For the imperfect Fashion lover.

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Winter Wardrobe Tour: Part 1 * How to Organise your Closet

Wardrobe Tour | How to Organise your Closet | Fake Fabulous

Hello and welcome into my wardrobe.
(Pssst... that clean white space is NOT it!)

It's going to be fun to share some of my secrets.
Some things might even come as a surprise to you!
Let's find out, shall we?...

You might be wondering why I'm opening my wardrobe doors and letting you have a look inside.

Well, the truth is that this type of post has been requested on numerous occasions but I've simply never got round to doing it.
However, today it was raining so instead of twiddling my thumbs (or doing housework!) I decided to open the doors on my wardrobe to show you what's really lurking in there!

I must tell you that I'm certainly no 'wardrobe tour' expert.
I've no idea what people want to see.

PLUS I didn't even tidy the wardrobes up before I took my photos.
It's all raw and real.

Having said that I am quite organised when it comes to my clothes.
I like a tidy space.

I need to see exactly what I have very easily so if the mood takes me I can grab something I want to wear.
For me, getting dressed is all about the mood I'm in on any given day and my wardrobe needs to deliver!

Winter Wardrobe: PART 1

I have decided to spit this 'Winter Wardrobe reveal' into 3 parts.

You might be thinking that this is because I have 3 enormous wardrobes and mountains of clothes BUT the truth is a little different.

Let me show you more...

I actually have 2 wardrobes.
One for Coats, jackets, bags and shoes and the other for my clothes.

This part 1 is the first half of my 'clothes' wardrobe.

It's not big.
It's not fancy.
(It's from Ikea!)
No walk-in wardrobe for me (sigh).
No plush dressing room (I wish).
My husband has also commandeered the bottom drawer... which I'm not very happy about (more on that a little later).

Let's have a nosey, shall we?

This first wardrobe contains the following...

  • Shirts/blouses
  • Tops
  • Cardigans
  • Jumpers
  • (This weeks') gym outfits
  • Undies (excluding socks)
  • Thermals and underlayers
  • Jeans and Joggers

Everything (and I really mean EVERYTHING) I own is sorted out seasonally.
Each section of my wardrobe is carefully curated, even my belts are packed away if I feel they're too 'summery'.

Everything you see here is everything I'm going to be using this season.

Of course, I am wearing some of my clothes as I type this!
Today it's the bobble jumper from THIS POST (you can see a space in my 'chunky monkeys' drawer) and my cream cord trousers.
Plus, as with everyone, a couple of items are in the wash... so they're missing from the photos.

But this is basically it...

Wardrobe Tour | How to Organise your Closet | Fake Fabulous

More on the main body in a moment, but first...

At the side of the wardrobe are my belts.
They hang on hooks for easy access and larger ones are folded into a box underneath.
The tails of the hanging belts lie in the box.

Wardrobe Tour | How to Organise your Closet | Fake Fabulous

Wardrobe Tour | How to Organise your Closet | Fake Fabulous

Underneath the main rail, there are 4 large drawers.

One of which is full of my husband's jumpers and is pretty untidy.
I don't like it!
The mess makes me feel a little antsy.
Occasionally I venture into it to fold the contents and dust the corners.

The first drawer contains my 'chunky monkey' jumpers.
Each is rolled so I can see them ALL at once.
No digging through piles.
No need to 'remember' pieces.
Everything is in the grab zone.

Wardrobe Tour | How to Organise your Closet | Fake Fabulous

The next drawer down contains fine knit jumpers.
There are 3 piles.
Each with 3 or 4 jumpers.
They're organised into colour moods.

  1. Cool: Blues and greens 
  2. Warm: Pinks and reds (I have my pale pink jumper on the top here, which looks more neutral... a "real" wardrobe tour expert would have had a brighter colour on top!)
  3. Neutral: Creams and browns
Also in this drawer are my jeans, chinos, dungarees and joggers.
Each rolled so I can see everything at once.

Wardrobe Tour | How to Organise your Closet | Fake Fabulous

Next, is my undies drawer.

  • Bras
  • Thermal underlayers
  • Slips
  • Tights
  • Pants
  • Legwarmers and wristwarmers (at the front for easy access)
  • Swimming costumes (at the back for the opposite reason!)
  • Leggings
Each has its own place and everything is easy to see.

