Some of my dear friends, and previous closet victims, visited my house this week and did some spring cleaning of their own.
It was actually a lot of fun.
I may have cheated a little and cleaned my closets a bit before they came. I actually thought because of my preemptive strike they would find little to question in my closets (yes, I do have two, but as you can see, they are small).
Boy was I wrong.
One friend, who you may remember from her own closet massacre, was BLUNT! (My other darling friend, who has endured TWO closet reviews, was kinder and gentler.) And out stuff went. Here were some things I learned I hadn’t been applying to my own wardrobe:
1. Just because it’s classic and a staple piece doesn’t mean it should remain in your wardrobe. WHY? Because it’s worn out. There were several basics, a red shell or an ivory blouse, which my girlfriend yelped about when she saw because of the pilling and snags. She reminded me executives may notice such wear, and those items are easily, and reasonably, replaced. Out they went. (And into the trash can because you shouldn’t donate worn out items.)
2. Color matters. There were a couple of items which my artistic friend with an eye for color told me to donate because the color did not work for my skin tone. Blues, greens, and reds may all work for you in a particular shade but add too much yellow or too little yellow to the mix and the color can quickly sour your skin. Green is one of my favorite colors but one shell got tossed because it was the wrong shade. I DIDN’T let her toss my taupe shell because it is so lovely, but I promised only to wear it under blazers to mitigate the color not working well on my skin tone.
3. Disguise may not do what you think it does. I had a top (in my favorite green color, boohoo) and a lovely date dress I purchased because I thought it disguised my belly weight. Not so my girlfriends said. The peplum on the dress actually accentuated the weight I carried there, and the empire style of top made it appear more maternity than professional. Sigh. Out they went.
4. Don’t forget fit matters too! Two of my girlfriends got a few new pieces from my wardrobe because they never quite fit me right. I had already pulled them because the material strained around my shoulders, and it never fit like it should have. So one friend got a gorgeous teal velvet blazer and the other a black dress coat and blue dress (and yes, it is OVER an existing dress)!
I had some interesting insight into how my closets are structured too. In the first closet you see pictured above, my suits, pants and blouses (along with high heels and flats) reside. In the second closet, in the guest bedroom/my office, my blazers, dresses, skirts, and jeans (along with sandals and boots) reside. The girls were perplexed I hopped back and forth between the rooms in any given morning to pull together my outfit. I have weekend mixed in with work when maybe I should organize closets by lifestyle rather than item type. I’m debating whether I have the energy to make one closet my work wear and the other my weekend/evening wear.
I received positive feedback too. They loved the mix of blouses in assorted colors and patterns which would easily add interest to an outfit. There were also items they thought might need to go until I tried them on and they were sold. I find this in every closet review. Clothes look different, good or bad, when hanging, so don’t just an outfit by its hanger!
Finally, they were amazed at what I could do with such a small space (one friend said she imagined I’d have this cavernous space where we would have to send a search party in for them). You can see from the below picture (my dress/jacket closet), I hang all my necklaces at the back of the closet so I can tell what I might need as an accessory. And you’ll notice from the top picture all of my scarves and earrings are hanging at the back of that closet so I don’t forget what my options are.
We also talked clothes theory. Like how is it possible someone who is 5’4 and one weight and another person who is 5’10 and another weight and shape could possibly fit into the exact same size 10 item of clothing. We forget sometimes how much brands matter as well as styles and cuts ,and why it only makes logical sense for us to all have a tailor on stand by.
Little bit came in at the end and sat atop all the clothes going to new homes and made her own judgments on her favorite dress of mommy’s! We had a blast and I learned a lot. Hopefully, some of my tips will help you in our own closet clean out!