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As a Personal Stylist, I work with women to update and refresh their wardrobes while discovering a style that resonates with them. In the process of working with my clients, a question that I’m frequently asked is, “What does YOUR closet look like?” So, to answer that and to help you develop your personalized way of navigating clothes in your own closet, I’ve jotted down a few items that have made my wardrobe what it is today (and it’s still in the making!).
Let’s start with what I believe every lady needs to complete her wardrobe (and be sure to check out a video of MY closet below):
- Full-Length Mirror: I firmly believe that every woman needs one of these mirrors either in her closet or somewhere in her home so she can do a full 360 to make sure everything is in place from head to toe before walking out the door!
- Hangers: I like maintaining the same slimline velvet hangers throughout my closet, which gives it a clean, uniform look, and objects aren't sliding onto the ground when I'm in search of something in particular (or heck, even on their own!). Overall, I love the aesthetic that quality, uniform hangers create in one’s closet – it not only looks neatly organized, but it makes you feel like you’re walking into your own private boutique every time you set foot in your closet. Oh, and these hangers also provide more space for more clothes! (Always a good thing!)
- Canvas Hanging Shelves: These canvas shelves come in handy for my knits. I highly recommend folding sweaters so that they don't stretch out while on the hanger! Also, everything is neatly folded, visible, and easy to access.
- Large Hanging Canvas Container: A hanging container can come in handy to store any heavy coats, formal gowns, etc. that aren’t worn often. This is essential to keep the dust way while allowing fabrics to breathe.
- Organizational System: How will you set up your closet? For me, the most important aspect of closet organization is being able to find my clothes, shoes, and accessories quickly. The most effective way for me to do that is through meticulous organization (and a of lifetime trips to the Container Store!). My current closet setup is, the Elfa Closet System in Walnut. This beautiful system is beneficial in so many ways. Not only is it lovely to look at but since it’s modular, you can design it any way you need to fit your unique space and you can use the same the pieces again if you move. It also allows me to organize my wardrobe pieces together in one area and my shoes, accessories, and jewelry in another, eliminating any guess work when I need to get style my look in a pinch.
Try not to let things pile up. Set up your system once and form a habit of putting everything back in the same place. This means merchandising everything into sections, and this is something I do not only myself, but for my clients as well. This means putting “like pieces together,” as I'll dive into below!
Welcome to MY Closet
Section I: Dresses, Tops, Pants
In my video above I share how I organized my dresses, tops, and bottoms. In short, it all depends on the length, color, and function. For example, my tops are organized from sleeveless tops (like tank tops) to shortsleeve tops to longsleeve blouses and blazers. The bottom section of my closet is where my pants and skirts live. Overall, they are organized by color and material and my skirts are arranged by length.
My dresses are “merchandised” by style and color, starting with casual sleeveless, progressing towards more formal and professional styles. A bulk of my dresses consist of sheath dresses, which do a fabulous job of fitting women and accentuating your silhouette. From here, I start transitioning from neutrals to colors to patterns.
Section II: Shoes, Handbags, and Accessories
Shoes (and Boots!)
One of my favorite parts about my closet is my shoe rack! With the Elfa System I installed from the Container Store , comes a very sleek sliding feature that is very useful for reaching shoes in the back when placed in rows. If you don't have a lot of closet space, this is a great tool to implement while organizing your shoes. Again, these are merchandised by type of shoe- pumps, sandals, flats, ankle boots, etc.
In my closet, I store my boots underneath my dresses. I love to use these special boot storage/protector bags to organize my boots and keep them dust-free when I'm not wearing them. (FYI, these protector bags are also featured in my tips on How to Prep Your Wardrobe for the Next Fall/Winter season).
I like to store my handbags upright and in their original dust bags (if they came with them) on a shelf above my shoes. (On a side note, I’ve been eyeing these drawstring dust bags and clear moisture-proof purse storage bags for my other bags that are currently exposed).
Accessories (Hats & Jewelry)
My hats are stored on a shelf of their own above the handbags, which gives them plenty of space to lay flat without bending or getting damaged.
My closet system has a special feature just for jewelry! This shelf has built-in tray dividers which is perfect for organization. It also has a leather-like interior lining and a sliding cover to protect jewelry from dust. Like my shoe rack, the entire shelf slides out for ease and convenience. My costume jewelry lives here (directly underneath my shoe racks), which I've organized based on size and type. The height is just perfect to see everything at once!. And just in case that isn’t enough, I have also two hanging “Little Black Dress” jewelry organizers with transparent pockets & Velcro handles to hang necklaces and give me easy access to earrings.
Section III: Extra Storage Space
One great aspect about my Elfa system is that it gives me a lot of space toward the bottom for folded clothes. I have that area set up with drawers that allow me to snag anything I may need with ease in the same area. I love it because it's a metal mesh so I can see through it and easily spot what I’m looking for. I use these for my athleisure wear, loungewear, winter accessories, gloves, scarves, swimsuits, lingerie, and travel accessories.
At the very bottom of my closet is where I keep my designer shoe boxes (yes, I’m one of “those” people that can’t ever let these boxes go, LOL). I keep these because they make great storage for other miscellaneous items. I don't use too many though, since they’re not transparent, making it more tricky to find certain items. But for those small random items looking for a home, these really do the trick!
Section IV: Outerwear
Much of my outerwear consists of winter and fall coats, denim jackets, and leather jackets. Depending on the weight of the fabric, I’ll opt to using wooden hangers instead of slimline hangers so that the shapes keep their integrity. That completes my wardrobe run-through and how I have made mine work!
Overall, I believe your wardrobe should speak to you and your personal style. Walk into it as if it were your own boutique, and walk out feeling like you just made a trip to your favorite store! Stylin’ and profilin’! 😉
Got any tips of your own? Comment below with your tricks of the organizational trade.
Yours in Style,
Roxanne Carne is a recognized Personal Stylist & Personal Shopper styling women in Dallas / Fort Worth (DFW), TX and virtually! Visit www.roxannecarne.com to discover how she can help transform your wardrobe and transform your life!