Closet 101 Style

A Well Balanced Closet

nina garcia closetThis weekend I resolved to clean out my closet and wow, what a task. I’m not a minimalist by any means but seeing a room full of items that I spent time and money on that are never used just serves to make me depressed and a little disappointed in myself. Why did I accumulate all this stuff that I never use and no longer care about?

To get some inspiration I flipped through a few of my favorite fashion books and saw one of my favorite Nina Garcia quotes (well actually it’s her quoting Andrée Putman) in The Little Black Book of Style. I was all set to scan it for you when I realized that I had already written about it earlier (one of my first posts!)

I agree with this quote wholeheartedly and packed up and donated three bags of items already this weekend and am vowing to be as ruthless in culling more. It drives me crazy that I can’t see all the items I want to wear and it’s embarrassing that for a long time my solution was that one day, I’d just get a bigger closet! Plus, I’m still lacking so many items that I’d like to have and wear time and time again, while I buy random substitutes that fail to fill that closet “hole”.

I still enjoy a good healthy shop-a-thon so this is definitely not a vow to 100% abstain, but rather to be more thoughtful and conscientious. There are three rules that I am going to follow going forward when adding an item to my closet: I must love it, it must have a place in my lifestyle, and it has to fit. The end.

How do you all keep a well balanced closet? What are the mantras you follow, and are you ever weak? Thoughts?

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  • LC
    February 27, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    i`m on a purging spree too! trying to be a little bit more minimal..key word is trying! it`s funny though, i donated so so much, but it doesn`t look like i even made a dent! weird how that works…

    -LC

  • Fashion, Art and other fancies
    February 27, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    I so agree with the above quote although not American myself. My wardrobe is always well-balanced with quality pieces.

  • Jessica Cai
    February 27, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    One thing I love about your blog is that it's so well written! It's such a pleasure to read 🙂

    I try to only purchase items I'm "missing" from my closet, but of course, I crack when things are on sale or a great bargain. Fit is also one of my requirements!

    Jess
    http://www.stylizedluxe.blogspot.com

  • Tabitha
    February 27, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Oh yes, I have to fall in love with it, it must fit perfectly and fit in with my life – I can't bear having too much stuff it makes me feel stressed.

  • Anna
    February 27, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    I simply buy items that can't accumulate and I buy brand name. I can't own more than one pair of expensive red pants, a pricey leather jacket, or a night-out dress – these are stand-alone pieces that don't need a double in my closet. The brand name part helps because I tend to spend a bit more, which guilts me into using what I've got.

    My weakness is sweaters, though. I have quite a few and you can never get enough! Alas – no one's perfect 🙂

  • girl in the poodle shoes
    February 27, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Ugh, agree full-heartedly. I also love her books and the illustrations are amazing.
    I need to do this too… I actually half did a couple weeks back but have not gone back to really get into it (and get rid of it). I have the same habbit of buying substitutes when I really need to be buying investments.
    Thanks for the reminder…
    Best,
    Casey
    Girl in the Poodle Shoes

  • Ella Pretty Blog
    February 27, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    I was just thinking about this over the weekend….I want to have a carefully curated closet and home. It's easy to buy things – but it's not as easy to let go of stuff to make room for the new stuff! I'd rather live with fewer, high-quality items than a house bursting to the seams with junk LOL!

    I remember you once featured a blog with a girl from Europe who had pared down her closet to just the basics – it was very inspiring.

  • Dovey
    February 27, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    I love the three things you've listed— especially the one about lifestyle! It's easy to fall into the trap of buying for later, but it doesn't seem to work out as expected 🙂

  • Anna
    February 27, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    I go by the same mantras. Since I'm a notorious list keeper I have a strict list of items that I allow myself to buy and ones that I can buy extra but only in low quantities.
    Since I like basics, it's easy to wear things together. I also have a (mental) list of things that I will not buy. e.g. No silk blouses because I can rarely wear them since I do tend to sweat easily. Also no crazy high heels because they are not practical enough.

  • pjlatte
    February 27, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    I like the new rules you listed. I must apply these and follow through this time. I think I made similar rules for myself in the past, and when I encountered good sales… my knees were weak and I fell back into the dark hole again. lol.

  • Lissy
    February 27, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Oh how I totally relate! I did the same thing a few weeks ago with my closet and apartment in general. I have a bag to be taken to consignment and I dropped three bags in the Red Cross donation bin. I need to be more thoughtful about what I buy. Just like you said, I am buying substitutes to fill a hole in my wardrobe instead of waiting to find just what I want.

  • audrinajulia
    February 27, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Hi there! my number one rule is that it should fit on my lifestyle so that I will use it regularly, number two is, the one I'm in LOVE with! I'm always hooked to bright colors, for now I try to think about the details and description of the product first. 3rd is make time to think and think sometimes the one you thought you like or lusting over will be gone in your mind, sometimes you need space and if you overcome the feeling that means that you really don't like or love the item that much..so time to let go. great to hear your thoughts regarding this topic. any gurl wants to have a well organize closet and aiming "practical" one too.:) Have a great week ahead!

