Keep, archive, alter... or toss! How to organise your wardrobe
With the weather back to its best and people bursting back into the open after months hibernating in the comfort of air-con, it’s time to seek some style guidance. We spoke to personal stylist Clara Strambio, who told us how to declutter our closets and revamp our look.
WHAT’S THE FIRST STEP?
First of all you need to do a wardrobe assessment. You can do this on your own, with a personal stylist, or with a friend. Your clothes should reflect your lifestyle and personality. The key here is brutal honesty. For example, just because something is designer or ‘very expensive’ doesn’t mean it has the privilege to sit unused in your wardrobe.
Take everything out of your wardrobe, try it all on, and make six piles:
Keep – items that fit, creating looks that work well for you
Archive – pieces you no longer wear but don’t want to part with
Maybe – the things you aren’t sure about
Toss – fashion mistakes, worn-out items, things that are the wrong colour and shape for you
Dry cleaning/alterations – pieces that require some TLC
Seasonal changeover – things you wouldn’t wear in cooler/hotter weather
HOW DO WE GET THE WARDROBE READY FOR OUR SORTED CLOTHES?
Your first step is to maximise the space, perhaps by adjusting the hanging rails, adding some wall hooks, creating shelves, or by adding drawer dividers for accessories and swimwear. Once this is done, give your wardrobe a thorough cleaning. Use scented paper for the drawers and hang perfumed sachets on the rails.
IS THERE ANY WARDROBE ETIQUETTE WE SHOULD FOLLOW?
Wire and plastic hangers are a no-no. You might think they help you save space but they look cheap, and they’ll damage your clobber. Use either padded or wooden hangers. Not only do they look pretty, but they’ll also keep your clothes in better condition.
IS THERE A SYSTEM WE SHOULD USE FOR ORGANISING OUR CLOTHES?
Hang and fold your clothes by type, and make sure the hanger hooks are facing away from you. This will keep the streamlined effect you are trying to create, plus it will be easier to take your clothes out. You now need to colour coordinate each section, then grade them from light to dark. There will be link pieces that will help you join the colours together, usually patterned or multi-coloured pieces.
This article first appeared in What’s On in May 2013