August 22, 2016
It’s not here yet, but before we know it, the winds will be blowing, the leaves will be dropping and honestly, I’m pretty excited about it. Fall is easily my favourite season to shop and to dress for. The colours, the textures, the layers, I just love it all! It’s also the season during which I’ve found myself most easily getting carried away when it comes to new additions. It always seems so harmless to just keep adding item after item to my cart, getting distracted as new collections launch, adding more items to more carts, blindly forgetting the closet I’ve already put so much time, money and effort into building. Then suddenly, I’ve blown my budget before the leaves have even started changing. Not a good feeling, no matter how fabulous my new acquisitions might be. But this year, I refuse to let history repeat itself, and here’s how!
To help keep myself and anyone else who’s inclined to over-indulge I’m taking the following 4-step approach to my Fall Closet Prep:
- ASSESS WHAT YOU HAVE
- REINVEST IN YOUR FAVOURITES
- MAKE A LIST
- SET A BUDGET
So let’s take a look at what’s involved in each step and how taking 1 measly hour to plan your Fall closet can positively impact your style, budget and closet contentment for an entire season! PLUS, there’s a quick and easy worksheet to help you do it.
STEP 1 | ASSESS WHAT YOU HAVE
Now is the perfect time to conduct a Closet Clean Out, I’ve been doing them seasonally for a couple years now and it makes such a difference to maintaining a streamlined wardrobe and personal style. It’s a relatively quick task and all you need to do is:
- Pull out all your Fall/Winter Items so you can see them all at once.
- ABOUT EACH ITEM ASK:
- DID I WEAR THIS LAST FALL?
- DO I WANT TO WEAR IT AGAIN?
- If the answer is not a resounding ‘YES!’ then it’s probably a good item to let go of.
- Sort everything into 3 piles: KEEP / SELL / DONATE.
You can see a more in-depth approach to A Successful Closet Edit in a guest post I wrote for Poppy Barley. I promise if you follow the steps you’ll come away feeling SO much better about your style options with a much less cluttered closet.
STEP 2 | REINVEST
Now this might actually be my favourite part of the whole prep process, reinvesting in the items I have, love and can’t wait to wear again. This step can really help to curb your shopping cravings too!
- WHAT DID I WEAR MOST LAST FALL?
- WHAT AM I MOST EXCITED TO WEAR AGAIN?
- WHAT ARE 3-5 OUTFITS I’M GOING TO WEAR AGAIN?
Make a mental note or take a picture of a few looks you loved last year and look forward to wearing again. This will be a good indication of what you get the most use out of and highlight some potential looks/silhouettes/uniforms that will help ensure that whatever you add, either serves a unique purpose or works really well within the styles you most often gravitate to.
For Example: I loved wearing tunics and oversized sweaters with both skinnies and flares. My Modern Loafers, Mars boots and Pistol boots stomped many a street and I’m pretty sure I’ll never have enough wide-brim hats and knitted beanies. If it was particularly chilly I wore my black wool cocoon coat and a scarf to stay toasty.
HERE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVOURITE FALL OUTFITS:
*Similar products linked when no longer available.
STEP 3 | A | MAKE A LIST
Now that you know what you’re keeping and what you’re excited to wear again, you can begin to reorganize. While doing so look at your various categories like Shoes, Sweaters, Coats, Pants, Accessories etc.
- ARE THERE ANY GLARING GAPS?
- WHAT ARE A FEW PIECES YOU WISHED YOU HAD LAST YEAR?
Maybe you only have one pair of boots or your favourite jeans are wearing dangerously thin or you have only 1 sweater after the edit. These are all good things to note so you buy things you’ll really make use of. So often we add variations of things we already have enough of and end up wearing things even less.
For Example: I don’t have any glaring gaps but I did make note of a few items I would have loved to have last Fall (and Winter):
1 | A pair of black skinny jeans. My go-to pair last year never felt quite right, they were too tight in the leg and I felt like I was always pulling them up but they were key to my daily uniform!
2 | A mid-weight black peacoat. I love my cocoon coat but it’s quite oversize and has no closure. A menswear inspired, buttoned, structured and slightly fitted peacoat would be a great addition.
3 | Fitted cotton turtlenecks. These are the perfect layering piece that I always wished for last year.
Look at what you’re planning to donate or sell. What are the things you didn’t love enough to wear much (if at all)? This way you can avoid repeating old habits.
- WHAT ITEMS DID I NOT WEAR LAST FALL?
- WHAT SHOULD I DEFINITELY NOT BUY?
For Example: I barely wore any dresses last fall. Bare legs become a non-option as soon as the temps dip below 16° C for me and that doesn’t take long. As much as I love them, I should probably stick to separates.
I also noticed, I’ve gone off mid-wash denim so I’ll be sticking to black and super dark washes.
Staying warm is key for me and any tops that didn’t layer easily or keep me cozy never left the hanger. Mental note made.
STEP 3 | B | MAKE A LIST
Now that you have an idea of what you didn’t get much use of and, alternatively, would have liked to have it’s time to make a shopping list or a wish list. I swear by short and thoughtful wish lists and always have one going for each season. They totally help to keep me on track with both my spending and style and deter me from any impulse shopping. I’ll be going into more detail about my Fall 2016 Wish List on Wednesday but check out my Spring Wish List and a great little printable you can use (also included in today’s worksheet)!
Since it’s still quite early in the season your list will probably be short or more general as most collections haven’t launched yet. This is a good opportunity to note the designers you love so you can save your budget before getting distracted and buying things you might later wish you’d passed on.
For Example: I’m not buying anything else until I see a few of the following collections:
- Elizabeth Suzann
- Only Child
- Rachel Comey
- First Rite
- Eileen Fisher
Even if they don’t inspire me to buy anything, I’ll feel better knowing I haven’t missed out!
STEP 4 | SET A BUDGET
Even if it’s a buzzkill it’s important to set a ballpark figure or at least a price range you want to stick to. You’re much less likely to impulse shop or overspend if you’ve got a figure in mind to stay under.
For Example: If I look back at my spending from earlier this year (Check-In 1 and Check-In 2) I can see that I’ve been pretty good about shopping and spending less so something along the lines of $1500 is probably a good figure to aim for over the next few months. That said, F/W pieces are often pricier than S/S as the fabrics are more involved to make and the pieces themselves are usually more substantial. I always make a point to start saving up earlier for Fall as it holds more investment opportunities like boots, coats and knitwear and pieces that generally last longer.