How to organise your wardrobe going into the new season

wardrobe graphic

Who else has already dug out their trusty leather boots?

Or perhaps more realistically, never put them away given this washout of a summer.

It’s September, which always feels like a second ‘start’ in the year given the reopening of schools, darker nights, and fallen leaves on the ground.

So, it’s the perfect time to take stock and reorganise your wardrobe, reminding yourself of your wares for colder weather before going out and investing in new pieces.

But where should you start?

Clare Watkins, a professional stylist, tells if you’re lacking inspiration a good first step is to gather ‘all your clothes, shoes and accessories together’.

She says: ‘Set aside enough time to complete the job and see it through from start to finish.

‘If the task seems too daunting to complete on your own consider asking a friend to help you or engaging the services of a professional.

‘A personal stylist will be experienced in skilled in getting the job done and will also be able to advise you on which pieces to keep based on your colouring, body shape, style personality and lifestyle.’

But if you’re happy to go it alone, next you should look at your wardrobe and identify what you’re missing and what you have too much of.

How to begin organising your wardrobe

With each item ask yourself:

  • Do I love this item?
  • Does it fit my body and lifestyle?
  • Can I create three or more outfits with this piece?

‘Think about what your wardrobe is saying about you currently and what you want it to actually say,’ Clare says.

‘Use this to guide you as to what stays and what goes.’

She also recommends a Marie Kondo-inspired approach, of asking yourself: ‘Does this still serve me?’ for each individual piece.

If it does, keep it. If not, then it’s time to go, either to friends, charity or to be sold.

Another helpful hint it to ask yourself: ‘If I were shopping right now, would I buy this?’

The chances are that for some items, you’ve just outgrown the style and wouldn’t look twice if you saw it today hanging on a rail.

‘As you work through the pieces use a rail to hang what you are keeping in the various categories, and once the wardrobe has been emptied you can add them straight back,’ Clare then suggests.

‘There will come a point mid-way through the process when it seems too daunting – keep going as it will be worth it once it’s finished.’

How should you arrange your clothes?

First, though dull, actually clean your wardrobe before anything goes back in.

Remove any dust, moths or dirt that’s built up, because the inside of your wardrobe never gets a proper clean.

Then, Clare says to arrange items according to their category, like dresses, trousers, tops, and so on.

‘Within each category put them in colour order. It makes it so much easier to find that top when you are in a hurry.

‘I like to hang all my clothes in the wardrobe so they are all in once place and not hidden in a drawer. That way you never end up reaching for the same 20% of pieces, 80% of the time.’

The trick is to maintain this as things go in and out the wash. While it might mean a minute’s more admin, it’ll keep your clothes neater in the long run.

How to reconsider your clothes going into autumn

Clare says to start with a shopping ban to begin the season so you can see what you already have that works for you still, then where you might need to buy anything new.

You could be pleasantly surprised and find you have all you need.

‘Make a list of anything you feel has been missing from your wardrobe and then see if you still need these things at the end of your ban period.

‘Then consider a one-in one-out policy in your wardrobe – you only have a finite amount of hanging space, so something has to go if you bring something new in,’ she says.

Another trick to assess what you’re actually wearing is to ‘try turning the hangers around the wrong way on a certain date and when you wear something put it back in the right way.

‘This will help you see what you’ve worn over a specific period of time and help you decide what should stay and what should go.’

You can also challenge yourself to wear things you don’t normally reach for so you can work out why the don’t get much love.

‘Pull out those pieces you never wear and make a determined effort to incorporate them into your looks for the upcoming week,’ she says.

And her final tips for making the most of your wardrobe?

‘Take photos of your different outfits every day as a reminder of what you loved wearing and as a catalogue of outfits.

‘It makes you more aware of what you reach for all the time and is easy to refer back to as a reminder on those days when you are struggling for inspiration.

‘And spend a little time every Sunday planning your outfits for the week ahead – make use of a rail for this so they are ready to go each day.’

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