Today we have a special treat brought to us by a LFID team member, Sydney Kamaloski! If you haven't noticed from our team shoots or her adorable feed, Sydney has a killer sense of both personal style AND home organization, which includes your closet!
Back in December, I (Lauren) shared about my own personal style journey (definitely influenced by Sydney!), and about my winter wardrobe haul. You all were super into those posts, so we decided to do a couple more on fashion and personal style! I for one believe interior design and fashion go hand in hand. And so, Sydney is going to lend us some of her killer insights into how to create a wardrobe that brings you LIFE!
Shall we get to it? Here's Sydney...
Creating a Wardrobe that Brings You LIFE
When you step into your closet what are your first reactions?
Do you find yourself saying, "Meh, I practically wear this every day but I don't have anything else wear...sooo this will do." Or maybe something like, "Geesh! There's a ton of clothes in here! I really need to go through these some day..."
Don't worry, you're definitely not alone in this. One way or another, almost everyone has similar thoughts regarding their wardrobe situation, and I'm going to guide you every step of the way!
Now, let's create a wardrobe that brings YOU joy and erases the frustration, shall we?
I LOVE having a simple and minimalist staples in my wardrobe that I can swap out with different cardigans, neck scarves, you name it! For instance, you could wear a plain black t-shirt with your favorite jeans and toss a cardigan over the top, or adding a neck scarf with some classic black ankle booties - and BAM! You've got a whole new outfit!
The first step when it comes to organizing your wardrobe is to collect ALL of your clothing and shoes into one place. That includes the socks tucked behind the dresser, the coat that never got hung back up, and the shoes by the front door. Once you have collected all of your clothing items and pairs of shoes, plop all of it onto a large surface such as a bed or folding table. Side note, I suggest making your bed ahead of time so nothing gets lost in-between the sheets - ha!
Now that you've gathered everything, it's time to separate into piles. You can either grab a tote or designate a space on the bed/table for each category. Like every professional organizer, I love making labels on either sticky notes or index cards so it's easier to remember which pile is which.
I suggest categorizing your piles as such:
Toss / Recycle
This pile may adjust multiple times, but it's important to steer away from it unless you absolutely love a particular item(s).
These items include gently used clothing that consignment shops won't take because of the style or brand. This includes basic items such as t-shirts, like-new bathing suits, jeans, scarves, etc. When it comes to donating, keep in mind "basic materials" that would only sell for maybe a buck or two.
You might end up with a TON of leftover hangers - so what do you do with them? Collect all of the unused hangers and put them in a box or tote and donate them to any local consignment shop, donation centers, or non-profit organizations that carry clothing.
Woo! I LOVE consignment shops! This is my go-to option when I don't feel like selling the items myself and it's way more efficient for my lifestyle. These shops take items based on quality materials, trendy items, and well-known brands. Each consignment shop is a little different, but most of them should have a list of brands they take.
Research a local consignment shop near you that has a relatively high markup - you will get more bang for your buck and the percentage is fairly priced. Typically the consignment shop receives 60% of the sale and you get the other 40%. If you end up selling more items, the more moo-lah you get! This process does take a little while, but if you do it consistently - say every season or so - you start creating this little savings account that you can access anytime!
If you're not into consignment shops, there are other options as well. You can sell the items online using platforms like Thredup, Poshmark, eBay, Facebook Marketplace, etc. This way you have a bit more control on how much you want to sell the item for and splitting the profits isn't nearly as much, if any, when utilizing these platforms.
Toss / Recycle
Yep. These are the items that are super ratty and have seen better days. Chances are, donation centers will end up throwing these items away if they receive them. To save the hassle, you can either dispose of them yourself or you can use old t-shirts for cleaning rags. Go green, am I right?! Sometimes cleaning companies will reuse old rags in addition to their cleaning supplies, so if there's a local cleaning company near you, give them a call and offer your items as a donation - just make sure everything you're donating is washed!
Now that you understand each category and which items go where, it's time to categorize!
Purging Your Wardrobe
This process takes awhile depending upon how much clothing you have and the sentimental value associated with each item. So, pour yourself a glass of wine or cup of tea and let's get started!
I advise starting with like-items, such as only shirts, dresses, pants, lingerie / bathing suits, shoes, etc. This will focus your attention on one clothing category and avoid being overwhelmed by a mixed selection.
Once you select a clothing category, start asking yourself questions like:
When was the last time I wore this? (Applying the 90/90 rule - if it has been past 90 days, then chances are you won't be wearing it anytime soon)
How's the quality? Is it suitable for selling or donating? Or should I toss/recycle?
How do I feel when I put this on? Do I feel confident and comfortable?
What is the purpose of this item? Is it necessary?
Don't Stop - You can DO IT!
At this point, you're probably exhausted and want to just lay down and push the whole wardrobe purge to a later date. The best way to complete this clothing purge is knocking it out in one time-frame. This means finishing it in a day rather than over a duration of time. Chances are the energy you are facing now might not come again soon, so stick with it and take little breaks! You got this!
I'm Done, Now What?
Start by hanging up or folding all of the items that you categorized in the "Keep" pile. Marie Kondo has an awesome technique for folding - you can find it here! This will not only save space, but allow room for more pieces down the line, and it also gives you a great visual of all the pieces in your drawers so you know what you have. If you can't see it, you won't wear it!
Depending on the time and your schedule, you can either take the items you categorized in the "Donate" and "Sell" piles and head to your local donation center and/or consignment shop. If you want to sell the items yourself, find a space with natural lighting and a plain background to showcase your pieces. Snap a few photos from different angles and start uploading them to your desired thrifting platform.
*CELEBRATION DANCE* YOU DID IT!!
One of the most important things to remember when moving forward is to avoid impulse buying and purchasing clothing that is "safe" - make sure they are items you absolutely LOVE and feel alive when you put it on. It's okay to have comfy clothes for lounging, but steer away from making that your entire wardrobe. The best strategy is to identify your style with items that bring you life.
Stylist Olivia Fitzpatrick, @liv_styled, educates others on avoiding the "doom loop" whenever you go shopping. She suggests writing down or paying attention to consistency and what you're identifying with - such as patterns, what you're drawn to, and what makes you feel good. This will reduce being overwhelmed, avoid excessive/impulse buying, and help identify your style.
The Wrap Up
So, now that you have completed the ultimate clothing purge, my homework for you is to keep your wardrobe up-to-date. You are continuously growing/changing and so is your wardrobe. But that doesn't mean your style has to stay the same! During each season or every 90 days or 6 months, apply the same routine and you will notice it becomes faster and eventually becomes a habit!
Let me know below if any of you try these methods or if you have other suggestions when it comes to purging your wardrobe - I would love to hear them!
Best of luck to you my friends!