Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Meaning of Wardrobe

all images (i think):

A wardrobe is a thought out collection of pieces that work together to express a clear point of view.

Before I went through my process (before I was an organizer), I had clothes; individual pieces that had no relationship to each other. Pieces that needed me to purchase new things to make an outfit around it. Pieces that didn't fit my lifestyle and were never worn. Pieces that stand on their own are nice, but if you cannot wear them, what good are they?

When buying something now, I think of how it relates to my wardrobe as a whole. I get pieces that enhance what I have instead of just 'oh this is nice' like I used to do. Pieces that help me wear the things I already have in new ways.

Do you have clothes or an actual wardrobe?


Anonymous said...

I have a very small collection of clothes, and except for a few cocktail dresses that stand alone, everything goes with everything practically. I own less than 40 pcs. of clothing (including my coats/ jackets, shoes, boots)

I'm not including lingerie & athletic gear --I do have a lot of lingerie... it's always been my treat to myself.

I can pretty much dress in the dark and still get it right. everything fits and I like it all. It's nice that it all goes neatly into one small closet with room to spare.
I buy expensive lingerie, coats, and shoes, and one pricey suit. The rest is not at all expensive, so I can change a lot, donate pcs, get new pcs... I own 2 nice handbags but rarely use them. I love shopping in Paris because if you go to Paris everyone ( and I do mean everyone-- even your accountant ) expects you to return with a few fabulous and pricey items. Having grown up in NYC I'm not as excited about clothes here, but dream of going to Milan someday to shop.

laura said...

less than 40!! amazing. i thought i didn't have much...

Anonymous said...

To the previous Anonymous, I think your advice is the best I've come across for planning a wardrobe yet. I love the practicality, simplicity and realistic attitude of your strategy. It's a smart blend of quality purchasing and realizing change keeps things interesting (and doesn't need to break the bank).

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous #1: would love to see some samples! It would really help. Any photos?

Anne said...

Incredibly inspiring yet practical post. Great tips.

riye said...

I'm like the first Anonymous--everything goes with everything in my closet. I work in a very casual office but I don't like looking sloppy so I wear a "uniform" every day. Dark pants, plain dark top, sweater or cardigan, and dark flats. I have one pair of nice slacks and one nice little black dress and that pretty much carries me through everything. I've got 3 handbags and 6 pairs of shoes (including athletic shoes). My undies are all super plain but I really splurge on earrings. They take up very little space and they can really lift a plain uniform. :-)

karina said...

This is quite aspirational. However, I have no idea how one goes about doing this - turning clothes into a wardrobe. WHere do you start? How do you account for lifestyle wardrobe needs (corporate professional for work, date night going out wear, hang out with kids at bbq...) Would love some advice.

laura said...

karina: click on the bolded text "my process' in the post which should give you some answers. take a look and let me know if it helps! :O)

Anonymous said...

I agree with Riye -- the word uniform for work works for me. I read someplace that a woman bought 7 dresses (exactly the same dress) and wore them every day to make a point. This wouldn't bother me too much, except I like to wear trousers also.

My wardrobe is mostly black and white. But here are a few things I do that might be called 'tips'
1. today a pair of black trousers (office pants) that I love got too ratty and became nice hiking pants. tip? buy work clothes that are so comfy you can climb around in them.

2. My favorite cocktail dress was off a sale rack and was 2 sizes too big. But $35 worth of alterations made it chic and a perfect fit. (and still a bargain) tip: use your imagination when hitting a sales rack. 99% of the time I steer clear of sales racks, but for a party dress I'll check them out.

3. I fell in love with a dress (but mainly for the neckline and I had it made into a blouse.
(OK I've done this with many dresses over the years and I've always been happy with the results.) tip: find a good seamstress. a dress can become a blouse (and if you want you have extra material for a scarf.)

4. I got most of my ideas from movies - watching Audrey Hepburn in her little skirt and top and trench in 'Breakfast at Tiffanys', Juliette Binoche wore fabulous sweaters in 'Blue'... . tip: look at how others do it.

5. I once had a boyfriend who complained that I wore too much black. At first I thought maybe he's right...then realized HE dressed like a bad pop song from the sixties...
(someone left the cake out in the rain)
anyway I learned not to listen to clowns but to listen to those who looked put together themselves.
tip: listen in a very polite way to advice, but don't always take it. Be yourself.

6. Listen to Laura's advice on clothing care and proper storage. My fave wool sweater has a good sized moth hole in it because I didn't store it properly. Tip: take good care of wool !

Anon #1 (I have to get a better name than anonymous)

to Anon #2 --my wardrobe is mainly b&w, I should take pics. Currently I have a black winter coat --I tried colorful wool coats but for me, it just didn't work out. I even tried changing the buttons, & other alterations, but what I actually wanted was a black coat. I add color with accessories.

madilla said...

What I find the most difficult in creating a wardrobe is that my life changed so much the last year. I gave birth and became a stay at home mum for a while. Now that I got my pre pregnancy shape back I have to change my wardrobe or rather refresh. But I don't have so much time now with a baby to go shoping and find something usefull.
Any ideas?

riye said...

To Madilla: I'd go through what you have now and see if you already have stuff to perk your wardrobe up. I did that recently and I had a bunch of things that I forgot I had (all accessories). A friend who has a young child started wearing scarves because her daughter would yank on earrings and necklaces. Scarves seem to be popular right now so maybe give them a try? Plus they're so useful. I started wearing them when I was taking my mum to the hospital. If she was cold, I'd put it around her. I could carry things in them and if mom spilled something on her lap I could hide the stains with it. Very good for mums or babies! And this was just a plain jersey scarf. :-)

Raena said...

My dream wardrobe was this woman's closet I saw in Marie Claire once. They did an article displaying the inside of different closets. Anyways, this particular woman only wore all black or all white. Her closet was organized with blacks on one side and whites on the other. Her clothes were unique in other ways (as far as cut, texture, material/fabric and design go) but the palette was either black or white. She also had a nice collection of gold pieces that had replaced her original jewelry which had been stolen. Some may have seen her wardrobe as boring but to me it was, in a word, fascinating.

madilla said...

To riye, scarves are definitely a must! Although I didn't give up my earring collection! For me black isn't an option, I look terrible in it. But marine blue is a great alternative.