Are you into New Year’s resolutions? Maybe taking up a new hobby, committing to a career change, travel or simply being more mindful in the now.
Whether you are a resolution person or not the beginning of a new year is the perfect time to take to step back, look at your wardrobe, and set intentions around how you plan to dress while contributing to your best self. Regardless of your personal style or wardrobe needs, there are a few closet commitments that everyone can benefit from. We've teamed with designer, stylist and professional organizer Elana Nanscawen to share her top 4 simple steps to edit your closet and bring your wardrobe up to speed of your fast pace life.
"I’ve seen and heard of many types of closets. From the extreme Steve Jobs-jeans-turtleneck-uniform, to the can’t-open-the-door closet. I’m here to help you find a “less is more” happy-place closet, creating clarity for the mind." Elana states. "Here is my go-to strategy"
There are several benefits to editing your closet. First, you save money because after editing, you are more aware of what you have and there are pieces you consciously decided to keep because you love the fit or the way the piece makes you feel. Second, you’ll have more confidence in your everyday outfit choices, helping you dress effortlessly. Third, shopping for future pieces will be much easier and you will be able to distinguish quality and fit with what you currently own to build off of your edited wardrobe.
I love helping women feel this kind of confidence in their wardrobe I’ve started simplifying my strategy to a few steps. But total disclaimer, you must commit, give yourself time to work through these steps, and know that if you put in the effort, you will feel a sense of organization and pride for your sweat and possible tears that brought you to your end goal.
Step 1: Ask Yourself the hard questions…
Do I love this, do I wear this, do I need to keep this? It’s a well known statistic we all wear 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time. Be ready to go through the remaining % by asking yourself why you have held onto it? The wardrobe you wear should incorporate quality pieces to take on versatility and longevity.
Step 2: Set aside time and dig in
Be sure to save at least 2 hours of uninterrupted time. If you don't set aside a good chunk of time or allow constant interruptions, you're bound to loose the momentum and get frustrated. Bring down the bins, pull out the plastic tubs, and have a collection of thin felted hangers at the ready. (I find wooden ones take up too much room!) Grab a few garbage bags to help sort your clothing. Mark them donate (pieces in decent condition but that you know won't be worth the effort to hike to the consignment shop), consign (pieces in excellent condition that have more life left in them that someone would buy), toss ( anything with holes, stains or damaged by the laundry) . Turn on some good music, and try on those pieces that you may not be sure what pile it belongs to and eye it up in a full length mirror.
Step 3: Review
Start in a methodical way reviewing your clothes. Pretend you are shopping your closet and debating if you’ll buy this piece again. Does it fit you now? Does it make you look and feel your best? Does it work with my lifestyle? Is it in good condition? Have I worn it in the last 12 months? And AM I HAPPY WEARING THIS?!
1. Items to keep
Identify, then return these to the closet, arranging by garment type, length or by color. Hang trousers long to avoid creating a crease at the knee.
Try rolling items to be stored in drawers, KonMari style. Use shoe or gift boxes to store smaller items. As you look into the box, you’ll be able to see everything clearly. Are there any ‘maybe” items? Garments that would work with your ‘keep’ items if they are cleaned or altered? Only keep if you will get them care. If not, let them go.
Be sure to research local consignment stores and be aware that certain stores might have specific price points, brands or aesthetics they like to adhere to. My favorite online consignment methods are The RealReal, ThredUp, Styleforit and Materialworld, Be sure to read their policies and payout practices so you can make your cosigned pieces bring you the most bang for the buck.
3.Donate items you won’t take the time to consign can have a good life donated. I like to use Dress for Success local shelters, and community families in need.
4.Items that are beyond repair should be thrown away. Anything with pit stains, rips, worn seems, etc. Buh-Bye!
Step 4: Fill the wardrobe gaps, Wear, Style and Love!
Now that you have edited your closet you'll see clearly what you own and love you may actually find gaps you have in your wardrobe. Make a list of pieces you need. Every great wardrobe starts with versatile, foundational items. Start with these and then build out—or pare down—from there. Start with classics like the SRG White Button Down Shirt, Gentlewoman Turtleneck and Faux Leather Leggings.
Don’t worry, an edited wardrobe can still be a fashion loving wardrobe! You just want to be judicious in your choices. With a good foundation of versatile favorites, you can easily add relevant items that fit your new criteria.
To help maintain your efforts, I like to store by season, especially with tiny closet. I will divide into summer and winter and swamp out as needed. Another good way to keep an edited eye is to shop your closet for special events. You already know you look great in it and your bank account will thank you ; )
YOU DID IT! With your newly uncluttered closet you’ll find new clarity w to focus on more important things like your loved ones, passions and goals. Thanks for reading and I'm here for you on your journey! Don't hesitate to reach out with any questions or entertaining stories you might want to share of what it was like discovering a gem you forgot about in the back of your closet, or share a pic of a heinous piece that made you burst out in tears and fits of laughter, c'mon, we all have them...until we edit them : )
Guest Editor Elana Nanscawen can be found creating happiness for women through New York City metro area. She'll not only style and organize you, she'll set you up for life. You can find her running around to meet clients, carpool her 2 children or volunteering at a film festival. Get in touch with Elana on Instagram @supercolorfashionistic or her website supercolorfashionistic.com