DIY Closet Clean: A Fashion Industry Expert's Advice

This week, we're all about spring cleaning. Meet Kent Rogers, an Assistant Sportswear Buyer, MTM (Custom Clothing) Specialist, and Blogmaster of the exclusive, high-end Butch Blum boutique in Seattle. Kent performs personalized "Closet Cleans" as one of his duties for the company. 

Kent Rogers: Assistant Sportswear Buyer, MTM Specialist and Blogmaster for Butch Blum (Seattle). 

Read on for advice from an expert on how to create an amazing closet space! Bonus: Photos of Kent's personal closet!

Dani: Kent! Thank you so much for taking time to speak to me. I know you're crazy busy!

Kent: Hi Dani! Most welcome.

Dani: We'll just jump right in - one of your responsibilities at work is to do personalized "closet cleans". Can you tell me more about that?

Kent: Well, as you know, it can be very difficult to find the time and motivation necessary to organize your closet. Many of my clients at Butch Blum have found our "closet clean" service valuable...essentially I travel to their homes and assess what the client has and how well it fits, and what they're missing that would expand their existing outfit options. Sometimes that also means re-organizing the space, but it almost always means leaving the client's house with a big bag of donations for Goodwill, etc...sometimes it takes a professional to help get rid of something you're not wearing. 

Dani: What are some of the common mistakes people make when it comes to their closets?

Kent: The biggest mistake people make when it comes to their closet is treating the closet like a museum. This is not a place where a blazer from 1986 should live, unless it's well loved and in regular rotation! The closet is a place to find all your favorite clothes, in season, grouped in a way that makes them easy to see. Out of season clothes like heavy coats and sweaters (or linen and shorts) should be kept in space/garment bags until you need them. 

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Dani: What's the best way to begin a closet clean?

Kent: I like to go through and identify each garment. Is the garment getting worn this season, and if not, why? Does it fit properly? Does the client have items the garment goes with? Most importantly, do they like it? If the garment is totally wrong (cannot be altered, totally out of style, just plain ugly) then it goes into the donate pile. If the client likes it, but it's a bad fit, we put it in the "to be tailored pile", and if they just need more ideas of what to wear it with, I'm happy to provide ideas for that too. Some clients like to shop for clothes in their home, so after the closet clean I will pull out a bag of clothes I've brought with me that I think they'll find useful. Whatever the client keeps gets rung up the next day. 

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Dani: What organizational items should we have on hand for the clean?

Kent: A notepad to write down what you should buy, a digital camera so you can refer back to the colors you're working with (make sure you take photos in good lighting!), and of course a couple of hefty bags for your discards are extremely useful.  

Dani: Will you give us 3 "do's" and "don'ts" for the clean?

Do: touch, move, and try on everything in your wardrobe (as time permits). Be as familiar with what you're working with as possible! 
Do: try putting as many outfit combinations together as possible. It's way too easy to get an item locked into one outfit, when it could be terrific with other items too! 
Do: Be ruthless. If you're not wearing something, it's not doing you any good. It doesn't matter how much you spent on it originally, your money was, is, and always will be wasted if the garment never gets worn. 
Don't: Go shopping without assessing your closet first. We know if we go to the grocery store hungry, without a list, we'll end up with a lot of junk. Why would it be any different for your closet? 
Don't: do a closet clean alone, if possible. Bring your clothing-savvy friend or spouse into the picture - a second opinion is invaluable, especially when it comes to fit. 
Don't: throw away your clothes in the trash! Clothing-related waste is one of the biggest environmental problems we're facing right now. Even if it's not worth donating, there are still recycling centers that can re-purpose old fibers and make something new. 

Feeling inspired? Be sure to tag The Daily Affair in your before and after pics on Facebook!



  1. This is very educational content and written well for a change. It's nice to see that some people still understand how to write a quality post! view it

  2. Clair Wayman: Yeah, don't do a closet clean alone! :)


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