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How Do You Organize Your Wardrobe?

How do you dress? I don’t mean what steps you take to physically put on your clothes (I don’t need or want a visual of you dressing in the morning) but how to you organize and make sense of your closet? I ask this question because I am a morning person, waking up between 4:30 and 5:00 a.m. in the morning. Before arriving to work at 9:00 a.m., I check my email, workout at the gym, eat breakfast, and catch up on the doings and going ons in the world. The time between the gym and arriving at work is slim and I often assemble my ensemble for the day in mere seconds. Because of this, I too often look disheveled at work.

My coworker and friend Macy made a comment that caused a lightbulb moment. When asked about how she shops and dresses, she said, “I wear my clothes over and over until they fall apart.” A mundane statement, yes, but it resulted in me asking myself the question, “What if I organized my wardrobe each season with pieces that could be mixed and matched and simply recycled the looks over and over?” Would this solve my daily dressing dilemma? I don’t know but I’m going to try. So, this weekend I pulled and stored shirts, tops, pants, skirts, dresses, and shoes out of my closet as well as shopped for missing pieces and this seasons trendy pieces to form my spring wardrobe. Until summer (June-ish), this is what I will be wearing, over and over.

In my opinion, this way of dressing is better than being spontaneous. And the benefits are trifold. One, I won’t spend money here and there on useless items that don’t fit in my wardrobe or style. Two, I will solve my daily dressing dilemma. Three, I’ll look good every single day. Magical!

So how do you dress? Are you the spontaneous dresser or the dresser who needs organization and structure? If you are a free-spirited- ensemble-put-together-er (I don’t know of that’s a word but it’s one hell of a hyphenation), do you have any tips?


  1. Reply

    Adventures in Dressmaking

    Since I was a kid, I’ve picked out my outfit the night before. If I don’t, I definitely will end up being late for work! I roll out of bed with not much time before I have to leave so I like to have every single piece ready for me in the morning!

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      That’s a great suggestion. I wish I had the energy and mentality to pick out what I would wear the next day but I am usually spending way too much time reading nonsense on the Internet. But I might have to try.

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    Sewing Princess

    I would fall under the spontaneous dresser category! My wardrobe is rather limited…although it’s still way more than I need and I tend to pick out the same stuff over and over again. So, I think your plan is great…it will definitely save you some time. I am impressed you do so many things in the morning…I wake up around 7 and always feel tired.

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      I’m so jealous that the spontaneous route works for you!

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    I don’t keep my clothes super organized and I definitely have plenty that I don’t wear very often. I usually find myself wearing a “uniform” of sorts for each season. This winter its been: trousers or jeans + blouse + cardigan or blazer + big scarf + switch out the shoes. Occasionally I’ll switch it up. I have a lot of separates that fit into these categories. I like a leisurely morning, and my job really doesn’t require me to look nice, so often I just reach for whatever is nearest!

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      That’s exactly what I did over the past weekend; I created my “uniform.” It’s good to hear that it worked for you and hope it will work for me too.

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    Heather Lou

    I am lucky enough to have a dressing room slash sewing studio, which means I have a 9′ long open closet. I also have open wire dressers which makes it easy to see everything at once. Generally I’ll make a cup of tea in the morning and sit in my dressing room for a few minutes and decide what to wear. I have 2 other regular closets; one for coats and jackets, the other I use as seasonal storage. Right now all of my summer dresses are hanging in the storage closet. I feel like Kimora Lee Simmons with all this closet space.

    Despite my space advantage, my biggest advice is to make everything as visually open and inviting as possible. Minnowing your wardrobe by season, organizing by colour and making your accessories easy to see and attractively presented…. makes getting dressed much easier.

    That being said, if I’m running late (NOT A MORNING PERSON) none of this makes me look better when all I have the energy for is jeans and whatever shirt is not dirty. A willing 5AM wake-up!!! Shock & awe.

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      Can we trade lives so that I can have your closet please?! I like your suggestion about making your clothes and closet more visually available and pleasing. Great, great tip.

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    I’m a pretty spontaneous dresser, but I think the facts in my favor are that 1) I have only a few favorite outfits at any given time that I rotate around and 2) that I wear a lot of dresses, which I can just put on (with a black longsleeve or cardi for warmth) and look nice no matter what. *g* At least that’s the way I dress during the week, when I have to get up at 6:30 (not a morning person over here). On weekends, when I have more than a couple of minutes time for dressing, I tend to try out different, more exciting outfits.

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      I agree with you that dresses are always the easiest and prettiest option. Maybe I should buy more dressed 🙂

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    Oh wow, you ARE an early morning person ;). I’m pretty spontaneous but I’ve tried to be more intentional this year. I have my own “dress-up” Thursdays where usually I wear stuff that gets neglected because it seems impractical. Like some of my weirder heels. I’ve tried to organize my clothes but space is really tight here. We’re in a temporary home at the moment and I actually share a walk-in closet with my husband, which I do not recommend if one’s partner is as much a clothes collector. (He is.) What I have really tried to do lately is to put all the things I’m not interested in toward the back and the shirts, dresses, and tops I’m into at the moment toward the front. That way I don’t have to dig. One thing I started to do was hang the trousers and jeans I really like in the closet rather than folded up in a drawer. It seems like my stuff that gets in drawers gets lost and I forget what I have.

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      I love your dress up Thursday’s. That is such a great idea! I’m like you in that I have limited space. Finding a decent sized apartment in a city is hard, finding one with enough closet space is impossible. But what you have done – putting the clothes you wear or like most often – towards the front of your closet is a great way to help with the space issue.

