Last year, I wrote some notes on my take on an ideal closet. It resulted in a discussion on if the ideal state is a myth we chase. Aren’t we in a constant state of growth which results in different wants ? Is a closet ever really built ? Can desire be contained ? I don’t know the answers to these questions. Instead of over analyzing the idea, I set some rules and a target. I have learnt to be contentment within my bounds. My closet is built. Let me explain :
The right amount
Once upon a time, I had excess and I was underutilizing the clothes I had. There was also a time when I have exactly what I needed but was not content. With time, I found my ‘just right’. I want it to stay clutter free and organized. I want the incoming and outgoing rate to be low. I like the current status quo.
( I won’t call myself a minimalist. It’s alright to not be one. )
The right garments
There is something in there for every occasion life throws at me. The purpose of building a closet is to be stylish. I am not interested in a closet whose only virtue is that it has less than a count “n” , with n being small. But at the end of the day, it needs to be cruelty free and responsible. It should be second-hand, vintage or ethically made. There should be some glamour and lot of pragmatism. There should be a balance of feminine and masculine elements. Some garments exist to be worn out in the next 2 years. Some are to be worn over a decade. Some are to be worn over two decades. Some have the potential to become heirlooms. Getting dressed should be joyful. Else, there is no point to any of this.
[ A silk blouse. A floral print blouse. A pinstripe shirt. A polka dot shirt. A chambray shirt. A shift dress. A shirt dress. A maxi dress. A midi dress. A t-shirt. Blue denim. Black pants. Charcoal denim. ]
A whole lot of navy blue
An ocean of blue. Opening the door to my closet is color therapy. I write this with a big grin : if you want to discuss the “right shade” of navy blue, I am here. If you want to talk “bad shades” of navy blue, I am here for that too.
Some army green, red and pink.
For the full moon days when I turn into a wolf and don’t want to wear navy blue.
( Missing ) This trio of printed photographs : Charlotte Rampling for YSL, shirt dress by Yohji, sketch by Clemence Poesy.
My interpretation :
Image 1 : There are two ways to do androgyny – the YSL muse and the office worker.
Image 2 : Yhoji-saan’s women :“Fashion cannot make you sexy. Experience makes you sexy. Imagination makes people sexy. You have to train yourself, you have to study, and you have to live your life”
Image 3 : “Don’t bother me.”
I have a straw and a wool hat on a hook on the walls. ( Not visible in this photo. )
Also missing : a hook right by the closet door on which I hang the garment that I consider most stunning piece I own.
I want an eclectic mix of inspiration on my shelf. Flipping through the street style photos while sitting on the floor is a pleasure.
[ The Sartorialist (my fav), Tomboy Style, Trench, It’s Vintage Darling, Paris Street Style ( must-read) , The New Garçonne, Many of Them, Asian Street Fashion, Men in this town, Women in this town, Elegance ( This book is an abridged version of finishing school for women. Made me cringe a little.) ]
My 4 year affair with Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir continues. I sometimes wear it to bed.
I have the most used and the really dirty ones by the front door. The ones in my closet are the least used and are reasonably sanitary to bring into the bedroom.
Something to hold the scarves, slips, belts, t-shirts, sweaters, pjs, workout clothes, gardening overalls, underpinnings, socks and handkerchiefs.
I have lots of shoes but I am not interested in collecting them. They come on a need/want basis. They go when they are worn out. I am not interested in collecting luxury handbags. I carry a canvas backpack or a cotton tote on most days. I want to collect blue dresses …. which I sort of do.
The Trinket box
I wear a tiny gold dot necklace on most summer days. It gets the most accessible hot spot.
This is where I hide my clutter. I have trinkets from my teenage years. The tacky metal butterfly ring, color changing talismans, plastic beads, silver plated “peace” pendants, ‘I am grown up’ pearls, coming-of-age presents from relatives, heirlooms that I don’t know what to do, unworn wedding rings, …… I am not okay with owning things that hardly get used – that’s hoarding ! Do you guys declutter your jewellry ? I don’t have the guts.
There is no scope to ponder if a certain garment is of the right vibe, the right kind of trendy, the right kind of classic, the right kind of chic, if the French woman would approve, if American woman would approve, if the Indian women approve, if I am rebel, if I am a conformist, if I am a contrarian, ….. There are no “if”s and “but”s waiting. These garments won’t be culled next year. Most of them have been around for years and are old friends. They will be worn till they are worn out. I can walk in, choose something, get dressed and get on. I am at peace.