Organizing The Wardrobe

The secret to effortless style starts when you shop. I’ve learned that buying only the best options for my shape, coloring, and lifestyle saves me lots of time and money. While building the wardrobe for my retirement years, I also consider if the items are appropriate for my age. I would not feel very confident in tattered jeans and a faded print T‑shirt, so I shop for modern instead of youthful pieces.

The following links are for current similar items from the look above. BlouseJeansShoesBagWatch. My twice-daily skincare routine is here.

These are typical examples of casual looks worn to stay at home or run errands. I get dressed in street clothes each day, even if I don’t plan to go out. It helps me to remain positive and more productive to be ready to walk out the door at any time during the day.

My wardrobe includes classic, simple styles in neutral colors allowing for maximum layering, mixing, and matching possibilities. I can completely change the attitude of a look with different shoes and accessories. The blouse above can be tucked into dressy slacks and worn with a belt and a blazer. The T-shirt and jeans below will be the perfect look for a long walk when I remove the accessories, put on my New Balance walking shoes and a hat.

It was a beautiful sunny day with temperatures in the eighties on this late October day. The navy and brown Dooney & Bourke bag added the perfect fall touch even though it felt more like summer. Links to similar if not the same items follow: TopJeansShort BootsNo-Show SocksBagWatchEarrings.

I rarely shop now, but if you could look over my shoulder when I make a purchase, you would see me eliminate most items in a couple of seconds. I look at color, shape, and fabric content in that order, and I only shop for a particular need. For example, “replace the red T-shirt that is starting to look faded.” I wait until I find exactly what I am looking for. If you settle for almost good enough, you will end up with a closet full of things you don’t really love. When I shop with intention, I don’t waste time and money looking at or buying something not on my list.

I skip over the items in colors such as soft pastels, marled or garment-dyed items, tans, greens, beige, small prints, etc. Those options always washed me out and were rarely worn before giving them away. Neon or other flashy colors, bold patterns, and trendy shapes do not honor my classic style personality.

As I learned to shop for the body I have now and a semi-retired lifestyle, it became easy to eliminate things that don’t add value. Natural fabrics, neutral colors, body-skimming shapes, and classic simple styles coordinate easily and always help me feel like the best version of myself. These items also stand the test of time.

When I look back at my 2013 wardrobe, I know why I didn’t keep most of the items I blogged about here. I used to stand in the closet from my previous home and lament that I had nothing to wear, even with that ridiculously packed wardrobe. I have fewer clothes now, but I am never at a loss about what to wear. Shoes, scarves, jewelry, and bags are the additions that make each outfit unique.

My current wardrobe includes casual and dressy pieces, including tanks, camisoles, shirts, blouses, T-shirts, casual jackets, sweatshirts, sweaters, blazers, dresses, jeans, and slacks that mostly all work together. Learning to combine elements I already own to create appropriate looks, rather than buying a whole new outfit for every occasion, has been life-changing and excellent for my budget.

The fabrics determine how I style or layer the items together. That also explains why I have so many white shirts and blouses. I might not wear the thin white cotton button-up shirt to dinner with gabardine slacks, but I would wear a white silk blouse with the same pants and a cashmere cardigan. When I wear a favorite item in heavy rotation, I buy two of them.

Three-quarter and long-sleeve T-shirts are for summer walks and lounging at home. The long-sleeve T-shirts, jean jackets, and sweatshirts can be layered for cold weather walks.

Layering pieces such as vests and cardigans are great for transitional seasons. A cashmere or lightweight cotton sweater can be worn almost year-round. (I hang lightweight cashmere and cotton sweaters inside out so that the hanger bumps will be on the inside.) Three-quarter or long sleeve simple tunics can also be part of my looks nearly year-round.

Blazers and casual moto jackets have been my favorite layering elements for decades. Heavier knit cardigans are folded and stored on the shelf to avoid becoming damaged or stretched out of shape. I keep all the empty hangers in one place. The tie rack on the wall is used for necklaces. The belt and tie holders are from Bed Bath & Beyond a few years ago.

I moved all of the summer weight, colorful tops, and dresses out of the way to a separate section for the winter season. The white item at the front is my robe.

Scarves are folded and stored on felted hangers.

