Wardrobe Organization Tips from Stylist Stacy L. Troke

Organizing one’s wardrobe is as essential to a self-care routine as a hydrating mask or workout. Here, S/ contributor and stylist extraordinaire Stacy L. Troke breaks down the do’s and don’ts to make the process more palatable and fulfilling.

What are some words of wisdom you share with your clients to make wardrobe organization less daunting?

“It is a very emotional task for some people, and I have indeed seen tears in the past! I normally like to explain to clients that they can absolutely keep a few items, especially sentimental things. I just plan for a few things to get stored somewhere a bit out of sight so that it is there if needed. I also suggest putting some items that you’re on the fence about keeping in a storage container out of sight. If you miss something in the coming season, then it’s there for you, but if you don’t then we can purge it next season.”

If you’re doing a whole wardrobe purge, is there a category you should begin with? Accessories, footwear or clothing? 

“In my opinion, people should start with the category that seems the most overwhelming. If you have tons of shoes but only a few accessories, then start with footwear. Editing by season can help make the process less daunting as well.”

Is colour coordinating necessary?

“Colour coordinating is especially important if you have an exposed wardrobe with no doors—this looks very luxurious but means your wardrobe needs to be in tip-top shape or it will become a source of negativity. It also depends on how your individual brain likes to categorize things. I have my closet set up by commodity: dresses, tops, trousers, etc.”

What are some major don’ts when it comes to wardrobe organization that everyone should avoid?

“I would have to say don’t go it alone. If you can’t hire someone then perhaps ask a friend to lend a hand (even it’s with FaceTime or Zoom)—otherwise, you’ll just end up keeping everything! If you have a stylist like myself helping out you can also put together looks as you go. I’d advise on not holding onto items that don’t fit your lifestyle or body shape any longer. Trust me, you won’t miss these things!”

If you don’t have several closets, is it OK to mix winter and summer clothing? 

“Yes—why not! You’ll often need a tank or t-shirt for layering—you can organize the space so summer is not as prevalent, but there if you need it.” 

Best ways to recycle clothing?

“There are so many ways! I think one of the best ways is to give to a friend—ideally not a clothing swap at this point as we are trying to downsize. Charity shops or resale if an item is in good condition or designer.”

Best storage tips for small spaces?

“As I am a stylist first and foremost, some space challenges even have me at a loss! For ways to organize them, I would suggest to try and limit your purchases so that your wardrobe isn’t all squished together and you can see what you have. Perhaps a bit of a day to day uniform is in order if space is limited.”