Thursday, August 25, 2011

the ideal closet

The ideal closet is like an urban legend, everyone's heard of it no one's seen one. It is very typical of fashion interviews to ask the question: "what must a woman have in her closet?" And frustratingly and yet predictably the answers are inconsistent. I have read everything along the spectrum between "high high heels" to "jeans". I have long ago given up trying to find a solution others. So instead of trying to find the golden formula, I look more upstream and try to examine the people that have great clothes. Putting together a good wardrobe seems a perpetual work in progress and it requires a patient, inquisitive, and confident individual.

The eminent Karl said fashion is what happens every six months. Fast fashion made everything so accessible. There is no need to wait or to save up. So when clothes do fall apart or fall on the body the wrong way we just toss them back into the closet and move onto the next trend. But I want to feel emotionally bonded to my clothes! I want to pull anything out and say with pride: "I waited a long time to find this, or I saved for it!". Realistically speaking clothes like that are not for sale around every corner, and months may not be the ideal saving time. But what if only one could slow down a little bit in the race to be trendy, delay the moment of gratification, the euphoria of possessing something new would last a little longer and one will be in a little less of a hurry to get the next high, or whatever the next issue of lucky magazine dictates.

One must know oneself objectively and emotionally in order to dress well. Magazines made thinking for oneself obsolete and technology facilitated buying quickly, one somehow ends up with a closet full of clothes with nothing to wear. A few years ago I was embarrassed by my closet - a mish mash of things purchased on a whim, oblivious of what they might go with (often nothing). Now I am working hard on a solid collection I can rely on. If dressing is a way of self-expression, shouldn't we put a little more thought into how we choose to represent ourselves each day? I am familiar with "don't judge a book by its cover", (SIDE RANT: that is not a good suggestion, I want my book to be as beautiful outside as it is interesting inside) but it is impossible not to judge by clothes others choose to put on. Iris Apfel said in an interview you have to get to know yourself, sometimes that takes a life time. So start now, there is always the chance of becoming the best dressed octogenarian.

Standing out was among the most feared things of high school years for me. It takes confidence to trust in one's unique preferences. And conversely a good choice bestows confidence. Confidence comes from naivety and wisdom - a child parading his/her favorite pieces with the least regard for silhouette, color, and proportion is obviously deriving confidence from the former. People with bizarre yet strangely becoming outfits on the other hand are wise. I long to join the wise bunch. I recently came across stylelikeu, and found some inspiring individuals and closets, this one in particular is my favorite. She has my dream wardrobe! Take a look.

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