Closet Tips

As a stylist, I have spent many hours in women's closets- big and small. I wanted to share with you some of the tips I give clients. These can help make the process of dressing go from frustrating and stressful to quick and easy. First of all, it really does help to have velvet hangers, because they don't take up as much room as plastic, clothes don't slide off and they help keep the garment's shape. They also add a cohesive look to the closet. I prefer to hang clothes rather than fold them when possible because it is very difficult to keep pieces wrinkle-free on a shelf or in a drawer. It's hard to look put together in crumbled or creased clothes! Another VERY important rule is to avoid putting clothes back in the closet until you have checked them for spots and stains. If they are going to need to be cleaned or pressed before wearing again, you are sabotaging yourself by hanging them back up. Everything in your closet should ready to wear at a moment's notice. 

As far as shoes go, I put balled up tissue paper in the toe of all shoes (closed and open-toed shoes, boots and even in some sandals). This helps shoes keep their shape. It is best to do this immediately after taking off your shoes, as the moisture and warmth from your feet have creased and changed the shape of the shoe. You can wear out a beautiful leather or suede boot in a single season if you don't take care of it. Find a trustworthy shoe repair shop and keep the soles and heel tips of your shoes in good condition. I always spray my suede shoes and boots with Suede Protector before wearing. If you keep your shoes on shelves and are tight on space, you can put one shoe from a pair facing forward, and one shoe facing backward. This gives a little more room for multiple pairs on a shelf. I recommend putting rolled up magazines inside your tall boots to help them stand up and keep their shape. This trick costs nothing, and IT REALLY WORKS!!!

If you do not have a full-length mirror and good lighting in your dressing area, TAKE CARE OF THIS IMMEDIATELY!!! You should check yourself in a full-length mirror (from the front AND back) before you walk out the door. This is not about being vain in any way, rather it is to make sure you are in good shape before you head out into the world. Imagine walking into a meeting with no idea that the hem is out on the back of your shirt, and there is an ugly spot on your silk top or on the seat of your pants! This happens!! I don't think I need to explain why poor lighting doesn't work when getting dressed. Showing up at work with one dark brown shoe and one black one comes to mind....

Here is my list of the tools I always keep somewhere within easy reach:

  • lint roller (dog hair on dark clothes is not appealing!)
  • clothes steamer
  • needle and thread for emergencies
  • small scissors
  • masking tape (to remove deodorant stains)
  • Tide Stick
  • safety pins
  • fabric tape 
  • "sticky" bra
  • strapless bra
  • spanx
  • slips 
  • hose and tights WITHOUT holes and snags (check these at the beginning of each season)
  • Cling Free static control spray
  • well fitting underwear -NO PANTY LINES!!!!
  • bandaids
  • sweater shaver

It doesn't take long to gather these items and keep them nearby. The difference in dressing and dressing well just takes a little extra effort. Be prepared for emergencies and last minute invitations... because who knows what might come up?! Click here to see the tools I use in my closet!

Alison Bruhn