Wardrobe Tour | How to Organise your Closet | Fake Fabulous

Now for the rail.
On the left are my shirts and blouses.
I try to hang them in colour order so they're more pleasing to the eye.

I wonder if you recognise any of those vintage blouses from my previous outfit posts?

Wardrobe Tour | How to Organise your Closet | Fake Fabulous

Next, my tops.
I have knitted rollnecks and a couple of other longsleeved tops.
All of my t-shirts are packed away for the warmer months.
Bare arms are NOT an option from October-March, even with a jacket!

(The grey top on the right is my Christmas jumper... see it HERE)

Wardrobe Tour | How to Organise your Closet | Fake Fabulous

Next comes a trouser hanger full of silk scarves.
Silk scarves are great no matter what season it is!

I often wear one tucked under the neck of a shirt or jumper for an extra layer of warmth.
My dad used to work on building sites in the winter months and often wore a silk scarf under his overalls to keep out the chills.

Wardrobe Tour | How to Organise your Closet | Fake Fabulous

After the scarves, we come to my winter cardigans.
All of these are super-warm and cosy.
There's no room for flimsy knits here!

Wardrobe Tour | How to Organise your Closet | Fake Fabulous

Last on the rail is another trouser hanger containing my gym outfits.
Not all of my gym gear but the items I'm going to be wearing this week.
I have 4 gym outfits ready to go!

Wardrobe Tour | How to Organise your Closet | Fake Fabulous

Under the gym outfits is a small bag of gym hoodys and sweatshirts.

Underneath the rest of the hanging clothes lies my hardcore (aka: brushed) thermal under-tops (the black and white pile) and the colourful polo-neck tops that I wear under (almost) everything from October through to March!

The colourful little pile of rollnecks gets a lot of use and I like to see all of the colours at once so I can grab something that takes my fancy.
Matching or clashing with my outfit depending on my mood of the day.

Wardrobe Tour | How to Organise your Closet | Fake Fabulous

Now for a little something extra.

Something that I think is VERY important.
Something I know many women (and men) struggle with.
Something that makes my life SO much easier, every day.

Wardrobe Organisation.

I want to get down to the nitty-gritty of how I organise my wardrobe to ensure it is working it's hardest to make my life as easy as possible.

My wardrobe is pretty small.
Not small compared to some people BUT small compared to most of my friends and certainly small for a style blogger!

The organisation of my 'stuff' is crucial.
I'm a bit of a pro when it comes to making the most of the space I have so I want to share with you my 5 tips for keeping a tidy wardrobe/closet.

4 Ways to keep a Tidy Closet / Wardrobe and always have something to wear

How many people do you know (maybe you're one of them?) that say they have nothing to wear while staring into an enormous wardrobe that's bursting at the seams?

It might seem crazy to have more clothes than you can count while still having NOTHING you want to wear but it's such an easy trap to fall into.

I'll tell you why.

Having mountains of clothes and nothing to wear usually means 3 things are happening in your wardrobe...
  1. You've got too much stuff packed into too little space and you can't actually SEE what you own.
  2. Your wardrobe lacks good quality basics and pieces you genuinely love.
  3. You're hanging on to pieces that don't fit (or suit your lifestyle) because you can't bear to let them go.
It's a common problem and sometimes a complex one.

There may be emotional reasons you're hanging onto certain pieces?

A reminder of happier times or key events in your life?
Maybe the clothes take you back to when you were younger... thinner maybe?
Perhaps your weight fluctuates and you feel you need to hang on to various size options?
Maybe you don't want to buy anything 'nice' at the moment because you feel you need to lose (or gain) weight first?
Perhaps you can't bear to let go of anything in case you need it later?
The list goes on...

Many of the issues surrounding wardrobe management problems are much deeper than simply having (or not having) a nice outfit to wear.

Your relationship with your clothing (and possessions) can be similar to relationships with food and eating.
Very complex.

Far too much to talk about in a simple blog post... we'd need a long chat over a pot of tea or a bottle of wine!

So, I'm not going to delve into these issues here I'm only going to share the 4 simple things I do in order to keep on top of my wardrobe.
A couple of ways I continue to feel genuinely inspired by its contents.

1. Keep things Seasonal

Because space is a premium I can't afford to have items I'm not wearing that season taking up valuable space in my winter wardrobe.

I NEED to be ruthless when it comes to [in use] and [in storage] items.

