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Part 3: The big wardrobe Spring clean - styling it up

Once you have edited every item in your wardrobe, the styling begins.

Have a look at your reference pictures and see what items you already have to create the looks you love. Place clothing on your bed as a full outfit, and have fun adding shoes, bags, hats, sunglasses and jewellery to accessorise.

Once you are happy with each look, try it on and photograph it. By looking at the photo you will see clearly if any items don’t go together, need altering or don’t suit you. If you are unsure, get a friend to help you.

Have a clear picture in your mind of what type of day you will use each look for and keep photos together in a file on your phone that you can reference them when preparing work clothes or packing for trips away.

“Knowing what you have available to play with is one thing, being able to look beyond the way you have always worn something is another,” says Rachel. “I have never had a wardrobe styling session where the client hasn't said ‘I never thought of wearing it like that’.

“If you can afford a stylist, it is life changing, if you can’t, I highly advise working from reference pictures that embody a style that you think will work for you.”

When you have sorted out ‘looks' and ‘outfits' that work together from top to toe, you may notice clothing items you actually need to buy. This makes shopping trips focussed, so you are not tempted to make emotional, rushed purchases, and helps save money because you just buy what you need.

Restocking your wardrobe

Now it is time to place items back in your wardrobe. Rachel and I like to place them back in categories, and place them in colour order (from lights to darks) so it is easy to locate items. For instance if you need your cream coloured shirt, you know exactly where to find it.

“A tidy wardrobe is easier to maintain. It also speeds up the getting ready process in the morning, because you know where to find everything,” says Rachel.

Donating your culled items

Here are some charities that Rachel and I have found in Australia that may inspire you to find something similar near you.

Wear For Success - Melbourne based non-for-profit organisation that accepts men’s and women’s work clothing. They help people get back in to the workplace by providing them with an outfit for job interviews and, if they secure a job, a wardrobe that helps them feel confident in any situation that may arise.

I highly recommend making a special bag for anything you think may be appropriate for charities like this. It makes the process of letting these items go so much easier as you know they are going to a great home and will be so appreciated. Dress For Success is Australia wide.

Uplift Project - This charity collects bras and donates them to women who would never be able to afford a bra.

Clothing Cleanup - You book a collection day online and they will pick up your clothing from your doorstep.

Rachel’s tips for finding items to organise your wardrobe

  • Velvet hangers: Kmart and Howard's Storage World

  • Wooden and shaped hangers: Shops for Shops isn't just for retail shops, they also sell to the public. They have a great range of suit/ jacket hangers to choose from.

Check out Rachel’s socials to keep inspired and see global fashion @racheldennisstylist

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