Four Reasons to Do a Seasonal Clothing Review

Four Reasons to Do a Seasonal Clothing ReviewWhether you’ve got a small apartment closet or yours rivals that of Kim Kardashian’s, reviewing your clothes on a seasonal basis is still a great idea. I’ve always been a fan of seasonal clothes storage, using clear sweater bags to store out-of-season fabrics, colors, and styles — as well as physically moving out-of-season clothing to the back of the closet, and moving more seasonally-appropriate clothing to the front. I even do this with socks (I only wear no-show ankle socks in the summer) and lingerie (I don’t wear lacy bras with summer t-shirts and dresses, and I’ve also found I have a preference for unlined bras in the summer, as a foam lining or whatnot can feel a bit hot). Some pros to a seasonal clothing review that I’ve found over the years:

1. You get to rediscover clothes you haven’t seen in a while.

Let’s say you have a butter-yellow top that, for whatever reason, isn’t in your regular mix of outfits. Sure, you can wear butter yellow year-round — but by packing the top away with spring clothes, you might get excited to pull it out in February or March and it might get some wear. On the flip side, if you take it out again in March and think “yuck, this thing again,” it forces you to confront the top, weigh how it fits into your wardrobe, and may even motivate you to sell or donate it. If it had just sat in your closet all year, odds are good you’d have forgotten about it entirely until you did a massive closet purge. (My grandmother used to love this rediscovery, saying gleefully that it was “just like finding it!”)seasonal closet review - images of dresses

 2. A seasonal clothing review forces you to identify what’s in poor condition.

Particularly when a piece of clothing is a favorite of mine, it may stay in rotation for far too long past its prime. I may recognize this when I start to put it away with the other seasonal clothes… but I’ll definitely recognize it when I’m pulling it out many months later, when I see it with fresh eyes.

3.  It lets you take advantage of end-of-season sales.

Maybe you wore a few pieces all the time; maybe you didn’t touch something you thought you’d wear. By actively sorting through your seasonal clothes you become aware of what what got used and what didn’t — and it helps you take advantage of end-of-season sales to fill the gaps or buy more of something you loved. Plus, if you’ve identified that something is in poor condition (linen cropped pants, for example) then you can keep an eye out during the end-of-season sale and decide whether or not to get a new pair. (Note the retailers’ return policy if you’re buying things you plan to wear several months in advance — Nordstrom and Boden have very friendly return policies, while other stores may be 30-45 days, or less.)

4. When you join your old fall stuff with your new fall stuff, magic happens.

I’ve talked about my love of playing closet — this can be a great time to do it. You’ll see new outfits and combinations that you may not have even thought about before.

Ladies, what about you — do you do a seasonal clothing review? Do you have any great stories of things in your closet you’d forgotten about, new combinations or outfits you discovered, or just the general peace that comes from hitting “reset” on your wardrobe? 

Pictured: Pixabay


Every season it's important to prune your closet and review it to make sure you know what's in there. Here are FOUR great reasons why everyone needs to do a seasonal closet review.


  1. I am nowhere near organized enough to do anything this thoughtful, but out of necessity (space) I do rotate my summer-only and winter-only clothes and shoes. Off season stuff goes to live underneath the bed in storage boxes or in the storage room.

    • Anonymous :

      Yup, my closet is tiny so anything off-season goes to my parents’ place. When I get everything out again the next year, it’s fun to rediscover things I’d forgotten I owned.

      But this probably only really applies if you live somewhere with very distinct seasons, as I do. There aren’t many things I truly wear year-round.

  2. Any tips for dieting while traveling for work? Firm does pay for all meals and there is decent variety here, and a fridge in my hotel room. For lunch at work I pretty much have to eat at the cafeteria – cold salads/sandwiches every day and a different hot food every day – today is pizza though. I don’t like lettuce, which adds to the salad issue – I’ll eat all the veggies minus the lettuce in a salad

    • Is there a Whole Foods in the town that you are traveling to? Also, do you have a microwave? Go to a whole foods and stock up on things in the hot and cold bar and take them to work.

      • Great idea! When I’ve traveled on business, I used to make sure I spent my full per firm, eating all kinds of junk, and I put on 20 pounds in 3 years. I was a mess and men would not even look at me. In the last year I’ve taken to eating healthy irregardless of my per down, have lost 12 pounds and found a man interested in me!

    • Anonymous :

      Where are you traveling? It’ll probably vary a lot, but most places at least have a Whole Foods or other similar upscale grocery. The quality of their prepared food and hot bar area varies a lot, but is often an ok bet for a healthy dinner. I also sometimes pick up bean salads and fruits and things that will be fine for a few hours without refrigeration and bring them in my bag for a working lunch if the cafeteria is pretty grim. Really I think the trick is to try to eat normally, if you travel for weeks then heavy restaurant meals and booze and snacks will start to add up. If you have free time, consider checking out some local fitness studios. The people at those places also often have good restaurant suggestions.

    • I’m living out of an Airbnb at the moment and commuting to a town with no real lunch options. My trick thus far – oatmeal + banana for breakfast, packaged salad from a nice grocery store (M&S for lunch) and crackers, peanut butter, and fruit for dinner. I eat the same thing day in and day out but it helps eliminate some stress.

