The Main Line Closet Edit

Three Style Experts Show Us How To Shop Our Closets

by Diane Oliva, style editor

Do you have a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear? Yep, me too. It’s possible to love what you wear and how you feel wearing it – without buying a single piece of new clothing. How? With a closet edit from an professional stylist.

Suzie has been in the fashion industry for over 20 years, first managing a local boutique and 10 years as owner of Suzie Gaffney Styling. Suzie says a closet edit isn’t just about purging unwanted or ill-fitting clothes. More importantly, it’s about how to make pieces you have work better.

First, Suzie and her client look at every piece and ask a series of questions.

  • Does it make me feel good? You should feel great in every piece. 
  • Does it fit – not just my body, but my life? Maybe you have a closet full of suits from your office days, but now you work from home. You’ve kept the suits just in case. In case of what? Keep one good suit, and maybe a couple separates to mix and match. Donate the rest. 
  • Does it flatter me? Keep what flatters and makes you feel good.  
  • Does it play well with others in my closet? This one is key and where Suzie has the most fun. One of the most common mistakes she sees is clients stereotyping clothes. What is that? Wearing the same combinations of pants, jeans, tops and sweaters time and time again without switching things up. 

Suzie shows clients how to style what they already have, and give new meaning to pieces. Button-up shirt you never wear because it’s too boxy?  Wear it as a beach cover up. Dress too long and frumpy? Shorten it and taper the bottom a bit. The suit jacket in the back of your closet since you went WFH? Wear it on weekends with a tee, jeans and fun jewelry.

What treasures are hiding in your closet? Chanel never goes out of style.

Your closet is a treasure chest. We all need some help doing the treasure hunting. After an edit, Suzie sets a virtual closet through a software program. Clients can post pictures of their clothing, and she suggests  different outfits using what you already have. 

Peggy Conlon uses that same software. Peggy has been working in fashion since was 18 years old. She is owner of Styled by Peggy and is an award-winning stylist. Peggy’s closet edit method is similar to Suzie’s. She feels most clients’ closets simply need a fresh set of eyes and some organization.

Peggy’s clients see her not only as their stylist, but as their therapist, too. Most women have emotional attachments to clothing. Peggy has a real gift for making clients realize that getting rid of clothes is not getting rid of memories. Better to display a photo of the memorable event, with the client wearing the outfit in the picture.    

Is there Gucci in your closet? Mix and match it!

Peggy’s number one fashion rule when doing a closet edit? There are no fashion rules! Don’t let someone tell you something is out of style. If clients love something and feel great in it, they should wear it. Fit is particularly important, too. If a client never wears a garment because something seems off, it may need simple tailoring or a refresh, like changing the buttons. Peggy creates lookbooks via a software program, uploading pictures of pieces that were kept during the edit. She shows clients how to wear what they have in ways they never imagined.

Men are not immune to closet dysfunction. Laura Getty, personal stylist for J. Hilburn and co-founder of lifestyle blog Fifty-ish, specializes in men’s closet edits. She always starts with the shirts and usually finds several with frayed collars or cuffs. Laura says another easy way to thin out a man’s closet is get rid of his golf shirts. Most men have way too many of them, mostly from events or clubs, and most of them don’t fit. Choose your favorites and donate the rest.    

Bungee Brand
Do you have these pieces in your closet? Put them together like Bungee Obleceni CEO Darrell Alston does.

Most men have far too many ties, but have trouble knowing which to keep.   She shared a great fashion secret for ties. Laura says to keep in mind the width of the tie at the widest part should be approximately the same width  as the widest part o the jacket lapel. Brilliant, right? 

A closet is so much more than where we store our clothes. It’s a very personal space, where we start and end our day. Make your closet a relaxing, stress free, no-judgment place that brings you style, pleasure, and joy.

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