By Judith Rasband, AICI CIM
Closets are out of control these days—either by fault or default.
I “do” a lot of closets, all over the country, and I could write a book about people and the way we live, all based on what I see in the closets. It’s fun and fascinating, but when standing before a closet for the first time—with doors wide open—I experience a moment of pure panic, thinking, “Oh help! What am I going to do with this?”
Clothes are often hanging askew on their hangers, half on, half off, bunched up, inside-out, and upside-down. Does that sound like a closet in your home? If so, you’re not alone. Looking that way, however, it’s hard to look forward to wearing what’s in the closet. Add to that, we’re shortening the wear-life of the wardrobe and wasting our clothing dollars.
Sometimes I see a whole rack of drab, grayed, dull-looking clothes—faded denim, black, gray, or khaki tan, out of shape T-shirts, shirts with ring-around-the-collar, maybe one touch of color but that’s all—not because that’s all they can afford, but because that’s all they choose. No wonder it’s no fun to get dressed in the morning.
Other times the whole rack is a jumble of chaotic color and pattern, nothing relating to anything. I quickly learn that’s it’s a collection of years of the latest “must-haves”—whatever was “in” at one time or another. If that sounds familiar, it’s no wonder you’re confused about what goes with what or how to create a style of your own.
Life’s too short, and our list of things to do is too long to allow our closets to control us—how we look, and as a result, how we think, how we feel, how we act or behave, and how other people react or respond to us. Our clothes are always at work, for or against us, often without us realizing the effect. It’s time to take control of the closet and make the contents work for the wearer.
Now, about those hangers—there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wire hangers. It’s when they are bent out of shape and rusting that I take issue. You don’t have to buy expensive wooden hangers or fancy padded hangers. You can buy new hangers from your local cleaners for about $2 a dozen. To get retail-type plastic hangers, you’ll have to go to Modern Display in Salt Lake City. Buy them by the box and shape up all the family clothes.
Button the second button on shirts and blouses. Re-button shirts clean from the cleaners. This allows the collar to lie open smoothly until you’re ready to wear it.
To save time and money and simplify your life, plan for clusters in your closet—one or more, depending on how many roles and goals you have or want to fill. Gird up your loins and lose the idea that denim takes you anywhere you want to go. You may go, but you may certainly look and feel like you don’t belong. Maybe you feel fine and it’s everybody else who knows you look out of place—lacking respect for the occasion, the people, or the value of what is intended there.
A cluster is simply a small group of clothes selected and coordinated for one specific person—for their lifestyle including their budget, where they go, and what they do;—for their personal style including personality, values, body build, and coloring. You might have just one expanded cluster that meets all your needs. You might choose instead, to have smaller clusters for durable attractive at-home wear, sharp looking about town clothes, and special occasion clothing be it dressy or sporty.
Start clustering in your closet, grouping together wearable clothes of similar weights, for similar occasions, and in colors that coordinate harmoniously. What doesn’t work goes to someone else, to Deseret Industries, Savers, Salvation Army, or Good Will, or into the rag bag.
Doing a local AM820 Radio interview just last week, a listener called in to report on her cluster experience. She was delighted to see how easy it was and how well it worked. She’s taken command of her closet and is ready to tackle a new cluster from scratch. It happened. It works! If you’d like to learn more, take a class.
Copyright Judith Rasband and Conselle L.C. 2009
Judith Rasband is the Image Expert and would love to help you take command of your closet! Visit www.conselle.com or call 801-224-1207 to learn more.