31 Jan 2019

Inside The Wardrobe: Where To Start

The wardrobe; the myth and the legend.

Frequently on VA, we cover the basics, the top ten, the pieces we believe every woman needs. See our new Masterclass series for the new season basics.

In the last year, we’ve looked at the idea of a capsule wardrobe and questioned just how many clothes one person needs.

We’ve argued for the minimalists but what we haven’t covered is the whole concept of a wardrobe; what it means to you, to me, to us, and possibly defending the case for keeping it all?

Do we have one wardrobe or multiples?

Do we follow trends? If so, do we follow them regularly, or just a few? Do we have space for new pieces?

So many questions, but plenty of time.

Inside The Wardrobe, will focus on the idea of trends, which pieces take us through the seasons, how we clarify ‘personal style’ and reflecting on the philosophy behind our wardrobes and what they really mean to us.

Where To Start

Having a wardrobe detox is an important way to start a new year.

Getting a better idea of what we have will allow us to make more functional choices when it comes to dressing. This also means we will make more informed decisions aiding more meaningful investments when shopping too.

Get in there and get everything out; one by one look at each and every item to determine its spot and importance in our wardrobe.

Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” gives some great advice on how to organise our belongings and give an entirely new life to our beloved garments.

Organising the wardrobe seasonally is a great way to shorten the time we spend getting dressed.

Separating trends and staples will also inform us of what we already have, what works and what doesn’t and if these pieces could work for future trends.

Wardrobes are personal. For some of us, they may be full, brimming to the edge with pieces decades old. To others they may be edited, minimal, following the ‘capsule’ method to a T.

Uncovering the secrets and psychologies of our wardrobe will start some seriously interesting conversations on clothes; and clothes are a lot of fun, the more said the better.

images, style caster, celindasager

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I cleaned my closet out at the beginning of the year, and what a great feeling. I do have a “capsule” wardrobe, and I love it. I don’t mind wearing the same thing twice a week, but I do enjoy even more, tweaking it. For me, it’s a combination of that perfect black skirt with a change of sweater, jacket, scarf or even a pair of earrings. Then, there’s my school teacher go-to dresses: the jumper. All I need is a turtleneck and then slip a jumper over it, a pair of black tights and choose from a variety of black shoes (mid-calf boots, flats, pumps) and I’m pleased as punch!


My personal style both in dressing and decorating has evolved to the point where I like wearing a ‘uniform’ of sorts and will not purchase a trend if it doesn’t suit me. Quality before quantity. take care of a quality item and it will always bring you joy. I started collecting sterling picture frames at yard sales and antique shops for this very reason: photos look so much better in simple frames in the same finish. Do we really need more resin in our lives?
And absolutely, wardrobes are very personal, and while I appreciate Marie Kondo’s philosophy, can you imagine her entering Iris Apfel’s closet where EVERYTHING brings her joy? Now that’s a closet I’d love to get lost in!


I’m off to THE ADVANCED STYLE PARTY BOOK LAUNCH this WEEKEND in Los Angeles and I hope to see a VISUAL FEAST for THE EYES!!!!!
VINTAGE and NEW bits playing off each other!

Linda B

I am an in between person in the closet department. I cull out the old at least a few times a year but also keep some pieces I am still attached to but rarely wear. When I am truly “on my game”, I compose an ensemble that I have never worn in exactly that combination of elements. It pleases me, and also makes people I work with happy!

I think when I retire in 4 months, I will do a really big closet clean out. There are some things I just won’t wear again.


Every so often I go through my wardrobe to decide what I could donate and what I wish to keep, to find myself months later wishing I still had that certain piece that I had donated. I always found it easy to let go of clothing and replace, but now I seem to treasure what I have more, and use the old to mix with the new. Just like my home. Theres comfort in the old, but freshness in the new.

Terrel Drendel

Since I live in an area that has very distinct seasons, I have different wardrobes. I am trying to get everything into just two groups, fall/winter and spring/summer for all my daytime dressing. The last few years I have spent an hour or so trying everything on at the beginning of the new season to figure out what combinations I like and what feels good. Then I hang these outfits together in my closet. In the morning I just grab the pieces I have hung up together and go. At the end of the day they go to the back of the line. It is a combination of all price points. It helped me to see what I really had in the closet, what I could give to someone else and if I needed to buy anything new. I was amazed how much easier it was to give something away using Marie Kondos Does It Bring You Joy exercise. I have discovered I can be just as happy with less not more. Now if I could just get the accessories
figured for everything! Not my strong point.


I can not imagine having a capsule wardrobe. I need variety! Having said that I do go through my closet with every season and the beginning of January to edit. Anything I haven’t bonded with goes, either to one of my daughters or consignment. Clothes not in perfect condition get donated. Anything that gets stained or torn goes straight in the garbage. So, my closet evolves. Turning over, switching out… No not a minimalist but certainly not a hoarder.

Kimberley Allen

I cleaned my closet reading Marie Kondos book but you have to remove every single item for it to work


After watching a few episodes of the Marie Kondo series on Netflix I promptly went to work on one drawer of clothes. I was able to discard 3 things and then folded the remaining items using the Kondo method. The result was an organized drawer with the clothes placed on the vertical. I can see everything now! For my closet, I took every item to a tailor, whose eye I trust, and allowed her to determine ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Items in the ‘yes’ pile were fitted properly to my current size. Much easier to mix and match when everything is organized!

Mary Anne Komar

Marie is a dear, what I appreciate is she will never tell someone what to keep or get rid of. It’s a very mindful way of choosing what fits for each individual. And the idea of a house blessing is delightful. Getting in touch with what sings and touches our heart will become so intuitive following her ideas! I think she would love Iris’s apt. Xxxxxxx

Michelle à Détroit

At this point, I have so much stuff in my closet that I can dig out some old item and it will be on trend. I have weeded out everything that I do not love. Generally though, I don’t follow trends. I know what looks good on me-classic, slim, clean lines and solid colors, mostly neutrals with a pop of color in my accessories. Blazers and sharp tailoring with nipped in waists and built in curves in the Ralph Lauren mode. I stick with that. I am 5′ 8 and slender. As did my mother, I’ve been lucky to stay the exact same size and shape that I was in my twenties. I buy reasonably priced clothing and spend the bigger bucks on accessories. I spend a lot of money having my clothing altered to fit me perfectly. My trademark is an Hermes scarf tied to my bag. I started collecting them when I was in my twenties. I truly believe that we are in the throes of the era of ugly, tasteless clothing. I will resist.

Michelle à Détroit

Vicki, I should add that I think your taste is wonderful. I find your blog inspiring and I’ve bought a number of pieces that you’ve featured. I’m speaking of some of the major designers. I was in a Italian store that shall remain nameless, getting a belt for my husband for Christmas. I was dumbfounded by how overwrought, fussy and downright ugly most of the stuff was. Giant designer logos plastered everywhere, no coherent color sense. Bells, buttons and bows on everything! The only redeeming value was that the clothes were beautifully made.

Ann Pauley

I’m with you, Michelle. Classic styles for me, a woman in her late 50s, makes the most sense.
Donate useless articles to the less fortunate!


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