Whether you’re a working woman, always on the go, or a busy mom with very little time for dressing up, the best thing you can do for yourself is to create an efficient wardrobe. It seems like a daunting task but follow these simple steps and you’ll come out of this with a closet that works with you instead of against you. We’ve read a lot of great articles that offer advice on this topic but found that we can take it one step further and put it all in one place for you. After all, we’re all about efficiency!
The key to having an efficient wardrobe is to have clarity of each fashion item you own, that means
- you know exactly where each of your wearable items is so you won't need to spend time finding it
- you know that you love this piece because it makes you look great and confident and there won't be any hesitation wearing it
- you know this piece is comfortable, stylish and versatile so you can wear it any time and to any occasion
We’re going to break this down into 4 steps.
The first step is always the most difficult. It’s going to be hard for you to step back and critique your clothes impartially. You bought them after all! But to do so is very important to the process. You have to be brutal in weeding out your closet so you’re only left with items that have the most value for you. There are several ways you can do this.
1) Ask yourself these questions:
Does it fit?
Is it comfortable?
Does it match my style?
Can I wear it multiple ways?
Does it make me feel good?
Is it damaged?
If the answer to more than 2 questions is no, it needs to go. Closet real estate is far too important to waste on things that aren’t right for you.
2) Figure out what does and does not suit your body shape.
You can see in the table below the basic body shapes and the dos and don’t for each type.
You can also take a look at our blog post about how to dress for your body shape.
3) Keep colors that match your skin tone.
Some of you might be unaware that people have warm, cool or neutral skin tones. You can take this simple Quiz to determine which one you have. Refer to the image below to know what colors work best with your skin tone.
Once you put aside all the things you don’t need, wear or like, the next step is to figure out what to do with them. You have several different options depending on what you have. You can donate, sell, give away to friends, or recycle. Deciding the best course of action depends on the type of clothing, the condition of clothing and even the price.
Places like Goodwill, Salvation Army and Housing Works accept most things if they’re in good condition. You can go on their website and schedule a pick up or drop off the bag at the nearest store.
Goodwill – www.goodwill.org
Salvation Army – www.satruck.org
Housing Works – www.housingworks.org
Selling stuff has never been this easy. Apps like Poshmark let you upload pictures of your clothes that you can list and sell quickly. All you have to do is upload pictures, print the label when the item is sold and send it on its way. If you don’t have time to even do that you can always just send a bag of clothes to ThredUp and they’ll sell your stuff for you. You can sell luxury clothing or accessories on The Real Real. You can also always sell them at the closest thrift shop.
Poshmark – www.poshmark.com
ThreadUp – www.threadup.com
The Real Real – www.therealreal.com
The next step is to organise what's left in your closet in a way that makes sense for your lifestyle. If you're a working professional you'd want your workwear on display and easily accessible. If you're a busy mom you'd want your comfortable clothes front and center. To start with, you can organise your closet by color, type and occasion. Only keep seasonal pieces in your closet and store the offseason pieces to make space for what you need.
Color coding your closet will help you put together ensembles quicker. It also helps to organize by type. As you can see in the image, the pants, tops, shirts and skirts are all hung separately. As for special occasion clothes, it's best to have them safely stored in garment bags, away from harm's way.
Invest in some good hangers. Your closet can look haphazard just because you have mismatched hangers. It helps to get three kinds - wooden ones for your blazers and coats, thin velvet ones for your tops/dresses, ones with clips for your skirts. The highest volume would be of the thin velvet ones which will keep the clothes from slipping off and also save space. Additionally you can get special hangers for scarves and belts.
As much as you can, hang your clothes. If you can see it you're more likely to wear it. Studies have shown that you only wear 20% of your clothes 80% of the time. This could be because a) not everything is on display b) not everything is right for you. When everything is in plain sight, you can make quicker decisions and save time getting dressed in the mornings. That being said, fold heavy knits because they tend to lose their shape when hung.
The best closets are clutter-free. It shouldn't be crowded and overstuffed. Use the space smartly by have a low shoe rack at the bottom of your closet. While some articles tell you to incorporate boxes, drawers and additional storage containers, you need to evaluate what works for you. Buying these things with nothing to put in them makes for more clutter. Every thing should have a place to go. Get separators for your socks and underwear so you can keep them from ending up in a messy pile.
Now, for the things that pull outfits together - accessories. As with the clothes, only keep what you need and use. Do you really need that feather boa from that trip to Vegas or those dinosaur shoes from last halloween? We understand that certain things hold sentimental value but they don't have a place in your closet. They can be stowed away in containers under the bed, dug up at a later time for a trip down memory lane. Arrange your shoes with one facing forward and one facing backward. This way you can see the style and the heel.
The final step is investing in pieces that create a foundation for your closet. Staple pieces that can be styled effortlessly.
The Wardrobe Staples List:
Tailored White Shirt
Black Cocktail Dress
Tailored Black Pants
All of these pieces can be worn with trendy pieces seasonally. It's always good to build on the classics rather than stick to only style pieces. Even though they are basic, they can be very versatile and can be worn in many different ways.
Another great idea for saving space in your closet is buying pieces that can be worn multiple ways. Jia Collection's reversible and multifunctional pieces are worth investing in because they offer you the most value without hogging your wardrobe space. You can cut the clutter by half by buying cardigans and dresses that can be reversed for a completely different look! Here are a few pieces from the collection you should think about adding to your capsule collection.
A bonus tip from our designer Jia: Prepare your outfit the night before so next morning all you need to do is just to put on the outfit! This is really helpful for those of us who are quite slow in the morning.
We really hope that you find this helpful and are on the way to curating your own efficient wardrobe!