When was the last time you edited your closet? Like a real, no-holds-barred, serious closet cleanout? Before I share with you this real-life closet cleanout we filmed with my client Leslie, (watch for her adorable daughter's cameo appearances), I've been thinking about my own closet cleanout. Or non-cleanout, as it were. I am about to move my Summer clothes upstairs and bring my Fall/Winter clothing downstairs. I looooove Fall clothing so much. I spend more on my Fall wardrobe than any other season. But trading out the seasons in my closet reminds me how much stuff I have, and you would think, present the perfect opportunity to get rid of the the tops or bottoms that do me no favors, the no longer worn items, and any stained or worn out clothing. And for these items, yes it does. But not everything I hoard I mean save falls into these categories.
Insiders received exclusive access to this 13+ minute video. We're following my client Leslie from start to finish, through her entire Wardrobe Makeover! This is Part I, the Closet Clean Out. We'll release Parts II and III this Fall, the Shopping and Styling, and it's SO good!
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I Struggle To Let Go Of Clothes, Too.
I'm not gonna lie. It's really hard for me to let go of my clothes. I always say it's because I'm a "collector". There's some truth to that. I will never get rid of my original Ralph Lauren pieces from back in the day. Like my palest of pale yellow suede skirt with fringe and sterling silver buttons that look like Navajo jewelry. Or my first pair of Roger Vivier pumps I bought in Paris. Or my very broken-in and kind of roomy (I got it in the men's section) but PERFECTLY Robert Redford-style shearling I found at Goodwill - I know. Crazy stroke of luck. When Krissy and I are doing photo shoots, I find myself telling her the story of how I got what I'm wearing (when it doesn't have a price tag from a shopping trip a couple days before at TJ Maxx). She always says I should write it down. I really have connections with so many pieces in my wardrobe. I never, ever want a client to get rid of something sentimental. That kind of regret is a sad one I never want them to have. I don't know that I'd say I feel sentimental about my pieces because of the memories I've made wearing them; it's more about just the sheer enjoyment of beholding an iconic piece like a Bottega Veneta leather bag or a Max Mara camel coat or Fendi pochette or a Chanel jacket (I don't have the first three, I do the Chanel, anditwashardearned thankyouverymuch 🙂 ). Maybe it's the quality of the long-lost craft of dressmaking like on my hand-embroidered French blouses, or that old, heavy cashmere you can never find anymore that seemingly never pills after decades of wearing. I find these things at estate sales, the flea market, and yes, Goodwill and TJ Maxx. Some of my very best Ralph Lauren came from TJ Maxx in the 90's. The other day I saw a J.Crew t-shirt in a client's closet from about 10 years ago, with such great sequin embellishment. I bought one from that same collection. I told her that when I bought it, I purposely put it away and didn't wear it for years because everybody was wearing them. I knew it was good piece. So I sat on it. You wouldn't believe the comments I got this Summer - everyone wanted it. If you remark on something I'm wearing, you'll notice I'll tell you right up front where I got it. Consignment, eBay, Target, what have you. Because it's not that I want to be the only one with something special. Or that I want anyone to notice what I'm wearing. It's that I want you to be a feel something special, too, if it speaks to you. I want you to have the same pleasure. If you're reading this, thinking, how shallow, what with all that's going in the world, then I'm not sure why you're still reading this far into the post. I probably lost you when I said I have connections to my clothes.
I've never really thought about my personal relationship with my clothes until this week when I started turning my closet for the season and clearing out. I have sooooo much it drives me crazy, but for the first time I have realized (I think my writing probably reflects what I'm about to say, if I were psychoanalyzed) that while it's not about the associated memories I have with a dress I wore with so-and-so to such-and-such a place, it's the life I want to build for myself today. It's what these old friends conjure from the past that move me closer to who I am today. Like a pretty "lady dress" that I think my mother would have worn at 47 if she had been alive, and I would know that's how to dress like a lady when I'm 47. It's the Barbour hacking jacket (found at the Alameda flea market this Summer) for that day when I will get back into riding again. Or the classic Chanel captoe slingbacks that have made such a comeback the past few seasons. I bought a sparkly pair because I wanted a dressy flat. But I think I'm "saving" them like I did the J.Crew sequin t-shirt. I'll pull them out in a few years and absolutely fall in love again. Yes, I'm weird and I know that. But my grandmother had a pair, and I want a pair so I can be like her. Mkay cupcakes?
Now, for Leslie's Closet Cleanout!
If you are not "into" your wardrobe like this, which is great because that's why I'm here - to do it for you - you could try to clean out your closet yourself. But I've never seen a closet someone tried to clean out on their own that passed muster. My muster, that is. In fact, surprisingly, I often see items I would have kept that get tossed in the "give away" pile before I get there. And of course, plenty of pieces that somehow didn't get pulled but should never see the light of day ever again. I'm going to level with you. I've seen greater success when you enlist professional help to clean out your closet. Someone impartial. Who's not trying to sell you any clothes. Or get you to buy any of their clothes. The way I approach all closet cleanouts with my clients, and shopping and styling sessions for that matter, is to be a teacher. I want to teach you why you should never wear certain things ever, and why you should choose to wear other things every chance you get. I also want to teach you how to wear your favorite pieces a gazillion ways, by reinventing them season after season, so you feel like you always have a new wardrobe without buying a ton of new stuff. Now that was a run-on sentence.
Soooo, guess what? I've encapsulated all my pro tips in this new video guide, the first of 3 videos capturing the whole process, from start to finish, of Leslie's Wardrobe Makeover. It's like having me with you in your closet. And if you want to ask me about something you're on the fence about keeping or tossing, send me a picture of it! I'll be happy to tell you 🙂
Here's a sneak peek of the video.
Insiders, catch the full-length video here. Hope you enjoy!