Good style begins with a well-planned wardrobe. In a special closet-centric column, The Weekly’s resident stylist Aaron Kok is here to help you declutter your wardrobes
"Take charge of your closet space, so you can stride ahead in style."
Q “My husband and I have just moved into our new place, and I am struggling with the decrease in closet space. Previously, I had three full racks to myself, but we now have to share three racks between us. How am I going to fit all my clothes into half the space? Help!” – Charmaine, 34
A “Deep breaths Charmaine, help is here! I’m not going to lie – this will take some ruthless purging on your part, but it will pay off in the long run. Firstly, separate your clothing into ‘essentials’ and the ‘non-essentials’. White shirts, camisoles, your navy work suits… all go into ‘essentials’. The metallic skirt goes into the ‘non-essential’ pile.
Next, divide the ‘non-essentials’ pile into smaller piles: Keep and Donate. In your Keep pile, add only the pieces that you wear at least three times a month. You have to be merciless here, because it’s so easy to hold on to something with the hope that you’ll wear it again someday. In the Donate pile goes anything that has been lightly worn or no longer fits.
Your goal is to get your wardrobe to fit an 80-20 mix: 80 per cent of essentials should be clothes that can be dressed up or down, and 20 per cent of it, trend-based items. Do this every six months and you should be able to trim down your clothes by a fair bit. Lastly, limit yourself to a new purchase once in two months at most, so you’re not adding more back into your closet.”
SORT IT YOURSELF
Debby Kwong, from Sortorial, gives her three-second tips on how to organise your wardrobe
TIP #1: SORT BY SEASON
“Keep out-of-season clothes out of the way. Put your bulky winter wear and beach vacation outfits away in compression bags that are slim and easy to store in your closet.”
TIP #2: NO HANGER HANG-UPS
“Your closet will look a lot neater with one type of hanger. I recommend thin, black velvet ones that are lightweight and anti-slip for tops.”
TIP #3: ROWS, NOT PILES
“Arrange your folded items standing up in neat rows, rather than stacked on top of each other, for easier access and a bird’s eye view of your clothes.” For more information, visit sortorial.com
FIGURE THIS OUT
It’s no secret that parts of our closets are underutilised, but just how far-reaching is that problem? We’ve crunched the numbers, so you get a clearer picture on just how much clothing gets wasted.
Q “I’ve just started to get into the hobby of collecting bags, however, I’ve run out of space to store them. Currently, I keep them in their dustbags, and they sit on top of the cupboard in my bedroom. Is there a better way to store my precious bags?” – Nadirah, 31
A “Being a fellow bag collector myself, I definitely do have a few tips! To start, the best trick I can offer you is to go to your nearby furniture store, and get creative. IKEA has a nifty hanger that’s originally made to store sandals vertically, which I recommend getting to keep your smaller shoulder bags instead. For bigger bags, a bookshelf can offer more storage space, whilst giving you a better view of your bag-babies. Lastly, if you’ve got one of those fancy dinner clutches that rarely get any air time, use it as a home decor piece! Stack a few coffee table books up, and top them off with a gorgeous clutch.”
"Bag from Marni."
"Clutch, $3,850, from Jimmy Choo."
Q “I currently have quite a few pairs of jeans hanging in my closet, and I feel like I need to trim down on the number for the sake of space. How can I better arrange or store my jeans, so I get the most out of them?” – Xue Fern, 42
A “As your body shape changes over time, it’s helpful to take stock of the jeans you already own in your wardrobe. Anything that doesn’t flatter your shape shouldn’t be hanging in your closet. You should also aim to have only one to two pairs for every type of cutting.
When it comes to hanging them up, find what works for you. Some prefer hanging them by length, but I prefer organising them by their cut and colour instead. And if you’re going to hang a few pairs of jeans on one hanger, then create a system of rotation where you alternate each pair, so all your jeans get equal amounts of worn time.”
"Moonshot Lip Feat in Vintage Wine, $48."
Q “I’m a huge beauty junkie, but because my cosmetics are kept in my closet’s in-built vanity, it means having to always see an overflow of beauty products every time I open my closet. How can I tidy up my grooming area?” – Rachel, 29
A “From one skincare addict to another: Rachel, I understand your plight. Firstly, get hold of label stickers, and label all your products clearly with the date you’ve opened them and their use-by date so you know which items need to be finished first. Invest in storage boxes to keep track of them.
Muji has several desktop shelves that are designed to keep office stationery, but I find that they do well with storing beauty products too. If after that, you still find that you’ve got too many products, then the only way is to trim the fat. Consider developing your signature look – you can’t go wrong with a classic red lip and a light wash of eyeshadow – and keep a few extra products for light variations on your new look.”