Closet Tour 2018

Do you ever stand in front of your closet and say, “I have nothing to wear!”? I used to do that all the time, but it was packed full of clothes. I’m so thankful to have learned how to curate a wardrobe that serves me well for any occasion, any weather, and for years to come. Instead of going shopping every Saturday, I spend my time having fun and enjoying life in clothes that are classic and easy to wear in modern combinations. My credit cards are paid off, and I’m free of clutter and clothes I hardly wear, if ever. It never takes more than fifteen minutes to get dressed for any event. Today I am conducting a little tour of the “command center.”

A cashmere sweater that I can layer over and jeans are a typical winter weather work from home look for me. The sweater is from Everlane. The jeans are old from Chico’s. The shoes are from Söfft.

Each time I post a bathroom selfie, someone asks what is behind me on the counter. Below is a closeup. Those are Q-Tips in the tiny crystal vase.


When you walk into my closet, the first thing you see is a built-in shelf used to display my handbags for the daytime.

I organize my clothes by color, classification, and length. Blue jeans are the most casual, so they are at the end of the pants category. The storage boxes and basket on the shelf above the pants hold things like clothes-brushes, lint rollers, and travel accessories.

Blouses and then sweaters follow tank tops and casual jackets. Casual tops and tees are below the casual jackets.

No flip-flops here!

Organization is the key to wearing and loving all that you own. If you can’t see it or even find it, you aren’t likely to use it very often. I enjoy blogging to share what I have learned and wish I had known earlier in life. I hope that my posts are helpful to you.

My bras are the Ultimate and the long Tankee styles from (Use the code FIRSTTIMEBUYER10 for a $10 off discount entered at checkout.)

I later added this hanging shelf to hold folded sweaters and winter scarves.

  1. Susan, thank you for posting your closet tour. I just wish I was as organized as you. I love seeing your bags as you walk into your closet and I want to do this too. Thanks for giving me inspiration!

      1. I was wondering the same thing! I too like to hang my sweaters where I can see them, but I worry about stretching. I saw some flocked hangers the other day and will pick up a batch next time I go shopping. Thanks for the tip.

  2. I enjoyed the closet tour. I do not like my handbags in dust covers, either; I want them out where I can enjoy. Sometimes I feel a little nutty but I do like an organized closet!

    I know toward the end of the year you usually post some of your favorite looks from the past. Wonder if you would consider posting your “least favorite” pictures and why you would not choose not to wear that outfit again. I learn from those, too.

  3. I enjoyed your closet tour, Susan! I was wondering if you have a method for keeping track of your favorite outfit combinations. With so many pieces the options are endless! I know your blog photos help you with that, but do you use anything as a reference to help you remember what your ideas are. I have tried to adopt your method of using basics and buying only items that go with each other. I find that I’m still standing in my closet trying to decide what to put with what. Any suggestions?

    1. I don’t try to recreate outfits or keep up with them, but I do dress for the weather first, the occasion and then according to how I feel that day. The creative process comes into play when I add different accessories to complete each look.

  4. Thank you for sharing….My project this week-end is organize my closet. You are very inspirational to me!!
    Thanks again

  5. Thanks for these great tips! It’s fun to see inside another’s closet, and although mine is fairly organized now after my post-retirement purge, I still picked up a few new ideas to try. I’ve always hung my sweaters, too, and really haven’t had issues with stretching. I appreciate that I can “grab and go” without taking the time to remove creases from folding. My style is very similar to yours, so you give me ideas for mixing and matching that I wouldn’t have thought of on my own. Keep up the good work; we appreciate you!

  6. Susan, I see you don’t use the cloth covers that are included sometimes with handbags. Is there a reason?

    Thanks. Merry Christmas!

    1. I, too, like seeing my bags. My closet gets very dusty and my purses were getting difficult to clean. I found a great compromise at The Container Store. Felt bags with drawstrings and a slot on the end to put a 4×6 picture of the bag. Not as fun as having the bags out, but at least I can easily see what I have.

  7. Terrific Post! Some of us proudly wear our flip flops to get a pedicure, around our swimming pools, and on the beach – it’s a way of life in Sunny SoCal … LOL! ; )

  8. I’m inspired to clean my closet. I have it stuffed full (it’s the same size as yours) and I can’t ever find anything to wear. I am going to get my purses out and display them. I love that. Maybe I’ll actually carry some of them. Thanks for the inspiration. I love your blog.

