closet

A Tale of Two Closets

I recently worked with two clients whose closets couldn’t be more different. The contrast was remarkable. One closet was jam-packed with not an inch to spare, and by inch, I mean the smallest measurable increment known to man. The condition of quite a few pieces was poor – tattered and stained. Yet, these were hung next to luxury brand, high-end pieces, many new with the tags hanging on them, and in the client’s view were just as much an integral member of the wardrobe as any other piece. Every item seemed to hold the prize for the ‘I wear it all the time’ contest. There wasn’t an article of clothing that wasn’t a favorite, seemingly worn all the time, and therefore important to have available at her fingertips.

There was a dizzying array of clothing sizes hanging side-by-side, and so wide was the range of sizes, it was a challenge to determine the current size. Most pieces of clothing were worn throughout the year, and very few pieces were tagged for use in a particular season.

Contrast that scenario with a closet neatly arranged by type of clothing, in season, and current for size and style. This wardrobe consisted of pieces that were paired together for mix and match dressing, special occasion outfits grouped together and some go-with-everything sweaters and outerwear. Many pieces of clothing were beneath dry cleaning plastic covers, protecting them from becoming dusty. Every item hung like a soldier with room between each garment. No one piece touched another and there was plenty of room to add a few more soldiers. To further enhance the function of the closet, all clothing was hung on slim, huggable, velvet-coated hangers.

Of course, behind each closet there must be a story to tell. A peak into a woman’s closet is a peak into her life.

You might imagine that each closet, its contents and arrangement, was representative of other areas in each of these homes, and dare I say, in areas of the women’s lives. One had difficulty finding basic items ranging from a loaf of bread to a bottle of shampoo; the other easily located items ranging from a long-ago obtained business card to a tube of lipstick in a particular shade. Surely, some people have an inherent knack for keeping things neat and orderly, and perhaps a need to do so, while others can’t seem to figure it out, and perhaps don’t put a lot of importance to it at all.

While it was so interesting to witness the lives of these two closets (and women) it emphasized the point that keeping organized is a process, inherent for some, learned for others, and certainly one size does not fit all.

What would people learn about you when peeking into your closet?

(Photos are representative and do depict actual circumstances.)

Practicing What I Preach

It had to be done.  I knew it.  It was the right thing to do.  It’s what I would have advised someone else to do.  Get rid of them.

Sigh.

My most favorite boots, and dare I say my most favorite footwear had to go.  They had ripped,although I don’t know when or under what circumstances it happened, and they no longer held the value they once had. Truth be told, I purchased these beauties as a result of returning another pair I had received as a gift. So often in the past I have kept a gift just because it was a gift or I didn’t want to be ‘caught’ not wearing/using/displaying it. Thankfully I have since grown out of that mentality.  I’m a big girl now and can return or exchange items to suit myself, still keeping (I hope) the spirit and intention of the gift.

I did what I could to salvage them.  The first thing I did, of course, was to try to get them professionally repaired.  I found a great little while-you-wait shoe repair shop.  It’s barely a hole in the wall and received good reviews.  I had good luck there in the past, so thought for sure this would be a quick and easy repair.  The rip was neatly contained within a seam; a few stitches and we’d be done.  Not so.  The cobbler looked at it this way and that way, and said the only way the rip could be repaired is if the stitching was perpendicular to the seam.  Against the sleek lines of the boot, it would look pretty messy, the other boot would have to match, and they’re not leather so…wait, what? They’re not leather?  I’ve been living in a fool’s paradise thinking I’ve been wearing leather boots?  I’d have to ponder that one later.  I asked about gluing the seams together and was told it wouldn’t work.  There was really nothing that could be done to restore the natural beauty of this boot. 

Of course I went straight home and crazy-glued the rip myself.  The glue dried nicely and looked good as new.  Then I put on the boot.  Rip. Maybe if I always wore the same color tights as the boots, it wouldn’t be noticeable.  These boots were made for walking, running standing and sitting, and always looking good.  Could one small rip really make a difference?  I tried to convince myself that there was a way to keep wearing these boots because after all, they fit the criteria of what to keep in your closet:

Do you love them? Check

Do they fit you well, now?  Check

Do they make you feel good when you wear them?  Check, check

Do people compliment you when you wear them?  Check, check, check

But, alas, they also met these criteria of when to let go of something:  damaged beyond repair. 

Farewell, my pretty boots; you served me well.