Fri. Jan 21st, 2022


January is such a great time as any other for a wardrobe renovation. It’s not so much about throwing things away and taking them to the charity shop in a Marie Kondo frenzy, but about creating the ideal conditions in which garments can flourish, or at least survive. Clothes that you cannot see or have access to can be forgotten, “lost” or, worse, damaged. An organized space saves time and energy and creates a feeling of calm. But how to achieve it? The experts are acting.

Design a wardrobe around your clothes

A working wardrobe requires a functional system and the ideal is to have a custom wardrobe designed around the clothes you own. Philipp Nagel, director of Neatsmith in London, who designs wardrobes and other storage spaces for the home, talks in depth with clients about their clothing. “Someone may have a lot of saris, for example, that need long hanging space. We also have clients who are elite sports players with professional equipment. We built custom drawers for a cyclist’s bibs and shelves for a very specific tennis player’s coaches. ”

On a basic level, Nagel says a functioning wardrobe needs hanging space, three drawers, three shelves and shoe storage: “At least three drawers for small things, underwear, socks. Jumpers and T-shirts on a shelf – a large drawer is useless because you can see nothing and it costs three times as much. And since most clothes are 30 cm wide, we design shelves up to 30, 60, 90 or 120 cm. A shelf of 40cm is a waste of 10cm. ”

Double hanging rails are “the least sexy option, but the most effective in terms of space and finances”.

Nagel recommends stacked rails or pull-out drawers for shoes – although it depends on how many shoes you own. “We recently took out the second bathroom in the apartment of a 22-year-old Russian client and made it into a room for her 326 pairs of shoes.”

Make everything visible

A tabletop with perfume bottles, pots containing makeup brushes, and jewelry and lipstick on an ornamental dish

Camilla Hewitt, editor of Well Curated magazine, recommends reusing beautiful glass pots and investing in custom ceramic table storage

Wardrobe organizers often say that if you can not see it, you will not wear it. “I like to display things on open shelves or shelves in wardrobes – bags, shoes, scarves, jewelery,” says Danijela Coha, founder of Wardrobe Fairy in London. “If you can make it beautiful, why not?”

Some of her clients have walk-in closets with long shelves and mirrors that make it easy. But many of her clients do not have entry spaces and for them she recommends hanging as many garments as possible, folding T-shirts and knitwear on shelves and using transparent storage – transparent garment covers for gowns, coats or knitwear, and acrylic containers from Muji for everything from lingerie to jewelry, sunglasses and beauty products.

Section by color or season

Sunita Kumar Nair, a freelance fashion editor and creative who worked in London and New York, had her own custom wardrobe based on a look at “supersonic wardrobe organization” early in her career when she was asked to dry-clean a man to give back. magazine editor. His wardrobe “was a walk-in, done in dark walnut. An automatic light went on and all his shirts and suits were organized in this wonderful spectrum of navy, gray, black and muted colors, ”she recalls. “Cashmere sweaters were folded and lined with tissue paper. Socks are perfectly folded and stacked the Japanese KonMari way. It was insanely cool and showed respect for the clothes. ”

Rolled up clothes in wire baskets
Low Distributors allow you to fold or roll items and store them in subcategories © Alamy

Although Kumar Nair did not have room for a boarding pass, she had a custom-built unit made by a local carpenter. It has suitable hanging space for long dresses and coats, and more width for the thicker hangers needed for jackets. Shirts, pants and shorter skirts are grouped together on velvet hangers. While Coha recommends hanging clothes in color from dark to light, Kumar Nair organizes her hangers according to season. “Black for autumn / winter, pink for spring / summer and gray for non-seasonal. Visually, it makes it very easy to find things. ” I like the Songmics velvet hangers for their rose gold swivel hooks (£ 23.99 for 30, songmics.co.uk)

Store small items in small spaces

Storing small pieces of clothing or accessories in small spaces makes it easier to find and keep things in order. Nagel recommends building sections inside drawers: “The compartments for watches, jewelry, socks, whatever, you can have them in drawers lined with leather or vegan leather.” If you are stuck with deep drawers, Coha recommends drawer dividers in which you can roll different items and their subcategories (John Lewis sells underwear drawer clearances, £ 8, johnlewis.com).

Nair keeps wool socks with lavender (try Clothes Doctor natural fragrance bags, £ 4.50, wearllondon.com) in the drawstring bags in which the skin care and fragrance brand Aesop often wraps its product.

Protect your wool

Fold or roll knitwear and stack it on shelves according to its weight – chunky knitwear, medium size, fine size – and as with such as: polo necks, round necks, V-necks. Consider storing cashmere in individual bags (£ 8.50, amazon.co.uk) as Kumar Nair does.

If you are moving knitwear out of your wardrobe for the summer, a linen zipper box for the top of the wardrobe or under the bed is useful (£ 22, muji.com), and you can put in some lavender or cedar mothballs. Keep wool coats protected in sheer garment covers (£ 12 for two, johnlewis.com).

Decant your jewelry

A trinket box containing watches

Trinket boxes by August Sandgren are an attractive way to keep jewelery and watches neat and easily accessible

Move jewelry from individual cardboard boxes to something that is both attractive and useful. The Danish brand August Sandgren offers beautifully minimalist leather gem boxes (from £ 186, augustsandgren.com) en watch boxes (from £ 230). Stow London’s cute studs, watch rolls and trinkets (from £ 95, stowlondon.co.uk) comes in a variety of colored leather and is as useful for the dressing table and inside the wardrobe as for on-the-go storage. The company’s learning maid trays makes a useful drop-off station for the bedside table (on sale from £ 68).

Use refillable beauty products

The first rule of thumb to keep makeup and beauty products in order is to buy less of them. Even if you use every last drop religiously, a lot of beauty packaging still can not be recycled. Camilla Hewitt, a session make-up artist and co-founder and editor of Well Curated magazine, recommends using refillable make-up brands such as La Bouche Rouge and Kjaer Weis or, for sheer neatness, Trinny London’s stackable pots. “Ouai, Diptyque and Susanne Kaufmann are also now doing refillable items,” she says. “I love Wearth’s refillable amber glass bottles to decant” (from £ 6, wearllondon.com). She uses beautiful glass candle holders for make-up brushes, pencils and pens and recommends reusable make-up blocks (£ 10 for 10, wearllondon.com).

“I’m also a big fan of investing in custom ceramics or glassware from Kana London or Maud & Mabel for my mirror table,” says Hewitt. “I feel like I support small brands, display artwork and be practical.”

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