6 Simple Rules to Creating Your Dream Closet
We’ve Got Closet Fever
Yesterday was an epic day at the Mazennedy home (Mazenko + Kennedy, totes adorbes, right?). In preparation for the big move back East, Sara has been awaiting the chance to simplify her closet. She needed me there for documentation, moral support, and to state the obvious when Sara was undecided (“Very dated,” “The fabric is pilling,” and “Carpe diem, you look hot in it!”).
At last, we decided that yesterday was the day. Armed only with our sense of humor and glasses of delicious white wine, we were off.
I’d expected just a modest cleaning. You know, an hour or so of tidying around the edges and tossing the obvious duds: the dated, the holey, and the wayyyyy too big.
5 minutes, dozens of outfit changes, and 3 stay-or-go debates later, Sara declared, “I need some ground rules.”
Rules, How I Love Thee
For those of us who are list-makers, type-A worriers, and/or logical decision makers, it can feel so good to have rules in place when making a series of decisions. Rules help us to avoid getting emotional when we really need to make choices with our brains.
We spent the next 4 hours editing, altering, and firming up the most important rules for creating your dream closet. There are several steps in this process, and today we begin with:
The 6 Simple Rules to Creating Your Dream Closet:
1) It has to fit ME. Just like haircuts, not all items of clothing look great on all people. We all have different proportions, different areas of our bodies that we love, and like our clothing to fit in different way. So it makes sense that not all items of clothing would fit everyone.
If you have a sweater you love but is too short in the sleeves, too long in the waist, too tight in the bust, pass it on to a lovely woman in your life for whom it will work. (If you’re lucky they’ll pass their clothing onto you in the future:)
2) You must feel great in it. This means different things for different garments. Some work shirts you’ll feel powerful and intelligent in, whereas you might feel romantic in a sundress and sexy in a great pair of jeans. Whatever the feeling, the overall vibe of each garment must be not just good but grrrreat!
3) Take care of any alterations or mending this week. Give yourself a firm deadline for dealing with clothing that needs work done. If you can’t get it done in a week, then it’s clearly not worth the time, energy, or space in your closet!
4) No more duplicates! We only truly need enough of one item to last until laundry day. Almost no style of garment deserves multiple hangers in your closet. As women, we always reach for our favorite version of a multiple, so why bother with #2 and #3 anyway? Sara, for example, had 4 red v-neck sweaters. It was easy for her to spot her favorite in the pile and then say adios to las otras.
There are very few exceptions to this rule and those are classic staples: jeans, the perfect white tank, and a little black dress just about cover it.
5) Do not make up elaborate theoretical situations in which you will wear a garment. I have been guilty of saying something very similar to this, “You know what this dress would be perfect for? If I’m ever at a beach in like Europe or something and then it gets cold at night and I have to go straight to a nice dinner and I only have heels with me but we might need to run for the train later…”
Nope. Nyet. Nein. Chances are if you ever are in that highly unlikely circumstance you have something else that will do just fine, if not better than this garment you are trying to justify. If it takes a fairy tale to make sense of garment, then off to wonderland it goes.
6) Wear every item you are unsure about in the next month. There is a delicate balance in this game of toss and keep. The couple of garments that you really can’t quite bear to part with but haven’t worn in years head straight to “Closet Purgatory.” In C.P., each item is hung on it’s own hanger in the very front of your closet, with the hanger facing the opposite direction of your normal hangers.
The purpose is to make these items highly obvious when you get dressed every morning, so if you still don’t reach for them, chances are you never will. If you end up wearing an item within the next 30 days, it gets to return to your closet, facing the right way, for good. Any clothing still hanging backwards at the end of the month goes to Goodwill.
When is the last time you cleaned your closet?
What are your favorite rules for wardrobe donating?