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A guide to help you with a wardrobe detox

Fashion experts share tips on how they keep their closets streamlined and free of clutter

The best way to declutter one’s closet is to time it with the changing seasons. (Istockphoto)

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January is the month when many of us are trying hard to make some positive changes to our lifestyle. This may include making sense of one’s closet: what to toss out and what to keep.

You can follow several simple strategies. How about colour-coding your wardrobe? Summer whites on one shelf, evening blacks on another. Alternatively, divide the closet by season. Are there pieces from previous seasons that could still work? Identify some season-less key classics that you will use irrespective of trends, and donate or resell the rest via social media or on platforms dedicated to pre-loved clothes.

It’s imperative to keep luxe pieces like a Chanel Boy bag or an Hermès Kelly in their original boxes to retain their shape and sheen. Sequinned or heavily embroidered pieces should be folded carefully and kept in separate drawers, for hanging them may impact the shape and silhouette.

WHAT SHOULD BE OUT

Cecilia Morelli, co-founder of the multi-brand luxury fashion house Le Mill, observes that we tend to hold on to old pieces that may not have been worn in a while. “Declutter anything that does not fit well, is uncomfortable, has passed its trend timeline, or any other factor that has made you move it to the back of your wardrobe,” says Morelli. “The way to a well-rounded wardrobe is through the 80:20 rule of thumb. Eighty per cent of your wardrobe should be essentials that can stand the test of time and 20% of it should be trending styles.”

When it comes to organising the closet, Morelli’s strategy is creating colour-coordinated sections and hanging up pieces by height, from high to low. She also likes to segregate her wardrobe according to the occasion : holiday, work, evening wear.

“Everyone’s wardrobe is different. My wardrobe, for example, consists of pieces from Chloé, Alaïa and Chanel. This part of my wardrobe was purchased because of their longevity and ability to transcend trends and seasons. I also have pieces that have been passed down from my mom and I cannot part with them because of their sentimental value,” she explains.

The best way to declutter one’s closet is to time it with the changing seasons, says Pernia Qureshi, co-founder of Saritoria, a platform for pre-loved fashion. “So spring cleaning and fall cleaning is a good place to start. The reason for this is that during that time of the year you are anyway readjusting your wardrobes for the new season so might as well hit two birds with one stone,” she says.

She suggests compartmentalising while cleaning. “Make two piles of clothes and accessories you no longer wear or haven’t used in a long time. One pile should be for things that you can resell on websites and make money from. The second pile should be of pieces that won’t have resale value and that you can donate. Put each pile in labelled cartons so they are clearly marked and your decluttering journey becomes easy,” she adds.

THINK TREND-LESS FASHION

Yuv Bharat Ram, founder and creative director of the brand Primal Gray, believes that if one hasn’t worn something in two years, it’s time to rethink why it’s in one’s closet. “When I purchase something new and find something similar already in my closet, it’s time for that older piece to go,” says Ram.

He suggests investing in pieces that you see yourself wearing more often and through seasons rather than trying only to be trendy.

“It’s an easy way of having less, and by mixing and matching with other pieces, one can get multiple looks and styles out of them throughout the year. Investing in quality items makes your closet last longer and keeps it decluttered,” says Ram. “I also always feel like one should clean their closets once every season to remove pieces one hasn’t worn and no longer see themselves wearing, or have worn too much.”

Ram likes to organise his closet by category and then by colour. “I keep all of the items in the same category together, as it’s then easy to know where a specific item is when one is looking. Organising by colour then allows me to create looks and combinations easily and also gives me a whole view of what I have in that colour scheme together. It makes it super easy when you are trying to come up with a look or even searching for that very specific item that you can never seem to find in your closet.”  

Manish Mishra is a Delhi-based writer and content creator.

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