Closet Detox

I did a Closet Detox today for a new client. She is breaking into the acting world and wants to figure out her style/portray the right version of herself to producers. (I will let you know once the soap opera she is on, airs!)  While this type of service is a personal thing, (I mean, I’m in your closet!), there are a few general guidelines that I can share. Since I need to see the clothes on you, here’s what I can offer without being present. For starters, organize your closet. I don’t care if your room is a total mess, it’s really very difficult to put together outfits if your clothes are randomly hung about or chucked on the shelves.

Arrange by category: i.e. Short sleeved shirts together, jackets together, skirts, dresses, pants – you get the idea. Then from there, hang by color. For example, sleeveless white shirts, then sleeveless black shirts etc. Oh I know this may sound extremely anal, (I once worked with a women who used a matching color hanger for each piece of clothing. ‘Where do you find magenta hangers?’ I would ask.), but with this method you can quickly spot if you need to restock an item. For example, if your sleeveless white shirt is pitted out, then you need a new one; if you didn’t have one to begin with, then you will see that wardrobe gap and know you need to fill it.) Easier, right?:)  Also, this system makes getting dressed less stressful. You start with a skirt, then you know all the shirts are in one section and if you’d like to layer on a jacket, you know where to find those too.

Shoes: I’ve seen all kinds of ways to give your soles homes. However, unless you’re planning a cameo on [MTV] Cribs, you don’t need to take a photo and place it on the outside of each shoe’s original box. (Clear containers will suffice.) The simplest way to display your kicks is by color – all black pumps in one section, brown sandals in another, colorful shoes and so on. Boots arranged by height.

*You will have three piles. Charity, To Be Tailored, Trash

What to keep:

Trend-proof Items:

Trench Coats

Leopard print shoes

Black Cashmere sweaters

Pencil skirts

Black blazer or tuxedo jacket

Crisp button-down shirts

Black wrap dress or sheath

Nude pumps & Black pumps

Great fitting pair of jeans

(Obviously all of these items need to fit impeccably and be in fantastic condition – no pilling, fading, rips or scuffs.)

Items of memory. Sure they may not fit or were even yours to begin with, but if something is dear to your heart, then I’ll let you keep it.:) These articles need to be limited and stored, not amongst the everyday apparel.

What to toss:

Items that give you an identity crisis. (“I don’t feel like me in that.”)

Looks good but feels bad. You may like the color, but the fabric isn’t flattering or comfortable.

The color is wrong. (You look ill when you put it on.)

The cut is wrong or it’s not your size. You shouldn’t be floating in your clothes or unable to consume a meal in them. (too big or too small)

The moment has passed. You’ve outgrown the look, it’s too young for you, it doesn’t fit with your life right now.


Hangers: Wired hangers are just brutal. They stretch out the lightweight fabric pieces and aren’t sturdy enough to hold the shape of the heavier items. Instead, use wood hangers for jackets & coats, soft padded hangers for silk tops and dresses and plastic for everything else. Don’t fold your pants in half over the hanger; have them hang slightly uneven to avoid a giant crease in the middle of your pants.

Cashmere/delicate tops: These will stretch on a hanger. It’s best to fold in tissue paper and keep in a box.

Handbags: Grouped by size.

Clutches are filled side-by-side

Delicate/beaded evening bags are boxed and lined with tissue paper

Large leather bags are stuffed with old T-shirts to retain their shape

Formal dresses: Place in garment bags

Clean everything before storing.

A fellow stylist friend of mine places (empty!) wine bottles into boots so that they hold their shape. I haven’t tried this yet, but if you have a few empty bottles to spare, try it!

Now take a deep breathe, don’t you just feel better about yourself! (Now that your closet is a zen haven!)

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