Just call me the Closet Queen. 🙂 I have spent my entire 30-year career in the fashion industry, and have overhauled and edited thousands of closets. I want to say a bajillion, but I’m told that might not be a number. So a billion is probably more accurate. 🙂 From in-person closet edits to virtual edits for members of my Ageless Style Program, I’ve learned some principles that can help you take control of your closet and uplevel your style.
Since style begins in your closet, today I’m sharing 16 closet principles that will revolutionize your wardrobe and support your style in 2024.
And if you really want to master your closet and make style effortless, sign up for my upcoming Closet Confidence Workshop Series. This live experience will be the first of its kind anywhere, and will truly help you to transform your style. Sign up by clicking here.
1. Don’t Throw Good Money After Bad
Reevaluate items you’ve invested in but never wear. Avoid throwing good money after bad choices. If it’s never worked, and you don’t love it, cut your losses and move on. Purge items that have been hanging in your closet for years, unworn, and seem to only be there to make you feel guilty.
2. Go Shopping in Your Own Closet
Instead of mining your wardrobe for the duds, mine your wardrobe for gold by going shopping in your own closet and identifying the items you would still buy if you saw them today. You may think you have a lot of clothes, but if you don’t love/wear most of them, then you’re actually working with a much smaller wardrobe than you may have thought.
3. Replace, Then Remove
Before purging worn or faded favorites, find replacements. Avoid shopping under duress; replace first, then remove the old. This ensures you’re not settling for second best to fill new gaps in your wardrobe.
4. Store Until You’re Sure
Allow room for style evolution by storing items you’re unsure about. A trial separation helps you navigate style transitions without making hasty decisions.
5. Mistakes Come in Multiples
Avoid buying multiples of the same item in every color. Seek variety in cut and style, preventing a closet filled with redundant pieces.
6. Personality Pieces Never Date
Cherish items that define you. Personality pieces are timeless and should hold a special place in your wardrobe.
7. Forget the One-Year Rule
Don’t over-purge based on the one-year rule. Some pieces serve occasional purposes, so keep them stored separately without cluttering your daily closet.
8. Watch the Shoulders
Pay attention to your body language. If an item makes you uncomfortable or just doesn’t feel like you, it’s time to let it go and make room for joy.
9. Eliminate Low-Hanging Fruit
Identify and remove obvious wardrobe rejects. Create space for the best pieces by eliminating worn, torn, or outdated items, those that don’t fit, and those that you know you will never wear.
10. Details Date
Be mindful of details that can quickly date an item. Minimize extraneous embellishments and opt for timeless statements through shape, pattern, or fabric.
11. Reduce Redundancy
Quality over quantity–keep only the best items in each category. Reducing redundancy ensures you’re always reaching for your favorite pieces. You don’t need one in every color. If you have nine white t-shirts save the top two and eliminate the rest because you’re never going to reach for your less favorite ones. Unless you are Simon Cowell and wear the same thing every day you don’t need seven of the same item. You’re always going to reach for your favorites.
12. Work in Sections to Eliminate Overwhelm
Tackle your closet in sections to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Focus on one category at a time, making the process more manageable. Don’t take everything out of your closet at once. That can be so overwhelming and so time-consuming. Instead maybe you take out the shirts or go through a section of your shirts or go through a color category of your shirts depending on how many items you have. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed and then be tempted to give up.
13. Create a Project Pile and a Sentimental Pile
Distinguish between items needing fixing (project pile) and sentimental pieces. Store sentimental items separately to preserve their value.
14. Keep Only Past Life Standouts
Retain favorites from past life wardrobes, ensuring your current closet serves your present needs. for example, if you used to wear suits to work, and don’t anymore, keep only 1-2 favorites, and purge the rest. Donate items tied to a past you’re no longer living.
15. Have a Wardrobe in Three Sizes
Accommodate weight fluctuations by keeping a small selection in multiple sizes. This practical approach ensures you always have well-fitting options. Give yourself grace for the normal weight fluctuations that so many of us experience by having a few essentials in a size up or a size down. Let go of any judgment there. You shouldn’t have a huge range, however. Be realistic about your size and dress for it.
16. Style Some Favorites
Give life to neglected favorites by creating outfits. Wear these ensembles immediately, reigniting your love for pieces that have been overlooked. Sometimes the perfect match to that sweater that you like and never reach for is the pair of pants that happens to be sitting next to it on the bed or hanging next to it on the rack. Start creating outfits, and then wear one of those outfits tomorrow. Immediately putting those pieces into outfits and then just hanging them as outfits um and wearing them for the next several days can help you get over the hump. Sometimes we just fall out of the habit of wearing certain things. We don’t wear pieces, we wear outfits so create the outfits and start wearing them.
Which of these closet strategies and tips did you find the most helpful? Let’s discuss in the comments!