Handbags, shoes, and accessories add the finishing touches that make the looks unique.

I am fortunate to have a finished room over the garage next to the upstairs bedroom. I use the extra space to store jeans and slacks on rolling racks. Included are straight leg styles in full and ankle lengths, slight flares, boot cuts, and a couple of culottes for hot weather. All the colors are neutral and solid to allow for more flexibility in styling.

In the past couple of years, I’ve invested in better quality bags and shoes. I find that I keep them longer, enjoy them more, and take better care of them. When I purchased trendy, inexpensive bags and shoes in the past, they didn’t stay around for long. Either they fell apart, were very uncomfortable, or looked dated in a short time.

The rolling rails, shoe racks, and wire shelves are leftovers from when I owned businesses that required lots of them. I kept a few to use in my improvised closet space. Some of my shoes are a few years old, and some were gifts, but I still enjoy wearing them occasionally. I don’t own any four-inch stilettos now, but I have a few lower heels for special evenings.

I donated lots of books to the library, so the shelf space is now used for summer shoes and sandals. They are out of the way in an alcove until next year.

I hope that this post gives you some helpful storage ideas and inspiration for building your wardrobe with intention.

Shopping links in my posts may provide a small commission to me at no additional cost to you.

  1. Wow…….would hate to see your wardrobe if you did shop often!!! You have a lot of clothes , very neatly organized tho. It’s nice to have the space to do so.

  2. Thank you so much for this very detailed post. I’m envious of the space you have but I can see ways to incorporate your ideas into my MUCH smaller wardrobe area,
    I live in Sydney Australia and follow all your posts even though our seasons are opposite. I would love if you could explain how to overcome looking “sloppy” when you wear casual outfits (which I know aren’t your favourites!).
    I often wear shirts as an open fronted layer over a tank top but when I look at photos this always looks shapeless and untidy even though I planned to have a “column of color”. I notice that you often wear shirts but they are always buttoned up. When you wear a tank top, it seems you wear a blazer or a cardigan which looks fabulous. Why is the open fronted shirt not working?
    I hope you and Mr Mickey are still well. The current health crisis is so difficult and I’m so pleased to see that It must be so difficult

    1. I agree with you! When I see photos of me using the open shirt as a ‘jacket,’ it always looks sloppy. I think it might be a lack of structure from a soft shirt. I always look more polished if I button at least a few of the middle buttons, even when I am layering the shirt over a camisole or tank.

  3. I love this post and your closet! It gives me so many ideas for mine! Thank you so much for sharing your closet.

  4. I enjoyed today’s post very much. I love organizing. It’s my happy place and I enjoy looking at organized spaces such as your closets. I am also in that semiretired group and have winnowed my clothing down considerably. I buy with my retirement lifestyle in mind now. I know you buy Everlane cashmere. Are there any other brands you wear? Have you ever had any trouble with itching ? The two cashmere sweaters I have had didn’t last long as they caused my arms to itch. I think that cashmere would be very handy to have whenever we resume traveling.

    1. I have tried several brands of cashmere. The best performers for the price have come from Everlane and J.Crew. I’ve never had an issue with cashmere itching. Other wools and synthetics have caused rashes and itching.

  5. Very interesting column! You certainly have curated a beautiful wardrobe and have come into your own style and personality. The best thing you ever did was get rid of the over-the-top heels, which always (to me) come off as someone who is trying too hard and a bit trashy when one is no longer young. Even for evening.

    1. Cheryl,

      I kindly disagree regarding the heels. I thought they were lovely on Susan. They never gave a “trashy” vibe, IMHO, mainly because of the way she styled them. Literally, a mumu from a “dollar” store can be “trashy,” depending on how it’s styled. The same can be said for a high end cashmere sweater.

      Thankfully, we all have the choice to wear what makes us feel pretty and works for our lifestyle.


  6. Thank you so much for these excellent ideas and examples, Susan! I have never had a cashmere sweater, but think this might be the year to purchase one.
    Love your blog!!

  7. Thanks as always for your inspiration. We were flooded in 2017 in Harvey in Houston. We had to buy a new house in 2018 and move in quickly. .I now have an enormous closet that my husband and I share. I could fit ten times more stuff in it..or way less stuff…I am 73 and need very few clothes anymore, but I want nice ones. It is hard to let go of the buy cheap/sale stuff. How do you feel about a professional closet organization system. My daughter swears by them! But , I don’t know. I should have tons of room, but I don’t…should I take everything out and start again? Help?

