Get your wardrobe ready for summer with our five step plan

Posted by Victoria Lochhead on

It feels like it's been a long winter, and I don't know about you but the minute the sun comes out I'm itching to ditch the thermals and throw on some lighter layers.  So now is the perfect time to go through the wardrobe and get it shipshape and ready for a busy summer of use.

Over in our Facebook group I run a free online programme called Wardrobe Revival Week - it takes participants through the ultimate wardrobe seasonal switch over step by step, and in this blog, I'll be sharing those steps with you.  You can do one step a day or all in one go, but at the end you'll have a beautifully organised wardrobe for the next six months, and a shopping list of things to look for to fill in any gaps.  You'll also have a handy go-to set of outfits to call on whenever you're short on time - bonus!

So, if you're ready to dive in, here’s my five-step Wardrobe Revival Plan:

Step 1:  Get things out of your eye line that you can’t wear now. 

When you open the doors of your wardrobe to get dressed, everything you see should be something you could wear now.  You'll save time and space by taking out all your winter clothing and things you don’t wear often. 

First remove all your winter clothing from the wardrobe, fold it and pack it away, or if you have space elsewhere in the house, move it to another wardrobe.  Personally, as I have a small wardrobe, I put my out of season clothing away in storage bags you can suck the air out of and store under the bed (these bags have the added advantage of being space saving and with no air inside them, they are unlikely to be safe harbour for moths).  What counts as winter clothing?  Heavy jumpers, coats and thick jackets, heavier fabrics like corduroy or velvet and sometimes darker colours.  If you're not sure see if you can envisage yourself wearing it in August, and if the answer is no, it might be a winter piece.  Remember knitwear doesn't like to be hung up as it makes the shoulders stretch, so definitely fold knitwear if you're packing it away.

At this point, you don’t need to sort and organise those clothes as you don’t know how you’ll feel about them when they come out again in the Autumn, so for now, just pack them away and we’ll deal with them at the start of the next season.  This way if you decide to let them go, you'll be doing so at the time of year when they have maximum use for someone else. 

For other items you don’t wear often (like evening wear etc) you can do a quick check to make sure they fit and are ready to be worn if needed, but they can go into dust bags and be hung at the end of your rail where you don’t see them each day.

You might also want to pack away things you've kept but you know don't fit you right now.  For clothes that don’t fit that you still like, they should definitely be put away.  Store them with your out of season clothes for now and try them on again when you revisit those bags in the Autumn.

Step 2:  Try On Your Clothes

First, gather up all the clothes you have left in the wardrobe and drawers.  Get them out and lay them on the bed by type (so a pile of trousers, a pile of skirts etc) Do you have other clothes that are wearable this coming season somewhere else in the house?  (try the laundry pile, a drawer somewhere, a suitcase stored away – check all over the house!)  If you’ve been following this process for a while, you’ll have stored away your spring/ summer clothing at the start of the autumn, so get all that out too and add it to your piles.  

Seeing your clothes in this way is a very telling exercise - does it look like a lot?  Maybe not enough?  And what do your piles tell you?  Do you have a huge pile of jeans but hardly any dresses?  Are there loads of tops but not many skirts or trousers?  This is a common issue I see a lot and clients always have an a-ha moment when I point it out as it helps explain why making outfits is tricky if the wardrobe isn't balanced.

Before you put things back in, try each item on and decide what to keep and what to get rid of.  Ask yourself: 

Do I like this? 

Does it work for my lifestyle for the next 6 months? 

Does it fit me well? 

Can I see myself wearing it? 

Does it deserve a place in my wardrobe? 

Is it in good order?  (check it over for pulls, holes, missing buttons, dropped hems etc). 

Put the items you decide to keep on an appropriate hanger and back in the wardrobe (see the next paragraph before you start doing this!), and create two piles with the rest:  Pile 1 is the things you’re getting rid of and pile 2 is for things that need some attention to be wearable (laundry or repair).