  • chillairandperfume
    February 27, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    I'm with you whole-heartedly! I've been working to simplify my closet a bit too, so this post was just the extra push I needed 🙂

    xo,
    Hannah
    http://www.chillairandperfume.blogspot.com

  • ♥ Natalie
    February 27, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    thank you so much for your comment! (: :*
    Really nice of you! 😀
    I like your design as well, because it's simple but nice!

  • Chocolate, Cookies & Candies
    February 27, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    I've always believed that one doesn't have to have a large closet to dress well. I think it's important before making a purchase to think 1) does this suit my lifestyle 2) do I really need this 3) will it go with the rest of my clothes

  • Chocolate, Cookies & Candies
    February 27, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    I've always believed that one doesn't have to have a large closet to dress well. I think it's important before making a purchase to think 1) does this suit my lifestyle 2) do I really need this 3) will it go with the rest of my clothes

  • lucydphoto
    February 27, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Congratulations on purging the unnecessary items! I'm on a continual quest to downsize because I'm sort of a neat-freak that can't stand clutter or excess (with the exception of a few things like H *wink*). I'm a neutral kind of girl with a few items of color for the occasional pop. I try to look for "investment pieces" that look good almost every season because I can't stand shopping for clothes. In that sense I guess I'm quite the minimalist when it comes to clothes, shoes, and accessories (but not purses lol).

  • Love and Company
    February 27, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Such great advice! Thanks for this post and yay for a neat and tidy closet. Getting rid of items is sometimes a hard task to do…

    xoxo

  • Katherine
    February 27, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Aww thank you! 🙂 That's so kind of you.

  • Lilli
    February 27, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Great illustration, I love it!:) Kisses to you!:) xoxo

  • ~Mel
    February 27, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    great post girl! totally need to go through another round of purgings after re-organizing my room last weekend =D

  • Laces and Shades
    February 27, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    "…seeing a room full of items that I spent time and money on that are never used just serves to make me depressed and a little disappointed in myself. Why did I accumulate all this stuff that I never use and no longer care about?"

    I totally identify with that statement above just a month ago. Since then I gave away about 50% of my wardrobe to either family/friends or Goodwill. It was indeed very depressing seeing clothes that I spent money and time on, only to have them hanging in the closet. I felt this sense of pressure to wear them just because I spent money on them. I kept telling myself that I got to make my $$ worth it. I won't do that no more. It's much better to be depressed and sad and feel some regrets for a short period of time than to be constantly going through those feelings whenever I take a look at my closet.

  • Tika Sari
    February 27, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    I totally agree!!!!! Great points in this post 🙂

  • Mary Ann
    February 27, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Great points Katherine! I recently did a major closet purge – I realized how much my style has changed over the past year or two and I've been revamping. Since I'm such a bargain shopper, but want "quality" items at the same time, I've been doing a lot of thrifting to find nice things at cheaper prices.

    I really enjoy your blog and style – you have some great shoes and accessories!

  • makeupandpearls
    February 27, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    for me its being able to see what i already have – that way when i have a craving to buy something similar and i see it in my wardrobe i know i'm okay. 😉

    laurafornerphotography.blogspot.com

  • makeupandpearls
    February 27, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    for me its being able to see what i already have – that way when i have a craving to buy something similar and i see it in my wardrobe i know i'm okay. 😉

    laurafornerphotography.blogspot.com

  • Geri Looker
    February 27, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    Sorted mine out recently! I too had 3 bags. 2 to go to the thrift store and 1 to the charity to help those who have suffered Domestic Violence abuse. I now want to shop…. but!, am buying carefully and wisely as I dont want another packed closet issue with wardrobe fillers that I dont wear.

  • DSK Steph
    February 27, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    My goal in life is to achieve the minimalist lifestyle! I don't think it comes as naturally to women as it does to men! lol

  • alison*elle
    February 27, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    I really like the idea of having a capsule wardrobe and am infinitely jealous of people who have them. I do try and review my wardrobe regularly and donate/sell what I can but I still own way more clothes than a person needs to!

    xo, alison*elle

  • alison*elle
    February 27, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    I really like the idea of having a capsule wardrobe and am infinitely jealous of people who have them. I do try and review my wardrobe regularly and donate/sell what I can but I still own way more clothes than a person needs to!

    xo, alison*elle

  • katattack2000
    February 27, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    I have learnt from past mistakes that I need to be careful and not be impulsive on buys as I think it would fit my wardrobe but usually won't and will be stuffed to the back.. and never worn again. So this year I have resolved to buy things that I'm totally in love with and that can be versatile for my wardrobe 🙂

    katattack2000.wordpress.com

  • katattack2000
    February 27, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    I have learnt from past mistakes that I need to be careful and not be impulsive on buys as I think it would fit my wardrobe but usually won't and will be stuffed to the back.. and never worn again. So this year I have resolved to buy things that I'm totally in love with and that can be versatile for my wardrobe 🙂

    katattack2000.wordpress.com

  • Cee
    February 27, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Nooo! Katherine, next time put up a blog sale with items you no longer want, please? 😀

    I know having a small closet helps me cut down on misc purchases. But… having a bigger closet is so much more fun, lol. I just can't win. I haven't bought duplicates in the longest time and the pieces in my closet that are "similar" to each other are just that, similar but yet different enough for me to justify the purchase. Hopefully this year I'll be better at cutting down on those too.

