Now is a great time to freshen up our closets and welcome in new spring energy! Kate will take us through an overall plan for spring cleaning our closets and give us tips to strategically freshen them up for a carefree, upbeat spring season.
Starting with a look at your overall closet:
RCG: Honestly, how do you even start?
Kate: If you want to do the whole closet, start by breaking it into two sections: fall/winter, spring/summer.
You will find a lot of things are interchangeable and can be worn for three seasons.
RCG: You don’t recommend moving things out?
Kate: No, I only recommend that if you truly don’t have space. I do like to organize by season. For instance, I have a double hang section in my closet where I hang my tops.
The top section has fall/winter and interseasonal pieces. The bottom rack is more spring/summer.
I sometimes flip and reverse it. I like to put the season we’re in on top.
In another section I have dresses. And another section has blazers, jackets. Jeans are in drawers.
If you need to store items due to lack of space, then do that. But, otherwise, keep them out. You might be surprised by how versatile many of your pieces are.
RCG: A lot of pieces are transitional.
Kate: Right! That’s the whole point. You want things that you can wear two to three out of the four seasons.
RCG: In California, that’s definitely true. It’s cold in the evenings, and I always need jackets, scarves, and layers.
Moving on to spring cleaning your closet:
RCG: This is daunting. How do I begin spring cleaning my closet?
Kate: The first step is to let go of the things you haven’t worn in one year.
In order, the steps are purge, clean, then organize.
RCG: What does cleaning require?
Kate: Washing and drycleaning the items in need. Dust the top of the racks. You’d be surprised to see how dusty the top shelves can get.
RCG: For organizing, how does that work? Do you suggest organizing looks?
Kate: I like to organize the way I mentioned earlier. Separate tops into two categories, fall/winter, spring/summer. Put all of your skirts in one place and all dresses in another. You can hang trousers together. Organize those by color. Jeans can be in drawers.
And, I think it’s a great idea to organize your looks weekly.
RCG: Once a week, look around and decide what you want to wear this week? It’s more fun to have a plan. I always feel better. I can say to myself, “I’ve thought about it, and this week I want to wear this or that.”
Kate: Pick out three or four pieces that you want to wear. Then put together some looks. Leave a small area of your closet for looks, if possible. It makes dressing for the week more fun!
It should be a fun activity, not something daunting.
RCG: What is your golden rule on purging?
Kate: If you haven’t worn it in 12 months, either consign or donate it.
I consign a lot. The pieces consignment stores don’t take are donated to a women’s shelter. It’s a wonderful way to give back to your community.
Other ideas on how to think of your clothing, your closet:
RCG: It’s funny to think of your closet as a living, breathing organism. There are so many useful things! Give them some life!
Kate: I have a couple of pairs of boots that I haven’t worn in years. But I’m sentimentally attached to them. I don’t want to let go. And, they’re not taking up much space. We’re all guilty of holding onto things, for sure. But, I think there is a way to do it.
The important thing is that you really wear everything. And, of course, it’s essential to get dressed every day.
RCG: You’ve taught me that, with most things, you can dress them up or dress them down. I think a lot of people (including me) get stuck, thinking, “This item is just way too dressy.” But, you’ve taught me that there’s a way to wear it. You can dress it down with a denim jacket and a pair of sneakers. People might often think, “(This item’s) only for dressy events.”
Now, I’ve learned from you, put it on with a pair of sneakers and wear it. It’s not a problem.
Kate: I think you really need to get there. Sometimes, it’s learning different ways to wear things. You can dress down almost everything.
What’s on-trend this spring season?
RCG: I think that’s super helpful! How about a tip about spring fashion?
Any thoughts on colors, fabrics?
Kate: I see a lot of white and neutrals. And I see some things with a massive pop of color or a print.
Wear all white with a tan belt or a black belt. Say, you have a pair of white jeans. Pair it with a white shirt, black belt, black loafers. Or a nude belt and a bootie. It’s a very monochromatic look this spring.
RCG: Monochromatic is easy. I can even do that!
Kate: There’s a beautiful green this season. And a marine blue color. People are wearing more cheerful, bold colors. After everything we’ve been living through, clothes are an expression of how we are feeling. People are ready to step forward in color. And to have a pep in their step.
RCG: Any suggestions for shoes?
Kate: I see a lot of loafers, sandals, ankle boots, sneakers. There are more platformed sneakers around, but I would keep it simple. Simple is usually best.
RCG: Here are some of Kate’s recommendations for spring footwear she loves right now:
Thank you, Kate!
Check out some of Kate’s specific picks for new spring pieces here.