Style Bee - End of Season Closet Audit




As I prepare to shift my thinking towards a new season, I like to conduct a closet audit. I’ve been doing these for a couple of years now and find it can often be even more beneficial than the pre-season approach. The start of a season is typically rife with temptation and sparkly newness that may or may not be what is actually needed. End-of-season audits are more practical because I know what I’ve been wearing and what’s been working (or not) as it’s fresh in my mind.

I’ve written about closet prep in the past and while I still think the pre-season approach is a worthwhile exercise, this reflective approach feels less daunting and takes me much less time (under an hour). I’ve also found that it’s especially handy for the following year, when the season comes back around and can often sneak up on us.

This post is all about my summer closet audit, but the steps and thoughts are applicable to any season (looking at you folks in the southern hemisphere!). So if you’re feeling this idea, join me as I walk you through my summer closet audit.

Ps. I know “audit” isn’t a word we associate with pleasure – as a small business owner the dread is real – but I promise this type of audit is entirely stress free and will only end up saving you money!

Style Bee - End of Season Closet Audit


Start by quickly jotting down (in your note-taking app or a notebook), all the items you’ve been wearing over the last 2-3 months. Don’t worry about how many items are included, minimum wears or whether or not they qualify as a piece specific to that season (for example: I have knitwear in my summer closet). You can pull together the actual items too, but chances are they’re already in one spot and you may just need to take a quick look to make sure you’re not forgetting anything.

This written snapshot gives me a sense of exactly what I’ve been reaching for. I like to group items into categories like tops, dresses, jumpsuits etc. so that I can start to see trends in the type of items I’m wearing. From here, colour palettes emerge and themes start to become apparent. You might consider putting an asterisk beside the pieces you wear most often to easily identify your core season essentials.

If you’re having a hard time remembering, think about the pieces you wash regularly, and reach for more than once a week. Those are your staples. From there you might include the shoes you wear the most and bags you carry for work, errands or out to dinner. Working your way through each category.

Finally, consider noting the pieces you’ve really loved wearing throughout the few past months. They might not be pieces you wear every week but that’s okay.

If you’re interested I’ve just published my full Summer Closet Inventory in its own post so you can see all the pieces I’ve been wearing in one spot.

Style Bee - How to Conduct a Closet Audit


Were you surprised by anything you wore often?

My answer for summer is: Yes!

  • I wore black a lot more than I realized this summer and really enjoyed it.
  • At the same time, I was drawn to feminine styles like tiered dresses and floral prints more than usual.
  • I didn’t think I’d need my knitwear so much but I wore sweaters a lot.

What did you reach for most?

My answer for summer is:

  1. Minimal basics (cotton t-shirts, fitted base layers, cropped tanks)
  2. Cozy knits (cashmere cardigans)
  3. Loungewear (joggers and sweatshirts)
  4. Feminine summer dresses
  5. Black comfy shorts
  6. Jeans (shorts and regular)
  7. Minimal leather sandals
  8. EVA Arizona Birkenstocks
  9. Wide leg linen pants
  10. Swimwear (suits and coverups)

What did you LOVE wearing?

My answer for summer is: I really enjoyed wearing more dresses this summer. I used to resist leaning into a more feminine side of my style but now that’s I’ve started I won’t be going back! I love that I can just throw on a dress (especially a long one), pin my hair back, swipe on a tinted lip balm, and feel fabulous.

Can you identify any uniforms?

My answer for summer is:

  1. Feminine summer dresses + leather sandals + woven bag
  2. Comfy jeans + classic t-shirts / fun tops + Birks
  3. Joggers + t-shirts + cocoon cardigan + slippers
  4. Cropped tank + wide leg pants + Birks
  5. Swimsuit + cover up + hat + flip flops
  6. Summer PJ set / robe + sleep set + slippers (for mornings)

Can you identify a colour palette?

My answer for summer is: Black, muted green, rust, neutrals, white and denim.

What did you wear least?

My answer for summer is: Mostly anything delicate or structured stayed in storage. With all the swimming, outdoor projects and walks up and down our hill I get my exercise in, so my activewear has been sitting dormant lately. Of course, heels and the dressier items in my closet didn’t see the light of day either.

Can any of these pieces better serve someone else? These are the pieces to consider editing out of your closet.

My answer for summer is: A Style Bee Closet sale is in the works! I’ll be selling on Depop so INTL orders are a go 🙂

If you’re interested I’ve just published my full Summer Closet Inventory in its own post so you can see all the pieces I’ve been wearing in one spot.


Was there anything you found yourself wishing for throughout the season?

My answer for summer is: Yes, I would have loved a long caftan and a flowy dress or two. Things I could easily throw on to cover up after a swim, or switch into for the evening. I added this one (which I LOVE) but would also love one with more shoulder / arm coverage.

Long layers mean a few things for me:

  • 1 | They give my skin a break from the sun
  • 2 | They require little personal maintenance (ie: shaved legs lol)
  • 3 | They evoke a sense of elegant ease, which is exactly how I want to feel by the lake.

I’d also love to add a billowy blouse to my collection (I have 1 old DÔEN Jane top) to pair with denim shorts or jeans in the evenings.

Any seasonal essentials you found lacking?

