|He looks sort of like a Missoni dragon don’t you think?|
Marie-Therese Norris is back today with the second installment on closet organization. For more tips and tricks, do visit her chez elle — The French Touch.
Hello again, Ladies, it’s lovely to be back with you for the final installmentin our battle to reclaim my client’s closet from the monster lurking within.
Last time, I introduced you to the handsome, fearless Siegfried, who goes into a dark forest to slay his dragon with a magic sword. While I do not have a magic sword, I do have some simple, yet effective, methods at my disposal to slay the dragon in my client’s closet.
Here’s a quick recap of highlights from Part 1:
After making four piles marked “T” for Toss, “F” for Fix, “D” for Donate and “S” for Sentiment, I do a quick scan of my client’s closet, evaluate her “go to” pieces, check for items on my List of Wardrobe Basics, and then, together, we decide whether or not to keep each piece.
The battle is long and hard; the dragon fought valiantly. But, in the end, victory is ours and he lies dead at our feet. Dead dragons go on the “T” for Toss pile.
Welcome to the final installment.
Part 2 – Reclaiming my Client’s Closet.
While we did find a few key pieces from my List of Wardrobe Basics, my client’s closet is still a work in progress. Armed with her new List, a new set of shopping skills and a thorough understanding of what does and does not work for her body, my newly empowered client sets out on her own. Like the proud and nervous parent, who has just handed over the keys to the family car, I wave goodbye at the door and caution her to “Shop carefully, call me if you need me and don’t take any tags off until I see everything.”
A few weeks later, we are back on the field of battle to plant our flag and reclaim her closet by organizing the old and incorporating the new into the mix, providing the new recruits pass muster.
In the typical, well-organized closet, like items are grouped together (tops with tops, skirts with skirts, etc.) from light to dark (solids then prints). By hanging shorter items in the front and longer items in the back of a walk-in closet, you can more easily see everything at a glance. You probably already know all this.
Light-weight, long scarves can be hung on men’s tie racks. I like to keep my scarves at the front of the closet for inspiration. My squares are folded flat in a drawer.
Always button the top button of blouses and jackets so they will hang straight and keep their shape.
Some clients find it easier to have items forming clothing modules grouped together. A clothing module consists of about five or six mix-and-matchpiecesthat all work together. For the busy client who doesn’t have time to think about accessories, I often add them to the module by draping necklaces on the hangers. Smaller pieces, such as bracelets and earrings, I put in a plastic, zip-loc bag, punch a hole in the bag and hang that on the hanger, as well. With this method, putting yourself together in the morning is pretty much a no-brainer.
|Hmmm, maybe this should no long be a dress. But! It could be a tunic.|
When it comes to repurposing existing pieces, a good image consultant and style coach can help you see things in a new way. Here’s an example: At the back of my client’s closet, I found a really cute, white lace cover-up that she had purchased to wear over her bathing suit. She only wore it a few times, because it only looked good when she had a great tan. We soaked it in a weak tea solution until we got the desired shade of pale ecru and she now has a great little topper that flatters her natural skin tones and looks adorable over a summer floral dress.
Want to breathe new life into a tired cardigan? Change the buttons. Yes, Ladies, buttons are the quickest, easiest and most economical way to spruce up a skirt, jacket or sweater. Today, we tend to think of buttons as purely utilitarian. In fact, buttons were purely decorative and served no function at all until the 16th century, when a clever French tailor looped some thread onto a piece of material, sewed a button onto another piece, and voilà, a marriage made in heaven.
On the subject of accessories, the only rule is – there are no rules.
A necklace can be worn as a belt; some belts can be worn as a necklace.
Brooches, feathers and silk flowers can be pinned just about anywhere.
Clip-on earrings can be clipped onto shoes and handbags for example.
The matching material belt that came with your dress can be removed and worn as a headband, while you add a more interesting belt in contrasting print or color.
Get the idea?
Vintage stores and consignment shops are my favorite places to find interesting and quirky accessories. The costume jewelry tends to be better made than modern pieces, and you can usually pick up something terrific for very little money.
|A Jimmy Choo shoe and box — baked and frosted. . .|
Oh, I believe I promised to tell you about the strangest thing I have found in a client’s closet — it was a mummified mouse in a Jimmy Choo shoe box.
Oh well, at least he died happy.