Hey everyone – Nicole here, from the Wardrobe Code.
As a wardrobe stylist, I’ve learned from working with my clients that keeping a regularly-edited wardrobe is the key to having a consistently great look.
Just think about it.
Overwhelm usually comes from having too many choices. And, believe me, there is such a thing as having too many clothes. But editing your wardrobe doesn’t always have to mean tearfully parting with your beloved garments. In fact, I like to teach my clients to curate their own capsule collections to keep them focused on their style. From there, they can donate what just isn’t working for them, and store away the rest for another season.
So, here is your complete guide to spring cleaning your wardrobe.
1.) Define Your Unique Style
Before you start cleaning, you need to have some direction. Think of it like creating a map or a compass for yourself. When you’re deciding on what to keep, what to store and what to donate, making those decisions is easier when you have a standard.
But, deciding on your own style standard shouldn’t happen the day you’re cleaning out your closet. Cultivating a wardrobe happens over time – and it’s a never-ending process. So, at least 2 weeks before you start your spring cleaning, begin to curate a style board on Pinterest. Think of personalities who have influenced you in all the different phases of your life – not just contemporary celebrities. The reason why we look back to what influenced us in childhood, teenage years and young adulthood is to find the depth and nuance in our style. If we simply model current styles, we’re just going to end up looking like everyone else.
Here’s a peek at my inspiration board on Pinterest:
Continue curating your board for 2 weeks and try not to censor yourself. Before you start your spring cleaning, you can whittle down to the very best personalities that represent your unique personality. Try to find the common denominators between the personalities, and that is where you will find your unique style. Of course, there will probably be some “wild card” personalities. Think of them as the flavor in your style.
2.) Time to Tackle the Closet
You may be relieved to know that I’m not going to instruct you to take everything out of your closet and try it on. I don’t have time for that – do you? I didn’t think so.
Instead, what you want to do is group everything in your closet by garment type. So, as quickly as you can, move everything around until pants are with pants, skirts with skirts, tops with tops, and so on. Now we can edit.
Moving from one side to the other, go through each item and decide: keep, store and donate.
“Keep” is obvious. This kind of garment is staying in your closet because you like it and wear it enough to keep it around.
“Store” things like cold weather clothing (heavy sweaters, corduroy pants, tweed and other winter fabrics) as well as garments you may be wearing too often. We all occasionally get into a clothing rut, and removing these items from our wardrobe rotation will help you get out of that rut. Simply fold and store in another part of your house, or somewhere in your closet – but they must be off the hangers and out of sight.
“Donate” anything which just isn’t working for you. First and foremost, if a garment doesn’t fit, you have to let it go. Or maybe you just don’t like the color, or it’s seen better days. Goodwill of Orange County loves to get your gently used clothing. They have 50 convenient donation locations throughout Orange County.
3.) Plan Some Outfits
Now for the fun part! It’s time to put all that clothing in your closet to work by planning outfits. And the best way to plan an outfit is to start with one piece. Simply choose one piece that you want to wear and plan around that. The more combinations you try, the more you learn how to use your clothing. Don’t be afraid to put together unusual combinations and experiment. When you land on a combination you like, now it’s time to try it on. Go one step further and snap a photo of the outfit. Save that photo in your phone for future reference.
Try to plan 20 outfits. I’ll admit, it might take a few hours, but it is an excellent investment of time because it teaches you how to stretch your wardrobe. Also, by planning all of these outfits now, it shows you exactly what you’re missing from your wardrobe.
The worst way to shop is without knowing what you’re looking for. However, since you’ve now organized your closet and planned outfits with what you have, you probably have a keen knowledge of what you need.
I’ve been an avid Goodwill shopper since 2010 and I’ve built most of my wardrobe from secondhand clothing. My favorite part about shopping at Goodwill of Orange County is that it is so affordable. Astonishingly high-quality donations are coming in to Goodwill every day, and because most garments are priced under $10, you can afford to play and experiment.
Get inspired, organize, edit, plan, shop, REPEAT!
Armed with this knowledge, you should be able to craft a great wardrobe that truly represents your unique personality.