End of Summer Tips: Before You Put Your Fall Wardrobe Together

Summer is almost over, although we’d like to enjoy the warmth of the sun for a few more weeks. Labor Day Weekend is next week and the unofficial end of the summer season.

Now is a great time to take stock of your summer wardrobe. There’s no need for a full-fledged closet clean out (like I do with my clients), but you can take just 30 minutes and look at two main categories in your closet—the clothes you’ve been wearing the most, and those you’ve been wearing the least. These categories can point out a few things.

What you’re wearing the most indicates what has worked well this past summer—meaning 1) what functions for your lifestyle and 2) what makes you feel good. And what you’re barely wearing (or not wearing at all) can give you some pretty good insights, too.

Grab some of your favorite items from this summer, and ask yourself a few questions:

What you’re wearing the MOST. Consider:

  • Why am I wearing it so much?
  • Is it more about how it LOOKS or how it FEELS?
  • Is it easy to coordinate with other things in my closet?
  • Am I wearing it because it makes sense for what I’ve been doing?
  • Do I just love it? What do I love about it (color, pattern, texture, shape)?
  • Do I appreciate that it’s easy to care for?
  • Is it still in good condition?

The answer to these questions can give you some major insights into building a wardrobe—insights not only into what’s worked this summer, but into your fashion style in general. Take note of these thoughts for future reference.

Here’s what you can do with the information you’ve gained:

• See if you’re wearing an item in a “good rotation.” Or, if you’re wearing it so often that it’s getting worn out.

• Check if items represent a NEED in your wardrobe. For example, if you’re always grabbing your white blazer, do you think you might need other jackets that add polish to simple looks?

• If you simply love an item a lot, think about why. This item may represent style preferences that you haven’t fully explored. And if this is a category in your wardrobe that needs expanding, put it on your shopping list.

• If you think it makes sense to buy other options, shop for them now—while there are still summer items in stores (and many are on sale!).

• If any of your most-worn summer items need repair, fix them now. Deal with stains, repair torn seams, and replace lost buttons. It’s much better to deal with these issues before you put things away for the season, rather than when you reach for them next year.

What you’re wearing the LEAST (or haven’t worn at all). Ask yourself these questions:

Do I still like it? Or did I just forget about it?

Do I feel good when I wear it?

Am I missing things to wear it with?

Does it make sense for my lifestyle right now?

Have I just not had the occasion to wear this?

Has my style evolved beyond this?

• Is it hard to care for?

Does it need to be repaired/altered before I can wear it again?

Again, the answers to these questions can give you major insights into what isn’t working for you or what you might have overlooked.

Here’s what you can do with this information:

• Check if your lifestyle has evolved, but your style hasn’t caught up. If you used to dress up for work, but now you work from home a lot, that’s the reason your silky blouses haven’t been worn.

• See if your priorities have changed regarding clothing care. If dry cleaning feels like a big deal right now, prioritize easy-care styles.

• Revisit how you organize things in your closet, especially if you found a few things you love but had forgotten about. Items in plain sight are apt to get worn more frequently.

A few more action items:

If you love a summer item that you haven’t been wearing, wear it before the season is over. This will give you feedback as to whether you just forgot about it or if there’s another reason you’re not wearing it.

Let go of items that no longer make sense for your style preferences or your lifestyle.

• If you’re not sure what to do about an item, put it in limbo. Shift it to another closet or an under-bed box. If you don’t go for it before the season is over, that means you don’t even remember you own it—and it’s a strong candidate for donation or consignment.

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