I have 4 canvas boxes on top of my two wardrobes.
These contain [in storage] items.

These boxes are also organised so if I need to find something I know where to go.
Two of the boxes are seasonal and two are a little more special!

My storage boxes are organised as follows:

1. Opposite Season Box
As it is winter at the moment this box contains shorts, vest tops, linen dresses, sunhats and super-lightweight items that are only any use on HOT summer days or holidays abroad.

2. Spring/Autumn Transition Box
This box contains lightweight knits, t-shirts and other 'hopeful' spring-like items for that glimmer of warmth that comes in April.
By March I can't wait to get this box down and start restocking my wardrobe!

3. Blog Classics Box
This is a fun box!
It contains some beautiful classic vintage pieces, secondhand gems and items that photograph beautifully (or may come in handy for an Outfit Thief post).
These items may not be the most comfortable (or practical) BUT I can't give them up... for now anyway.

4. Retired items Box
When I get bored of certain pieces I retire them to this box.
This is the box that contains quality items that I'm not "over" BUT I'm getting a little tired of wearing.
Instead of giving these away I keep them out of sight until the next time the season rolls around.
If I'm still bored of them I get rid but more often than not I feel like they're brand new again and they get another go!

2. Keep it TIDY

Tidiness is so important.
Even if you've got an ENORMOUS wardrobe having everything neat and tidy makes life much easier.

A messy wardrobe space is the most depressing thing.
How anyone can get dressed in the morning faced with a jumble is beyond me.

If your wardrobe is heaving with items (some of which may still have the tags attached) it's time for a cleanup!

You may need to purge some of your pieces.

Go through your items one section at a time (e.g Shirts and Blouses).
Try the item on and answer the following question...

Do I feel fabulous in this?

If the answer is yes, put it back.
If the answer is no, ask the following...

If I got it altered or repaired would it make me feel fabulous?
Can I be bothered getting it altered or repairing it?

If the answer is no again then decide which of these you want to do...

  • Give the item to a friend
  • Sell the item
  • Donate the item to charity
  • Send it to be recycled
It doesn't matter how much the piece cost you, or how guilty you feel about buying it and not wearing it.
Get rid of it.
It's making you unhappy, taking up space and stopping you looking and feeling fabulous every day.

If the item does make you feel fabulous but is out of season (or a duplicate of another item) then carefully pack it away into storage.

Trust me when I tell you that going through items in storage as the seasons' change is so much fun.
It's like having new clothes again.

Rediscovering old favourites is a joy!

3. Go Boutique

Think of those gorgeous boutique shops.
All of the items are lovingly hung on the rails with plenty of space between each piece.
Every item looks and feels incredibly special.
They make you want to part with your hard-earned cash in order to feel as special as they do.

Unfortunately, when the piece arrives home it's often lost it's 'specialness' and becomes just another white blouse shoved in a drawer or crushed onto a plastic hanger in a jam-packed rail.
Miserable right?

Well, what's to stop YOU recreating that feeling of the boutique in your own wardrobe?

Organised space is SO important.
Pieces need room to breathe.
The freedom to hang uncrumpled.
Free-flowing items are much more pleasing to the eye than an aching over-stocked rail.

Another great tip is to only use 'nice' hangers.
Those velvet coated ones work well for slippy items.
Wooden ones are perfect for shirts.
Padded hangers for certain tops and some cardigans.
{Fold your knits.}

Having your clothes on depressing plastic (or metal) hangers makes them look cheap and feel like nothing special.
Therefore, making you feel a bit cheap and nothing special.

It's amazing how boutique-like and fabulous a basic top can feel when it's lovingly hung on a nice hanger or folded carefully into a drawer.

Treat every aspect of your wardrobe like this... even your socks.
Organise smaller items into boxes or tubs.
I didn't even buy many of my containers.
Some are from Ikea but many are recycled boxes from things such as a hand blender and an Elemis gift set.
Be creative!

Making everything feel curated and special will make you feel special too.

The overused and cliched phrase "Shop your Wardrobe" really can work when your wardrobe feels well-loved.

BTW... you don't need expensive clothes and accessories (or even an expensive wardrobe and storage) to feel great. 

4. Avoid duplicates

I've never understood people who pack their wardrobes with duplicates.
I recently heard someone talking about their 11 pairs of black trousers and 13 white tees.
Who on earth needs 13 white t-shirts?!