    1. You can start with a small section. Let go of all the things that you don’t love to wear. Use my examples to build little departments, making your closet easy to ‘shop.’

    1. Garment dyeing entails coloring clothes after they’ve been cut and sewn. Ordinarily, fabrics are woven and dyed by the roll, but if you make up a garment first and then apply the dye, this softens both color and texture, giving new pieces a rumpled vintage look and feel.

  8. Oh, Susan, this article couldn’t be more timely for me! This long, covid, isolation period has given me the opportunity to let my beautiful silver and white locks shine! Gray is a very foreign color for me with a closet full of warm, medium toned colors. Also, having lost 20 lbs. (a lot for a small frame), I have almost nothing to wear necessitating a new, well coordinated wardrobe. I’ll study this wonderful roadmap of styling ideas for my new acquisitions. Any suggestions you may have for someone starting over, utilizing medium to lighter hues would be so appreciated. Thank you for your generous heart and spirit.

    a faithful fan,

    1. Start with a color palette. Think about how those colors look on you and how they work together. All of the colors should flatter your beautiful hair and your complexion. If you start with three to five colors that all work together, you can create lots of outfits with only a few clothes. Audrey Coyne does a great job explaining and showing how to use a few pieces to create lots of looks. Here is one of her recent videos.

      1. Great tips, Susan! I prefer a small, well coordinated wardrobe allowing me to occasionally bring in colored ensembles…so excited, now to find gray tones with a warm, taupe undertone.

        Thank you for helping me get back to basics. You are the best, I’ll bookmark this list to help me stay on track..
        Very blessed holidays to you and Mr. Mickey,
        a faithful fan,

  9. Really appreciate how you have organized your closet, especially the groupings by colour.
    I came across this short video last year on how to hang sweaters and it really works for me. It’s turned quite cold where I live (below freezing at night) so I’ve been reaching for my cashmere and wool sweaters every day. Every sweater is perfect to wear right off the hanger since following this method.
    Nov. 1, 2017, How to hang your sweaters without ruining them.
    Thanks, Susan, for another very helpful and beautifully photographed blog post.

      1. Thank you, Susan.
        Should also add that I use this method for any knit top (thick or thin material) with sleeves.

  10. The best thing I ever did was donate 80% of my clothes. I wasn’t wearing them. Now, I see all kinds of combinations to put together without all the distractions of things I don’t enjoy wearing. This even helped me learn to choose better patterns to sew for myself. I shop confidently because I know what colors I need and where an item would fit into my wardrobe. Now, I can take a photo of my closet so I make better decisions at the store before I get to the checkout. Susan, you’ve been very helpful!

  11. Susan,

    You are a treasure. Your style, your suggestions, how you manage your wardrobe for your changing lifestyle, how you share your adventures…all are so helpful and inspiring. Thank you for all you do.

    I pray you, and Mr. Mickey, are healthy and have many more years enjoying life together.

    Brandye Scotton

  12. I loved the heels and miss them terribly….on Susan’s feet and on my own, since I can no longer wear them comfortably. My mother loved beautiful shoes and it was a sad day when she gave them up in favor of low heeled pumps and flats. Even into her nineties she loved trying on my daughter’s stylish platforms and heels.
    Susan, you have never looked other than lovely and refined in the many years I’ve been following.

  13. Thanks for sharing a view of your clothes & closet storage … very helpful. Trying to streamline my own wardrobe & you have great advice! It’s going to take time but hopefully I’ll achieve a balanced wardrobe like yours! Thanks! Keep the great ideas coming!

  14. The timing of your post is perfect! I recently moved and need to organize in a new closet. I love your ideas and by following your suggestions have found that I have more outfits with fewer pieces.
    Keep the posts coming!

  15. Love love love this post!!! Thank you again for sharing all this wonderful info, pictures and links! Truly appreciate you Susan!

