Full closet, but nothing to wear? It’s true: The majority of women only wear 20 percent of their clothes on a regular basis.
Ready to beat those odds?
We’ve corralled the best tips from stylists and organizers to help you create the ultimate closet. After all, a smooth morning starts with a well-curated closet. And coffee. Lots of coffee.
Invest in a good mirror
A three-way, full-length mirror is like that friend who always tells the truth. And it’s a worthy investment, so that you can give yourself a good look from all angles. (Read: That blazer may be wrinkled in the back or a blouse may be unexpectedly unflattering). “It may feel like the enemy at times,” says Susan McNeill, a fashion and lifestyle blogger who runs Susan Said … What? “But, I guarantee you’ll make fewer styling mistakes.”
At the very least, invest in a full-length mirror and use a hand mirror to check different angles.
Try some tricks to maximize a small closet
Pro tip: Thin-felted hangers save a lot of space, dishes Diane Pollack, a New York City wardrobe consultant. Also, there’s a usually a shelf above the hanging rod in smaller closets. “Many people only use the immediate space on top of the shelf, but the ceiling may go up substantially higher,” she says. “Get boxes or shelves and use that space.”
Use Closetbox to store your off-season clothes
Picture this: Everything hanging in your closet and stocked in your drawers is ready-to-wear. It’s tailored perfectly. It fits. And, it’s seasonally appropriate. There’s science that backs up the bliss of a well-curated closet. Several studies suggest having fewer choices make us happier. In between seasons, you can box up your off-season clothes and have Closetbox come haul them off to a secure, climate-controlled storage facilities. (Translated: That designer dress is safe with Closetbox!) When you’re ready to switch out your closet, again, just contact Closetbox and your belongings will be returned to you. A closet rotation has never been so easy.
Group like clothing together
For a well-organized closet, organize like items with like items, suggests Faith Rim, a Certified Image Consultant and co-founder of FirstSeven, a corporate styling firm focused on educating professionals on how to improve their performance by upgrading their image. “Make categories for blouses, pants, blazers, dresses, etc. and stick to it,” Rim says. “It is also very beneficial to coordinate these categories by color, too. As an example, your blouses could go from light to dark. You will never have to hunt for that navy button-down again.”
Be a ‘lady in red’
You heard it here first: Red is being called “the color” of fall this year, Rim says. She suggests adding a pop of red to your wardrobe with a blazer. Not crazy about red? Bright plaid patterns reminiscent of the 1970’s are also coming back for another round in fall 2017. “Look for this pattern on a blazer or skirt, or pair it with neutrals for a polished office look,” Rim says.
You might also spot some Victorian collars in stores. To incorporate the look into your work wear, try it on a blouse or dress and think about what style is right for your office culture and personal style.
Don’t let work and fun mix
“I’ve been a part of many closet edits, and so many of my professional clients have their work wear clothes mixed right in with their casual pieces,” Rim says.
Her suggestion? Make two distinct areas of your closet, and separate your workwear from your weekend clothes. “If there are specific pieces that overlap, place them in a common area, like the middle of your closet, for easy access.”
Splurge on a nice steamer
One of the best investments you can make for a well organized closet is professional closet installations, Rim says. She also suggests investing in a clothing steamer and doing away with those cumbersome ironing boards. “Just choose your outfit the night before, hang it on the steamer hook and whisk away all those wrinkles in mere seconds. You will save a lot of valuable morning time by taking care of this the night before.”
Sometimes, you just need a little space
Give yourself some space! “That way, you have room to see every piece of clothing that you own — what a gift!” says Certified Professional Organizer Helena Segura. “You’ll be able find what you need, plus you won’t get so many wrinkles on your fave outfits.” And, she suggests, try using a shelf for a special knick-knack of photo. It will help make your closet feel more welcoming.
Buy a valet rod
A valet rod is a closet must-have, Segura says. “You can choose your outfit the night before while brushing your teeth, and hang it on the rod,” she says. Another tip: If you have an item that’s been worn, but isn’t dirty and can be worn one more time, go ahead and hang it on your valet rod. Whatever you do, though, be sure to put your clothes away when you get home and change out of your work clothes. “Yes, you’re tired,” Segura says. “But when you let clothes pile up, it’s deflating to wake up to that heap in the morning.”
Treat yourself to quality tailoring
“Even if you get a great piece at a discount store, be sure to get it tailored,” says Liz Everett, a total image stylist, style professional and image consultant. “That extra $10 will make a world of difference when you walk in feeling and looking like a million bucks.”