Style

clean closet

Photograph by Marnie Hawson/Lynda Gardener’s Room + Board, Daylesford

A Guide to Maintaining a Minimal Closet

It’s a particularly cruel brand of irony that owning more clothes doesn’t translate to more solutions for the nothing-to-wear conundrum. Quite the opposite, actually. Forgotten dresses purchased for an unspecified occasion, coats collecting dust, and overstuffed drawers have a way of distracting rather than providing options. But what if there were a world in which your closet was a place where you felt calm and clear-minded before taking on the day?

For fashion director Ali Pew, achieving a tight edit is all about cutting the emotional ties, buying smarter, and “getting it right the first time.” And if you stick to these steps and adhere to a few hard-and-fast rules, you, too, can transform your closet into a functional sanctuary.

  1. 1

    ONE OUT, ONE IN

    Ask yourself: If your friend/sister/daughter borrowed something and never gave it back, would you notice it was gone? If the answer is no, consider eliminating said item from your closet for good and giving it a second life by donating it or reselling it on a site like The Real Real, Poshmark, Fashionphile, or Depop (they make it incredibly easy). Then upgrade.

ON MODEL: G. LABEL LAUREN TAILORED JACKET, goop, $595; G. LABEL VASQUEZ HIGH-WAISTED PLEATED CULOTTES, goop, $495; G. LABEL BARBARA TIE-NECK BLOUSE, goop, $425; A EMERY SANDALS, goop, $140
OFF MODEL: G. LABEL STEWART A-LINE DOUBLE-SATIN SKIRT, goop, $495; G. LABEL JOSHUA PARKA, goop, $795; CHLOÉ BAG, goop, $2,350; CELINE BOOTS, Celine, $1,850

  1. 2

    SWEATER STACK ATTACK

    The thing about sweaters is that they’re space hogs. And you really end up wearing only a few favorites each season. Our advice: Throw down for a couple of new cozies you have to have, ditch the overly pilled, and donate the rest. (Dress for Success and Goodwill are both great options, or you can try your hand at Reformation x Thred Up to rack up some spending points.)

  2. Nutrafol Women’s Balance Nutrafol Women’s Balance

    Fight fuzz in one fell swoop.

ON MODEL: TOTÊME SWEATER, goop, $490
OFF MODEL: TIBI PULLOVER, goop, $695; G. LABEL RUBINFELD ZIP-UP SWEATER, goop, $595; G. LABEL MIYA STAND-COLLAR RIB SWEATER, goop, $595

  1. 3

    TACKLE YOUR TOP DRAWER

    Level with yourself—because yes, unseen essentials need love, too—if it’s tattered, holey, faded, or partly missing in action (to all the socks riding solo, we see you), time to toss. It’s a purge worth doing at least once a year.

WOLFORD SOCKS, goop, $29; G. LABEL LEE RIB TANK, goop, $195; G. LABEL ANNIKA MID-SLEEVE HENLEY BODYSUIT, goop, $225; BASERANGE BRA, goop, $62; BASERANGE BRIEFS, goop, $35; STATESIDE SWEATPANTS, goop, $126

  1. 4

    HOLD, PLEASE

    Bags are great investments because they retain their value. And thanks to companies like What Goes Around Comes Around, Vestiaire, and Hardly Ever Worn It, you can buy and sell without acquiring extra inventory. As for the trend chasers, Rebag lets you have your fun for up to six months then swap for something new when the time comes. Genius.

ON MODEL: MANSUR GAVRIEL TOTE, goop, $615
OFF MODEL: WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND HERMÈS KELLY BAG, goop, $12,000; CHLOÉ BAG, goop, $1,690; WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND CHANEL BAG, goop, $4,800

  1. 5

    SPRUCE UP THE SPACE

    Now that you’ve restored order, it’s time to get organized. 1) Swap out wire hangers with a sleek uniform set—you’ll be amazed at the tidiness that’ll ensue. (Pro tip: Your dry cleaner will likely be thrilled to take them off your hands.) 2) Level up with cedar-scented drawer liners that look as good as they smell. 3) Get yourself a signature scent (Buly’s aromatic alabasters also happen to be quite chic).

L’OFFICINE UNIVERSELLE BULY À PARIS SCENTED BOX, Buly 1803, €55; CALIFORNIA CLOSETS HANGERS, California Closets, $200; THE LAUNDRESS DRAWER LINERS, The Laundress, $20

  1. 6

    REPAIR, REWEAR

    Rip in your best-loved blazer? Hemster makes house calls. Favorite handbag looking tired? Check it in to Purse Rehab. Boots need a little love? Send them to the Leather Spa.

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