  16. Wow, Susan! This is so beneficial to me. Closet organization that works best escapes me still at 74 lol

    I have felt like I should keep ALL shoes, ALL pants, etc etc, together as not to forget any options especially weather wise. Living in the Midwest, temps can vary so much within a day, let alone week! I am very cold when tbe temp gets below 65°. But, I feel like sometimes I’m tired of something from just seeing it, having not even worn it for some time! I am going to change things up and at least separate out the more obviously winter (or summer) items and see if that makes items feel fresher when the seasons change.
    I don’t have the quantity that you do so I can store all like items together as I do now. So I would like your opinion. Would you store all like items together if you could or do you prefer separate locations as you do now?? I’m asking from both a convenience factor and the “out of sight, looks fresher later” factor.

    Thank you big time! in advance for your comments……

    1. I prefer all the like items together with the out of season garments stored away from the ones I am wearing now. If you don’t have an extra closet, you can use under the bed storage boxes.

  17. Thank you for always writing thoughtful articles. Especially during these Covid times, it’s wonderful to open your blog and see what you’ve been up to-you always make the best of any situation. Your closet ideas are so organized and with the extra time we now have at home, provide great ideas for sorting, getting rid of, and creating fresh looks out of what we currently have in our closets. Thank you for taking the time to put together your ideas for all of us! I especially like the fact that you don’t use popups in your blog. Thank you for that!

  18. Great post as always Susan, and fabulous tips for us ladies over 60. I love the classy chic style so simple yet so stylish.
    I think too many women and men like the uniform of sloppy slogan T shirts and shapeless knee length shorts or baggy joggers.
    Of course that’s their choice.
    Could you one day do a post about nightwear, stylish comfy pyjamas, or classy night shirts etc. Comfy slippers with arch support
    but not granny frumpy slippers. Dressing gowns or robes to slip on out of bed or out of the bath or shower.
    Last year I bought what I thought was a lovely fluffy warm cosy pale grey robe for the very cold winter months, oh dear what a mistake
    I looked like the abominable Snowman and I was boiling hot in it. Needless to say I gave it to a charity shop.
    I think most women who care about their appearance like to look stylish in their slippers and pyjamas too.A spritz of perfume too why not.
    What perfume or fragrance do you like Susan ?
    Please share your bedtime routine and tips.
    You and Mr Mickey stay safe. I some how cannot imagine you or Mr Mickey in ripped jeans or cut offs frayed and t shirts with Budweiser beer slogan
    splashed across the front. Some people love that look , heaven forbid. Hope you see the funny side Susan and Mr Mickey.
    Best wishes Pamela from Wales UK,

  19. Thank you for the tip on hanging the knitwear inside out, I will be busy tomorrow sorting out my knitwear.

  20. So sorry, I didn’t mean to offend! I actually thought I was being complimentary. I love, love, love Susan’s classic style and have said so frequently. I was expressing MY opinion about stiletto heels on “over sixties” and, as most everything else in fashion, people are free to disagree. What one person sees as trying too hard, another sees as being okay. Again, my apologies.

  21. Susan, Wonderful tips for curating, shopping for and organizing our wardrobes. Like you, I color code my clothes and separate them by season. A tip that I started using a few years ago is to reverse a hanger after I have worn an item. That makes it easy to see what I have already worn and encourages me to look at other pieces. It also provides a visual of what I haven’t worn and should consider donating. Thank you for all you do.

  22. Love this post. Makes me feel better about my getting rid of clothes I didn’t wear and being more selective with what I buy. Thank you.

  23. Always appreciate your suggestions and advice. I am trying to donate clothes I no longer wear. More room in my closet seems best and I feel better just looking at my organized fashions. Thank you Susan.

  24. I really like that your pink shirt is longer than some of the ones on sale these days that are just too short! Love your posts! Thank you.

  25. I am a petite sized woman who often had to deal with hanger “bumps” on the upper sleeves of sweaters and blouses. I found a hanger company that manufactures petite sized wooden hangers. The hangers are 15 1/2 inches long instead of 17 inches. They are wonderful. My clothing hangs better on wooden dress hangers and there are no more “bumps.”

  26. Wow! I’m envious of your lovely closet space! Mine, shared with my husband, is small and crowded.

  27. I turned 50 this year and used your blog to update my closet. I’ve learned so much from you so thank you so much!!!

  28. Great ideas as always,Susan!! I always love your posts since 2012!! Miss you wearing those shoes that Mr Mickey love!!! Take care!!

