5 Steps To Create Your Ideal Summer Closet

There is nothing I love more than summer. I could live in a tank top and cut-offs for the rest of my life but that doesn’t mean I want to spend my life in the same tank top and cut-offs. It’s natural to want to spice things up for the season with some new additions to your closet. If you’re anything like me (aka, a normal woman who loves clothes and feeling good in them), you probably already have a full closet. And it’s probably full of a lot of things you don’t wear, are worn out or just flat out out of fashion. Take a day to spring clean your closet & pump up your closet with summer styles with these five steps!

1. Do Inventory

Clean the living daylights out of your clothing space. I’m talking rip a part your closet, dump out every drawer and pull out every storage box. Maybe not all at once of course but you get the ‘gist. Take the items that are totally busted, worn out and God awful straight to the trash bin. I know, it can be hard but letting go is a part of life. Take everything you haven’t worn in a year and separate it into two piles

  • Sell/Trade Pile: These are items you know you could take to somewhere like Buffalo Exchange and either get a little cash or credit for. I’ve found the best things to take are designer pieces (jeans and handbags especially) or Vintage items. These places are not so likely to buy that Forever 21 mistake you bought last summer. This pile comes in handy in step five so don’t forget it!
  • Donation Pile: Basically anything that isn’t sellable- for example the Forever 21 piece I mentioned above and other items from your frequent mall stops- can be donated to many charities including the Goodwill or Out Of The Closet (whose profits go towards helping the AIDS Foundation). Either way, your donation will be helping people who are less fortunate who are DYING to wear that dress you haven’t touched in ages. 

2. Put It Together

Now that you’ve cleaned out everything you aren’t going to be sporting, look at what you have left and go shopping in your own closet. Many times we forget all that we have and it takes us laying it all out to see the outfit opportunities that have just been waiting for us. Flip through your favorite fashion magazine and you’ll be surprised to see you probably have items that can add up to a fantastic and trendy new getup.  This far in the game, you might as well go all out and make your closet easy for you to navigate; organize your closet possibly by outfit options or my personal favorite, color coding! Go to the 99cent store and buy matching hangers (I personally like mine all black) and new plastic containers for seasonal items and accessories.

3. Make A List Of Everything You Need 

Now that you know what you’re working with, what do you need? This is not the adorable House Of Harlow bangle you’ve been eyeing or those red striped wedges you saw in Vogue that match absolutely nothing aside from the sun dress you have dreamed up in your head. This list should be things that are staples that you can use over & over again for years. For me, this list includes:

  • Two pairs of black shoes- one casual, one dressy
  • A pair of neutral shoes
  • A good black cardigan to throw over anything (makes those shoes go with everything!)
  • One simple dress that you always look amazing in for any occasion
  • A good pair of jeans
  • Your favorite T-Shirt
  • A comfortable pair of shorts
  • A bathing suit you feel beautiful in
  • Optional: a versatile pair of flip flops (in southern CA, they’re a MUST for me)

Black can always be exchanged for Navy or another color that suits your preference- I personally love black because it goes with everything and makes you look slimmer! 🙂

4. Make A List Of Everything You Want

Now here is where those wedges come into play if you really want them. Think about what you’d love to wear out and about this summer and list those things. That lovely little sarong that matches your bathing suit you so diligently disciplined yourself from sneaking into your purchases is perfect for this list! 

5. Budget, Prioritize, Plan

Now that you have a list of things you need and things you want, budget for them. This is a good idea anyway if you haven’t budgeted in awhile. Write down all your expenses and see how much you have left. Take a manageable percentage of that and allocate it to purchasing your needs and wants. Prioritize what you need first- are your shoes completely busted? Well, that should be first on the list. After you have prioritized and know how much you can spend each month, do some online shopping to find the perfect item in your price range. Honestly, anything you want can be found on the internet! As a twenty four year old writer and internet junkie in Los Angeles, my budget is pretty slim but these are my favorite places online to find exactly what I’m looking for to complete the looks I’ve been dreaming of:

  • Forever21
  • H&M
  • Etsy
  • Shop It To Me (a mailing list you sign up for that sends you all your favorite brands on sale on the internet!)

This is also where those sell/trade clothes come in REAL handy! You can either take that pile and use the credit to buy things there or take the cash and use it on the pieces you need/want from other places. I made myself a rule I wasn’t allowed to buy anything new without getting rid of some old so this is a fabulous way to not only keep your closet clean & lean but also keeps the guilt of splurging at bay! 

Photo: Flickr / BrittanyBush


  1. Love it! Great timing because today is the day for me to revamp my closet! Thanks for the great info!