Do You Ever Dream About Your Closet?

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.


Most skirts, trousers, and dresses.


Most tops and jackets. In drawers are basic tees, underthings and workout stuff. Sorry for the pic quality, it’s a bit dark 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.


Dear Sandy acts as my hanging post today.

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.

Stay fabulous,

Here are some key and statement pieces you can browse with me:

Please be aware that links to vendors may be affiliate links. I do benefit from your purchases through the links on the blog.



(Visited 1,217 times, 1 visits today)



  1. That’s a great jacket, Patti! I’m dying to see you wear it.
    I only own what the author describes as “statement pieces”, my entire wardrobe is all about expressing myself, no room for anything practical except for my thermal vest!

  2. I totally agree with the shop slowly sentiment. When I’m on the fence about something, I just don’t buy it. I figure if I go home and think about it a lot, then I can always go back and buy it. And yes, I sometimes dream about my clothing as well!


  3. Hi Patti, Thanks for the tips. What about your other thrift purchases?
    Key pieces and statement pieces seem the same to me. Can you elaborate please?

  4. Good for you! That fuchsia jacket is great!
    I was shocked that my adolescent has rules for shopping: does it fit? is it the right color? does it go with stuff you have? will you wear it? do you love it?
    Personally, I dream about food quite often, as well as travel, and sometimes about a room in my house that I didn’t know I had. But I never dream about my clothes.

  5. I am so excited about that new pink coat and your pull towards more colour. Colour looks amazing on you.

    Your dream made me laugh. I haven’t had any dreams like that, but with the size of my closets you would think I might.

    Normally my nightmares are about someone trying to murder me. And I don’t even eat cheese before bed! What is that all about?


  6. As a lover of all colors—this jacket really floats my boat Patti!!
    I haven’t read this book yet, but I have gotten a different mind set when I go shopping. I used to just buy a piece. But now I truly try to think about whether I have an item already like it in my closet. I’ve found so many times that the reason I like a piece, is because I already have something just like it–ha ha!

  7. I really like these ideas and tips Patti. I find that I do shop slowly and not jump at the first thing that interests me. I try and think of what I need in my closet, what I might want to add. Thanks for the book recommendation.Have a great week!
    stop by if you can
    jess xx

  8. Thanks for the mention, Patti. So kind:) I haven’t read The Curated Closet, although I’ve read her blog. I like her idea to separate pieces into three categories. I don’t look for “statement pieces” very much. Unless I have a specific event to attend. When I bought my new fuchsia coat I had to convince myself that it was okay if it didn’t go with EVERYTHING in my closet… that’s what my other coats were for. My friend Elizabeth, with whom I travelled to new York a couple of weeks ago, have been talking about what we’ll do next year when we go back. We have been following your Instagram shots of the West Village as inspiration:)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.