Having always had a large wardrobe, bursting full of clothes (that would always find themselves in a pile on my bedroom floor from trying to put together different outfits each morning – talk about decision paralysis), it was a challenge for me to adjust to living with the limited closet space I was faced with in our new home. That’s when I discovered the secrets of the typical Italian closet.
You might have heard it before, because I had. Buy good quality clothes, at decent prices, and you can wear them forever.
It falls right in-line with one of my favourite Italian expressions “chi più spende, meno spende” . If you spend more on quality now, you spend less in the long-term.
You pay for what you get basically, a concept I live by (another topic for another day). Okay. But that’s not all. Here are the secrets to this theory that I’ve discovered.
- Buy classic items in good quality. Either don’t follow trends, or just buy something of acceptable quality in terms of trends.
- Try your clothes on before you buy them to make sure they fit well or that they can be tailored. This might seem very logical, but not being a big lover of shopping, I used to shop from catalogues, or even in stores I would know I was pretty much a standard size and just pick it up, only to find that not all clothes were made with a flattering cut, despite having the correct size.
- Bring your clothes to the tailor and have them fit properly so that you can put them on and feel and look good.
- This one is important – wash and maintain your clothes properly. If in doubt, I now always choose the gentler wash. I’ve ruined plenty of my fiancé’s clothes throwing them into a hotter-than-necessary wash. Learn from my mistakes!!!
Now the closet organisation process.
Organising the closet it no easy feat. Do you arrange by style, by colour, by thickness or by matching pieces?
- Aside from the staples, split your wardrobe into seasons. It’s common practice for Italians to change the contents of their wardrobes according to the season. They pack away the clothes and shoes that are no longer in season diligently as the seasons are still quite straight-forward. A good way to pack clothes away is to clean the clothes, make sure they are totally dry, fold them neatly and then to vacuum seal them in one of the vacuum sealable bags (where you suck out all the air with a vacuum cleaner). Tip: Fold shirts on cardboard like new in order to keep them from wrinkling.
- Now that you have the staples and what is in season, categorise by type. Pants, jeans, suit pants, blouses, long-sleeve shirts, t-shirts, day dresses, evening dresses etc. Trust me on this, it makes more sense than putting matching pieces together.
- In each of these categories, sort by colour from light to dark. Once you do this, it will be easier to choose what to wear each day.
There is a satisfaction in seeing a closet so neatly arranged. Choosing what to wear becomes almost like shopping in a store where you like everything! Remember Cher’s computer in Clueless where she could sort out her wardrobe? There are apps that do that and some are pretty good!
Do you already arrange your wardrobe into different seasons? If not, try it and let me know what you think!