How to transition your wardrobe from winter to spring

A fashion visionary and stylist shares how to cleanse your wardrobe and rethink your style.

Israeli fashion blogger Korin Avraham wearing a Honigman dress and a hand-crafted hat from Miss Mochila.  Israeli fashion blogger Korin Avraham wearing a Honigman dress and a hand-crafted hat from Miss Mochila.  Israeli fashion blogger Korin Avraham wearing a Honigman dress and a hand-crafted hat from Miss Mochila. (Photo: Ya Salam)

Warmer breezes and bright skies mean it’s time to edit your wardrobe. But how to transition our clothing from winter to spring, and do it gracefully, is the question that befuddles us year after year. We put quite a bit of thought into cleansing our home environments and revamping our beauty routines, but what about a closet refresh? Jill Heller, a New York-based fashion stylist and founder of style consultancy firm PureThread, says the spring season is an opportune time for a good wardrobe cleansing that will help you to identify exactly what you need and be a bit more discerning about the items you add to your wardrobe.

Heller shares how you can create the wardrobe of your dreams this spring in 5 easy steps.

Step 1: Define

Use a journal to create your personal style profile. Use a journal to create your personal style profile. (Photo: A. and I. Kruk/Shutterstock)

Each of us has our own unique style, but we may not even be in tune with exactly what it is. We may be making purchases on a whim that aren’t in line with the fashion we truly love. Heller suggests taking out your journal, or iPad for that matter, and defining your style profile. “Determine your favorite silhouettes, colors, budget, fashion tendencies and what clothing makes you feel the best,” said Heller. “Define what you would like to communicate with your clothes personally and professionally – from the inside out. From this intimate process, start to build a plan for your new wardrobe.”

Step 2: Edit

Renowned stylist Jill Heller working with a client in New York City. Renowned stylist Jill Heller working with a client at the PureThread studio in New York City. (Photo: PureThread)

We’ve all held onto shirts, pants, heck, even sweatpants, that we never wear and that take up valuable real estate in our closets and dresser drawers. Heller said that in order to truly transform your wardrobe, you must start with a clean slate. “Purge your closet of everything that no longer serves you,” she said. “Streamline, organize and eliminate pieces you no longer wear with comfort and confidence. Removing clutter will allow you to easily dress everyday, simplifying one aspect of your daily life.”

Step 3: Donate

One woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure. Heller says that responsible disposal of the items you edit out of your closet is the next step in her wardrobe cleanse. “Donate gently worn high-end items to a consignment shop and donate the rest of the items to an organizations such as the Salvation Army, Goodwill or Dress for Success,” said Heller. Vintage fashion blogger Natalie Joos shares her pre-loved finds on her blog Tales of Endearment.

Step 4: Dream

Reflect on what you have you discovered during the process of editing and donating and how you’ll continue to keep a wardrobe filled with clothes that bring you joy. Then, propose a plan for filling in your wardrobe. “You can creatively repurpose existing clothing that you feel great wearing, by updating it with something new and seasonal,” said Heller. Israel-born fashion writer Roza Sinaysky balances a cool breeze and sunshine with pieces from one of her go-to fashion brands in Israel, Sample (seen in the photo above).

Step 5: Find

At PureThread, Heller customizes the process of updating wardrobes according to each client’s needs and believes that when adding to your wardrobe, women should find wardrobe stars that will stand the test of time. While we all can't have Heller by our side while shopping, we can heed her advice and keep it in mind. “Choose items that are designed to last longer and are well-constructed,” says Heller. “For spring and summer, women should consider investing in a classic trench coat, a lightweight cashmere sweater, a white, navy and black silk blouse, the perfect black blazer from day to night, a silk scarf, good jeans, a white oversized tee and a basic belt, white sneakers, and a carry-all tote, with sunglasses. Kaftans are so wonderful to wear to the beach, or to a cafe, or an evening out with a nice wedge.”

Lindsay E. Brown is the managing editor of Eco-Chick, the web’s first ethical fashion, beauty and travel site for women. She has written for Whole Living Magazine, Edible, and Cottages & Gardens. Lindsay has been featured as a fashion and beauty expert on the Veria Living Network. Lindsay holds a BS in Global Business Studies and Marketing from Manhattan College, and received the 2012 Honors Award at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

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