Beginner’s Guide To Organising Your Wardrobe

Happy first day of Spring! Today seemed like a good day to start my organisational posts and today we’ll be talking about organising your wardrobe. Between my job and my naturally organised nature I thought putting more of these types of posts up might help people. So, let me know if they help you.

I’m going to jump straight in at the very beginning. I’ve spoken to numerous people in their mid-late twenties who are having somewhat of a fashion crisis right now; Topshop sells nothing but crop tops and high-waisted jeans, Zara clothes fall apart after one wear, Urban Outfitters is a bit too ‘Shoreditch’ for me – I’ve heard them all. All of our reliable high-street stores are becoming less and less reliable for our maturing taste as we grow older. So, whether you’re going through a bit of a fashion identity crisis or you just need to spring clean your wardrobe, read on…

What Is Your Style?

How do you currently identify your style? I’ve read a lot of fashion and style type books and use the best tips from each in my everyday life. But this particular tip is one that I made up. Spend the next two weeks writing down every outfit you wear along with a little note on whether you liked it or not and what occasion you were wearing it for.

After the two weeks are over, go over your notes and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Overall, am I happy with my style?
  • If no, what are the key reasons I’m not happy? Here’s some examples; my clothes don’t fit properly, I felt uncomfortable, they didn’t look right with my shape etc.
  • Do you have enough clothes for your weekly commitments? I.e. work, after work drinks, weekend plans, occasional wear.
  • What would you like to see more of in your wardrobe?

Create a Pinterest Style File

Here’s a little look at mine. I identified in my two week diary that I didn’t have enough weekend clothes. I have an abundance of dressy work outfits, but not enough casual wear. So, my Style File is largely casual. I also found the best place to start was with your style heroes – who, more often than not, come in the shape of celebrities.

It’s important to note that celebrities are often dressed by professionals and given these clothes by people who know their exact shape. So, lets not get too bogged down in looking exactly like the Blake Lively’s of the world and instead work on our own individual style.

I realised (although I already kind of knew this) that my style is minimalist. I don’t like a lot of jewellery, I opt for black and grey and I’m not one for tight fitting, so a lot of my style file is made up of boyfriend jeans, clean lines and laid-back chic.

Write A List Of 37 Must-Have Items

37 is the magic number when it comes to a capsule wardrobe. In all of the research I’ve done, 37 seems to be the most popular number for clothing items. Now, we need to get Marie Kondo up in here and make sure that every item in your wardrobe ‘sparks joy’. So, when you wear it, it makes you happy. Simple. I packed up a large proportion of my wardrobe and shipped it off to the charity shop because it just did not make me happy.

Then, make a list of what would make you happy. And, take time to build up that wardrobe. Don’t spend your hard earned cash on throw away fashion, instead, save for key pieces that will withstand fashion trends. I’m nowhere near 37 key pieces right now, but I’ve made a list of my recent purchases that will make up my capsule wardrobe and I’ve also made a list of the next things I’m looking for:

My key buys so far: Black Burberry trench (which was one of my must-have before I’m 30 purchases), Hunter wellies, black boots, grey Mint Velvet cardigan (not in stock anymore, but similar here), brown brogues.

My current wish list: Classic, black bag for work, black and brown belts, boyfriend jeans, casual dungarees, black culottes.

I’ve still got a lot of items in my wardrobe that I don’t love. So, when I do find and buy something that I love, I’ll replace my lesser used items so my wardrobe doesn’t start overflowing again. I’ve opted for high-end high-street shops based on my budget for clothes. Some people will choose designer only and others will opt for different types of high-street stores dependent on budget and style. You don’t have have a huge disposable income in order to re-vamp your wardrobe, either. Simple, seasonal changes will make a big difference.

Have A Place For Everything

There’s nothing more frustrating than buying a lovely new dress and having to stuff it into a wardrobe brimming with unwanted clothes. It immediately loses its special appeal. Having a space for everything does not mean you need a huge space, it just means you need to get a bit inventive. For example; jumpers (particularly big, wool ones) take up so much room in wardrobes and they’re actually best suited to the drawer. Hangers make jumpers lose their shapes.

Categorise your clothes in some way. My clothes are categorised by use and then by colour; so, skirts, dresses, playsuits, jumpsuits/dungarees, jumpers, tailored trousers, jeans, jumpers etc. all in colour order. If you don’t fancy that, you could also categorise by occasion; work, casual, occasional etc.

I also use organisers to keep my stuff in order. The picture above is of my wire organiser from Oliver Bonas. I primarily use this for travelling but it’s a handy thing to have nonetheless. I also have a large White Company jewellery box and a little miniature one that goes with it. If I plan my outfit the night before I’ll often put my jewellery into the little box so it’s all in one place. I also use this box for travel.

Clothing Aftercare

You can’t just pop a baby out and leave it on the floor. It’s not going to end well for anybody. Babies and clothes are basically the same thing (don’t go quoting me on that). They need love, care and attention. Read the labels; if your jumper says hand wash, don’t chuck it into the washing machine and hope for the best. I have many, many bobbly jumpers as a result of my laissez-faire attitude to clothing. Spend a bit of money on washing detergent, use the correct softener and if you’re washing something delicate, buy a nice wash for your delicates. Just look after them; if you do, they will last better and look better.

I hope this has been a handy starting point for you. I’ll be adding new posts of this kind on a weekly basis. If you’d like me to cover a specific topic, please just let me know!



A writer and author with two published books and a third one on the way. I write mostly about women's interest topics; travel, careers and cooking. I'm available for freelance work, so please contact me if that's of interest.

  1. Nicky Steggle loaned me a copy of Marie Kondo when I started to De-Clutter for Lent! Just started reading it as I am deperate to get better organised and tidy since I’ve retired. I have the time but not the inclination as think I am a bit of a hoarder. and find it hard to part with ‘stuff’ and that’s just what most of it is ‘Stuff and nonsence’ and I know it’s not worth hanging on to something that may come back in fashion or be handy for a fancy dress party one day! When was I last invited to one of those! Mmmm let me think……..
    Been in this apartment for 28 years and it’s bursting at the seems but I am not as weight loss program is working albeit slowly but am reluctant to throw away my fat clothes – this must be indicative of something – I know not what yet….will let you know when I find the secret……..loving your blog…… wishes, Maggie xxx

    1. I really loved that book – I liked what she said about throwing away clothes that don’t ‘spark joy’ although, after that I threw away almost all of my clothes! I still don’t quite understand how she manages to clean her house just once and then never clean it again, though!! Thanks so much, Maggie – really appreciate it xxx

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