A Fresh Approach to the Closet Edit.

 Prints and solids, living in harmony.

The first step in any style transformation is the Closet Edit. You need to know what you have, what you need and what you don't before you can move forward successfully. Otherwise, things just become overwhelming. I know I shouldn't be, but I'm always amazed at how transformational a Closet Edit can be for a client. Despite having fewer pieces (and sometimes, significantly fewer pieces), she should feel like she actually has more outfits. 

I recently learned that Amazon declared the second most popular book in 2015 as Marie Kondo's, "The Art of Tidying Up." No surprise there. I can't tell you how many women have hired me after reading the book and attempting to tackle their closets on their own. The book is motivating, to be sure. It focuses on simplifying your life rather than ensuring you are authentic to your personal style. Two different goals mean two different approaches. 

The Poplin approach focuses on your authentic personal style. This approach uses a client's body type, personal style and goals to determine what should and should not be in her collection. We also organize her closet by type, then by color to make creating outfits easier. I often tell clients that your closet should feel like a boutique curated just for you. Everything should fit, it should make you look and feel beautiful and communicate your personal style. I also organize my closet in this way.

However, I'm experimenting with my own closet and I'm confident that my new approach will be a helpful next step for some readers who are at the edit 2.0 level. Therefore, as we head into a long holiday weekend. This post is all about sharing. 

Re-engaging with Your Closet. You've Already Done the Edit, Now It's Time to Organize.

1. Caveat.

Before we begin, let me just say that my original approach to the Closet Edit, still stands. If you are discovering your personal style for the first time or if you need a little extra help creating outfits, my original organizational guidance is the way to go. This approach is intended for the uber user. If you are confident that you have the right pieces, but you've lost enthusiasm for them, keep reading. 

2. Pretend You Have a Visual Designer on Your Shoulder.

In Marie Condo's book, she encourages readers to organize items from heaviest to lightest. If this works for you, more power to you. Really, it's all about finding your happy place. I tried it and it was a mess. It felt haphazard and I struggled to find anything that appealed to me when choosing an outfit each morning. 

Aesthetics are monumentally important to me. A beautiful space, lovely clothes and the like make me feel calm, inspired, happy. As far as I'm concerned, it's all about surrounding myself with creative expressions. The next level closet is truly a boutique just for you, Dear Reader. Imagine there is a visual designer sitting on your shoulder throughout the process. Is your collection visually appealing? Are you drawn to specific pieces? Or is everything smashed together in visual chaos? Think like a shopper. Are you in Forever 21 or are you in a high end boutique?

 Technically, these are organized by color as much as is possible with prints. We're getting there. But, it's still a little chaotic.

3. Organize by Color.

If you know you are (for the most part) happy with your pieces, but feel overwhelmed and uninspired when viewing your collection each day, this is for you. It's time to start organizing your pieces by color. Group all of your hanging pieces together by color. Sure, you can go lightest to darkest, if you like. But, I'd recommend making things a little more exciting. Perhaps RYB. You will make changes, so don't stress too much about the order of the colors. Within each group, organize by type. Jackets, dresses, tops, pants. I recommend keeping any jackets that you wear indoors inside your clothing closet, rather than a coat closet. (Ex: lightweight leather jackets). 

 Ah, that's better.

4. Make it Pretty.

This is where the magic happens. Now that everything is organized by color, notice how the prints seem to feel chaotic and unappealing? That's likely because they are all grouped together (even if you have grouped them with the section of their dominant colors.) As it turns out, I adore prints and looking at them together made each one seem messy and unappealing. But, with a visual designer on your shoulder, you can move your prints around to make the entire canvass (aka your wardrobe) work as one lovely picture. Specifically, separate the prints from one another when you can. Put one in between the dresses and jackets of the dominant color. Put another between the tops and pants. When you have a print that has two colors incorporated, try moving the groups of those two colors next to each other to create a seamless flow. Instead of getting tied to placing colored groups in a specific order, place them in a way that makes your collection more visually appealing. I took some photos of my closet revamp to help show you what I mean.

5. Give Your Shoes Some Love.

For those of us who keep our shoes in our clothing closets, this is an opportunity to merchandise our shoes. Trust me. When things are placed like a shop, you are more likely to shop your own closet. If you find that you're shoes won't fit in the space allowed, try putting some of them in the closet with your coats. I keep my sneakers in our coat closet because I only wear them on especially casual days with my son. Think about your lifestyle, then move things accordingly. Just remember, to use functionality as a guide, then engage your visual designer to spruce things up. And, ALWAYS make sure you have a full length mirror near your clothes. How can you confidently put together a new look without being able to see it fully?


The goal of this closet redesign is to make each piece more appealing. To give you the thrill you had when you first purchased it. As my husband says, "this is some next level" styling. So, it may make creating outfits more difficult than the original approach. But, if you have an array of prints, this is going to make each one shine and you appreciate your taste and your pieces that much more.

Happy organizing!