5 steps to starting the year with an organised wardrobe

With the festive season and holiday dressing a lingering memory it can be daunting to face sequins next to suiting each morning. Here are five tips to help you prepare your wardrobe for the year (and season’s acquisitions) ahead.

organised wardrobe
Tie collection belonging to Daniel P Dykes, photographed by Kelly Defina

Clean up

Unless your wardrobe resides in the Get Smart corridor it is not impervious to dust. Built-in and walk-in robes are the worst offenders. Take everything on a flat surface out, vacuum, then get slightly disgusted at how you lived with it for so long before doing so.

Sort out

Before you put everything back think about where it’s going to go. Style, colour, foldability… it doesn’t matter how you categorise it, but make a home for every item instead of shoving it into the nearest gap like a rogue drycleaner. As a general rule knitwear should be folded, shirts buttoned, jackets on sturdy hangers and socks paired, please. This not only eliminates anxious rummaging when you need that skirt/left shoe/pocketsquare RIGHT NOW, but storing things properly means they’ll wear better, for longer, with less ironing. Everything in the wardrobe should be clean & ready to go – anything that needs handwashing, dry-cleaning or mending should be put in an interim spot, somewhere out of the way but not so hidden that you forget about it! Hang garments in a suitbag by the door or over a chair in plain sight so they get attended to.

Fill gaps

Finding out exactly what is in your wardrobe also means finding out exactly what isn’t. It’s easy to forgo basic pieces in favour of the bold & bright, but a few smart staples can open up a whole new realm of outfit options. Think about what will bring out the harder-to-wear pieces in your wardrobe and take note every time you think ‘if only I had…’ (within reason, of course! The aim is for a functioning curated wardrobe, not a gypsy caravan full of exotic and entirely unwearable treasures). A narrow belt or grey knit may not be on the top of your wishlist, but you’ll soon see their worth when you reach for them time & time again.

Invest

Now is the time to decide if this is the year to invest in a new coat, or if your go-to boots are looking more worn out than worn in. As we all know, waiting until you need to buy them will end up in a mad rush to the nearest department store and something you’ll recoil at in six months, so keep these staple pieces in mind when vaguely trawling online stores or wandering past that shop on your lunch break. Buy the best quality you can afford, and no excuses for ill-fitting polyester if you’re on a budget – earmark off-season pieces on international webstores and check back as they go on sale, just in time for your change in temperature.

Maintain

If you aren’t already chums with a Saville-standard tailor and a cobbler who knows their patent from their PVC, get acquainted. Coats and jackets are notoriously difficult to fit off the rack, and even the most sculpted figure will benefit from a personalised tweak to a sleeve or waistline. A good cobbler will work miracles to a certain degree, but they’ll look more favourably upon you if you get those leather soled shoes Topy’d before they’ve worn thin.

If you’re after more inspiration on what pieces to keep, what to forsake, and what to invest in, take a look at our guide to 5 key pieces that will carry over into 2012, as well as our overall 2012 fashion trends guide.

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A design graduate, Claire is inspired by new interpretations of fashion from independent labels to international runways, drawing on her knowledge of fashion history to analyse the latest sartorial offerings. Her personal style reflects this punk-to-Prada attitude, documented on her blog The HarbourMaster.