I had a dream last night that my closet was a big mess. A nightmare, then! In reality, it’s quite neat (see below). I did have an urge to purge when I woke up, but there’s not too much excess baggage in there.
I’ve been working my way through the book The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees. It truly encourages one to find her own style. There are no “rules” for how to dress – including those infuriating rules for what not to wear over 40. The challenging part for me has been to analyze what I love, why I love it, and then to fill fill my closet with those things (well, the shopping part is fun, I must say.)
The author doesn’t stipulate what size your wardrobe should be, or the kinds of clothing that are “right” for you.
Some useful tips so far:
- Shop slowly. We usually make purchasing “mistakes” when we’re feeling pressure to buy something for a special occasion, or when we’re being cajoled by shopping buddies. There’s almost never a true rush to buy something.
- Think ahead about what you’d like to add to your closet (High Heels In The Wilderness writes at length about this, always delightful reads). You don’t have to follow any strict plan, and there is always the occasional impulse, but it’s good to have an overall scheme. A “style statement”, so to speak.
- Look for gaps in your wardrobe. Ask “What piece would really make this outfit more memorable and fun to wear?” If you don’t already have that piece, write it down as part of your shopping plan.
And if you have gaps, are they for basic, key, or statement pieces? Here is how Anuschka defines them:
- Basics are usually simple pieces “in terms of color, cuts, and details. But simple doesn’t mean boring . . . Every piece in your wardrobe should reflect your style.” For me, basics are jeans, short and long-sleeve fitted tees and easy skirts. For you the basics might be plaid shirts, or striped tops or print trousers, depending on your personal style.
- Key pieces are “the workhorses of your wardrobe. They reflect the look and feel of your person style 100 percent and are ultra versatile and optimally tailored to your lifestyle.” For me, these include funky footwear, full skirts with some detail, cropped trousers, a graphic tee, and my new pink jacket (see below).
- Statement pieces “give you a chance to express different aspects of your style. They don’t have to be quite as mixable as the rest of your wardrobe.” For me, this is my Trina Turk wildly printed coat, and my boldly striped Ralph Lauren skirt.
I’m looking for key and statement pieces, as I have basics to last a lifetime.
Here’s how I used the concept while thrifting in NYC. I thrifted this pink wool Cynthia Rowley jacket as a key piece, instead of my usual navy or black – and how many black blazers do I need, unless I’m going to court? Now I’ll wear this jacket when I may have previously chosen black. Results = more color and creativity.
I’d love to hear about your own basic, key and statement pieces in the comments. And I do recommend the book, even if you only pull out a few ideas. There are no wrong answers, just authenticity with your own style.
Here are some key and statement pieces you can browse with me:
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