  29. I tried to explain…describe…etc….Whaqt you help me with to a pet sitting client. She didn’t buy in immediately but I have high hopes.

    You and Mickey give me hope that there are fellas out there…who know I’m not trying to weasel into their retirement income. They make sure that their KIDS are okay. Would I be surprised with a small allotment? Nope. but I would not be looking for my retirement income to come from my late-life friend.
    Y’all. I have soooo enjoyed watching the leaves changing in East TN. I live in Memphis where it is way more subtle. Y’all rock!!! (His cars are phenomenal!!!)

  30. Two nice outfits in a different style. I do like your two-tone shoes in the first one. I’m very impressed by your wonderfully organized shoes, bags, scarves and clothing!
    Have a lovely weekend, Susan!

  31. This has been a very informative blog, Susan, and another one I can get ideas from. One question though; do you find yourself reaching for the same outfit too much and do you have to make a conscious effort to vary what you wear? That, I think, is my problem! I tend to favour blues and navy and have to discipline myself to choose other colours.

    1. If the weather allowed it, I would wear a blue top with white jeans every day. I check the weather first and then think about where I will be going, then dress in something comfortable but appropriate. I sometimes want to wear a certain pair of shoes or boots, so I build the look around them.

  32. What do you do about dust? Here in the UK we tend not to have walk in closets but everything is in wardrobes behind doors and still the dust gets in. It’s something which drives me crazy.
    Thank you for your very interesting posts and continuing in these very difficult times.
    Wishing you and Mr Mickey well. Stay safe.
    Susan D

    1. I clean, dust, and vacuum often. I also use a garment brush or lint roller. I recently had the ductwork in my home professionally cleaned and spray-sealed. That has made a significant difference in the amount of dust in my house. I also change all of the return air filters on the first of each month.

  33. Thank you for the time and detail to share how you have created a beautiful wardrobe. I am learning so much! It has really transformed how I look at my shopping habits. And changed my perspective on my style. Big hug! Pam

  34. This post is timely for me as well! We have moved to our cabin back in March (at the beginning of our “work from home” status and bit by bit I have moved my wardrobe in with me. Working in a corporate environment requires a lot of clothes (because I love clothes!) and I have lived without them since March! However, I just brought a stack of winter clothes here (to the cabin) from our house and boy, I’m going to need to organize. We built this place for the weekends but shortly afterwards decided we would retire here. As with every nook and cranny, I will be maximizing my closet. The bulk of the storage is vertical as the closets are upstairs and the roof line is high, so the closet space is high as well. Got to be creative! Thanks for the inspiration!!

  35. Great informative post. I have used my time at home to streamline my closet. Only those items that I look and feel good in made the cut. So easy to dress for any occasion. Thank you, Susan.

    PS. Received my lovely scarf and have hung it on a felted hanger.

  36. I could just jump in your closet and wear it all. I love your colour choices and style. You are an inspiration to me. Thanks!

  37. Thanks for the closet update. I agree that what you have now looks so inviting. It has been tough for me to transition from career to retirement dressing, even though as a former college professor, I didn’t have to wear business suits. This was very helpful to me – thank you!

  38. WOW, I thought I had a problem with an abundance of shoes and handbags, but I believe you have me beat . I love your space and how you have everything so organized. I don’t have any where near that amount of space, but My next project is to start trying to organize my closet. Wish me luck.

  39. Thank you for such useful storage suggestions, all of which I can actually use! I appreciate your no-nonsense approach to both storage, and to fashion!

  40. You are such an inspiration to me! Thank you for always giving such specific and practical advice. Hugs to you!

  41. Thank you for sharing this it is very helpful. I’m interested in learning the best shapes for my body type. Do you have any suggestions on how I can learn more about body type?

    1. The first thing to consider is your measurements. The widest part of my body is my shoulders, and I have a flat behind and narrow hips. That means if you looked at the outline of my body, it would appear to be an inverted triangle. Other shapes are the pear (or triangle), where your hips and thighs are the widest part of the body. If your tummy is the largest part, you might have an apple shape. If your waist is the smallest part of your body, you have an hourglass shape. Those who have about the same measurement all the way down are usually a rectangle shape. Here is an article that might help you even more.

