After time, some closets can turn into an overcrowded sea of black, with clothes that are divided into two categories:  things that fit you now and things you’re trying to get back into.  An over packed closet can be counterproductive and overwhelming, and spring is the best time to purge and get back on track.  It’s also something you should tackle before you head out for your next retail therapy session.

If this challenge applies to you, here are some suggestions as to how to get organized and how to identify which items are the essentials for every wardrobe.

Good Riddance

Start by creating two piles of clothes.  One will be for all your spring/summer clothing, the other for your fall/winter wardrobe.  Tackle the spring/summer pile first; for now, put the fall and winter clothes away in a separate closet to tackle before September.  Now create three piles of clothes:

Clothes you love, still wear and can fit into; Clothes you love but might not fit into anymore; Clothes you have  not worn in over year.

Once you’ve come this far, make sure that the clothes you love and still fit into include at least the following wardrobe essentials: 


  1.   The little black dress. Cliché, yet absolutely necessary.
  2.  The pencil skirt, preferably in a neutral colour: black, grey, brown, taupe or navy.
  3.   The tailored white shirt.
  4.   A fitted black blazer that can be dressed up, or thrown on with a casual outfit.
  5.   A well-tailored neutral pantsuit.  Again in black, grey, brown, taupe, or navy.
  6.   A fabulous transitional coat that will work for cooler days and evenings.  If you need to buy one, make the investment and look for something classic such as a trench or pea coat style.  It should fit you like a glove. Look for strong lapels and exquisite detailing that screams expensive.
  7.   One or two fabulous purses: one in black and the other in a bright colour.  Cheap and cheerful trendy purses can be added in later.
  8.   Scarves.  Pull out what you have, make sure they’re in great condition and keep them accessible for last minute additions.
  9.   One amazing pair of jeans.  Choose a brand that works for you.  Spend the extra money on a quality pair.
  10. A great pair of comfortable, stylish black heels for special events.
  11. Cardigans: both a black and a white one, make sure they are long enough to cover your behind, have some shape, and look great both buttoned up or open.

These items are a must. Treat them like family heirlooms.  Keep them clean and pressed at all times and replace them when they wear out.  If you’re missing any of these pieces, make a list and go shopping!

Once you have these essential wardrobe staples, you can start to consider current trends.  Look for this season’s bright and crazy palette of flowered patterns, or choose scarves and other accessories to experiment with.  Add a chunky new necklace or bracelet, and an assortment of fun blouses.


Invest in a couple of new and colourful summer totes, some new aviator sunglasses (they suit everyone), and some patterned lightweight sweaters for those cooler summer nights.  As you collect new items, lay them on your bed with all the items in your closet that go well with them and snap a picture!  A quick look through your photo album each night before bed will have you ready for a stress-free morning when it’s time to get dressed!

Now, what time do those stores open…?

By: Sherine Mansour

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