How-To: Audit Your Closet And Rediscover Your Wardrobe’s Versatility

Tania Tonello is a fashion stylist, personal shopper, and regular contributor to STYLE Canada based in Downtown Toronto. On #WardobeWednesdays, she gives you fun yet practical tips and tricks to mastering the art of dressing and expressing yourself in a functional, economical, and more sustainable way. You can read her first instalment here

As our homes become the backdrop to all of our days, daily outfit choices are looking more comfy than couture. And that’s OK! For many, this is a welcome break from the dreaded question, ‘What will I wear today?‘. This is also an opportune time to audit the clothes and accessories we own and make some adjustments so that we feel excited about choosing outfits when normalcy resumes.

Not sure where to start? Here’s three tips on how to rediscover the gold inside your wardrobe.

1. Damaged Goods

Identify damaged wardrobe items like those with missing buttons or fabric imperfections and remove them from your closet. Can any of them be salvaged through alterations or professional cleaning services? If not, move them to a donation pile. Don’t forget about shoes, as they take a lot of abuse during the winter months. A replacement heel can be a low-cost solution to parting with your favourite pumps.


2. Ill Fits

Take the time to try on every piece in your closet, tackling a section per week. Whether it’s because of weight fluctuation, excessive wear, or poor quality, separate clothing items that no longer flatter away from the ones that do. If you’re self isolating with others, have them chime in for a second or third opinion. If you’re on your own, consider mirror selfies to assess fit through your camera roll. Virtual second opinions are welcome too, but ensure that lighting is optimal when asking a friend to help you analyze over video chat.

Similar to your damaged wardrobe items, determine if any of your ill-fitting pieces are worth altering. If they’re in excellent condition and/or timeless in style with fit being the only concern, hold on to them and see what a talented seamstress or tailor can do for you.


3. Mix ‘N Match Pieces

We wear 20 per cent of our wardrobe 80 per cent of the time, so what happens to the neglected 80 per cent? We’re creatures of habit and as a result, we gravitate towards the same ol’ outfits because they’re comfortable and we know they work. Try rediscovering your wardrobe by considering different styling options. Mix ‘n match a variety of tops and bottoms to explore what works and what doesn’t. If this task sounds overwhelming, there’s several apps like Stylebook and Smart Closet that can assist you.  There’s also many stylists and wardrobe consultants offering online style consultations and services during this time.


After auditing your closet, you’ll have a better sense of what you own, which will allow you to create a list of what you need. And what do we really need anyway? Next #WardrobeWednesday, I’ll breakdown the essential pieces in my closet. Who’s ready?

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