10 Essential Tips for Detoxing Your Closet
Ever have those days when you seriously hate everything in your wardrobe? Yeah, us too. But if your closet is practically bursting at the seams and you’re still fighting back the urge to head out the door in your underwear, it’s time for a closet revamp. Dressing should be easy and fun, not a daily source of stress. We’ve put together a list of 10 essential tips that will help you detox your wardrobe and rebuild one that works for you. Morning tantrums will be a thing of the past — we promise.
One of the most important steps in your closet revamp is doing a major edit of your wardrobe. A lot of your sartorial stress stems from a problem that is super simple to address: too much variation and not enough cohesion. You want a closet full of clothes that are easy to work with and make you feel great. That means cutting down your wardrobe to a manageable size and getting rid of items that make you feel anything less than amazing.
As you’re going through everything, ask yourself these questions:
- Have I worn it in the last year?
- Does it make me feel good? (This is huge. Whether it’s the cut, color or style, if blah is the first thing that comes to mind when you put it on, give it the kiss of death. Life is too short to feel anything short of #flawless)
- Does it fit?
- Is it in good condition? Can it easily be fixed? (Am I actually going to take it to get fixed?)
- Does it go with at least three other things in my wardrobe?
- Is it annoying to wear? (If wearing that skirt or top makes your life harder rather than easier, you’re less likely to wear it.)
Answer no to any of these, and it’s time to part ways. Take anything that doesn’t stand up to your new closet’s standards to Salvation Army or Goodwill, or try selling it on a site like Bib + Tuck, ASOS Marketplace, or ThredUP. You can use the cash from selling your old duds to stock up on new ones.
2. Get Organized
Once you’ve gone through and edited out the less than fabulous pieces from your closet, it’s time to get organized. Start by arranging your closet by color and item type (pants, skirts, tops, etc.). Not only will this system help you put together an outfit in record time, it will also allow you to identify gaps in your wardrobe. Clever, non?
Tip: Hang up as much as you can. You’re more likely to grab something that’s laid out right at eye level than digging through your drawers.
(Image via Stylizimo)
3. Take Stock
Time for a little closet analysis. Before you start building that fabulous new wardrobe, you need to know what you’re working with — so take a good look at what you already have on hand. You don’t want to end up spending money on things you already own, especially if they’re in good shape. This is also a good opportunity to do another cull if you notice that you have an overwhelming number of one type of item (no one really needs 10 identical white t-shirts). In addition to pointing out what rules your closet, you’ll also be able to identify what’s missing, both of which are key pieces of info for the next few steps.
(Image via Something Ivory)
4. Look at Your Lifestyle
As we’ve learned, a full closet doesn’t mean anything if you can’t make it work. This is most obvious when you’re staring into a closet full of shimmery, sequined skirts and flowy bohemian dresses and need to put together an office-appropriate outfit. We love a little sparkle, but that gold glitter mini probably won’t fly at your 9-to-5 (and if it does, we’re totally jealous!). We’re not saying toss it — it made it this far in the process for a reason — but it highlights a major wardrobe malfunction: Your clothes don’t match up with your lifestyle.
To make your life easier, you need pieces that not only work well together, but fit in with your day-to-day activities too. Sit down and think about how you spend your time during the week. Which activities occupy the majority of your time? Then take a look at your clothing. How do they fit in? Can you easily make outfits for each activity? Or do your threads fall short? Taking into consideration how you spend your time will help point out which areas of your closet need serious bulking up.
(Image via Where Did U Get That)
5. Identify Your Essentials
By now, you probably know your closet inside out — not just what might be missing, but what you love wearing and what looks good on you. And those things probably make up the majority of the clothes left over from the detox phase of your closet revamp. They’re the pieces you can’t live without, aka your essentials. Essentials are more or less the only things you really need to dress yourself and feel great. Maybe they’re blazers, tees and boyfriend jeans or midi skirts, oversized sweaters and wedges. Whatever they are, they’ll become the cornerstones of your new wardrobe. So take a good look and figure out what might need updating and what you need more of.
(Image via Vanessa Jackman)
6. Imagine Your Ideal Wardrobe
To avoid falling into the same shopping traps that resulted in a messy closet, you need to put together a purchasing plan of action. Want to make sure you actually wear what you buy? Then try to imagine what your ideal wardrobe looks like and use this concept as a point of reference when you shop.
Your ideal wardrobe should be based around a sort of unique uniform, a look that is distinctly YOU and represents your sense of style. Once you figure out what that is, pinpoint the important elements of that look, and see how they line up with what you already own. Moving forward, your shopping strategy will involve curating a few different versions of each element, so you can build variations of your uniform, ultimately streamlining your closet and making it super functional.
Don’t worry; you’re not destined to a closet full of nothing but basics. This strategy will help you narrow down the ones that will work, while weeding out the ones that don’t. A good wardrobe should be a mix of basics, mid-range and statement pieces, and you’ll find that a lot of different pieces will fit into your ultimate vision.
7. Go for Pieces That Are Versatile and Offer Maximum Impact
Think back to the step where you evaluated your lifestyle and ideal wardrobe, and use this information to decide which types of items would have the biggest impact on your look right now. Skip the basics for now, unless they’re seriously lacking, and focus on choosing interesting, versatile pieces that can be worn a lot of different ways. Start by working on the area of your wardrobe that you’re the least happy with; with just a few simple tweaks, you’ll see the impact immediately. As you’re shopping, envision at least three outfits you can make with each item before you take the plunge and buy it. If you can’t do it, it probably isn’t isn’t a good fit with your “uniform.”
8. Quality vs. Quantity
It’s time to start putting more thought into your purchases. Sure, you can go out and buy 10 tops for $30, but how long are those things going to last? It’s better to spend a little extra on high-quality pieces that will stand the test of time. You’ll end up saving yourself a few $$$, not to mention headaches, by taking this approach.
Tip: If you’re the type that tends to go a little wild at sales, start skipping them unless you have a specific piece that you need to buy. Another trick is to ask yourself whether you would buy the sale item at full price. If you can’t imagine yourself shelling out more than $50 for that top, put it back on the rack. Impulse buys can quickly add up, and that money is better spent on quality items that fit in with your ideal wardrobe.
(Image via Teen Vogue)
9. Don’t Forget About Accessories
The right accessories can bring a simple outfit to life and are key to switching up your look. Statement pieces are great, but just like the rest of your closet, look to pieces that offer the most bang for your buck and will work with most things in your closet. Invest in a few pairs of great shoes or bags, and feel free to go the less expensive route for trendy pieces that may not have staying power.
(Image via Sincerely Jules)
10. Find a Signature Piece
Whether it’s an antique piece of jewelry passed down for generations or an amazing arsenal of super crazy sunglasses, adding a signature piece into the mix will give your wardrobe major personality. Like the rest of your apparel, your signature piece deserves a little thought, so take the time to find something that fits in with the rest of your aesthetic. You don’t need much to make a big impact, so invest in a few key items that will stand the test of time.
(Image via Elle UK)
Are you ready for a closet revamp? Tell us about your ideal wardrobe in the comments!