The most important part of my wardrobe styling work with clients is what I call the “closet audit.” Because I get a lot of questions about what a closet audit is and what it involves, I decided to write an article on this topic. This article covers:
- The reason for doing a closet audit
- What happens during the closet audit process
Why Do a “Closet Audit”?
Many of my new clients are unhappy with what they have in their closets and feel that they need to start over with a whole new wardrobe. A typical comment I hear is, “I look in my closet and there’s just nothing there!” For that reason, clients often want to start with a shopping trip and skip the closet audit altogether.
Although I can understand the temptation to simply start anew, that’s not the right choice in almost all situations. It is extremely rare that a client has nothing in her closet which can be brought forward into her new wardrobe, and most of the time she has more good pieces than she previously believed. It is often just a matter of remixing those pieces with each other to create fun and stylish new outfits that the client will love and wear. In most cases, just a few new garments and accessories are all that’s needed to freshen up a wardrobe and inject fun and excitement into it.
The Closet Audit Process
So, once it is determined that a closet audit is the right first step, clients often have questions and concerns about the process. Perhaps they’ve watched “What Not to Wear” and fear that all of their clothes will be thrown away, or maybe they feel that I will make them get rid of favorite or sentimental pieces. They also worry about how long the process will take and how much input they will have into the decisions that are made.
Here is a basic overview of the steps involved in a closet audit. A future article will address the types of closet audits I do with my clients and how long each option takes.
- Client completes questionnaire to give us both a stronger sense of her current style and style goals. Client also compiles photographs of styles she likes, either from magazines and catalogs or online (websites, Pinterest).
- At the beginning of the closet audit appointment, we review and discuss the questionnaire and photos and set the stage for the work we’ll do together that day.
- We review the client’s wardrobe and assess it based upon her goals and desired style.
- Items are placed into these categories: keep, discard/donate, alter, and “maybes.” All or some of the maybe items are tried on for further assessment. While I provide honest input and rationale, the final decision on keep vs. discard is always the client’s.
- “Keep” items are remixed to provide new outfit options for the client (photos are taken for later reference and emailed to the client shortly after the appointment).
- The client’s closet is re-organized to make it easier for her to get dressed each day. This is usually done by category but can vary slightly depending upon the client’s individual needs.
- A shopping list is compiled of items which will fill in any identified wardrobe gaps and increase the client’s outfit options.
- The client is amazed at how much possibility exists in her closet, even after a portion of her wardrobe has been discarded. The session ends with the client feeling happy and hopeful and excited to wear what’s in her closet and have fun with her clothes!
Want to Get Started?
So there you have it – the basics for the closet audit. I hope this article has helped to demystify the closet audit process and dispel any fears you have for moving forward with this valuable service.
If you are eager to get started, please contact me to schedule an appointment. You’ll be glad you did! If you’d rather try to do it yourself, I have written a helpful article on doing your own closet audit which will point you in the right direction.
The Types of Closet Audits
Not all closet audits are the same. Stay tuned for my next article on the various types of closet audits and how to decide which type is best for you. A closet audit option is available for all types of clients and all budget levels!