As I’ve mentioned in the past, sorting through years of baggage lurking in the dark recesses of other people’s closets is my thing. It sounds odd, I know, but I have lots of experience sifting through racks of clothing and separating the fabulous from the frumpy. But when it came to tackling my own wardrobe demons, I was stuck. That’s where the fabulous Y came in. When Yvonne came to my house at just after nine this morning, what she met was a sleepy-headed, sweat-wearing version of myself, the version that never leaves the house. After a jam-packed week, I was wiped out, and the fact that we had to go through my whole wardrobe and entertain Eva at the same time had me wanting to give up before we began. Amazingly, we were able to accomplish far more than I expected.
I know that many of you would like to tackle a closet project of your own, so I am going to spend a few more days on closet organizing, separating the good from the bad, and “styling” your current wardrobe to make it fresh, new and relevant. Today and tomorrow I am going to cover cardigans and sweaters and Sunday I will move on to dresses. I want to show you many of the looks we created from the items in my closet because hopefully they will inspire you to do the same in yours, no matter what your style, lifestyle, or budget.
Yvonne and I started with the mountains of sweaters precariously piled on the shelves above my dresser. She suggested that I find bins to store these items so that I could access them more easily. I am going to look for clear bins so that I can see the contents, or decorative ones that are open in the front. Then we sorted the mountains of sweaters into three piles: keep, maybe, and toss!
Above, piles of sweaters await their fate! After we sorted the keeps from the tosses, we tackled the in-between pile. Many of these made it into this pile because I hadn’t taken the time to style them and I was stuck. What to wear with my filmy Missoni cardigan to make it look feminine and not frumpy? How could I make a pricey, luxe, but too short Ralph Lauren cabled cashmere crewneck look cool? We took each of the problematic items, piece by piece, and assembled them into outfits using other pieces from my closet. It’s amazing how the right belt, the right tank or the right necklace can transform a sweater from a stray piece clogging up your closet into a real look. To begin with, a couple of the pieces we tossed, and the reasons:
These sweaters are very similar in several ways: the stripes, the long shape, the slinky fabric, the gold trim. We tossed the candy-striped one, which was a little too youthful (sniff sniff) and kept the chic neutral one.
And now, for the keepers, and the looks we created from them. Hopefully these will inspire you to pull together some great looks by shopping in your own closet:
Look #1: I love the idea of throwing a cardigan over a summery romper to take it into fall, and the accessories elevate the look. Rolling up the sleeves helps the look transition from summer into fall. Shown: J. Crew pink sequin sweater, Amrita Singh necklace, Liberty of London for Target romper, Coach black belt, Vince Camuto suede wedges
Look #2: I love it when you buy something that you don’t expect to match anything else, like this teal Michael Stars Shine tank, and it goes with half of your wardrobe. Shown: Chelsea & Violet cardigan, Michael Stars tank, AG Stilt jeans, Dries Van Noten shoes, dark red skinny jeweled bangles
Look #3: This potentially stuffy Claude Montana cardigan, with black mesh insets at the top, took on new life when thrown over a little black dress. The silver shoes add an unexpected touch of glam. Shown: Claude Montana cardigan, Nicole Miller dress, Sigerson Morrison shoes, Banana Republic pearls
Look #4: This cashmere jumpsuit was luxe but not exactly flattering. A few of the right touches make all the difference. The brown Petit Bateau tee is just a stand-in – this outfit really needs a brown scoopneck tank, which I’ve added to my shopping list. Shown: Lounge Lover cashmere jumpsuit, Petit Bateau tee, Maloles ballet flats, Zara belt
Look #5: This cardigan was pretty and pricey, but it was too big and fluffy to fully flatter. The right accessories make it work. Shown: Manoush cardigan, BCBG ribbed silk camisole, black Coach belt (will replace with a brown skinny belt when I buy one), Hawaiian gold and coral necklace, AG Stilt jeans, and Tracy Reese pumps (for night) and Miu Miu flats (for day)
Look #6: I loved this black-tipped Marc Jacobs cardigan, but it needed an update. A feminine necklace and skinny black pants make it look fresh again. I will wear this with simple black ballet flats. Shown: Marc Jacobs cardigan, Juicy black tank (will replace with a scoop neck version, which is in the wash!), Joe’s Jeans black skinny ponte pants, and Marquis & Camus metal and chiffon necklace.
Look #7: I love this cardigan! I just wanted a different way to wear it. Shown: Tracy Reese cardigan, BCBG ribbed silk camisole, Joe’s Jeans black ponte skinny pants, Betsey Johnson necklace.
Look #8: This sweater was purchased on a whim, and I’ve never taken the time to turn it into a look. Shown: Betsey Johnson sweater, J. Crew gold flecked tank, Banana Republic gold silk skirt, Pollini platforms.