My answer for summer is:

  • My sun hat situation needs a bit of an update. I love my boater hat but it’s not practical for packing or much besides sitting on the dock.
  • I’m in need of some polarized sunglasses.
  • It rained A LOT this summer so a really lightweight rain shell would get a lot of use I’m sure. My other raincoat is basically like wear a heavy plastic bag.
  • Minimal black biker shorts would be a great addition for more active days when I don’t want to wear denim shorts or leggings.
  • I’d also love to add some great high neck tanks, like this one, in a few more colours.

If you’re interested I’ve just published my full Summer Closet Inventory in its own post so you can see all the pieces I’ve been wearing in one spot.


Based on the needs you’ve assessed, create a wish list of items to keep top of mind as end of season styles go on sales or for next year when you’re preparing for the season again.

Think about the things you actually wear and reach for again and again. Think about the real climate where you live and be realistic about the day-to-day activities you do.

Don’t worry too much about limiting your items or budget at this time, you can refine the list when you come back to it next year. You may have changed your mind on some items or have different needs.

Keep it somewhere that’s easily accessible. I like the Notes app since it’s searchable and easy to find. You could also put it as a note in your calendar on the first day of the season the following year.

I also like to include the brand or place I might be able to find this item so that I can keep an eye out for sales and new collections.

My Summer Wish List for 2022:


Reinvesting means:

  • taking care of the pieces you love by mending and cleaning carefully
  • storing them properly so they remain in good condition
  • appreciating what you have before lusting after anything new
  • & most importantly, wearing them lots!

If you’re interested I’ve just published my full Summer Closet Inventory in its own post so you can see all the pieces I’ve been wearing in one spot.

Style Bee - Summer Closet Inventory


Simply making a few notes and some light planning for next year will really help you hone your closet needs and wish list. I find the more I dress for what makes me feel great and suits my lifestyle, the more authentic my personal style feels and the less I want to shop.

Any thoughts or questions about this process? Do you do an end of season review too? If so, what does your involve?

Leave me a comment here!

  1. Regina says:

    Hi Lee,
    I am sure you have probably already answered this question more than once, but where did you get your stand-alone closet / organizing rack from? It’s so perfect!

  2. Joey says:

    Loved reading this “audit”! I am really into the black biker shorts and have to point you in the direction of the lululemon align shorts because I’m obsessed with mine 😂. Also, I am definitely loving a midi lightweight dress for summertime these days too!

  3. Kirra says:

    Thanks for this great post Lee, we just started getting some warmer weather this week in my part of the Southern Hemisphere and I was thinking – what do I wear?! Good idea to do this fun audit of my winter clothes first.

    • Lee the Bee says:

      Ah! So jealous that you’re just getting into spring while we face the deep cold lol. Hope this exercise helps you close out your winter closet so you’re in great shape next year. xo

  4. Miriam says:

    Hi Lee,
    Great post as always! I’m still working at home during the pandemic, so although I still dress for work, I’ve noticed there are pieces I haven’t worn this summer that I normally would have had I been back in the office. This makes me think I’ll hold on to everything until next summer at least when I’m hopefully back in the office and can then audit my summer wardrobe more thoughtfully.

    I did a lot more online purchasing the past year, and I’m happy to say that I bought more intentionally and sustainably than ever before, even if I had nowhere to wear my new pieces except at home! Everything I bought can be worn for at least three Canadian seasons (maybe not winter!), and my daughter told me that my outfits are looking a lot better and coordinated! She’s in her mid-twenties and I’m flattered! I owe a lot of this new-found style to you and other fashion bloggers like Andrea from Seasons + Salt!

    thank you for all you do Lee!

    • Lee the Bee says:

      Thank you for this lovely note Miriam! I’m so glad you’re feeling good about the updates you’ve made and I know a mid-twenty year old wouldn’t give a compliment if it wasn’t warranted 😛 I think that’s a great plan re: office wear, you’ll have a better sense of what you need any what you’re excited to wear again once there’s a need for it. Hope you’re having a great weekend! xo

  5. Lindsey R says:

    Hi Lee, I really enjoyed this exercise, thank you! While I have many lovely things for summer, at the end of the day I don’t reach for much and instead repeated certain items. The items I repeated were easy to wear (not constricting, easy to wash) and comfortable, but had a bit of flair or felt different (I wore cropped shirts for the first time this summer). It’s so easy to get swept away in all the things there are, but coming back to what I really liked and why was so helpful! Thanks again.

    • Lee the Bee says:

      Hi Lindsey, So glad this was helpful for you! Thanks for giving it a go. I find I’m the same with easy to wear and easy to care for in the summer especially. Enjoy the rest of the season. xo

  6. Whitney says:

    This is great, Lee! I’ve never thought to do this at the end of the season, but it makes more sense! By the way, I highly recommend Le Specs polarised sunglasses. They’re all I wear as they have similar styles to Ray Bans but are a fraction of the price (at least they are here in NZ). My faves are the Firestarter in Stone Polarised. Enjoy prepping for Fall, we’re headed into Spring and I can’t wait! xo

    • Lee the Bee says:

      I’m so glad you shared your thoughts on Le Specs Whitney, thanks! They’ve been on my radar but I was curious about quality. The style you mentioned is right up my alley! I love the feeling of early spring, enjoy! xo

  7. Erin says:

    FWIW, I really love my Patagonia torrentshell rain jacket – it’s been a great hiking/backpacking companion, is really breathable, and I like their company mission. Worth keeping an eye on their worn well site for a good quality used one but I would totally replace at full price if I needed to.