With Savile Row tailor Alexandra Wood here to hold your hand as you organise your wardrobe it’ll be much more fun than you might first think
The prospect of having to organise your wardrobe might seem like a tedious task. However, when the job is done, it can be hugely satisfying. Plus your style choices will be made simpler when your clothing follows this guide.
Organise Your Seasons
Your wardrobe should only have the clothes you need for this specific season. (If you’re in between seasons a blend of the two is fine.) Otherwise, pack them away into storage boxes or vacuum storage bags, as these will suck the air out and make the clothes smaller and easier to store.
Hang With The Correct Hangers
It might seem obvious, but to organise your wardrobe it is critical to ensure you have the correct hangers. Never use wire hangers – you know, the ones handed to you from the dry cleaners. Suits, shirts and trousers all require hangers. Knitwear, t-shirts and underwear should be folded.
These are the three hangers you’ll need:
These are ideal for shirts. As they’re flatter you can get more of them into your wardrobe.
Broad suit hangers
Suits must be hung on these, if you hang them on hangers such as the felt ones, the shoulder line will be ruined.
Open-end non-slip hangers
These are ideal for all of your trousers and allow you to take them off easily in the morning and put back in the evening with minimal fuss.
Spaced Out Clothes
It is essential, when you organise your wardrobe, to make sure you can see everything properly. Leave ample space in between your clothing. And don’t ram all of your clothes in. You won’t be able to pick them out easily, it’ll damage your clothes, and it won’t allow your clothing to breathe.
Joy Or Junk?
Here’s a top tip from wardrobe expert Marie Kondo: only keep the clothes that you really love and that bring you joy. Remember, when dispensing your clothes, be responsible with how you recycle them.
For each section of your wardrobe, I find that colour coding or shade matching is the easiest. This means, very basically, that you’d put all of your black clothes together, all of your blue, all white and so on.
Alternatively, you’d put all similar shades together, such as creams, browns, white and camel. Then dark blue and black together and then bright colours placed together.
Do this for each usage – as discussed below. Ultimately, you want to be able to go to your wardrobe and say “I’m going to lunch with Jim, and I just want a pair of jeans, t-shirt and sports jacket”, and know exactly where they are, and what combination you’d wear.
You can either do this with all of your clothing as a whole or organise by product, ie shirts.
Organise Your (Wardrobe Around) Life
You have different areas of your life, which is something I always talk about for those of you who have had a full, made-to-measure or ready-to-wear wardrobe revamp with me, or even a suit consultation. Whether you work from home – which most of us currently are – or partly at home and partly at the office, or need to wear a suit daily, I discuss how to make your clothes work for you and your lifestyle.
So, breaking things down here, we likely have three major areas of dress codes: work; weekend; and special occasions. They are all important when it comes to how to organise your wardrobe. (You may also like to add active wear – gym, or perhaps cycling gear, for example. I would recommend you keep them organised in a separate place.)
Think about where you work and the practicalities of your lifestyle. Do you work from home with a need to go to more formal meetings during the week or do you work 9-5 in an office every day? You can then start to build and organise your wardrobe around this and have a good sorting session.
So now’s the time to think about what you would wear for …
– Smart/casual meetings
Arrange all of your sports jackets, smart trousers or smart jeans and more casual shirts together. Ideally next to your more formal wardrobe, so you can mix and match where necessary.
– Formal meetings
Arrange all of your formal suits, shirts, ties and squares in one area of your wardrobe, with your favourite combinations actually put together or beside each other if you want to be super organised.
We tend to like to dress down on the weekends after a long week at work. However, it doesn’t mean we have to let it all go entirely. If you organise your wardrobe effectively, you’ll have some rather nice outfits to choose from. Think smart t-shirt, jeans, sports jackets, quality knitwear (merino, cashmere or lambswool). Note, anything with polyester will only make you sweat more, as it locks in heat from your body.
I would have a drawer or two of your more casual clothes, so that if it’s a smarter lunch out, you can select from your smart/casual wardrobe. The trick is that if you’re wearing casual clothing, to opt for quality items. A cheap t-shirt and jeans look very different to a high-quality t-shirt and jeans.
Always make sure that if you regularly attend black-tie dos or go to events such as Wimbledon you have your wardrobe prepared. Always check your intended outfit three months – at least – before an event, so you can make sure that everything still fits and is clean.
Think about other events that you regularly attend and be wardrobe ready. These may include the Henley Regatta, Glyndebourne, or the corporate box at the rugby. Consider what would be appropriate to wear. Or, better still, ask us at Alexandra Wood. You’ll likely want to add weddings and funerals onto the list so that you have some go-to options.
Always fold knitwear. Due to its delicate nature, hanging only stretches knitwear out of shape. And make sure you check your knitwear regularly – shake it and re-fold.
Adding moth alarms into your dressing room is an ingenious idea. Forget mothballs. They don’t work – I can tell you, from painful experience. The most lethal time is when you can’t even see them – when they’re flying, the damage has already been done.
Hopefully, you’ve been ‘suit-ably’ inspired and are now rummaging through your wardrobe to ensure your wardrobe is working smart for you.