I remember in the early 70’s my parents bought a burgundy Ford LTD. I can remember the look, the feel, and the attitude that went along with riding in that car. It was unparalleled – for a twelve year old!
What I loved about my parents attitude was that it was a beautiful car, their nicest ever, but they were going to fully enjoy it, not be afraid of it, because as they said, it was ‘just’ a car.
We were instructed to make sure our shoes were clean when we entered, and of course eating in the car just never happened as there were no drive-thru’s or bottled water in the dark ages!
They told us we should all take care of it, but it is not a museum piece, and we will not put plastic covers on the seats like my Aunt Evelyn’s car. Sidebar: I was the recipient of my Aunt Evelyn’s fabulous original VW navy blue bug, with a white rag-top (convertible for those non-car aficionados out there). And BTW – the seats were brand new cream leather – new why? Because of course they had never seen the light of day under the plastic sleeves that covered, well just about everything inside the vehicle.
Here’s my philosophy when it comes to your wardrobe. Now is the time and the place to wear what you have, enjoy doing it and look and feel sexy, sassy and sophisticated each and every time you step out the door. What the hell are you saving it for?
Often times when I am standing with a client in the shadow of her closet, we talk about not only where she wants to be in the next phase, but just as importantly, where she was in her previous phases, perhaps before the mommy decade. Who she was, how she dressed, where she frequented, and even how she felt when she dressed a certain way.
Believe it or not, the closet is a wonderful starting place, to not only get ready for what’s next, but also to revisit what was. Women will often pull something out from a decade ago and tell a story about where they bought it, where they wore it, how they felt wearing it and even why they stopped wearing it.
I hear things like, “This was so expensive that once I had kids I didn’t feel right wearing it, I was worried it would get ruined.” But here we were decades later with an outdated brand new ‘old’ fabulous something that hadn’t seen the light of day in over 10 years – the shame of it is, that she was waiting to feel special.
The closet was not meant to be a museum filled with your missed opportunities.
For cryin’ out loud – wear grandma’s fox fur collar over your cashmere sloucher with your worn out jeans. And what the hell, wear your New Years Eve heels at the same time! What? You are only going to the grocery store? Come on Mildred it’s not Walmart – it’s Whole Foods! One full cart is the price of those Louboutins anyway, you might as well dress like you can afford to shop there!
Here are a few mini makeover ideas…
Grandma’s old fur collars (don’t shoot the messenger, the key word here was old) removed from the big old baggy too long wool coats and repurposed as collar scarves.
Tired of that dress or fearful it is too recognizable amongst your tribe? Turn it into a top! This has taken place 3 times this season where a client had a favorite dress but something about it was tired! Turns out the tired part was the bottom half on all three – too long, too short, too narrow, too full – just too! In each case we shortened the dress to just below the hipbone and finished with a moderate side slit hem and volia – fabulousness!
Last one I promise! The jacket or coat that as a jacket or coat is just kind of humdrum, sleeves too short, too loose, too flippy, just too! Take off the sleeves and voila again, a great vest to wear with a chunky sweater!
The moral of the story – wear the old, wear the new, make the old look new, make the new look old – just wear the damn things! Fashion is supposed to be fun! The same old doesn’t have to stay the same old. Experiment a little – you are now free to move about your closet, and oh yes, bring your scissors!
Let me know below what you have successfully repurposed from your closet! I love hearing from you! Need some closet editing help?
My recently published book Confidence Is Always In Style has a 20-page chapter with step by step instructions on how you can edit your closet, complete with steps and photographs, tips and tricks!