Heard of wardrobe capsules? How about accessory capsules?
As you know I spend a lot of time in other people’s closets and it is so interesting to see how people’s lives have morphed over the last 20 years and what they have used as costumes throughout those changing chapters.
Although there are many disconnects in their wardrobes, I think one of the biggest disconnects is in the accessory category. Not only do they struggle with the quantity that they own and the styles that they have accumulated, but they also struggle with the lack of an organizational system. To tackle this problem, let’s begin by sorting, organizing and storing your jewelry, scarves, belts, handbags and shoes by SEASON.
Yes, all five categories fall into three seasons – spring/summer, fall/winter or neutral. Case in point, pretty sure your coral necklace doesn’t want to hang around your grey flannel dress and your lime green chiffon scarf doesn’t want to mingle with your maroon suede booties.
Once you have them sorted by season you will need to store the off-season and display the on-season merchandise. Remember – your closet, clothing and accessories should be shop-able so you can shop in your own store!
For the women who have the luxury of a little bit of extra hanging space in the closet, I always recommend using scarf loops so that the multicolored scarves are front and center every morning to become the inspiration to pull together colors that you would not have ordinarily worn together. I recommend having three loops – one with blacks and purples, one with the blues and greens and another with reds, oranges and browns.
For storing off-season scarves, I recommend cleaning and storing them in a clear plastic bin nicely folded with a lavender sachet, so they are rocked and ready to come out next season.
Tackling the jewelry can take a full day based on what I’ve seen hiding in women’s drawers, boxes, pouches, plastic bags and even socks! I have found women save more jewelry boxes than shoeboxes; both of which are a major waste of real estate.
This is my favorite jewelry box because it is actually a system of sorting and stacking by trays. The trays could also be by season so when it’s time to take the coral colors out of rotation the tray is just moved to another drawer or a plastic bin.
The first step in systemizing your jewels is to assess what you own by category, how many rings, bracelets, necklaces, watches, etc., and then purchasing the appropriate number of trays so they are organized and shop-able.
If you are still wearing belts as an accessory, congratulations to you. But let’s go through your belt collection to make sure they actually still fit! If it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t fit, end of story. Then it’s simple math – buy a belt holder that holds the number you own – no over-stuffing allowed!
Now move on to your handbags with the same approach, by season, then by taste. Do you still like it, use it, hate it? Get it down to what you love – life is short – don’t love it, donate it!
Then make a space in the closet that is reachable!!! That’s the biggest mistake made, putting them on the top shelf, out of sight, out of mind! Put them eye level so you can swap them out! A great handbag can make an outfit, a bad one can drag you down quicker than toilet paper on your shoe!
And of course, finish up with your shoes. Flip flops don’t want to sit next to Uggs. Use clear boot bins to store a dozen sandals and then swap them out for your boots when the season changes.
Now that you are organized, do the following exercise. Pull some items together that can create an accessory capsule. Possibly a grouping off all items gold, silver, multi-color, mixed media, vintage, artisan, etc. Lay the groupings together and then move to your closet to pull out the clothing items to create an outfit. Sound backwards? That’s the point! So many outfits can come together if you start with the accessories. Accessories are one size fits all and add mileage to your wardrobe. Take a look at these examples that show how the accessory capsule can go in two directions when it comes to adding the clothing choices.
Have fun and feel free to snap and share some photos of what you come up with! Need help?
Start here – Style Debit Card