“When a woman says ‘I have nothing to wear,’ what she really means is, ‘There’s nothing here for who I’m supposed to be today.’”
We’ve all been there, right? I know there have been many, many nights when nothing in my closet seemed right for the occasion. When that feeling that Caitlin Moran so perfectly described hits, you usually end up throwing on some sort of go-to outfit and never feel great about what you’re wearing.
I’ve realized one thing: A simple closet edit can prevent this, at least to some extent. I spend a good chunk of my time editing written copy, which means I know a thing or two about getting rid of things that don’t belong. I do this well in my professional life, but ihere are a few areas in my personal life (/apartment) that could benefit from a good edit. The first one is my snack cabinet. The second? My closet.
I plan on doing a good old fashioned spring clean within the next few months and my wardrobe will definitely be in for a major overhaul when I get around to this. I already have a few tips to keep in mind and figured I’d share them here.
- Play by the ‘would I buy it now?’ rule. Sort through your items one by one. Ask yourself if you would buy each item if you saw it the store today. If the answer is yes, great. If it’s no, toss that ish. I read somewhere that if you do this, you’ll lose about 25% of your closet. This doesn’t exactly sound like a good thing, but trust me, it is. When you trim the fat from your wardrobe, you’re eliminating all the clutter that’s between you and the pieces you actually love.
- Organize by occasion. I know most people like to color code their wardrobes. If that works for you, go for it. I personally like to divide my selection up by casual/formal or day/night. For example, my casual tees and tanks are folded up in my dresser. I figure that I’m going to be wearing them for basic daytime stuff, so I probably just grab whatever is on top and be good to go. My nicer tops are hung up – the dressier ones that are beaded, sequined, or generally good for a night out together, the more work-approproate blouses and such stay on the other side. Sweaters range from casual hoodies to polished pullovers. Dresses are sectioned off by occasion, too – there are the ones I’ll wear out at night and then the casual daytime dresses. I’ve found that this system makes it easy for me to choose something that’s right for any particular occasion. It’s not all black and white (literally and figuratively) though, so some items will fall somewhere between occasions. Luckily, it’s easy to literally place them in between the sections you divide so the whole thing functions more like a spectrum.
- Put it in storage. If it’s something that’s out of season, no longer your size, or out of fashion – but not something you want to part with completely – find a place to stash it so it’s out of your way. It seems like a no-brainer, but take it from me, few people truly utilize their parents’ houses for this purpose.
- Let some pieces double as decoration. Whether it’s an amazing pair of heels, a great necklace or a purse, an item from your closet can update your space. I love displaying shoes and I really love uses hat boxes, which are both decorative and practical. Look above for my own personal take on the whole ‘fashion is art thing’ – that whole thing is displayed on top of my dresser. The hat boxes are stuffed with my clutches, jewelry and other small accessories. This saves a lot of space in my closet.
- Going forward, choose quality over quantity. I know it’s tempting to go home with that sexy little $20 number, but think of this way: You could buy five of those cheapie dresses….or you could get one high-quality, beautifully crafted one. In a year you’ll probably be tired of the five cheap ones, but in ten years you’ll still turn to the high quality find. Cheap stuff has its place in every wardrobe. I definitely can get down with a good inexpensive find myself – but buying too many of these pieces just creates clutter. Eventually you’ll end up with a closet you don’t love if you keep buying them. I’m still figuring out the balance between inexpensive and investment in my own wardrobe, but I know it will make a huge difference. Pay close attention to the things you really value and splurge on those. They’ll be in your closet forever, and ideally they’ll be the pieces that can act as the cornerstone for so many different looks.