  • swisscecilia
    February 27, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    I guess we all have the same issue, there are too much clothes in our closet!!! I keep cleaning it every season. I think we do have similar rules, I get of things that I just don't like anymore, things that don't look good on my body, and things that don' fit 🙂

    Have fun!!!!

  • SS
    February 27, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    It seemed you did really good job!

    After I read that Nina's book, I did work on my closet and at the same time I started reading bunch of blogs… I collected new clothes!(It was fun tho) I'll work on again since your post reminds me working on wardrobe is really important to know myself.

  • newpetite
    February 27, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    donate frequently and not getting sucked in by the sale prices Thats what I can say.. but hard to ignore something when it is on sale!

  • homestilo
    February 27, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    I just cleaned my closet yesterday. There are always 1-2 pieces that I keep giving "one more try". But, I think I will go through these comments carefully and consider going back for a bit more purging…

  • skippysays
    February 27, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    Good for you! I did the same thing a little while ago and it felt so good!
    http://www.saysskippy.blogspot.com

  • Katherine
    February 27, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    LOL! Cee I will think about it, I am a little lazy about that 🙂 Yes you are right, a big closet is lots of fun!

  • Katherine
    February 27, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    Good for you! 50% is a lot, that's amazing that you did that!

  • Lizzy
    February 27, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    I try to make sure that all my clothes are pressed and ready to wear. That way I won't feel compelled to buy more.
    I also try not to follow too many trends– stick to my style and if I want something trendier, head to stores like zara, forever21, etc…
    Can't wait to see the progress on your closet!

  • Sarah
    February 27, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    That's great! I really need to pare down my wardrobe too. Less is definitely more. Thanks for the inspiration!

    keepcalmandcarrylipstick.blogspot.com

  • RosaLovesDC
    February 28, 2012 at 2:59 am

    Good for you girl. I think that quote is so great and really reminds us that quality over quantity is always better.

  • Sarah Roads
    February 28, 2012 at 4:01 am

    I did the same recently and could probably do it again! Only buying what I truly love…so hard when what I like is on sale! Good for you, I know it feels good!

  • Anna
    February 28, 2012 at 4:42 am

    I did closet cleaning too that just ended last weekend (over the span of 3 weeks). Bought a lot of containers and now, I have to tidy up my messy containers full of clothes. Hehehe.

  • Chic 'n Cheap Living
    February 28, 2012 at 5:29 am

    I'm due for a purge but half my closet is in NYC and half is in Asia! It does feel so good to donate though and only keep what you love!

  • Mimi
    February 28, 2012 at 7:04 am

    i just recently organized my closet as well, and i ended up with 4 bags of clothes i gave away — some i only used once or twice, the rest brand new. i felt so guilty for having all those clothes stored in my closet. i'm really trying to control myself and make sure i only buy things that i will really need and use. 🙂

    <3, Mimi
    http://whatmimiwrites.blogspot.com/

  • dietingfashions
    February 28, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    I'm cleaning out my closet at the moment. I'm also researching what's the best way to organize my closet. I share it with my husband and I'm envious of how minimal and clean his side of the closet is. I'm thinking of putting in more shelving and even a drawer system. Right now I have a huge pile of clothes that I will be donating. It is sad that I spent the money on these clothes and see it just sitting there. There are many items still with tags on it.

    Helen

  • miss sophie
    February 29, 2012 at 6:26 am

    i spent the better part of 2 years wittling down the excess in my closet. my blog is dedicated to keeping things well edited! 🙂

  • Diva In Me
    February 29, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Oh, I have someone that keeps reminding me how pack my closet is like every week or every time I decide to add something into the closet! =P

  • Tierney
    February 29, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Great quote!

    I think if you're cutting down your closet, you should consider getting the "Poshmark" app from the Apple App Store.

    It's kind of like Instagram, only it's for selling clothes. It's pretty user friendly–you just snap a picture (or four), write a short description, pick a price, and list it. When someone buys it, Poshmark sends you a pre-addressed shipping label, and you just package up the item of clothing and drop it in the mail. Since they act as the middle man, they do take 20%, but you're protected from people who don't pay or never send you your item. (Since they pay Poshmark directly, who then deposits it into your account, which you can either spend on the website or request a check)

    I totally sound like a marketing person for them, but I'm not. I just think with your legit amazing wardrobe, you'd do well on it.

    If you do join, let me know so I can stalk all your listings!

    xoxo
    Tierney
    http://www.RubyWooLovesYou.com

  • Prêt à Porter P
    March 1, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    It’s true. I keep my work wardrobe pretty streamlined with a minimal color palette, and it takes me 60 seconds to pick out an outfit, yet it can take me over an hour to put together a casual outfit because of all the variety I have in casual clothes—which is pretty silly when I only wear casual clothes once a week.

  • Chloe
    March 3, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    I've recently stopped buying substitutes and just getting what I really want, even if it means spending more on a particular item. It's a process though and I still find it hard to resist a bargain.

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