For clothing design company AYR, it all all began with the perfect pair of jeans. Specializing in denim made and finished in the USA, co-founders Jac Cameron and Maggie Winter obsess over flattering details—and living in space challenged New York City, they know a thing or two about storage.
Ranked in order of importance, name 5 staple wardrobe pieces that every closet should have.
1. killer jeans, the ones you live your life every day in and are the first thing you pick up in the morning
2. one crisp white shirt that goes back to anything
3. a slim finely tailored blazer with a casual sensibility
4. in a heavier weight silk, a strappy slip dress that you can layer from Summer to Fall and back
5. a cozy sweater that’s light enough to layer and warm enough to carry you into colder seasons.
What is your preferred method of organization (color, item, etc.)?
By item—I have a massive denim section that is folded on both sides of my closet by color, allowing space in the middle for tops and outerwear.
By color—I keep neutrals on the low bar because they’re the ones I wear all the time. Living in New York limits your space which forces you to edit your wardrobe to the things that you constantly reach for and wear the most.
How often do you clean out your closet?
I do a reorganization every six weeks and a big purge once a year. It’s about keeping everything clean, organized and tidy. We created AYR so that you don’t have to clean “out” your closet- we created pieces to wear season after season, year after year.
Once a year, I try to get rid of the things that I don’t wear & make a big donation pile. It’s an occupational hazard - we are always shopping – out with the old, in with the new!
What is your #1 tip for keeping a consistently organized closet?
You can’t let it get too crowded, it requires constant maintenance.
Make sure that you give clothes room to breathe—if you can’t see what’s in there, you won’t wear it.
What are the common problem areas in the average closet?
For us in New York it’s simply space & storage. How to organize when you have neither?
How do you keep your closet visually appealing?
Keep it organized, I don’t sort by color, but organize by style – which helps give it a nice uniformity (everything hangs at the same level and is easy to wardrobe). Overcrowding is tough.
Pick nice hangers and think of it as a room, not just a repository for clothes. I have a walk thru closet with custom wall paper that has beautiful mirrors and framed pictures of people I love, its someplace I like to spend time rather than a dark hole where I stuff my clothes. It makes getting dressed in the morning less of a chore.
What products do you use to keep organized?
I find metal wire containers useful so I can see what’s inside, allowing me to keep things in one particular place. You want everything to be visible at first glance. Speed and access are important when you’re on the go.
Different clothes need different types of storage – so it’s important to have hanging space, shelves and drawers. I try to keep most of my stuff visible and not use too many containers because you don’t wear what you can’t see.
Do you have any specific tips for small closet spaces?
Small wire hangers give you more space to hang – ditch the chunky plastic hangers for more hanging room. Socks and smaller items have to go in a drawer, they take up too much space. Instead of balling everything up, fold garments in flat piles.
I try to find slim profile hangers and edit, edit, edit! It doesn’t make sense to swap my wardrobe every season because there’s no space for storage, which forces me to edit my wardrobe to the pieces I actually live in. Invest in pieces that make you happy every time you see them hanging in your closet.