  9. Susan, I am always excited to see your posts in my inbox. I follow several decorating, and fashion bloggers, but you are my favorite! I’ve been trying to follow your example, and mainstream my wardrobe. I admire that you are so confident in your style, and know what works for you. Sometimes, I feel like I am all over the place in trying to find my signature look. Thanks so much for all your advice, and wonderful videos. Please don’t retire anytime soon!

  10. Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed this video tour of your closet. It helps to see what you’ve curated & use to create your gorgeous. And what a surprise to see the upholstery on the chair in your closet, as it’s exactly the fabric I have on my living room sofa! 🙂

    1. When I lived in New Orleans, I regularly went to yard sales to buy things to DIY for my new place. I found what was originally an ugly brown and black chair at a yard sale at the end of the day. I took it home and antiqued it with cream and umber paints, then distressed it and covered it with that fabric using a glue gun. That was more than twenty years ago, and it is still holding up well after very much use.

  11. We are in our 70s and beginning the downsizing process with thoughts of moving into smaller quarters soon. I realized that since our children left I have just expanded into their closets as time has passed.
    This past year I have taken your advice and really attacked this problem. Now I think I am almost there. I have clothes that no longer take up so much space and I hardly take any time to choose what to wear in the morning. Good results all around.
    Love your blog, so many good ideas!

  12. I no longer wear thong sandals. My feet have widened through the years. I find that sandals with a strap across the toes is more flattering. Since I live in southern California, sandals are a staple through much of the year. I’m envious that you can still wear the thong style!

    1. I use KIWI black or nude shoe polish paste to clean and polish all of my leather items. (bags, shoes, belts, wallets) At least once a season, everything gets cleaned and polished. Just do it the same way you shine your shoes. Rub some paste on the clean surface, wait a few minutes, then buff with a soft dry cloth.

  13. Susan
    I still am unable to see your blog content other than the title page and comments on my mobike phone. I have to go to the desk top to see content. This makes it impossible to see when traveling. The website does look differnt than a couple months ago. Odd because I can see others’ blog content
    Just keeping you posted as you might miss some traffic.

    1. Try Hobby Lobby. The one by my house has LOTS of Christmas hat boxes. But it also has a few non-Christmas hat boxes in the non-Christmas area where they sell boxes.

  14. Please will you comment on how many clothes are enough so that the number is not too austere and not too much. I understand it will depend on life style, preference etc. but what would you consider reasonable for a retired person? How many pairs of jeans for example and how many black pants? Black pants seem to gravitate to my closets and the only way I can see paring them down is to be ruthless. Still, I have a hard time getting rid of perfectly good pants, help!

    1. I could dress well for any occasion if I owned only the following: a pair of dark blue jeans, one pair of medium blue jeans, two pairs of black pants (one dressy, one casual), one pair of white jeans. I would need a simple white top or a plain white shirt with three-quarter sleeves to wear alone when it is warm and a white top with long sleeves to layer over in colder weather. I would need a white tank top and a black one to wear under jackets and cardigans in warmer weather and a couple of casual tops in another color such as red or royal blue. A black and white striped top with a flattering neckline would also get lots of use. One casual jacket. One dressy jacket for fancy events. One cashmere sweater that could be layered over or worn alone. One white blouse, one royal blue one, and a red one. A navy blue blazer and a gray cardigan. I would want all these pieces to be simple styles with no trendy details, and all the colors would have to work together. The variety and embellishment should come from accessories, not our clothing if we aim to get the most use out of them.

  15. Love your organization skills, sharing space in a 2 bedroom leaves not much space for my things. I love a space for everything

  16. Hi Susan, what a delight to see your beautiful closet! Thank you. Mine is a hot mess. I am inspired now.
    Sincerely, Monet

  17. Again I find inspiration in reading your blog.

    Honestly, Susan, you have improved the quality of my life.

    I am more thoughtful of my purchases and find it easier to let things go.

    I so appreciate all you do.


