Happy Friday and I hope you are really enjoying Spring and the beautiful blooms. I also hope you have made room for some new clothes in your closet. Let me show you how to make space for the new additions. I have just completed a really fun project with my friend Elizabeth Carlock Phillips in her closet. I edited and organized Elizabeth’s closet in January 2017 after she and Kevin moved back to Dallas. Now a year later Elizabeth asked me to come for another session of edit and organization after having her precious baby girl, Liza. How very exciting to have a baby sister for her 2 boys. It is time to move out of the pregnancy wardrobe into the mainstream again. As we all know it takes a while to get back in shape and being a busy mom ,with a new blog Lolli and Me, does not leave a lot of extra time. So Fashionomics is always ready to help.
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I have been a model with Kim Dawson Agency for many years and love fashion. I have always thought if I could buy enough products at The Container Store that my life could be really organized. This was back in the day when I was a working single mom with 3 children. I started Fashionomics because I love fashion and I love to organize!! And with my past experience in the fashion industry these just seem to go hand in hand. I have been doing this for about 12 years or more so I have developed a system that works for me and I’d like to share some tips to help you get started. I will give you a warning!! Most women put this off because it is just not a lot of fun to get into your closet and start going through your clothes and get ready for the next season. That’s why women call Fashionomics for help.
I think it is common for a woman to stand in her closet and say “I have nothing to wear!” Just ask her husband!! “So many clothes but nothing to wear” is a result of having too many things in your closet. In my opinion – less is more – which brings us to my theory that started Fashionomics. Fashion + Economics = Fashionomics and The Art of Systemizing your Wardrobe. The goal is to have an efficient affordable wardrobe with many options from fewer pieces. Less clutter and more order bring calm and peace to your life so that you feel pretty and confident as you go about your day with time to spare.
STEP 1 – EDIT YOUR CLOSET
I work with my client in her closet to analyze the current state of things. This is a process that takes a bit of time because we literally go through each piece deciding which items to keep, alter, take to resale or donate. Get comfortable because I will have my client try things on to see if they fit or need to be altered. Fit and proportion are everything and when I see my client in an article of clothing I can tell if it works for her or not. This also includes shoes, accessories, handbags and jewelry. Some questions to ask are:
Have you worn it in the last 2 years? I don’t always get rid of classic pieces that never go out of style if they fit.
Will you wear it? Do you like it? Be honest with yourself.
Does it fit? Is it flattering? Is is out of style?
Does it need alterations? Alterations need to be included in your clothing budget. Very important!!
Can it go to resale? It needs to be in great condition and current style.
Will you donate to let someone else enjoy it before it’s too late?
Note – Just because someone gave it to you, you don’t have to keep it.
STEP 2 – ORGANIZE YOUR CLOSET
Organizing your closet is the next step to bringing order to your wardrobe and your life. I want you to be able to see your things, get dressed without stress and feel peaceful when you walk into or out of your closet. Now that we have edited you wardrobe down to the pieces that you love, that fit and that will work for you, we can start to organize. I start by hanging like pieces together; skirts, pants, tops and blouses, jackets, dresses, cocktail and evening. I arrange each group in color order from light to dark or dark to light depending on the lighting in your closet. Which brings me to another very important subject – LIGHTING! I like to say that if I can’t tell black from navy then you do not have proper lighting in your closet. I do have some practical solutions that are not too expensive. I always recommend Joy Huggable Hangers in the same color. Your clothes will keep their shape and won’t fall off. It is worth the investment. Organizing your shoes really depends on the set up of your closet. We can use shelves, clear plastic shoe boxes and/or hanging solutions. One rule is to get your shoes out of the original boxes and into clear boxes so you can easily see what you have. (note- the men’s shoe boxes are great for booties) I know that some of you have memorized those boxes but they do not look pretty or calm. I want every thing to be as uniform as possible. I also try to get everything off the floor!! Sometimes I have the luxury of displaying beautiful handbags as in a boutique setting. I just have to get into your closet and see what the possibilities are. We will also edit and organize your jewelry and figure out the best solution whether making space in a drawer or hanging in your closet or vanity area. It is like a puzzle to me and I have never found a closet I couldn’t solve, no matter how small. I have organized closets in apartments and multiple closets in mansions. It’s always a challenge and I am never satisfied until it looks calm, cool and collected. Out with clutter.
STEP 3,4,5 – WARDROBE
Mix and Match within your existing wardrobe, Plan to Shop with a Purpose and a Budget, Combine and Coordinate new purchases with the pieces you already have. This is the fun part. Call Fashionomics for a guided shopping spree.
Step 6 – OFF SEASON STORAGE
A couple of years ago I did a lot of research and wrote a blog on this subject. I will share the link with you because I don’t want to write it all out again. The main point is that it is important this time of year as we are transferring our closets from fall/winter to spring/summer that you properly store your natural fibers like wool, silk and cotton. I like to take care of my clothes, and winter clothes tend to be more expensive, so protect those cashmere sweaters.
I would also like to share Ken Weber’s (of Vintage Martini) Top Ten Clothing Care Tips. Keep in mind that Ken is working with vintage pieces so these tips may not apply to you, but I thought they were worth noting.
1. Never use mothballs. The odor is impossible to remove and it will eventually spread through the house and onto your body. Hang dry lavender in your closet instead. (I recommend cedar blocks or lavender sachets) Did you know that cedar closets need to be sanded and resprayed each season to repel bugs??
2. Do not hang your rayon and silk knits. They will stretch and a sweater will become a dress if you wait too long.
3. We have a tendency to shop our own closets by pushing things from the hanging shoulder. The oils on our hands will eventually turn the shoulders yellow. Purchase shoulder bags to protect your whites.
5. If you have a stack of family wedding gown boxes in storage, there’s a good chance they have now turned a buttery yellow and all the drops of champagne that were not properly seen are now dots or dark brown. Sadly, they are no longer cleanable. To properly save your wedding gown, have it professionally dry cleaned by an expert in conservation and have it packed in an acid free box with acid free tissue.
6. Do not pack cedar blocks with textiles. The oils in wood will stain what they are touching over time.
7. Silk is a cannibal! The acids in silk will actually eat itself over time which is called shattering. Shattering looks like a cat has shredded the fabric with its claws. Once this has started, there’s no way of saving the item whether it’s an old crazy quilt or grandma’s wedding dress. Always keep silks stored in acid free tissue with as little of the silk touching itself as possible.
8. Do not store your clothing in the garage, storage unit or attic. Extreme temperatures can create dry rot, mold, shattering, etc. If you’ve moved it out of the closet, there’s a reason. Don’t pay for storage until it becomes unwearable. move it along to charity or make some “fun” money on those old clothes.
9. If you have a window in our closet, make sure you have filtered blinds. Continual light will fade your fabrics.
10. Overhead fluorescent lighting is not your friend! It will fade the shoulders or your clothing faster than you can imagine.
I hope these tips have helped you get motivated to edit and organize your closet. I can’t give away all of my secrets so if you need help, feel overwhelmed or are crunched for time, give Fashionomics a call. Be sure to check out Lolli and Me for a mother/daughter perspective on all sorts of necessary subjects pertaining to life. You will love this blog!! Here is Elizabeth’s edit on my guest post.
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PHOTOGRAPHY – Mary Summers Hafner and Megan Lucas
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