Chapter four of the book explains the lengthy, tedious, and exhilarating process of switching wardrobes with the changing seasons.
I still get the blank face when I tell people that yes even if I live in sunny all year long Miami, I switch wardrobes, but then when I go deeper and start asking questions and pretty much all the times I realize that although everyone has one system of organizing their closet, there are clothes that they wear in the summer that in the winter really not, same as evening stuff hangs separately from working attire.
We end up agreeing that, especially if you live in newer buildings where closet space is ridiculous, why clutter with stuff that you don’t wear?
If I can convince just one person of the benefits of switching wardrobes I am happy, and if you are that one and decide that it’s time to pull your most summer clothes aways from sight, this is also the time to eliminate the useless, the stuff that although it’s been hanging there, it’s been catching dust or the stains of the hanger.
Here’s the questions that, if you’d do a closet cleaning with me, I’d ask you. They are not the usual ones and hope you’ll enjoy.
FIRST THINGS FIRST: ELIMINATE WHAT YOU KEEP TRYING TO WEAR AND DOESN’ T WORK
My favorite question and the one that nobody asks you. Those just go, they are not becoming and chances are they don’t deserve any waste of your time. The process of choosing what to wear in the morning or for an occasion is psychological, sociological, cultural and very much related to the moon, the stars or whatever crap affects your mood that moment, even if it’s your neighbor’s dog barking. It’s many feelings all together, but if they are not conducive to a better you, they are not worth it.
WILL I EVER FIT IN THIS AGAIN?
That’s not the right question to ask yourself on many levels. It depletes your confidence and diminishes your self-esteem under peer pressured “thin is good” image. If you haven’t worn that piece in a while it could be ‘cause of many reasons, but before that the question is “is this piece worth keeping?” It could be a made to measure suit, a family heirloom which you’d keep for the next generation, it could represent a pivotal moment in your life (I still have my first pair of Levis 501, because it’s like the first kiss), the intrinsic value, which only belongs to you, is what should help you make the decision, weight comes and goes, like seasons and men.
WHY IS THIS IS STILL HANGING HERE AND I NEVER WORN IT?
Last time I asked myself that question I was at my lowest point of self-esteem professionally, spiritually and personally, between a body that had changed after the birth of my daughter, changing jobs and residence because I was getting divorced: can you imagine a most perfect definition of a shitshow? And right then, when I had to resize in budget, pounds, closet space and donate stuff for free was when the whole system crashed. What I had bought was stuff, not fashion nor quality, it was worth just a pile of ill-fitting clothes, there was nothing to resale. That same pile of mindless purchases had caused a little bit of a credit card damage, credit that now I could use in a different way. After the purge, all was left worth altering, mending, fixing and sprucing up were all those same pieces that I had brought with me from Italy, the wardrobe I had been lucky to curate buying at sample sales and custom made by my dress maker. When quality speaks.
SHALL I COLOR COORDINATE OR DIVIDE BY TYPOLOGY.
Abso-lutely. Again, positive on so many aspects of your life, that you’ll thank me later. The time spent in the closet looking for the right combination shrinks, the ideas of assembling things that you’d never think of putting together multiply, clarity and organization will make your mind brisk and your heart skip a bit.
IF I PUT THIS AWAY UNTIL NEXT SEASON, SHALL I STILL WANT TO WEAR IT OR IT’S TOO TRENDY?
I find that many clothes speak to me, mean something. There are some I wear exclusively to work, that mean business and aren’t child at play in the park enough to enjoy during the weekend or on vacation, sometimes we ought to look beyond and just choose, when making a decision. My best time to toss is when I pack for a move , when I am already in the state of mind of clearing paths and move forward.
WHAT’S MY FAVORITE PIECE
It will make you giggly, I have things that go on rotation, I have things that I only wear when I feel energetic and at peace with myself, and things I wear when I am bloated, PMSing and when I hate everybody. I have these perfect of baggy khaki pants that I remember when and whom with and where I bought them, it was 5 years ago and they had lost my luggage at Malpensa. They always fit the purpose and make me look perfect and polished.
AND MY MOST HATED ONE
This is a good one and you’ll be surprised, but in resuming the clothes from the past season, there will always be something that reminds you of an unpleasant moment, a person to forget, and, it’s totally fine, go for it. I had these two coulottes I erroneously purchased under the impulse of the sales and I really never liked how they’d fit me. I truly disliked them, they made me look huge in the wrong places, unflattering. And “because they were on sale” I bought two colors, ended up being unworn and donated to the thrift store.
At the end of your journey, that will take a whole weekend at least, you’ll feel you went through the ghost of Christmas past, present and future, and maybe a bottle of prosecco, but you’ll feel so regenerated, clean, pristine.