  18. Susan
    Thank you so much for sharing your closet. I too am in the process of downsizing my wardrobe and will take some of your tips to organize my closet better. I so appreciate every posting videos that you do keep them coming

  19. I can’t tell you how inspiring you are with your closet. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your treasures ❤️

  20. Thanks for sharing these intamate details of your life. It is so interesting that you have evolved form giving style advise to fufulling your followers requests to see how you live. I was very interested to see your personal space, how you organize in particular. I have really learnt a lot from you and have been giving bags of clothes to local charities as I move my style from slightly over patterernd and colourful to more elegant and casually sophisticated. I love that you are aging gracefully to lower heels and managing these transitions for us to follow. I too, can no longer where my stilettos and have had a great time sourcing out stylish booties to replace them. Even your underpinnings receive the utmost of respect and care. Your latest posts with a bit edgy look with boots and motto jackets really demonstrate that your tips need not be boring! I think you are just great and thank you so much for all your advice and sharing. I am not spending less on clothes, but am making much wiser purchases and buy8ng with purpose rather than whimsy. Keep teaching us how it can been done with style and grace.

  21. Thank you for sharing your very organized closet with us. It has taken me a month to catch up to the present, but I am so glad to have read all your posts since the beginning of Fifty Not Frumpy. Not only have I learned many helpful tips from you, but I’ve also enjoyed learning from your readers. All of this has motivated me to edit my wardrobe down to just those pieces I really enjoy and will actually wear. Now I look forward to getting dressed and am excited to have lots of choices, thanks to all the basics that work together.

    A couple of tips I would like to share:
    * In addition to using felted hangers for sweaters, hang them inside out to prevent shoulder nipples.
    * Hook all hangers from front to back at the beginning of the season and turn them when you wear a garment. All those that are unturned indicate the garments haven’t been worn and possibly don’t deserve space in the closet.

  22. Some good organization tips, seen in your photos. Good job! I’m currently in a closet clean out mode, might use some of your ideas.

  23. I love it! You organize clothing the same way I do. I don’t have as many purses, so they are in boxes on the shelf. Shoes are in a shoe bag on the bag of a door, boots are in a drawer, sweaters are also folded in a drawer. I need a belt hanger, love that! Mine are, you guessed it, in a drawer! I’m needing more drawer space for accumulation of scarves so something as to go.

  24. Wonderful video, Susan! I have a question: do you wash your jeans and sweaters after every wear? If not, how do you keep track of the worn items versus unworn? I don’t wash my jeans/sweaters after every wear, so I keep them in separate areas of my closet, which means I can’t see them all together. That may be a good segment to write about. Thanks so much for all your tips!

    1. If I wear something for only a couple of hours, I do not put it back in with my clean clothes. I leave those items on a rolling rack (removed for the video) to wear again on another day for a few hours. Mostly, I wash everything after one day of wear.

  25. Susan,

    Loved the tour, so helpful in many ways. A follow-up question to keeping your leather bags (belts, wallets) in beautiful shape. You mentioned using the wax, do you use something in particular to polish the hardware?

    Thank you!

  26. Can you please tell me which camera you are using? I need a camera for EIGHT yes EIGHT weddings in 2019. I will be watching your posts carefully but I always love them. Thank you for the camera help!

  27. How do you wash your shapeez? Just bought my first one and love it! Most comfortable bra ever. I find it interesting that you “hang” your slacks….never thought of that…mine are folder over a hangar. I may not have a long enough space but I’m going to try it out. I hold on to clothes for a long time – I find it difficult to part with older clothes that still have life in them. Tips?

    1. I wash my Shapeez in cold water and the SUDDZ: INTIMATE APPAREL & LINGERIE WASH shown on their website. I regularly donate clothing to charities and give them to friends. For example, a boutique here is having a gently used jeans donation for underprivileged teens right now. I’ll be taking a box of jeans over there next week. If you seek out charities and women’s shelters in your area, you can always find a grateful recipient of gently used clothing.

  28. I love this closet tour, thank you for sharing. Mine is well organized, but there are still improvements to be made.

    I launder tops and trousers only when they are visiblly soiled or can’t pass the sniff test as well as at the end of the season prior to storage. To reduce wear, I wash and dry in the coolest effective temperatures and remove from the dryer while still a little damp. I have a tension rod mounted over my guest bath tub and that is where I hang them overnight to finish drying.

    My system for keeping up with what has already been worn is to use a different color hanger for those garments. At the beginning of the season I hang things backwards so I can see what has not yet been worn. It my personal style challenge to wear everything in my closet at least once per season. For folded items, I fold worn items differently than unworn ones.

