So, You Want to Build a Better Wardrobe

How is it that fall comes as a surprise every single year? It doesn’t seem to matter whether the early weeks of autumn are particularly chilly or unseasonably warm, the season still has a way of sneaking up on us all, rudely uprooting our open-toed shoes and off-the-shoulder shirts from our wardrobes. So, here we (I) are (am) wondering what in the world we’ll (I’ll) be wearing this season, and how to best piece together a wardrobe.

Putting together said wardrobe is exactly what makes transitioning to any season so difficult. Many times, when you impulsively purchase that cozy sweater or those new boots, you do so without taking into consideration what you own (or don’t). So this season, we’ve enlisted the expertise of Rachael Fisher, the buyer, stylist, and wardrobe expert extraordinaire of Hangar9, to tell us not only what working women need in their closet, but also how to master the art of wardrobe building.


Image courtesy of Pinterest

S/ magazine: What does “closet editing” mean?

Rachael Fisher: While adding new pieces to your repertoire is a must, it’s crucial to first edit and reorganize your closet, taking stock of classic pieces and stowing away current seasonal staples for next year.

S/: How does closet editing help women transition their wardrobes between seasons?

RF: It’s always best to refresh and detox any part of your life during transitional months.  This way you have a fresh foundation to build on before the season starts and ensures that you are being rational and strategic about what you need before you start shopping for the upcoming season.

  1. Store items you won’t touch until spring as far out of sight as possible. Whether this means storing pieces on your highest shelves, in suitcases, or in sealed Ziploc bags, removing seasonally inappropriate items will reduce clutter and help you to really see what you have to work with.
  2. Start small. Bring out the sweaters, tights, and jackets gradually by level of thickness and warmth.
  3. Arrange pieces by item, style, length, and colour so that you can see everything clearly. The same goes for shoes; think style, colour, and height.
  4. Hang items alongside similar pieces. This helps you to not only see what you have more clearly, but to also evaluate what you don’t need to invest in. Sometimes it takes seeing them all lined up to realize you probably don’t need to buy another black leather jacket.

S/: Should women be refreshing their wardrobes constantly, or is this best reserved for seasonal refreshes?   

RF: If you shop smart, you will find that you actually shop and spend less than if you are constantly on the prowl. By shopping with wardrobe-building in mind, all the pieces in your closet will suit your season, lifestyle, and budget.

Last, make a list of pieces you desperately want, and then assess which of them will work with the largest number of items you already own. If you can’t wear it at least three different ways it’s not an investment, it’s a splurge.