It’s Spring Cleaning Time In Westchester, And Your Closet Is The Perfect Place To Start

Your closet is likely one part of your home most in need of spring cleaning.

In order to make room for the new and fabulous this season, it’s necessary to first assess—and purge—the 80 percent of your wardrobe you’re probably never putting on again. Yes, according to Westchester-based stylist Sandy Hapoienu, this requires taking everything out. “I like to refer to it as a ‘closet edit,’ because you are correcting and revising,” she says. “If you want things to change, there is a lot of work that needs to be done.” 

1. Rid. “Start by making ‘keep,’ ‘toss,’ and ‘donate’ piles,” says Sarah Milano, founder of PopShop Style boutique in Dobbs Ferry, while Hapoienu also includes “consign” and “alterations” categories. Having trouble parting with a stack of “maybes”? Consider whether each reflects your current lifestyle, and how well it fits, says Hapoienu. White Plains style blogger Cristin Grogan recommends that you “be honest with yourself. If an item hasn’t left your closet since six months ago, it goes. Same if it looks better on the hanger than on you.” 

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Swimwear designer Melinda Huff, who has a studio in the County, suggests checking for color fading and pilling, as well as relevancy. “I pull out any pieces that are trend-driven,” she says, “and see if there is a way I can rework them, like shortening the hem or adding a belt.” If, however, “the silhouette is hanging on the bargain rack at your local shop, its day has probably passed.” 

2. (Re)organize. Trash bags to the curb (schedule a donation pickup at www.bbbsdonate.org or www.pickupplease.org), Milano sorts out what’s left by style and color. “In spring, lighter colors and fabrics go towards the front and darker and heavier fabrics move to the back.” She also keeps a drawer of basic, neutral
-colored camis, tanks, and tees only to layer and wear under sheer and cutout tops. “Having them all in one place makes pairing a lot easier.” 

Huff organizes by silhouette: “Fitted tops in one section, loose knits in another, button-downs in another. I keep pants in two drawers—stretch and non-stretch,” mixing and matching body-con with drape-y by section. A rolling rack is another handy storage and viewing solution, says Hapoienu, while Grogan recommends showcasing small accessories on metal jewelry trays or pretty kitchen platters.
 “Seeing all of your treasures laid out allows you to pick and choose what works with your outfits.”

3. Rebuild. As for filling out that now-spotless (and sparse) walk-in, “Determine the gaps in your wardrobe and make a prioritized list,” Hapoienu advises. “That way, you can shop with a purpose.” And, while “it’s great to buy a few trend items per season,” she says, “make sure it’s the right fit for you, and remember: size, silhouette, and lifestyle.” Deliberating a pricey
purchase? “Ask yourself, ‘How often will I wear it?’ Wear it once, it cost $100, but if you wear it 10 times, then it cost $10 per wear.” 

Grogan reminds fashion-refreshers to replace staples that can wear out quickly, like white t-shirts, too. For in-between items, Huff recommends rethinking Old Guard style norms. “White is no longer reserved for post-Memorial Day and pre-Labor Day; athletic-inspired wear is moving into daily attire. The boundaries are really fading away.” Milano agrees. “Don’t buy into ‘the rules,’” she says. “If you like it, feel comfortable, and it’s figure-flattering, wear it!”  

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