  42. Excellent article, Susan, which I’m taking to heart. I’m 5 years from retirement, and my workplace gets more casual each year. But, that makes it really easy to stand out when I want to make an impression for an occasion or presentation. I so envy you all that space – I’d love a whole room just for my wardrobe! I already store out of season clothes in vaccum bags under our 2 beds, but it’s time to store the transition pieces too as we go into November – my one tiny closet is packed – with stuff I LOVE, and wear! Worse problems to have, for sure…

  43. You inspire me daily to be and look my best! Your blog has changed my life as I have recently retired and feared that I would live in yoga pants forever! Not happening! Both my husband and I follow you and Mr. Mickey and take time to deliberately choose what we wear each day following your guidelines; the weather, the event, and our personal styles. Dressing is no longer a dreaded ordeal of not knowing what to wear. Thank you for including yours and Mr. Mickey’s adventures around the High Country! We have a second home in Avery County and spend much time there. We also travel to Johnson City on occasion to shop and dine. Perhaps we will cross paths some day!

  44. What a great post this is! Thank you so much Susan. After at least 40 plus years getting ourselves dressed every day you’d think we could’ve figured all this out but not really…for me and obviously a lot of others as well. And personally I even feel I have good fashion sense and do look decent at minimum, but it’s still difficult and includes lots if money wasted on miss-buys for sure. I think there is just too much choice out there to get this streamlined. So this is most helpful and I really appreciate it.
    I hope you have a lovely and restful, and maybe even exciting, weekend in store!!

  45. I love hats….and I wear them. I see real Hat Boxes on your shelves! The problem I have is finding proper “hat boxes”…..they seem to have gone the way of the Dodo bird. Does anyone know where to buy Hat Boxes? I live in Canada so the retailer needs to sell in Canada…..

  46. Love this post as it is inspirational as well as instructional. I keep off season clothing in a guest bedroom closet as it helps to declutter my wardrobe space for current use. Of course some items, white shirts, camisoles for layering, and certain jeans stay year round. I keep my shoes in their boxes for some odd reason. I do share the issue of the reader from the UK about dust. I fight it and am probably not as vigilant as you on housekeeping! Used dryer sheets make good dust wipes! Thank you, Susan, for lovely posts!

  47. Great post. I have a lot less than you have but everything fits and they are things I love, even if they are just a T shirt that I wear when walking. i am a little eccentric, rigid about getting rid of thi gs that don’t feel good. I never have a hard time finding something to wear.

    Looks to me like you really pared things down beautifully.

  48. Thank you , Susan, I am using the time made available by the restrictions of the Covid pandemic to take a good look at my closet and reorganize . Your post has been very helpful…food for thought ! I live in Scotland so the weather is much colder than you enjoy so the demands of my Wardrobe are different but the same in principal.
    I really enjoy your posts. Kind regards, Christine W.

  49. Wow you are so organized. I’m hoping this post will get me in the mood to clean my closet. Thanks for posts. I love them.

  50. Great post Susan. Will pin it to keep as a ready reference. Last year I really purged all of my former work clothes. Even though they still fit and were in good shape, I was tired of them and wanted them gone. I really gutted my closet, or so I thought. I think there are some other items I can get rid of also, so hope to do it after the holidays. I only want to keep the items I really love and feel good in. Being retired really changes what you wear and I appreciate your posts. I feel like I learn a new tidbit every time I read it. Now the challenge is making it work for me and my body shape, along with our Michigan climate. Thanks !

  51. Very helpful post as usual. I spotted what looked like striped tanks in one of the photos. Do you remember where you purchased those? I am looking for one that is similar. Thank you. Wishing you continued health.

  52. I have very limited space for my clothing and accessories, but since I’ve been following you, I’ve managed to stay organized by keeping items in sections so that getting dressed is a fairly easy process. I strongly agree with you on shopping for modern pieces and avoiding anything youthful, as well as too trendy, and I’m projecting a polished look that suits my age and body type. Even though I don’t have a large variety of clothing, I can still mix and match pieces to make many outfits for different occasions. You’ve had such a positive impact on my life, that the first thing that pops into my mind when eating, dressing, organizing, shopping, traveling, just about everything, is “What would Susan do?”

