Seasonal Swap

Wardrobe Tips for Switching Seasons

Author: Clara Tuckey

Spring is here (thank goodness!), and one of the most exciting ways to get ready for the warmer, sunnier ahead days is to shift your wardrobe for the upcoming season! Whether your wardrobe is big or small, well organized or in need of some TLC, keep reading; this guide will help you find new ways to store, organize and care for your clothes from season to season. 

Step one: E-V-A-L-U-A-T-E 

If you’ve read our other articles, this likely sounds like a broken record...but it’s so important! Evaluating what’s currently in your wardrobe and how it’s organized is the first step to reaching your wardrobe goals and being a conscious consumer. If you haven’t already, start by organizing your clothing into categories that work for you: tees and long-sleeved shirts, shorts and pants, sweaters and jackets etc. Then, decide what you can keep out for the upcoming season and what you’re ready to pack away for later. This is also a good time to part with some pieces that aren’t serving you anymore (see our article “A Deep Dive into your Existing Wardrobe” for more information on how and where to properly dispose of clothing you’re ready to move on from).

Blurred scene of sewing studio

It’s a good idea to keep out versatile pieces like sweaters, pants and jackets for the transition between cool and warm weather. As well, before you really settle on keeping certain items, try to think about three ways you could style them with other pieces you already have. This way, you’ve got preplanned backup outfits on the days when you’re not feeling inspired and you are able to identify any gaps that you may have in your clothing line-up. 

Step two: Organize and Pack it Up! 

While throwing your off-season outfits into a plastic tub, storing it under your bed and calling it a day seems like the easiest way to switch seasons, it can cause more work and frustration on the other end. Let’s talk about some good clothing storage practices that will keep your favourite pieces in tip-top condition while they’re resting up for next season.

Blurred scene of sewing studio
  • Clean and condition items before packing them away. Clothing requires maintenance, whether it’s throwing your cotton blend t-shirt in the washing machine or conditioning your leather boots with polish. Before storing your clothing for the season, ensure it is clean, well folded and that you’ve taken care of any repairs or essential conditioning. Don’t forget about your shoes and bags too! If left dirty and uncared for, shoes can cause a gross buildup of odour and moisture, attracting mold, mildew and other creepy-crawlies. Bags should be emptied and spot cleaned, you can even stuff them with paper to make sure they keep their shape while in storage. When you pull your clothes out next season, you will have set yourself up for a hassle- free wardrobe transition. 
  • Nix the plastic tubs and cardboard boxes (if you can!). Textiles and clothing need to breathe in order to stop mold, mildew and odour buildup. Plastic tubs do not allow for air circulation and can trap moisture and odours in, creating the perfect environment for fibre-loving nasties. Cardboard boxes may seem like a good alternative to plastic because they are made from natural materials and are a bit more breathable but cardboard attracts moisture, as well as other well-known clothing offenders like moths, silverfish and other pests. When you open that cardboard box next season, you may find that your fave sweater has a few unwanted holes or pulls from these creepy-crawlies. The best alternative to plastic and cardboard for clothing storage is storage boxes or bags made of fabric (preferably a natural fibre like cotton). These bags are relatively inexpensive, and are the perfect solution for storing clothing because they’re breathable, protective and tend to take up less space than cardboard or plastic boxes. If you’re not able to invest in fabric bags or boxes, a good alternative is using a bed sheet or large piece of fabric (again, preferably made of a natural fibre), placing your clothing in a stack in the middle and then tying the corners together to form your own sack or bag. 
  • Stack and store similar fabrics and colours together. Organize your garments into categories based on colour and the type of fabric they are made out of. For example, wool with wool, cotton and cotton blends with cotton and cotton blends, leather with leather and so on. Sometimes when pieces made of differing materials and colours are packed together for long periods of time, discolouration, pulls and tears can occur. Think about if you were to place a heavily beaded or sequined top on a fragile, airy cotton dress, or a pair of coloured denim pants on a white linen blouse—it's likely that you will find damage to your clothing when you unpack it next season. 
  • Place cedar balls, lavender sachets or other pest-deterring, fabric refreshing items with your stored clothing. While it may seem like a small, unessential touch, your nose and garments will thank you when you’re unpacking next season. 

Step three: Plan your Wardrobe Gains and Outfits for the Season 

This is a good time to look for fashion inspiration and think about if you want to add any new trends or styles to this season’s lineup. Try on all of the garments you plan on wearing for the season; how many outfits can you make using a single, standout item? You may be pleasantly surprised. If you find gaps in your wardrobe, first try to fill them with what you already have, then think about EXACTLY what you need—a neutral bottom? a bright, interesting top?—planning your clothing purchases will help you to consume less and save money long term. This way, you can do some research and shop around for the perfect item rather than impulse buying and regretting it later. 

Organizing a clothing swap with friends can be a great way to celebrate the changing seasons as well as a sustainable way to save money while finding new looks. You could even turn it into a fashion show amongst friends for this season’s hottest, reworked outfits--a perfect opportunity for some fun Insta shots, and a great way to spread awareness about fashion and sustainability. 

Seasonal upkeep and organization are essential to reaching wardrobe goals and happiness; and while it may seem daunting at first, taking small steps at your own pace will lead to bigger, positive transformations. When you invest time in your clothing and closet, you are investing in yourself by creating stress-free mornings, outfit confidence and a little extra spending money—these are things we could all benefit from a little more of!

Have any ideas or tips that I didn’t cover? Comment them on our socials—we want to hear from you! Thanks for reading :)

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