I have 2.
One short-sleeved.
One longsleeved.

Even if you wore a white t-shirt and a pair of black trousers every single day you would only need a maximum of 7.
Any more than that is just bonkers (in my opinion).

Back to the point...
Duplicates are pointless (ha).
They clog up your wardrobe.
They take up space.
They stop your clothes feeling special.

If you find the perfect pair of black trousers (or white tee) then, by all means, buy two BUT put one into storage until no.1 dies a death.

Don't waste an inch of space on doublers.
It makes your wardrobe dull as dishwater and completely uninspiring.

Keeping items to a minimum has an amazing effect on outfit creation.
Fewer clothes feel like more clothes.

New outfit ideas emerge because you're able to SEE everything you own and your eye may pull pieces together that you'd never thought of before.

Choosing clothes gets easier.
AND... the best bit... You'll ALWAYS feel like you have something (fabulous) to wear!

I do hope you enjoyed this post please let me know if you did (or didn't).
I'd also love to hear your thoughts on my wardrobe space.

Is it what you expected?
Is it much like yours?
Are you organised and tidy?
Or, are you a shove-it-in-and-shut-the-door-mess-monger?

What about owning 11 pairs of black trousers?
Are you a duplicator?
Or, do you have one pair of black trousers?

I'd love to hear all about it.

P.S Part 2 is on its way!


  1. Thank you for this post Sam! My wardrobe is like yours - small, seasonal and relatively tidy - but one can always learn something new by seeing how others do things. In a previous post you mentioned the "emergency hanger". I was so inspired, I made a couple of them - warm outfits, in case winter suddenly arrives here. Now I like the idea of your "retired items" box, and will certainly try it.

    1. I hope you like it Ramit!
      I find the retired box really helpful and sometimes you forget what's in there and the clothes feel like new again.
      I've often fell back in love with old pieces.
      Let me know how it works for you.

  2. Thank you so much for taking me up on my suggestion, as one of those that asked for it! I have now several ideas that I am going to take to my own closet. I love all of your ideas, and I agree with your rational -I have MANY near duplicates, which drives me crazy! I will let you know how it goes!

    1. Thank YOU Sharon!
      I hope you let me know how you get on.
      The duplicates thing is a BIG one. Just box them up and see how you get on... I bet you feel like you have more options for outfits!
      Let me know if it works for you.

  3. I'm one of the lucky few who has a (small) walk-in closet, but many years ago I invested in having it custom built-out to make sure I use every inch of the space. I can SEE everything in it, and I keep everything sorted. I also put back/hang up things right away if they don't need washing. My closet is sometimes messier than other times, but it's always 98% organized. Seeing it all is so important!

    I have helped a few of my friends (and my hubby) to re-org their closets and so much of what you've said here rings true. I would emphasize having every piece that you own be "special" - ugh, forget owning duplicates!

    Very cool to see your well-curated wardrobe, Samantha! I love your practicality and seeing all your goodies. Thank you!

    1. Ahhhhh.... a big (envious) sigh Sheila!
      I bet your walk-in would be a brilliant place to have a rummage and a try-on.
      I can imagine the rainbow of colour/texture/pattern... heaven!!!

  4. Thanks for this post, it is very inspiring. It made me put away 4 pair of shoes. it is a start... I am one of those people for who it is very difficult to put things away. My size hasn't changed much and many things have a value in some way. Your idea of storage boxes for themed clothing could be a help to me.

    1. Thank you Joze!
      I'm so glad II inspired you to take action.
      4 pairs of shoes may seem small but it's a great start!

  5. I always love to have a look at other people's wardrobes and how they keep them tidy!. Yours looks really neat and cute, everything is visible and available, which is lovely!. Having everything in drawers and/or boxes is perfect for me too.
    I also have a box for 'retired items' (actually, it's a basket), it's very useful!
    I've realized that I only own four belts and that my scarves collections take a lot of space!. Downsizing my wardrobe is always in my mind!

    1. It's hard to downsize when everything is loved.
      I can't imaginge there are many boring duplicates in your wardrobe dear Monica! XXX

  6. I really enjoyed this peek inside your wardrobe - fun to see where all your fabulous items live. I am going to magpie the idea of using trouser hangers for scarves & a gym kit. Genius!


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