Apologies in advance for the length of this post...
I am by no means an expert on editing or organizing wardrobes. Not. at. all. Last week I received an email from Gwyneth (well, from her Goop website), that would have been useful a few months ago. Knowing I had to downsize my wardrobe when we moved house in December, I tried editing and culling my wardrobe. I was pretty ruthless (or at least, it seemed so, with multiple trips to the charity bin to take huge 'rubbish' bags and bags and bags of clothes/shoes/bags/accessories - because I didn't have time to sell/consign them), and yet, it still seems like I barely made a dent!
My new bedroom has a WIR (walk-in robe), but it is way too small for
my our needs, so I built another wardrobe just for my 'good' clothes, which sadly had to be smaller than my previous one (which was already bursting at its seams - literally! The door hinges of the 'coats' section had come undone). I removed from my wardrobe some of the clothes I no longer fit but want to keep (I have given myself a year to lose my 'post- wedding pregnancy' weight, and put them in the upstairs wardrobe (guest room). I say 'good' clothes, as they are mostly clothes I would wear out (as opposed to when I stay home, which with 2 babies, is most of the time nowadays). Most of the clothes I wear on a regular/daily basis (tees, jeans, casual pants) will be kept in chest of drawers or hung in the (small) WIR - alongside Mr Brigs' clothes.
Some time last year I came by a brilliant guide on how to edit your wardrobe by personal stylist Kate Suzuki, author of the blog 'Everyday Glamour'. I must admit I had completely forgotten all about it when I was editing my wardrobe (silly me!). But somehow, as I pulled it up after receiving my 'Goop' email, I realized I did most Kate's suggestions in the guide (which you can get free from her website with a simple and quick email to her!).
Kate suggests you edit your wardrobe every six months, which is what I used to do (back in the day when I actually had time), so for my own reference I thought I would consolidate what I did, with Goop's and Kate's tips on how to edit, spring clean and organize the wardrobe, in the hope that I stick to making this a regular thing. Each section of my wardrobe required several 'rounds' of editing, which I did quite well at first, but not so well as I ran out of time with others.
For wardrobe pieces, I separate my items by 'type' (short sleeves blouses, long sleeved blouses, jackets, coats and finally dresses) and then in them in 'chromatic order':
(n.b. Kate suggests editing over 3 days, mine probably took longer, but that is because I was fitting it in with packing up house, as well as taking care of the 2 babies (well, make that 3 if we count Mr. Brigs...don't tell him I said that)
1. Matching hangers. Kate suggests you should start with 200 hangers. I like simple wooden ones, but ran out towards the end. Unfortunately, they can be quite bulky, it's a shame I don't like the look of thin, space saving hangers.
2. Plastic trash bags - be careful to label them well to differentiate between the 'rubbish' and 'to donate' bags.
3. Shopping bags to tote alterations and/or dry cleaning (which I had to place immediately in the back of the car, or they'd stay in there for months...) .
4. Stickers and a pen to label bags and boxes.
5. Nice cardboard boxes with lids (the black boxes from Net-a-Porter boxes and colourful boxes from Matches Fashion are perfect for this) - this is where I store items that would not store well on a hanger, like my 3.1 Phillip Lim Rosette dresses, a heavily sequinned Dries Van Noten dress, as well 'archived' pieces such as my wedding dress.
6. I wished I had a collapsible rolling garment rack. These would be handy when I periodically edit my wardrobe. Instead I cleared a rack on one of the wardrobes, and hung items there as I went, not ideal, but it sufficed considering my time constraint.
7. A full-length mirror (essential).
(n.b. Re: #3 - that went for a lot of items that went in my donation pile, I wonder whether the potential buyers in these charity stores will recognise the labels like Dries Van Noten and Chloe, but it was a donation after all...
Left to right: Alice + Olivia Jabot silk shirt (comes with a navy tie, wore it out to dinner last week), Asos silk chiffon blouse, Mary Katrantzou for Topshop floral silk sleeveless shirt, Dries Van Noten cotton floral shirt, Dries Van Noten 2-piece blouse (sleeveless beaded vest goes under the floral top), David Szeto Camellia pale grey blouse, Dries Van Noten ikat kimono blouse, Thakoon eyelash print silk chiffon blouse, Chloe (from Stella McCartney days) silk jersey top with a woman's face on it, Country Road tan/nude/caramel silk shirt - I bought 2 of these, one for rough wear which gets trashed, and another for my 'good' wardrobe, as they were heavily reduced, I also have it in ivory), Peter Som floral silk blouse with black lace top and collar, Dries Van Noten orange silk blouse, Thakoon pink petal blouse, Chloe floral silk chiffon blouse.
I found the tips given below quite useful, some of which I was not previously aware of:
The following is from Kate's guide (from Everyday Glamour):
I dare say, that since 'editing' my wardrobe for the move, I have tried making an extra conscious effort to really really think every wardrobe purchase through, and have held back on many more purchases than I normally would have (believe it or not). Sometimes I wistfully think of culling my wardrobe right back, and thoroughly enjoy reading blogs (that talk about culling or minimal wardrobes, and/or about carefully thinking every purchase through, such as Prêt à Porter P, Dead Fleurette, mycatssaymeow) as well as the Vogue Forum thread on culling your wardrobe. Although I know that realistically, this will never happen. Even though I try to edit my wardrobe, at the moment I just aim to edit it to an extent that I love and wear every single piece in it, that is still a work in progress. That is why I like the last paragraph of the 'guide' above, and will strive to do just that...
Even though it may seem from these pics that my wardrobe is 'done', I still have a lot to do (in addition to the continued editing), which includes: organize and edit my accessories, unpack (and find a place to store) my bags and shoes, and organize my daily/regular clothes. I also need to get off my behind and put more effort into listing the clothes I am storing in the upstairs wardrobe that didn't get donated, and that I plan to sell, either in 'My Shop', or on Ebay (that seems unlikely, as I dread doing the latter). SO much to do, so little time!
What are your tips to editing or organizing your wardrobe?