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    Organize my wardrobe? Oh boy… I dream of organizing my wardrobe! My morning routine usually consists of grabbing a shirt out of the pile of clothes heaped on my cedar chest, trying to make sure it isn’t dirty, and pulling on one of my two pairs of jeans. I’m such a boy. 🙁 I’m usually way too tired and way too unorganized to do anything more serious than that.

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      Too funny Ginger, too funny. You and I share the same problem right now 😉

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    I think about what I want to wear the next day, but in the morning if it doesn’t feel right when I put it on, then I do the whole try-on-six-shirts routine. If I have an idea that I’m uncertain will look right, I might try it on the night before, but mostly I plan in my head while watching TV at night and then wing it in the morning.

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      Oh you’re lucky to be a six-outfit-tryer-on. I’m more of a twelve-outfit-tryer-on kind of gal.

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    I admit that I am usually a spontaneous dresser. For a little while, I was picking out outfits for the week on Sunday and I’d hang them neatly in the laundry room (so I wouldn’t be distracted by the other clothes in my closet) to await their day in the sun. It didn’t last long, though. I saw a similar idea on Pinterest once, using a hanging vertical shelf system with 5 compartments, each one labeled for the 5 workdays.

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      I love the idea! I don’t have enough time each night of the week to pick out my outfit for the next day but I could definitely plan my outfits for the week ahead. In going to try that in addition to my new plan. Thanks lady!

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    i just wanted to say… the pictures of your closet are luminous!

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      I have way too many clothes 🙂

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    Wow, I’m totally envious of your wardrobe, leopard skin coat included. I don’t have enough clothes to go for anything but the spontaneous way. Unhelped by the weather here (and the fact I have no central heating) I’m dressing for warmth not attractiveness all the way! Roll on Summer I say, maybe then I can practice what you’re preaching! 🙂

    • Reply


      I do hear you. When it’s cold out, I take layering to a whole new level. I basically wear all my clothes at once.

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    How do I organize my closet? Not very well! Haha. Every once in a blue moon I’ll organize it by colour, but that doesn’t last very long.

    I should definitely try out your idea! I can get so frustrated sometimes trying to find an outfit, haha. I don’t know why! I need to get myself more organized…

    • Reply


      After writing that post, it was suggested that I pick out my outfits the night before. I’m always super tired at night and the last thing I want to do is decide what I’m wearing the next day. Instead but in addition to “planning” a spring wardrobe, I have set out what I’m going to wear before I go to the gym in the morning. First thing in the morning, I have a fresh mind and the energy to put some effort into my outfit for the day.

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    This is something I always want to know about people, so I’m glad you asked 🙂 Love reading everyone’s comments. At times, I pick an outfit the night prior, but often I’m spontaneous, or think something up in the shower or as I’m waking. I have limited space, but can’t bring myself to pack up off-season clothes like some people do. What if end up going somewhere it’s hot/cold?! Guess I like to have my options open. That said, I usually wear a uniform of just a few things, totally neglecting everything else, then shake it up. Weirdo!

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    I am another a spontaneous dresser. Since there is no dress code in my company, I can wear the same pair of jean two weeks in a row, or pick some sparkling Indian dress, so I don’t really care how well or bad I am dressed. It all depends on my mood, weather and time I wake up. I dream of organizing my wardrobe better! Luckily next month I move to a new apartment with lots of closets! Also to have a better “feel” of my wardrobe one of my main challenges last year was to stop buying clothes and only wear the handmade. This project makes me be a better “clothes matcher”.

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    Oh jeez, I used to be terrible at this. I would wear an outfit and then send it to the back of the closet until its time came again. This was, I think, part of that high school mentality of not wearing the same thing too soon again. After starting to read fashion blogs and viewing the creativity that is Kendi Everyday’s 30 for 30 challenge, I changed my closet. Now it’s sorted by “type” (blouse, sweater, skirt, pant, etc) and I just mix and match. It’s made dressing so much more fun and now even though I may wear the same shirt two weeks in a row, it’s not the same outfit anymore. It’s a much better system for me!

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    If I know I’m going out in advance I definitely plan ahead and I give myself enough time to see if I can dress up or down clothes I already have. It also depends who I’m going out with and whether they’ve seen me in those clothes too many times *lol* I’m only spontaneous on vacation but that’s because I planned all my outfits back at home and tried to think of all the occasions that would present themselves when away from home. I’d love to have that ultra chic look that makes people think you just threw stuff on without any effort but I have to plan, plan and plan my outfits.

  18. Reply

    Jenna Cotton

    Haha. I was always envious of your closet even growing up!!!! So perfect! You have found your niche babe!!!!!!

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    Barbara Grace

    I have a very small closet so by necessity most of my clothes mix and match pretty well and get worn in multiple ways. As for organizing I keep all the tops together on one rod, sorted by color way, further sorted by sleeve length. Dresses are on one end of the same rod, then pants and skirts are on a lower rod. It took an hour or so to set it up initially but maintaining it is actually quite simple. Plus, it makes choosing an outfit a breeze.

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    I have discovered that being spontaneous and being extraordinary great at it depends on how organized you are. I wrote about this and I have since moved and created a new system since I have less closet space–it’s works amazingly well in the morning or when in a jam to get out quickly and look polished. Check out how simple it can be: http://thefolia.com/2012/06/08/whats-lurking-behind-your-closet-door/

  21. Reply

    Michele Rene Mueller

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