    I have different bras for exercise and launder them after each wearing. For the other bras, I may wear them 3 times before laundering. I have little body odor, so this works for me. All bras are hung to dry after being washed on the gentle cycle. Socks and underwear are changed daily.

    One of the best ways I have found to protect my clothing has been to exchange my apron for a chefs smock. I also have “uniforms” of worn clothing that I use for cleaning and home maintenance. All of this helps extend the useful life of my wardrobe.

    Thank you for the tips on maintaining your jewelry and accessories. Wardrobe maintenance is something that I seldom see addressed in women’s fashion forums although it is not an uncommon topic for stylish men.

  29. You are a great inspiration to get my closet cleaned up. Thank you.
    I do want to know how you store your beautiful scarves. I find mine get buried and I can’t find the right one when I need it.

  30. Oh my goodness. I am drooling over your closet organization. Mine is just as big — but a cluttered mess. I’m saving your photos so that I can use them to work on my closet after the holidays. I also enjoyed your response to the comment – how much is too much? My husband and I are wintering in Florida so I’m trying to narrow down my pack list. I’m going to try to use the wardrobe guidelines you mention above. But only 2 jackets? I LOVE jackets!! Its going to take some discipline and self-control but I’m going to give it a try.

  31. I just found and subscribed to your blog, and this closet share was a wonderful beginning! I live in a darling house built in 1940, but the closets are TINY. I do try to edit frequently, but still suffer from “I don’t have anything to wear” syndrome. My problem is color. I just turned 70 and have light brown hair and hazel eyes, and I have never been comfortable in black. It’s easier to shop for black items plus it’s slimming. Can you offer any advice for a “brown” person to be comfortable wearing black? Thanks, and I’m so happy I found you!

  32. Hello Susan,

    Thank you for the tour of your closet. It looks so efficient and well organized. I was wondering where do you keep your long/short dresses and coats? I wish I could be more thoughtful and organized, sadly, I hold on to old clothes that deep down inside I know I probably will never wear. Some items still have tags on them.

  33. Susan, thank you for sharing your closet tour. You inspire me to weed out the duds and make it a more workable space.
    I LOVE this video.

  34. Susan! You have addressed an issue that’s been plaguing me for years. Thank you! I have to ask you… if you had a large enough closet, would you mix summer and winter clothes together using the exact same system you’re currently using? Or would you separate one side as summer and one winter? I would love to know what you store in the hat boxes. They look lovely, but if I can’t see it I don’t wear it. I forget about what I can’t see. Lol. Thank you for sharing your closet organization skills. My closet is my favorite place but constantly trying to improve it. Too much in there for starters.

    1. The lightweight summer items I move to another space, are few. I tend to dress in the same clothes, year-round and layer them as is appropriate for the weather. Hats are in the boxes.

  35. Oh, my, I never would have dreamed of all these lovely and interesting responses to your video and blog. It does go to show that closet organization is the beginning of having a workable wardrobe. If you can’t see it, or if you can’t find it, it is not going to be worn. If something is not used, it is a waste.

  36. I watch for your post every morning, I am following your advise on clearing out things that no loner suit my lifestyle including letting go of my heels ! I appreciate all your time and effort in share your insights to simplicity ❤️

  37. Do you have any advice for a 67 year old with heavy legs? I feel the current trend of tight fitting pants makes me look heavier. I’m a size 12 but many styles are tight on my thighs and calves. I enjoy your blog and follow many of your tips.

    1. My calves are heavy too. I feel your pain. I look for straight leg or slight flare leg pants. I can’t wear long boots or skinny jeans, but I try to wear slim fitting dark color pants most of the time.

  38. Susan… I love what u share with your friends from all over the world. I feel we’d enjoy a coffee together n have lots to talk about… my wardrobe is organised just like yours. We retired & moved to a more casual lifestyle after years of working in Sydney CBD. Thanks for what u share. It helps 😉

    1. Thank you for the lovely comment. As I sit here sipping my coffee at 2:15 am, I do feel a connection with everyone who might read my next post while sipping a morning beverage.

