How to organise your wardrobe for a new fashion season | Styling You

How to prep and organise your wardrobe for a new fashion season

Nikki Parkinson Fashion, How to 7 Comments

Do you remember what your wore last autumn-winter?

Unless you live in the southern part of Australia and need your warmer clothes on hand at any time or you travelled to the northern hemisphere at Christmas, then you’ll probably struggle to remember what you did wear and what you already own.

We’re set to launch into a new fashion season so consider this your gentle nudge to undertake a forensic-like stocktake of what you have stashed in your wardrobe BEFORE you launch into a shopping frenzy, filling imaginary gaps that you may not even have.

As part of my overall stress-free wardrobe strategy, I always do this. In the past I’ve been guilty of heading out to the shops or clicking with gay abandon online and BUYING THE SAME THINGS THAT I ALREADY OWN.

I’d apologise for the CAPS but I know I’m not alone on this. The thing is, on these occasions, if I’d actually bother to edit and audit my existing autumn-winter pieces, I’d have known that I already have more long-sleeved black tops that I could ever wear in a season and I’d know that it’s great to have jean options but do I really need multiple options in the same colour and style? Mmmmmm …

These tips on how to prep and organise your wardrobe for a new fashion season will help you avoid this same trap. I’m all about freshening things up for a new fashion season but I’m all about doing that in a mindful manner.

If you want to really hone that mindfulness, join me in the autumn-winter 2017 Ultimate Capsule Wardrobe online style program, which launches here tomorrow, March 30 (details below). The program is designed so that buying new items is not compulsory – you may have suitable pieces already in your wardrobe. You just have to edit it first!

How to organise your wardrobe for a new fashion season

How to organise your wardrobe for a new fashion season | Styling You

(A little sneak peek for you of what’s available in the autumn-winter Styling You Shop, which also launches tomorrow, March 30)

1. Allocate at least two hours to fully edit your wardrobe. This is not a job to do in bits and pieces. You need to apply a wholesale approach to the task at hand.

2. Take everything out of your wardrobe space. Yep, everything. I find the bed is a good dumping ground for this but I just don’t do a dump and one massive pile. I’ll create several piles on the bed so I can systematically work through what’s going back in and what’s not.

3. Go through each item piece by piece. Don’t dwell too long on each piece but do check in with yourself and try and work out when the last time was you wore it; did it make you feel good; is it still in good condition? If it passes those tests, it stays and is allowed back in.

4. Create a throw out pile. The throw-out pile is for those items that are stained or can’t be repaired. Please don’t send these to a charity to create extra work for the volunteers.

5. Create a charity pile. The charity pile is for clothes in good condition that just maybe aren’t right for you any more. Think about which charity you plan to gift your clothes to. All mine now go to Dress for Success Brisbane.

6. Create an eBay, Buy Swap and Sell or Gumtree pile. Maybe you’re a gun at re-selling on eBay or Gumtree. Put any items aside (new with tags or designer pieces) and you might just get enough return for new purchases.

7.  Invest in new hangers if you need them. My wardrobe life and space has been changed forever by embracing the slimline flocked hanger. Thankfully they’re available almost everywhere now but I bought mine originally at Howards Storage World and most recently at Kmart. In my personal wardrobe, I’m trying to avoid buying MORE hangers. If I run low, I know it’s time to edit and audit, rather than just buy more hangers to add more clothes.

8. When putting items back in your wardrobe, put the items that you most wear on a day-to-day basis front and centre. These are the high-use items that you just want to be able to see and grab at a moment’s notice.

9. If you are able to and have space, put the opposite season clothes in another wardrobe. I’m fortunate to be able to grab some space for this in my office. My shoes also live in my office/Lady Room.

10. Colour code each section of your wardrobe to suit your organisation. For example, I group all my tees and tops together but you’ll find all the white ones and black ones hanging side by side. This not only shows me that I do not need to buy any more from the black and white tee and top department but it means I can grab a good basic quickly and easily in the morning rush.

11. If wardrobe editing is not your thing, phone a friend. Better still, get that friend over to help you decide what stays and what goes. So often our emotions are tied up in our clothes – good and bad. I want you to have only good emotions in regards to what’s in your wardrobe – that means ditching anything that makes you feel less that fabulous. A true friend will give you permission to do that.

12. As you’re putting things back in your wardrobe, start making a list of any things you might need. If there are any gaps, these will become evident once you’ve done your edit. Most gaps will be wardrobe basics – jeans, shorts, pants, dresses, shoes in neutral colours that form the building blocks of a wardrobe that works.

