Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My Closet

My closet is a bit of a sensitive subject.  My desire and imagination is that it looks like one of those ads from The Container Store or California Closets.  And yet, I struggle to even get it to a point where I'd even feel comfortable having someone come to look at it to design it into the closet of my dreams.

Two and a half years ago, after I had left my job to focus on opening Zoe, I spent almost a week working on my closet and dresser drawers.  I had three motivations at the time:

a) They were a mess
b) My community was having a Yard Sale and I wanted to get rid of some things
c) I wanted to look at lines that I already owned and liked that I might want to carry at Zoe

This cleanout was a very fruitful effort.  Everything got straightened out, I had a large number of things to sell on the yard sale (you might remember this post from way back then), and I found some of the lines that I loved (LiaMolly, Velvet, and Honeydew being carried at Zoe all came from this closet/drawer cleanout!)

For a while, the closets and drawers were perfect.  I vowed to keep them pristine.  And then....well...things slowly went off track again.  Things come back from the cleaners and you don't put them on the right hangers.  Skirts get mixed in with the dresses.  Items that you wore in the corporate world get mixed in with the casual items.  Before you know it, you've got a mess on your hands again.  (Please, please tell me there are others like me - that I do not suffer from disastrous closet syndrome all alone).

Earlier this year, I wrote a series of posts on the high cost of cheap fashion.  While I haven't been one to buy things I don't wear or buy things that I wear and toss away, I think it is important to always be thoughtful about what we purchase and why.  As a store owner, I encourage my customers to make sure that what they are buying works with their closet - what is ideal is when they bring an item (or items) that they already own and want to style with something they have seen as Zoe. 

So now it was time to look at my closet with a new eye.  The cleanout this time is focusing on:

a) It's a mess (this seems to be a theme)
b) What fits me?  (do you keep clothing that you wear when you feel heavier or thinner than normal?)
c) What is my style?
d) What mistakes have I made in building my wardrobe?

I'd love your feedback on items a) and b) but I wanted to talk a bit on item c).  I've noticed that as my age and life stage changes, my style seems to change with it.  Items that I loved 3 years ago I don't love so much any more.  It's not that they were trendy.  They just simply don't fit the person I've accepted in myself.  I feel more comfortable and more "me" in other styles.  Does this happen to you too?  Do you find your style (and your closet) evolving over time?  I've realized that after my first pass through the closet (to pull out the obvious items where it is time to go) that I'm going to need to try on a lot of things and determine if they really still reflect my style or if it is time for them to find a new home.

Oh, and the mistakes (Item D).  How does one end up with at least 6 black cardigans of different designs?  And what is going on with my obsession with red?  (I do like the color and I'm sure my UGA affiliation might be a bit of a contributor).   How many formal dresses does a woman need?  These are the ugly questions I must ask myself as I go through my closet. 

But it has also been a fun exercise.  I've found skirts that I've combined with different tops, sweaters, and blouses.  I've found ways to transition pieces across seasons.  And I'm starting to make room for new things! 

I'd love to hear more about your "relationship" with your closet!

Next up:  Zoe's Facebook Store


  1. Hey Susan-great post! With regard to question c), I just read a great book by Stacy London called "The Truth About Style." This book is a a memoir melded with a make-over book. The theme throughout is about how each woman defines her style. Also, there are many practical tips for those of us who are fashion challenged..

  2. I need to clean out my closet and my dressers! I need to get rid of the Ikea dresser in my closet!