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Wardrobe tip: how to track what you are wearing

Over the past few weeks, I have loved hearing from so many people how they managed put aside time to organize their closets. Well done! And, how the system of grouping garments by like item (and colour within each clothing type) has helped inventory what is actually in the closet and identify any potential gaps. I received an email the other day "I realize I need more colour" and another that shared "I clearly don't need any more white tops". You get the idea. If you missed my closet edit/organization post you can read it here.

After the holiday season, it's the perfect time to slow down, organize and take stock of what we have. Especially as we move into the Spring style season. A time of year where it always feels like the wardrobe needs a freshen up and a reboot.

If we don't inventory what we have and clear out what isn't working, it is easy to spend our $$ on the first thing that catches our eye...without having an idea of how it will pair with what is already in the closet.

Once the wardrobe is sorted, it's good to take notice of what is actually being worn and try and infuse new life into the clothing we aren't wearing as often. Here are two strategies that may help:

The Hanger Trick:

The hanger trick is really very simple. Once an item has been worn, turn the hanger in the opposite direction when it is placed back in the closet. You will soon have a very clear visual of what you are wearing and, more importantly, what you tend to be veering away from. It's a great time to encourage yourself to try and get creative with those pieces you haven't worn recently. If you aren't keen to make outfits with them, ask yourself: why am I holding on to them? At the end of a time period that makes sense for you (maybe 6 weeks or the season - there are no rules...), take a good look at the items and decide whether or not they should remain in the closet.

The scarf/ribbon trick:

This is very similar to the hanger scenario and will also easily shed light on what you are/are not wearing. Tie a scarf, ribbon or string on the rack in your closet and hang clothing either to the right or left of this tie. I would recommend choosing something pretty that you will enjoy looking at every day! Once you have worn a garment, it's new home in the closet becomes on the other side of the scarf. Note: when placing them back on the rack it is helpful to keep them in item grouping and by colour. The goal is when outfit building to choose at least one item from the unworn side. Naturally, key basics and favorites will quickly end up on the other side and be worn on repeat, but think about how you combine these in new ways with the clothing that hasn't yet been worn. Hopefully some new outfits you love will be created and you can rediscover some of these pieces.

Personally, I prefer the hanger trick as it keeps everything organized within the closet the way I like it, but, it all depends on the layout of your wardrobe and which system will work best for you visually. Some people find the physical moving of the garments makes it more evident what is not being utilized.

Even though an item of clothing may fit us well, it may not make us feel our best. Maybe it is a comfort issue, or the piece doesn’t suit our taste or lifestyle anymore. If wearing it doesn’t spark joy then it is probably best to clear out of the closet and make room for pieces you love (or new gems waiting to be discovered which will make you feel more happy and yourself).

But, it is my hope that through this process you will be encouraged to shop the closet and get more cost-per-wear out of the pieces already hanging in the closet.

One final wardrobe tip:

Whether or not you try either of the above to track what you are wearing, I highly recommend setting aside a bit of time before the start of the week to plan out a few potential outfit possibilities. This will eliminate the "what do I wear?" dilemma in the morning when it is harder to think or be creative, and will increase the chance that you leave the house feeling pulled together wearing something you love. And, you'll gain some extra time in the morning to enjoy that cup of tea or coffee! Less stress. I've been hearing positive feedback and a lot of gratitude from people who have given this a try. This photo was sent to me the other day from someone who is now regularly using the outfit planning system and loving it.

Please let me know if you give any of these a whirl - and which strategy works best for you. And, of course, if you were able to create some fabulous new outfits!

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