A Balanced Closet

bal·ance /ˈbaləns/
Noun: a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.
Verb: 
offset or compare the value of (one thing) with another.

I see allllll kinds of closets. I mean ALL KINDS!!!  I'll write a book on it all one day but for now, for here, I'm delving into two categories.  1) Safe and 2) Mismatched.

We are creatures of habit.

We love what we love and we dismiss what we cannot imagine ourselves wearing.  We stay comfortable wearing what we know. We fear what we don't know. From what I've gathered as a seasoned personal stylist, at the very root of fear as it pertains to fashion there is this sentiment: "I just don't know how to implement ____ into my wardrobe."  So, the same decision is made over and over and over again. Same style skinny jean x 13.  The same style cashmere V-neck sweater x 8.  The same pumps for work x 6. Because it's safe. Because there's no risk. Because we don't know what we don't know.  Yes, these closets hold a lot of clothes but my gracious (and forgive me!) they are boring!  You can only "mix it up" by buying your go-to faves in different colors and patterns so many times. But if the silhouette is always skinny pants + sweater + pumps (or whatever your go-to is)... you're going to get bored. Period. 

And then there are the adventurous types. 

The I can do, wear and be whomever and whatever I want!  These closets are bursting with colors and patterns and asymmetrical lines and shoes. They're chock-full of decorative pieces that only go with one outfit and sweaters that are worn once every four years (if that)... and it's exhausting to get dressed in the morning. If you have an unlimited budget and unlimited time to scour through your closet every day, fine, maybe this is your getting-dressed approach for forever.  But I find that many of my clients are exhausted by the idea of getting dressed in said closets1. And of course it's exhausting!  These ladies walking into an arcade to get dressed!  This type of person is always adding something new, but without direction or focus as to how to pair their garments together when they get home.  They end up with a closet full of orphan-items: pieces that are really lovely on the hanger, in the store, yet they don't play nicely with the rest of the wardrobe, at home.

Now, I understand that making clothing choices has much more to do with just like/dislike. We dress for our personalities, we dress to stand out, we dress to hide, we dress to impress, we dress to disappear. We make clothing choices based on our bodies, budgets, environments and social lives. But in all of this decision making, there must be BALANCE.

Somewhere in this mix of the ways we make purchasing decisions and the ways that we self-identify, our personal style is developed.

Sweater from a warehouse sale $25; Madewell Denim @ 20% off; Donald J Pliner booties purchased online from NM last call  ~ $119

I've been working at and on my wardrobe, professionally, for a number of years now and here's what I've found to be true for myself:

  • I lean hard into the neutrals and textures categories.

  • My closet(s) are almost half black and other half is white/tan/gray with a little army green and maroon thrown in there.

  • My go to textures are snakeskin, leopard or some other kind of animal texture.

  • I LOVE leather, suede, cashmere, fringe of any sort, pom-poms and velvet.

    • I'm totally happy in 4" heels and hate 1.5-2" heels (the lower heels kill my knees)

     

  • My personal style does NOT include bows, paisley, stars, houndstooth or zebra prints. It just doesn't. But have at it if its your thing, sister! 
     
  • My favorite accent colors are chartreuse, anyyything metallic and magenta.
     
  • Accessories are life.

Look at the previous two images. Neutrals. But nothing boring. Textures. Interesting styles that flatter my shape and accentuate parts of my body that I DO like. Accessories that draw the eyes to a concrete focal point. Shoes that elongate next to a wide leg. Fringe. Fur. Layers of bracelets.  These are a few of my favorite things!

Bringing the crazy colors/patterns to a healthy 50% (or less) of your wardrobe and owning neutrals that tie the outfits together... is an artwork.

To show you that I'm not all white smocks and black capes, here are a few of my favorite navy, magenta, silk, plaid, shimmery pieces...

I can literally wear all of these pieces with denim. With an ivory shift skirt. With a pair of waxed black jeans. With a gray coat.  With a black leather jacket. The list goes on. None of these pieces frighten me on their own and all of them can be paired with a variety of options. Great.

Here are a few of my favorite GRAYS!

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Not a single one of these pieces has the same shirt opening. One has a tail, one is cut straight across, one is scalloped, etc. These gray tops have different neck openings, different shades and vary in degree of tightness, weight and length. None of these pieces are a "repeat."

It's a balancing act. The whole creation of the wardrobe is a balancing act. It's a matter of taking stock of what you have and noticing what you love. It's a matter of asking yourself "where am I getting stuck?"  What do I KEEP purchasing over and over again? Ask yourself: How would I choose to move through the world if I could wear ANYTHING? Now, what do you have, currently, that matches that your ideal vision? 

I want to help you create your dream wardrobe. I know where to find the pieces and how to bring your vision to life. Let's chat

Posted on January 8, 2017 .