How to do a fall/winter wardrobe edit

How to do a fall/winter wardrobe edit

October 14th, 2020


Clearing out your spring/summer items to make way for the fall 

Every spring and fall, you should be changing over your wardrobe. Not only does it give your closet space and keep you organized, but it also allows you to get more mileage out of the clothes you own because you’ll be storing them away properly to avoid damage.

We’ve talked about how to do a wardrobe changeover for the spring before, but we thought we’d do one for the fall and winter as well to make sure you’re feeling prepared. 

Step 1: Designate stations

Keeping yourself organized is key for this process. Having stations (or just designated piles) for the clothes you’re sorting through will help you make this process easier. 

Station 1: Keep for spring

Spring/summer items that you expect you’ll wear next season. 

Station 2: Keep for fall

Fall/winter and four-season items that you will be wearing this season. 

Station 3: Alter 

Items that just need a little love, like a minor repair.

Station 4: Outfit

Items that you like, but that you don’t wear often because you don’t have other items to wear with it. Keep these out for now so that you can make a list of things you need next season in order to create a full outfit. 

Station 5: Donate

Items that are still in good shape but that you don’t wear often, either because you don’t like the style or they don’t fit. 

Station 6: Trash 

Self-explanatory. Items that are beyond repair. 

Step 2: Divide out the summer items

Remove shorts, tank tops, sandals, etc. items from your wardrobe and get them ready to sort. Things like basic t-shirts, jeans, dress shirts, and other four-season items can stay in the closet, or you can pull it all out just to make sure it’s all in good shape. 

Step 3: Bring out your fall items

If you were following along last season, you should have done a spring wardrobe edit, where you properly sorted and stored your cool-weather clothes. Pull out your sweater bins, boots, and garment bags. These items shouldn’t need to be evaluated too closely if you went through this process at the end of last season, but it’s good to do one last review. 

Step 4: Start sorting

Clothing on hangers on a metal rack, with a hand pulling one item off the rack

Go through each item and evaluate it on these criteria: 

1. Is it in good condition? 

If not, decide if it’s an easy fix or if it needs to be thrown out. Sort into your piles accordingly. 

2. Do I like it?

Listen to your inner Marie Kondo and ask yourself if it sparks joy. If not, donate it. 

3. Do I have a use for it?

If you haven’t worn something for three years because you can’t find the right occasion to do so, it’s probably not worth hanging onto. Donate it. 

4. Is it current? 

Trendy items are only trendy for so long. If it’s dated, donate it. 

5. Do I have a full outfit to wear with it? 

If you have an item you love but you can’t figure out what to wear it with, pull it aside and put it in the “outfit” pile. When you’re done sorting everything, think about how you’d want to wear the things in that pile and make a list of pieces you need to make the outfits complete. If you need help, give us a shout and we can walk you through it. 

6. Does it fit? 

Try the remaining items all on and make sure they actually fit. If it’s only a little too big or small, put it into the alter pile. If it’s more than a size or two off, donate it.

Step 5: Identify and fill gaps 

Now you should have a good idea of what you have left for the fall and winter and what you need to complete your wardrobe. Think about work attire, casual attire, and any special events you might have coming up. 

Once you know what gaps you need to fill, head in and we can help you find what you need for the fall and winter. At this point in the season, it may be too late to find the summer items, so if you need to, keep that list and refer to it when spring items start showing up in stores again. 

Step 6: Clean and properly store spring/summer items

Black Helm garment bags hanging on a rack

We cannot stress this enough: Store your clothing properly, unless you love throwing money away. 

How to store out-of-season clothing

Clean everything. If you put dirty clothes or shoes away for an extended period of time, stains and odours will work themselves in, and they’ll be in worse condition than when you put it away. This includes dry cleaning your outerwear and properly cleaning knitwear and shoes

Store suits, outerwear, and sport jackets, on large wood hangers in a fabric garment bag. Do not store anything in plastic bags, because they don’t breathe and your clothes will get musty. When you hang your trousers, line up the creases so they look crisp next time you wear them. 

Fold knitwear, tees, shorts, and anything delicate. Hangers will stretch out many items, so folding is usually best if it’s not outerwear or tailored clothing. Stack folded items with the heaviest pieces on the bottom and store them in a covered, breathable container.

A fabric garment bin with a zipper is a good choice. Avoid cardboard, because it can attract bugs. Plastic bins are okay as long as they are breathable, but fabric is really best. 

Never use mothballs. They stink and they’re made of toxic pesticides that can pose a health risk. Your best defence against pests is simply keeping your clothing clean and safely stored. 

Store your clean shoes on a shoe tree in a dust bag. This will help keep the leather in good condition. Take a look at our article on leather shoe care for more shoe cleaning and storage tips.

Store all garment bags and bins in a dark, cool, dry place that is safe from mice, bugs, and excessive odours. A closet in a spare room is a great option, but avoid the garage at all costs.


Feeling overwhelmed? Get in touch and we can help. We offer complimentary in-home wardrobe edits to our clients to help you get ready each season. 

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