Color,  Wardrobe 101

Save Time! Colorize Your Closet

Happy day, Reader Dearest!

It’s starting to feel like fall around here! The leaves are not yet turning, but there’s a crisp in the morning air that refreshes the spirit and makes the still mid-80 degree days feel lovely. (Although it can create a dressing conundrum. Hint: Layers, people. Layers!)

Change of seasons and weather means a little shift in wardrobe and some reorganization.

Now, I am not a closet organizer, per se.

Yes, when I work with a client, his or her closet WILL be more organized when we are done.

Often because we’ve decluttered.

Sometimes because we’ve rearranged to make the current season accessible.

AND because I hang up their clothes (and my own) by color! Category and then color, actually, but I’ll explain more about that below. We call that the Repeating Rainbow method!

It’s a little thing that makes a HUGE difference. Why?

Save Time Finding

Have you ever looked in your closet thinking, I want to wear that blue top!? Then you rifle through each hanger, getting frustrated at the amount of time it is taking you to find it.

I see this on the regular when I meet a client for a Wardrobe Inspiration Session. I’ll be pulling together an outfit with some of their favorite pieces and ask, Do you have a pink cami or tank? That would be amazing with this combination.

YES!, she replies. And strides into her closet to begin the hunt…

When you hang (and store) your clothes by Category and Color, you can find what you own in two shakes of a lamb’s tail! Need a blue shirt? You look in the shirts section and move to blue. If it’s not there, it’s in the laundry. It’s that easy. And you probably have another blue shirt to choose from to make it work, rather than starting from scratch. This is where Thinking in Threes comes in handy!

Need more tips to make dressing less of a stress? Read this!

Save Time Putting Away

Have you ever noticed that it’s easy to put away things when you know where they belong, but when they don’t have a home… They end up on the chair. Or sitting on the table by the door. Or on your nightstand. Yup. It’s the old Place-for-everything-and-everything-in-its-place trope. One I learned the power of when classroom teaching grades K-8!

When the clothes come out of the laundry (Or home from the cleaners.), where do they go? When you hang (and store) your clothes by Category and Color, you know exactly where they go. The blue shirt goes with the blue shirts. The jeans go with the pants. The pink cami goes with the pink/red shirts. You don’t need to get all wrapped up in sleeveless vs. sleeved, or jeans vs. trousers. My basic categories? Tops, Bottoms, Dresses, Jackets. If you own Special Occasion wear, let’s give it its own special section.

Those empty hangers at the bottom? They’re waiting for clean clothes to come back from the laundry bin!


No expensive closet makeover needed! Even without special shelving and matching hangers, the Repeating Rainbow system helps your closet look more custom-curated-boutique and less rummage-sale. It’s the difference between the front of the store and the clearance racks at the back. Why feel clearance rack-y every morning when you get dressed? Give your clothes and yourself a little respect! Speaking of boutiques, here are 5 Hacks to Simplify Your Closet–Stolen from Your Favorite Boutiques.

Ready to Try It?

You Don’t Need to Empty Your Closet! You can even do this in baby steps by category if doing all at once is stressful. (If you’re ready to go big and clean out, here’s a step by step!)

Group types of clothing and THEN hang each group by color from light to dark! For example: White shirts, then tan or yellow, onto orange, pink, red, green, blue, grey, brown, black. Purple? Well, sometimes I place it after red, and other times with blue… It depends on the client and her coloring! Next you hang bottoms in the same color series. Then toppers, again by color from light to dark.

What About Prints/Patterns? No worries! Hang it with the color it most resembles. Hang a blue and white shirt with the blues, or your red and black checked pants with the reds. Patterns of multiple colors? I usually squint and look at the print or pattern as a whole. What is the dominant color? Hang it with its friends and relations!

If you need to babystep the process to avoid overwhelm, just pick one category and start there. Then tomorrow tackle another. In just a few days, you’ll have a spiffy new closet! Even that feels like too much? Try a subset of one category, just short sleeved shirts, or just shorts. It will take a little longer, but you’ll get there!

Added Perk!

Hanging your wardrobe in a Repeating Rainbow allows you to see not only the colors you own, but illustrates the wardrobe balance in terms of numbers and color. You’ll be able to see what you have enough of and what’s missing! That makes for smarter shopping.

How About You?

How do you store your clothes? Does your closet feel like a boutique or the clearance rack in the back? Is it time for a clean out? Or maybe just a little organization? Is a closet tidy something you do on the regular? Or a dreaded event? Do tell; I love to hear your thoughts…

Stylishly yours,


  • Sally in St Paul

    I can’t imagine not organizing my closet by category then color (and like Natalie, I do organize by sleeve length in between). Of course it makes it easier to find things, but it’s just so pretty to look at this way!


    I keep my closet organized by item: short-sleeved. 3/4 sleeved and long sleeved. Then by colors even though I really don’t own a great deal of color and by dressings for me. I may style a few outfits for the week and set aside on closet bar to help me during the week. I do accessories at the time of dressing what I’m feeling like!!!

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