  39. Greetings and Happy New Year Susan! So glad to have discovered your blog/site. I have already gleaned so much info from you! I do consider myself as an ever evolving soon to be Elegant Eighty! I just checked out the Shapeeze site. Not being able to find a comfortable undergarment has been the a fruitless search, until now! Now I look forward to elevating my “girls” and smoothing out some other places and looking as well put together as you do. Nice way to start the New Year! Thank you!

  40. I love to see how you’ve organized your closet. I have mine similar with tops, pant, jackets separate and color. I’ve hung my sweaters in the past, but find that I often have “shoulder nipples” as my daughter calls it. So I fold sweaters & store in a large decorative trunk. This works, but order is hard to keep. Suggestions on how to better store sweaters so they are more visible. No overhead/over rack space is available. So enjoy your blog Susan and have several pieces from your shop . Thanks for the help of your experience.

    1. I don’t wear sweaters with any weight or bulk so I do hang them on padded hangers. If you have room to hang the shoe rack here. You can fold/roll up your sweaters and store them in the slots in place of shoes.

  41. Your style is lovely and I get inspired seeing how you put together outfits. This post seeing your closet did the opposite unfortunately. I don’t think in the entirety of my 54 years I have had the amount of clothes you have in your closet. I find shopping for clothes overwhelming and expensive. At any given time I will own one pair of jeans, one pair of black and one pair of blue dress pants. Same goes with purses, shoes, etc. Because I wear the same things over and over, they wear out and look shabby. I just can’t bring myself to spend so much time and money on myself. This was imprinted on me as a child and has never left me. Despite being able to afford the clothes and having a husband who begs me to go spend money on myself, I just can’t seem to do it. When I try, I usually screw it up by spending tons of money on pieces that don’t go together. Sigh. Thanks for your posts. I am gathering some courage this week to go shopping and am using your photos as a guide!
    Best regards,

    1. I grew up with the same imprint! From the age of thirteen, I bought my clothes for school using babysitting money. I learned that if I purchased colors and fabrics that worked together, I could create different looks by combining those few pieces and using accessories to add extra details. I hope that you will permit yourself to enjoy dressing well and being creative with the process.

  42. Susan I’ve been following you on Pinterest for a few years and love all of your fashions.. I’ve saved so many if your outfits and love your color choices… loved this video of your closet. I got great ideas from that.. also thrilled that you wear Shapeez. I feel so put together when wearing them. I do exercise but struggling with getting older and body not as neat as I would like and shapeez helps with that ..
    Thank you for all your tips and advice, they are so helpful

  43. I wish my closet was this nice. I would like to know how you store your beautiful scarves. I am enjoying the large square ones I purchased from you. Do you have any smaller ones for sale?

  44. I just discovered your delightful blog, and I must share that when my husband recently (finally) retired, we undertook what we call “The Great Purge”. It started with boxes and boxes of old photographs, photo albums, boxes of family items. We went through every item, laughed together, teased each other, sobered at the photos of loved ones no longer with us…then we threw everything away. What a huge relief to no longer be the repository for things none of our children want, items we have stored for years. We put a large plastic bin labeled with each child’s name and sorted all their “stuff” as we went through box after box of things we’ve saved. Each son can now decide what to do with these things. Looking at all this stuff was actually fun…but nothing in comparison to the feeling of freedom and lightness when we were done.

    I’ve done the same thing in my closet, which is very similar to yours. The best advice you’ve offered is the color coding. When I did that, I discovered I had 21 black tops. That is far more than I can even wear–many of them I’ve had for years–and so the purge was much easier than I thought. I put all my fancy things in a separate closet, and they got purged as well. I have worn my treasured DANA Bachman silk jacket for over 20 years, so I savored the memories and just let it go to another new home. And soon, and soon. You’ve really helped so many of us take the leap to a simpler, much more chic way of dressing. All my clothes I used to save for special occasions are now daily staples. I now wear my cashmere sweaters to the grocery store, and treat myself to that luxe feeling it brings. It is so much better than trying on 10 outfits because ” nothing looks good”. If it doesn’t make me look good and feel good, it does not deserve a place in my new closet world. Thank you, Susan!

  45. Your pictures are so lovely!! You look amazing!! What a “gift” to be able to coordinate as you do!
    I am unable to duplicate your look exactly but shall do my best with that which I have.
    Have a blessed day and keep up the great work you are doing for us all!

  46. Your closet pictures have really helped me figure out what was not working in my closet and how to fix it. Thank you so much!

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.