I might have an unlimited interest in my own closet, but I know that yours is quickly running out, so this will the last closet-related blog until I have my ta-da moment and reveal the new, improved closet! You see, Y left me with some work to do: bins to choose, hangers to buy, and oodles and oodles of clothing to give, sell or donate! I have rid my closet of more than 100 items, and now my clothes have a little more room to breathe!
Let me start by offering my own shopping list as a guideline. These items are wardrobe stretchers – they make everything in your existing closet do double-duty, and they don’t have to cost a lot of money. Here, my list of must haves, some of which (shoes, jewelry), I have, and others (belts!) that I need to buy:
1. A small wardrobe of belts: Ideally it should include black, cream and brown (both skinny and wide) and a metallic.
2. Tights: An array of deep, jewel tones (mustard, cranberry, teal) as well as neutrals like charcoal, chocolate and black. A pair of sheer black stockings are good to have too, though I haven’t worn them in years. If you live in a more formal place, and it’s not hot all year round, then black stockings are essential.
3. Costume Jewelry: I am obsessed with statement-making necklaces,and not just because they are so hot right now. I have very small wrists and skinny fingers, so bold cuffs and cocktail rings don’t always fit me, but a great necklace always works. But just because I can’t always wear cuffs doesn’t mean I don’t want one. On my personal shopping list? A striking black cuff.
4. If you have an array of styles (wedges, ballets, pumps, sandals) in black, brown and nude, you have the basics of a good shoe wardrobe. Add a few metallics, my go-to neutral, and a few (as many as your budget permits!) of fun, statement-making shoes, and you will have something to complement every outfit!
5. Basics! A closet full of special items can fail to make an impact if there are no basics thrown in for contrast. V-neck tees, scoop neck tanks, and longsleeved crewneck tees in black, brown, white and cream are all essential staples, as are two great pairs of pants (casual and dressier) in black, khaki, and denim (yes, there is such a thing as dressy denim – trouser jeans come to mind here!).
THE REJECT PILE
When a stylist describes your personal style as funky, it means that you have a closetful of oddball items that even a trained fashionista doesn’t know what to do with. It also means you take risks. Some of them pay off, and others, tragically, flop. These are the flops:
I used to love this Tufi Duek top, but haven’t worn it in years. Sadly, it almost brought Y to tears. She didn’t want to say so, but I think she thinks I am too old for it! She said she saw me wearing this to serve tequila shots in El Paso.
Y could not find a single nice thing to say about this Cacharel top. : ( She thinks the scoop neck should be lower, and did not find the trompe l’oeil pearls and, ahem, flower, to be at all amusing.
Sorry Bette Paige. This top had to go, as the leather stripes were too biker-chic for me!
I cannot find one nice thing to say about this skirt, except that I bought it on my honeymoon in St. Barth’s. The faux denim material and faux jeans waistband almost sent Y over the edge, but after spotting the buttons at the waist, she nearly had to be resuscitated.
Y thinks this skirt is only suitable for an Indian wedding.
The shapeless tank, with its brightly colored trim, did nothing for me, but the simple jersey skirt stayed.
I have two of these Catherine Malandrino skirts, and I’ve never worn either of them, for no apparent reason. The black skirt appears to be black and grey in the picture, but it’s actually solid black – jus two different fabrics. I love them and they fit, but there never seems to be the right occasion for them, so Y talked me into parting with the brown one.
THE FIXER UPPERS
I couldn’t think of a more clever name for this category, bu these are items that, with a little adjustment, would actually be fashion superstars, but fall short as they are. Often, it’s as simple as accessorizing an item properly, or removing a frumpy or dated detail. Here, the items we transformed with little or no effort!
Y hated the inside-out detail combined with the pearl collar on this tee, and was so surprised to find that I had bought it from an upscale department store.
In minutes, she had removed the pearl collar (my one good idea for the day!).
The top went into the reject bin, but I was left with a pretty pearl choker. I think I will wear the button in the front for added interest!
The bow on this ABS sweater had come undone, and it seemed a useless detail anyway. When I lose the bow, the top will be a little bit more age-appropriate.
I used to love this Moschino jacket, but the flower detail is so dated. We removed the flower, and I plan to replace it with a sparkly brooch to remove any last traces of frumpiness.
Throwing the jacket on over this French Connection dress, which neither of us knew quite how to style, gives both items new life!
This full, black net skirt looks more sophisticated without the flower, which will look a lot better in my hair!
The rejects await their fate!