  53. My pet peeve with myself is not changing purses to match my outfit. It’s an afterthought with me….why didn’t I change bags. Ugh. How do you manage your purse contents? Do you purge daily? Do you select complete outfit the nite before? Suggestions? Mirror in the way out? Love your posts.

    1. I consider the handbag to be an important part of the look. I almost always change daily. I never lay out my clothes the night before since I dress for how I feel that day. I may be subdued and conservative for the day, or I may feel especially confident and bold on another day. I keep all of my essentials in small zippered pouches. I know what I need for the outing, so I include only the pouch or pouches I need and my wallet.

  54. Susan,
    Thank you so much for your continued inspiration, styling tips and storage suggestions for our wardrobe. I’ve learned so much from you and I’m forever grateful.
    For some reason, while I’ve been on your email list for a few years and have always received your emails in my in-box, for the last few months they are going directly to my junk mail. Because I know you post on Tuesday and Thursday, I now check my junk folder. Not understanding why this happens.

  55. Hi Susan.
    I was late reading this post but I’m so glad I did. It is an inspiring post that I hope will motivate me to once and for all organize my closet. My space is not as large as yours, but looking at your pictures gives me positive examples to follow. You are so right about giving away the clothes we no longer wear. It’s hard for me to let go of an item when I know I paid so much for it. But every time I see them., I feel guilty. So tomorrow I’m starting fresh and using you, once again, for my inspiration. Thank you for all the time you put into guiding us to make better clothes decisions. You are such a kind, caring and down to earth woman. I appreciate everything you do!

  56. The biggest takeaway for me (aside from how to hang cardigans properly… why didn’t I know this!) is keeping true to who I am and letting that guide my choices. Anytime I’ve leapt to a trend, the purchase didn’t work out. Either it was too memorable (ended up being a one-hit wonder) or I found that I didn’t have the pieces to truly pull off a look. I was left disappointed and frustrated with a closet filled with ill-suited, dated clothing that I didn’t love and it certainly didn’t love me back. I’ve recently done a major re-evaluation/reset and while I wish this had happened earlier in my life (I’m 50), I’m just glad that it did happen. Your blog has been very helpful not only in terms of your choices but what led you to them, how they’ve worked out for you and why. Thank you for your insight and candour.

    I do have a question for you regarding layering. It seems to me that jackets, cardigans or button-down sweaters that are more structured project a more put together look (even if more flowing alternatives are of equal quality). Am I mistaken – is this maybe a matter of my preference or is there something to it? Is it something linked to the type of material used that makes the difference?

    1. The structure of a garment does reflect more or less formality. Free-flowing non-structured garments always seem more relaxed and project a slightly Bohemian attitude. The accessories we add can take a look even further into a Bohemian style.

  57. I noticed you use three different types of hangers in your closets, excluding, of course, you slacks hangers. Do you have a reason for which hanger you use for each item?

    1. I started with the plastic boutique hangers for blouses and pants. I later realized that sweaters, tunics, and scarves needed to be on felted hangers, so I bought a few of those. Coats and jackets always need sturdier hangers and benefit from the angled ones to keep the shoulders’ shapes.

  58. I tried you recommendation to layer tank tops beneath jackets, but the ones found seem to either slip around ( too big?) or look unbecoming. Do you have a store I could try in the spring?

  59. Great post. I found your post while searching for capsule wardrobes for retired women. I was thrilled to find your site but had to laugh at myself too. I thought I had too much clothing but now find I probably have half or even a third of what you have. So I guess my wardrobe isn’t so big afterall. I can fit my items in my closet but I certainly don’t have as much closet space as you do. You are lucky! For now, I am going to hang onto what I have and add the few articles of clothing I have been wanting/needing for years.
    Just so you know, I have read other articles about capsule wardrobes for women who work and their ideas were, similar to you, have neutrals as basics (pants, skirts, tops) and fill in with some blazers and a few dresses. They thought 21-31 items (not counting shoes ore handbags) was more than enough. According to my calculations you have much MORE than enough by their standards and so do I. LOL Three’s no way I could ever get by with just 21 items unless I were bedridden..

  60. You have inspired me to clean up my closets.I retired last year and have three closets full of clothes and can never find anything to wear ,Thank you

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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.