space for all her shoes so they ended up shoved in and cluttered. We wanted her to be able to see — and wear — her shoes in all their glory!

madelyn closet 4

We decided to swap her t-shirt (after a major purging) and her shoe sections. We moved the t-shirts to the shoe cubbies. A nice, folded stack of tees fit perfectly in each cubby.

madelyn closet 5

The shoes then moved to the column of straight shelving on the other side. We were able to fit all her shoes (again, after auditing them) in that wall of straight shelving. We displayed her heels and special-occasion shoes higher up on a shelf above her dresses.

Now Madelyn can see every single pair of shoes she owns. This will not only allow her to create outfits more easily, but also will help her make smart decisions when purchasing new items.

The Outfits

After the audit, I went back and had a fun outfit creation appointment with Madelyn! Madelyn’s style is minimal classic, but with fun, funky accessories.  One goal that Madelyn had was to be able to take her simple daily looks from day to night.

Since her go-to outfit is jeans and a t-shirt, we wanted to make sure we gave her options that were in her comfort zone, but with shoes and accessories that would up her style game.

For day, we did a casual black t-shirt, her Red Engine Scorchers (her favorite pair!). We paired with these fun patterned espadrilles that elevate her very simple busy-mom-on-the-go outfit. Perfect for running errands all day!

Jeans and Espadrilles: The Shoe Hive
Jeans and Espadrilles: The Shoe Hive

For date night, we simply swap shoes for some edgy cutout booties, a tribal-inspired piece of statement jewelry and a fun blazer with great texture.

Heels, Necklace and Blazer: The Shoe Hive
Heels, Necklace and Blazer: The Shoe Hive

Another item that we kept was a fun romper. Jumpsuits and rompers are still going strong this spring.  “For day, I would wear this with my flat sandals and accessorize with a bracelet,” Madelyn shared. I wanted to show her how to dress it up for date night by adding gold accessories and metallic heeled mules.

Romper: Kiskadee, Necklace: Coco Blanca, Shoes and Cuff: The Shoe Hive
Romper: Kiskadee, Necklace: Coco Blanca, Shoes and Cuff: The Shoe Hive

This romper is now one of her favorite date night options. Legs for days!

We always give our clients “homework.” In other words, we give them a “push” look that may be a bit out of their comfort zone. Their homework is to wear it out and report back! How did it feel? Did it feel true and authentic to their style? Comfortable? Madelyn has a fabulous collection of dresses and even though she declared she is not a “dress girl,” I wanted to see if I could get her to do them more for casual daily wear.

We kept this classic shirtdress that is great for the beach, a casual lunch out, and more daytime activities. The slits up the sides give the dress movement and shape. We switched up her go-to accessory – the bracelet – and accessorized this look with a long necklace. Again, this elongates her neckline and effortlessly dresses up the shirtdress. The pointed-toe flats adds a polished feel to her daytime look, but are still comfortable for an active day.

Dress: Kiskadee, Shoes and Necklace: The Shoe Hive
Dress: Kiskadee, Shoes and Necklace: The Shoe Hive

No easier way to transition a look to evening than by adding sparkle. We swapped jewelry and shoes and added a fun, sequined clutch. Her monochromatic look is a great mix of textures and styles for a look equal parts hip and sophisticated.

Heels and Necklace: The Shoe Hive, Clutch: Coco Blanca
Heels and Necklace: The Shoe Hive, Clutch: Coco Blanca

For more info on styling and closet work, contact Marisa Gonzalez at marisa@dcstylefactory.com.

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