Before you put things back, decide if your current way of organising clothes works well.  Ideally you want one main space you go to every morning to find something to wear.  Hang the clothes you wear most often and hang them up according to type (so all the tops together, all the trousers etc) and in colour order from darkest to lightest in each group.  Ideally you should just hang one item on one hanger.  

A rail of organised clothes

When you’re putting things back in drawers, consider the Marie Kondo method of folding clothes into rectangles you can store on their sides.  It’s a genius idea as that way you can instantly see everything when you open the drawer, and nothing gets squashed or forgotten at the bottom of a pile.

A drawer of folded clothes

Step 3:  Sort everything else

Now it's time to sort out all your shoes, coats, underwear, nightwear, sportswear, jewellery, scarves, bags, and belts.  Sort them and decide what to keep and what can go.  If you want to put anything in the Winter storage bags (for example, your warm scarves), add them in now.  If you decide to get rid of something, add it to your piles you created yesterday.

As you're putting those things you want to keep back, remember that if you can see it you’re more likely to wear it. Moving a few necklaces to a dressing table or adding a cork board to the inside of your wardrobe door to display some of your favourite necklaces can mean they are so much more likely to be used.  Consider hanging up some scarves or moving your handbags to a place where you are more likely to see them and use them can help make more use of these accessories.

A box of belts

Step 4:  Deal with your unwanted pile and your repairs. 

Now it's time to go through the pile of items you've decided you no longer want.  You might have some items in there you decide to sell on eBay or Vinted or send to a dress agency, or you might decide to bag it all up to donate to charity.  

If you have things not suitable for sale or donation they can still be recycled.  Some councils will collect textiles in a clearly labelled bag as part of their kerbside recycling programme, but if yours don’t, some charity shops will accept them (in a bag clearly marked with ‘rags’) or popped into the large metal clothes banks you see in supermarket car parks.  Almost every textile can be recycled, so even odd socks or holey tights can go in these bags.

If you have another pile of items you'd like to keep but need laundry or repair, then now is the time to tackle them.  If you’re not able to repair yourself, find a good local seamstress who can do it for you or have a look at the website for some brilliant repair and renovation videos.

Step 5:  Create some outfits and write a list

Now you have a beautifully organised wardrobe, where everything in it is something you can wear now and for the coming season.  Great!  Give yourself a pat on the back for all your hard work!

Now you can create a few outfits.  Lay a few things out on the bed and photograph outfits you like.  Start with a skirt or a pair of trousers and see how many different combinations you can make.  Perhaps add in a necklace or a scarf, decide on the shoes and build a look book of outfits you can go to when time is short in the mornings.  You could print off the photos and stick them to the inside of your wardrobe door for an instant visual reminder of outfits you like when you’re getting dressed.  It will save you hours deciding what to wear and it will help flex that creative wardrobe muscle coming up with a few new ideas. 

As you’re creating outfits, you might also realise there are a few gaps – clothes needed for the coming season to make your wardrobe work.  A pair of summer sandals in a good neutral colour, or a few bright tops perhaps.  Whatever it is for you, jot it down as that will form the basis of your shopping for the coming season.  By sticking to a list, you’ll only be buying what you need, which saves you time, money and energy.

Your five step plan is complete!  You should now have a wonderful organised wardrobe that is ready for the coming season, and where you have a few outfits up your sleeve for days when you are in a rush.  In September, you can do the process again to get set up for the Autumn/ Winter.  Keeping your wardrobe fresh and fluid in this way stops you getting bored of your clothes, helps you feel more organised and creative, keeps you in touch with your style, and saves you time and money when shopping.  

If you’ve enjoyed this process and want to take it to the next level, our wardrobe revival seasonal style package is the perfect next step.  Working with me online or in person, together we will sort and organise your wardrobe, create your style board for the coming season, come up with some new outfits and I will help you shop for the missing items in your wardrobe.  

If you’d like to follow along with the live video for this five step series, you’d be very welcome to join us in our FREE Facebook group.  And if you decide to try the plan, let us know how you get on and share your results with us in the comments below!

Share this post

← Older Post Newer Post →


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published.