13. Shop mindfully with that list of gaps. You don’t have to complete your “gap” shopping list  in one day or even one month. Hold on to that list in your handbag – or on your phone – and reach for it each time you’re out shopping and tempted by something sparkly and pretty winking at you from the shop window. The list will bring you back to focus on the gaps. Fill the gaps first and then I’ll let you buy all the sparkles in the world.

So tell me, is your wardrobe prepped and ready for a new fashion season? What gaps do you need to fill? What show-pony pieces do you have your eye on?

PS. Once you have your wardrobe edited and prepped, take on these tips for stress-free daily dressing from member of the previous Ultimate Capsule Wardrobe online style program. 


The Ultimate Capsule Wardrobe online style program is back  to give you a clear style road map for the season ahead (launching TOMORROW, March 30).

I feature a lot of mini capsule wardrobes here on the blog throughout the year but my Ultimate Capsule Wardrobe online style program is designed to be an adaptable wardrobe blueprint for the entire season.

Win 1 of 3 Ultimate Capsule Wardrobe memberships | Styling YouIn a nutshell, the autumn-winter 2017, six-week online style program is based on a 30-piece capsule wardrobe that can be adapted for any lifestyle, budget, shape, size or age. I’ll show you how.

You are helped to “shop” your wardrobe for alternatives to my suggestions and I’ll have links to buy for those wanting to mindfully update their wardrobes with a solid plan.

I’m also hands-on in the dedicated Ultimate Capsule Wardrobe Facebook group supporting this program, taking you through each day’s outfit suggestions and being there to personally answer your specific style questions.

It’s like having your own personalist stylist on speed dial. 

Thank you for creating the Ultimate Capsule Wardrobe. I liked how we were able to adapt the suggested pieces to suit what we may already have or find alternatives to suit budgets, lifestyles and tastes. I feel like I have a really great wardrobe for the season where I have so many combinations I can put together. I have loved the Facebook group as I felt really safe posting outfits and it was really lovely to receive such positive comments from those within the group and gain ideas from others. – Leanne

To be first in the know about the launch of the Ultimate Capsule Wardrobe online program, make sure you’re signed up to the Styling You email list and mark tomorrow morning in your diaries now.

  • merilyn

    thankyou nikki!
    always helpful for this girl! … I have improved though hun!
    I have too many black things ie pants, tops, jackets, shoes etc! but I wear most so they stay!
    but recently I gave two garbags of clothes and some shoes to a friend for she and her daughter to go through, then if anything was left, they were going to a charity shop!
    I keep culling and replacing if I need a new piece! i’m trying to minimize!
    it’s a challenge!;))
    much love m:)X

  • Amanda Garven

    I’m loving the look of that dusty pink long sleeve top! Looks like I’ll be getting up early tomorrow morning! Editing will be happening on Saturday and I cannot wait to get it done.

  • LInda

    I have already bought the 2 pieces I realized were missing from my winter wardobe last year – a pair of black ankle boots and a long charcoal knit. I left it too late in the season to find these last year !

  • My autumn/winter wardrobe is ready and I’ve already moved some pieces over in readiness for the colder weather, but I might still do a small edit anyway. I don’t have tonnes of clothes thankfully, but it never hurts to look at what you have. I’ve got 3 gaps in my wardrobe – I’d love a winter dress (or 2), some more pairs of ankle boots (way way WAY too many FRANKiE4’s on my wish list!) + another pair of black jeans since mine gave up the ghost recently. I might even look at getting a cape/poncho + a longline tunic/knit to wear with my Sussan ponte leggings too. I’m kinda itching to shake up my winter style since all I seem to wear is jeans, a long sleeve top + a coat at that time of year.

    • Shell, I love your plan. It’s an awesome one for freshening up and shaking up!

  • Kathryn

    Hi Nikki, I was thinking yesterday about winter, and trying to recall a moment of sitting on the couch with a throw, relaxing with a book. For the life of me I can’t. It’s been such a long hot summer. I love the thought of cool weather! My wardrobe is pretty untidy presently, needs a clean edit. I know I have two gaps, ankle boots and leather sneakers, have already chosen which Frankie4’s I want. Looking forward to the new shop, I see denim, stripes and gold tassels – yahoo!

    • It’s so difficult to imagine, isn’t it?! Love your “gap” list … and yes, well spied on the tassels 🙂