      I’ve also been going to yoga classes nearly every night – it turns out I have a lot fewer life responsibilities when travelling which means more time for exercise.

  3. Am I the only one who really doesn’t have much difference between her winter and summer wardrobe, particularly for work? I mean, I have casual things that are definitely not year-round friendly (jeans, heavy sweaters, casual tee-shirts, tights, boots, socks), but most of my work-wear is comfortable most of the year, in an air-conditioned/heated office. I add some extras in the winter (tights, hose, undershirts) and often carry a blazer or cardi instead of wearing it in the summer, but that’s about it. Plus, our falls and springs are usually really unpredictable, so if I were to put away my shorts in, October or my socks in April, there’s a good chance I’d wind up regretting it.

    • Anonymous :

      I live in a place with very distinct seasons, but my office is actually colder in the summer than the winter because of the air-conditioning (grrr) so my work wardrobe (dress pants, flats/low heels, sweaters, silk shells, blazers, jeans for Fridays) is basically the same year-round. I only wear tights and boots in the fall and winter and I actually only wear dresses in the fall and winter too because my office is too cold for bare legs, even in August, but other than that it’s pretty much the same year-round.

    • I don’t either, Scottish summers = tights in August. I have 5 days worth of summer clothes which are acceptable as work wear and some heavier wool dresses and sweaters but other than that, my clothes can be worn all year round.

    • Anonymous :

      I live in NC, which has mild but damp winters and hot summers (someone joked that our seasons are Hot, Hotter, OMG Hot & Humid, and Christmas). Our office A/C is crazy. I have at least 4 1-season wardrobes. Probably even more for casual clothes (casual sporty, casual on my couch, casual with small kids, casual hiking, casual REI non-activity-specific, going to church, dinner with husband, sophisticated but not trying to hard traveller) for each season. And then there are the shoes. Things are perpetually going into and out of vacuum bags and rubermaid bins (so as to roach-proof — love living in the SE US).

    • Anonymous :

      Same here- I wear about 75% of my wardrobe year round. And since I have a relatively small wardrobe overall, I don’t need to physically rotate anything; the few items that are truly seasonal (shorts vs. puffy down coats) have permanent homes in my closet and dresser anyway. As summer and winter begin and end, though, I do take a look at my summer/winter only items to make sure they are still in good enough shape to keep for the following year. But I never “rediscover” out of season clothes because I’m wearing, or at least seeing, everything I own every time I open my closet and dresser.

    • Other than white pants/skirts and wool suit jackets? Nope. But I have a very small closet and also the distinct season cold office problem.

      I guess my shoes change from pumps to boots in the winter too. And add coats.

  4. Anonymous :

    I finally have a large walk-in closet after years of apartment living, so I no longer have to store my off-season clothes. I do try to go through my closet twice a year and find stuff to give to Goodwill.

  5. Meredith Grey :

    The threads about morning routines have me thinking about how to extend my morning workout “enthusiasm” into the fall/winter months. I wouldn’t say I *like* to, but am inclined to work out in the morning in the spring and summer when the early morning light either wakes me up naturally (light sleeper) or my body isn’t repulsed by the idea of getting out of bed when my alarm wakes me up and a little sunlight is already visible. Then I go through a complete 180 and die inside right around this time of year when 6AM looks no different than 3 AM. Do people have routines that are seasonal? Anyone have any experience with dawn-like alarm clocks? Is this just my inner fat girl telling me I’m not meant to be an Olympian? Thoughts?

    • I did get one of the dawn alarm clocks – I love it for the winter. Much less harsh than waking up to the screech of an alarm when it’s pitch black outside. I still can’t convince myself to workout in the mornings by waking up more gently, mind you, but it does make it easier to at least roll out of bed with enough time to not be late to work.

    • My coffeemaker is my alarm clock! The kitchen is outside the master bedroom & I’m a light sleeper too – the sound of the coffee brewing (set on a timer) is enough to wake me up. Especially now that my husband is brewing decaf in a separate coffeemaker with different noises. Something like that might work for you if you want to try before the light/dawn alarm.

  6. A former roommate had one of those light alarm clocks and swore by it. She’s a teacher, so I assume she was getting up around the same time you would be for the gym, and she had no problems.

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  8. I do swap out clothes at for summer/winter, and my usual rule is that if I haven’t worn it since it came out of storage, it goes to Goodwill. I do make exceptions for interview suits, etc., but otherwise I’m pretty firm about it. I also find it does help with looking at things with a fresh set of eyes when you get something out of storage. As in oh, my lord, I never realized how pilled that shirt is.

  9. Since this is tangentially related to closets….has anyone had custom closets done? Where? How was quality / pricing? I recently went to the Container Store for a custom closet, they measured and will design and install everything, but the price quoted ($1,600 – $2,000) seemed high for my NYC small non-walk in closet. Is this standard? Anyone do a closet elsewhere and have wisdom to share? TIA!

    • In my childhood bedroom we did Elfa closets from the Container Store. In the store they helped us design the layout, then we brought home the pieces and put it together ourselves. I don’t know the pricing since I was a kid, but I would imagine it was <$500 knowing my parents. It held up well through the years (at least 10 years before my parents sold the house).

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