Eco Beauty & Fashion

Time To Closet Swap

Happy spring! Tomorrow is the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, which means longer days and shorter nights — and in California, where I live, it’s a hop skip and jump to summer weather. That’s why each year around this time of year, I swap out my closet — all 100% thrifted or swapped, of course!

How I Closet Swap

It has nothing to do with fashion shows, but I do think of my clothes in terms of seasons. Spring is mostly light colors and fabrics, flowy skirts and with layerable short sleeves and lightweight cardigans. Fall is darker colors, long pants, long sleeved sweaters, and wool cardigans. The super lightweight summer shorts and dresses are a third category, while winter coats and boots are the fourth.

In my dresser, there are two drawers that only house the out-of-season clothes and twice a year, I move one set out and another in. Here’s what my closet looked like before I swapped in spring:

Closet swap - winter clothes before.

Lots of dark colors, wool sweaters, and heavier fabrics. Not exactly the dress code to celebrate the balmier weather.

Why closet swap? Love!

But I’ve found that closet swapping is a great way to fall back in love with your clothes. If you keep everything in your closet all year long, I guarantee you’ll be tired of half of it in six months. That LBD you fell in love with last fall will be old news by summer.

But if you send the dress to hibernate in your winter drawer in March, you might love it again in September. At least I do — it’s like discovering a whole new wardrobe when I open up a drawer!

This is what my spring hibernation cubby looked like before I it out and folded up fall:

Closet swap - spring clothes in a stack.


Lighter and brighter, right?

Why Closet Swap? Money!

Also, now is not the time to try and sell your fall wardrobe at a thrift store. But if you still don’t love something after you’ve put it away for six months, then that’s the perfect time to try. Right now, no thrift store buyer will take warm-weather clothes — they’re trying to get rid of old stock so they can bring in spring and summer pieces. But if you put your out-of-season-stuff away now (rather than donating), then you’ll still have a chance at selling or consigning it next fall, when it’s back in season. 

Here are my winter sweaters, snugly tucked away in a drawer:

Closet swap - winter clothes in the drawer.

Maybe I’ll sell a few in September. But I’m not getting rid of my cozy slippers!

How To Closet Swap

Many people closet swap — and everyone seems to do it differently. Some people choose to put away clothes that they feel are too heavy or too light for the new season. Others dress more casually in the spring and summer and more formally in fall and winter. 

Because I live in a fairly temperate climate, most of my clothing is layerable. Of course, I’m not going to hang up a wool coat in August, but the lightweight sweater that I wore over another in winter could drape over a t-shirt for a few more months. So for me, it’s less about warmth and more about color. I wear more white, cream, light pastels and bright colors in spring and summer; in fall, the palette is dark blues, greens, and grays. 

These are the hangers after I swapped out fall and welcomed in spring:

Closet swap - spring clothes in pastel colors.

See the difference?

Clothing and Color

I believe that color has a serious impact on my mood. Wearing lighter fabrics and brighter colors gives me more energy; in winter, the heavier, darker garments lend themselves to cozying up on the couch.

Science supports this theory. A study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that even a few minutes of exposure to the color green can enhance creativity. And Jung said that, “colors are the mother tongue of the subconscious.” 

Closet swap - spring clothes in bright colors.

This stack is ready to hit the hangers!

In Southern California, the flowers are budding and the air is warmer — making the spring equinox is the prefect time for me to closet swap. This may not be the case where you live. But don’t be alarmed if you choose a balmy weekend to put away your raincoat only to get hit with a storm the following week. Just pull that coat out of the drawer and put it away again when the weather stabilizes. 

Do you swap your closet — what’s your strategy? Tell me about it, in comments, below!

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