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The M Dash

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The 4 Closet Organization Hacks Our Store Manager Swears By

Your wardrobe is full of potential, as long as you can find what you’re looking for.

By Madeleine Kim

Since March, I’ve rearranged my desk at least four times, found new spots for about half of my plants, and spent a not insignificant amount of time deliberating the optimal location for a hedgehog-shaped paperweight that is, for some reason, in my possession. Nothing about this is a mystery: When you’re home all the time, you notice more things about your space and how it impacts the way you feel. 

Up until this month, the one space I’d avoided tackling was my closet, which houses not only my clothes, my fiance’s clothes, and my dog’s clothes, but also a host of random objects, including (but not limited to) lion ears from many Halloweens ago and multiple tambourines. But after New Year’s, I knew it was time to take action, and I successfully rid my wardrobe of pieces that were no longer serving me (I still have the lion ears, because you never know…). 

From there, the only thing left to do was reorganize my remaining pieces, and for that, I decided to call in a professional. I could think of no better person than our D.C. store manager, Twayla, who oversees not only the in-store experience and our incredible team of stylists, but also a stockroom full of just about every M.M. piece there is (a.k.a. my dream closet). Here are her tips for getting—and keeping—your closet in tip-top shape.

Shop similar styles: The Porter jacket, Lagarde shirt, Harrington leggings, and Lana boots.


Figure Out Your Closet-Organization Priorities

Before you set off on a quest to rearrange your wardrobe, think about what you hope to get out of your new setup. Maybe you have separate work clothes and weekend clothes, and it makes sense to arrange your closet into two distinct sections. Or perhaps your biggest issue is that you can never find the thing you’re looking for in the sea of hangers, and you need a system that will keep everything in its place. 

“In the D.C. store, being able to pull items quickly is key, which I know applies to many busy working women,” says Twayla. “The method that has worked best for us is organizing items by category and length. For example, we hang all dresses in the same place but arrange pieces by sleeve length within that section.” Since our D.C. team is deeply familiar with the M.M. collection—as you likely are with your own wardrobe—this system allows them to easily locate the pieces they’re looking for. 

For her personal wardrobe, Twayla takes a different approach. “I hang my items at home by color, because I find it visually pleasing, and it makes getting dressed feel like I am shopping at my very own cute boutique,” she says. The takeaway: Figure out what’s important to you, then organize accordingly.


Keep Your Clothes Front and Center

Wondering what to hang and what to fold? Twayla has an easy-to-follow rule of thumb. “I am a huge believer that if you have the space, you should hang everything—except knits, which stretch out on hangers and should always be folded,” she says. “When you don’t see your clothes, there is a strong likelihood you won’t properly utilize what’s in your wardrobe.” 

As far as gear goes, Twayla recommends using velvet-grip hangers. “They are the best for maintaining the shape of your clothing and preventing pieces from falling onto your closet floor,” she explains. “Hang your pants using the hanger clips, not folded over the hanger, which can create creases. If you have more formal trousers with front seams, hang them following the seam line to maintain their shape.” 

Proper closet organization includes every part of the outfit—and Twayla has tips for storing your shoes, too. “I keep all my shoes in clear plastic containers, so I can easily see them and prevent them from collecting dust,” she says. A smart tactic, especially if you’re working from home and wearing shoes less frequently than usual.


Reevaluate Your Wardrobe on the Regular

Routine closet cleanouts are key to maintaining a well-organized wardrobe. “Audit your closet every six to nine months,” recommends Twayla. “If you come across a piece you haven’t worn since your last closet cleanout, ask yourself why you bought it and whether you truly need it.” Out-of-season styles aside, there’s a good chance that if you haven’t worn something in half a year, it’s not something you need to own. (Pro tip: Sell pre-loved M.M. items on our customer-to-customer resale site, Second Act.)

Making hard decisions about your existing wardrobe can also make you more intentional about future investments. “I’m big on cost per wear,” says Twayla, “even if an item was only $5. If I bought it but never wore it, then I wasted that $5.” In contrast, if you buy an $85 top and wear it 50 times, your cost per wear is only $1.70. Thinking about clothes in terms of cost per wear helps you assess the value you’re getting out of a piece—the price tag is a factor, but it doesn’t show the full picture. “Ultimately, recognizing this fact helps cut back on resorting to ‘retail therapy,’ which is just another term for stress shopping,” says Twayla. “It also helps you take a step back and analyze what your personal style is. If there’s a type of clothing you continue buying but not wearing, maybe those items aren’t really ‘you,’ even if you’re drawn to them when you’re shopping. Evaluating my wardrobe in this way helped me identify my personal style and invest in more items I truly love—and wear.”


Get an Expert’s Opinion

Another way to develop your personal style is by working with an M.M. stylist, whose goal is to make sure you’re choosing the right pieces for your body type, dress code, and lifestyle. By working with an expert, you’ll discover new outfit pairings, fall in love with silhouettes you didn’t realize you could pull off, and avoid buying pieces you won’t end up wearing. Once you’ve finished reorganizing your closet, I highly recommend treating yourself to an appointment at our D.C. or NYC stores (or a virtual appointment, if you’re not in the area)—it’s the perfect way to set yourself up for success this year and beyond.

Written By

Madeleine Kim

Madeleine Kim is the Senior Brand Manager at M.M.LaFleur, where she started out as a stylist. She loves developing styling-focused content and creating newsletters that bring the M.M. community together.

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