02 September 2011

Closet Cleaning = New Wardrobe

This is the 3rd topic in what's become a series on rebooting my (and by way of example, your) personal style. (Search my blog for "Style Reboot") After I admitted to massive style doldrums, I got my @#$% together. First were my attempts to re-fill my clothing coffers with Clothes That Fit and I Want to Wear, here, and here. Second was The Great Accessory Cabinet Reorganization (The Beans' personal favorite), here, here and here. After this here Closet Cleaning post? A how-to with my tips on how to get started and make the right choices in your own Closet Cleaning. Want more? Want support? Email me at dcceline dot blogspot at gmail dot com. Tweet me or join the twittersation with hashtag #ClosetCleaning. Others are with you, like Ally over at Wardrobe Oxygen, with her great post on how Irene helped her closet.

It's that time of year. The time of year when I start itching to buy sweaters, corduroys, scarves, and sweater dresses. Anything cozy, fitted, tailored, and wool. I'm a fall/winter gal who doesn't look back. Lament how I can't wear my cute summer dresses anymore? Nope,  not me.

I also get excited for school supplies. That The Bean needs them now gives me into palpitations of joy.

First of all, I'm just not a summer dress gal. They're all too-small-in-the-bust-and-don't-fit-my-broad-ribcage. I need a bra, so slip-like things, as cute, flirty, and breezy as they are, just don't work.

Secondly, I'm a firm believer in manipulating the pieces you have in your closet to be all-season. I've never been one to pack away my winter or summer things, even though I've been space constrained for the last 20+ years. Except for the occasional heavy wool sweater (like my absolute favorite orange J. Crew chunky turtleneck, probably circa, oh 1998, if not earlier), I will wear anything in any season. Extra fine merino wool v-neck sweater? Perfect to pair with a flirty skirt or, to make it oh-so-2011, tailored dress or leather shorts. (I will literally cry when my beloved, perfect weight chocolate brown Banana favorite, which I'm fairly certain pre-dates H, springs too many holes to get away with it any more. Why do they not make it again? It was - is - PerfectionInASweater.)

That being said, in order to manipulate like a pro, you  have to know your closet. You also have to be able to find what you know. Which, until 2 weekends ago, I couldn't do. I had regular morning fits about what I didn't like in my closet, and was constantly searching for things I knew I had but couldn't find. So I bumped a Closet Cleaning up the household priority list, decreeing to H that by the end of August 28th, we would have cleaned out our (not The Beans') dressers and closets. He bucked and whined, claiming that cleaning our den/office was more important (pshaw! we don't need to find major documents or know where our bills are. Finding our clothes is a much higher priority.)

So when Bean #2 went down for his nap on Saturday (and H followed), The Bean and I capitalized on the energy gained from reorganizing my accessories cabinet, and started to unload my dresser. It was her idea of a great time, especially as she decided that anything and everything we were sorting was up for grabs, asking "Mama, can I have this?" at every belt, scarf, and t-shirt we sorted.

Before I get into the "how I did it" (upcoming post), I should show the "it was all worth it." Isn't that the way to motivate? Show you what you can accomplish if you set your mind to it? And it is very. very. difficult to bite the bullet and start a Closet Cleaning project. I promise you, though, I've found whole new life in my wardrobe without buying a thing.

So. After thwarting The Bean's attempts to confiscate everything I own, dodging her brother's full-on dives into my neat, folded piles of Things I'm Going to Keep and Wear, and making a teensy bit of space on the bed for H to sort his things (and trying desperately not to micromanage his own sorting), here's what I got.

Day 1
  • A dresser with infinitely more space in it than I had before. And no, that's not massive license to go fill it again. 
  • A reminder that I love scarves, and have a lot of them, many of which are vintage and were given to me by special women in my life.
  • A reminder that I have some great belts (one of which my son seemed to love. H will hate that I posted this picture.)
  • Drawers in which I can find things. I mean really find them.

Day 2
  • My missing black slacks. For oh, about 3 months, my new(er) black wool slacks (part of a 3-piece suit collection I rarely wear together) have been missing. They were on H's side of the closet, still on the drycleaning hanger. I feel much better now.
  • A whole additional side of the closet for my pants. Somehow, before now, H had more closet real estate. While he's a clothes horse of sorts, it just wasn't right. Things are the way they should be now.
  • More shelf space for my beloved shoes.
  • A sense of what I have (dresses), and what I don't have (fall shoes).

Then, there's what left my closet and dresser: flip-flops that have no partner, shoes I never wear or don't fit (passed along to friends or in a bag for Simply Sole's program), a beloved dress that won't ever fit these boobs again (which our sitter now owns), T-shirts and tops that have more than seen better days and should have been tossed long, long ago, button-down shirts (I haven't worn them in a year, don't particularly care for how they look anymore, and am no longer a fan of the overall concept), and a sequined Victoria's Secret tank emblazoned with "Sexy" for which H actually shed tears.

What am I surprised I kept: a pink terrycloth mini H gave me not really in jest Christmases ago (perfect to toss on down tha shore and a ridiculously short denim mini (same Christmas) I tried on and couldn't believe fit. I'm going to attempt with tights, boots or booties, and a big ol' cozy sweater (probably the cowl neck or poncho I've been eyeing over at Michael Kors). If that doesn't work, though, out it goes with the rest.

What I won't ever give up: bonus points if you know what this is.


Allie (Wardrobe Oxygen) said...

Looks as though that jacket is from some high school or college convention, like Rotary Club? I have seen folks in similar bedazzled with buttons jackets on the Metro :)

MotorCityGirl said...

Rotary Club Exchange Student Blazer

DC Celine said...

MotorCityGirl, you cheated! Allie, you got it right the first time, pretty much. Your comment was first, though I moderated it second. You win. Bragging rights, anyway ;-)