September 8, 2013

Remaking an Aristocrats Closet: Introduction

Dear readers, I have a confession to make: my closet is a mess.

Not your normal mess. Not a mess that can be fixed by a few more hangers or better arranged shoes. No. The mess that my closet is is far, far deeper.  An utterly flawed, unmatched, disconnected, chaotic mess that leaves me wondering how so many nice clothes can lead to so few good outfits. Perhaps you know the feeling.

How did this happen?

My philosophy for clothing has always been: if I like it, I buy it. Does it matter that it isn't quite the right fit? No! I'll tailor it in my copious spare time. Does it matter that I don't attend enough black tie events to warrant another party dress? No! It's pretty! Does it matter that this top matches none of my skirts or pants? Absolutely not! I'll just find something for it later.  After all, it's thrifted, of natural fibers, and I like it. What other requirements does my closet need?

A lot apparently. Because if you follow this philosophy, what do you have?

10 of 15 skirts that just need to be taken in a bit at the waist or hemmed just a tad or are being saved for a special steampunk occasion. A fraction of shirts that I feel comfortable wearing to class because the rest are too frilly, too fancy, too brown for my black skirts,  or too bright to wear. A beautiful collection of high heel shoes- except I only ever walk or bike 1.5 miles to school and you can't do that in heels. An extensive array of lacy bras and mismatched underwear- and none of them neutral colored. A dozen various necklaces, bracelets and rings which don't quite go with anything. A box of headbands, bows, and flowers which are collecting dust. Five hats which don't match my coats. Seven various coats of which I wear two. Six pairs of gloves and I wear none of them. And no basics.

See the problem? Really, the only thing I've done right is have a single pair of jeans.

My closet isn't full of junk. The clothes are made of good material, are high quality. Nothing from Forever 21, H&M, or other cheap manufacturers. I genuinely like everything I have in my closet and thought that personal preference would be enough to create a cohesive wardrobe.

It isn't. Not even close.

If you've been reading my blog, you'll know by now that I find fashion to be essential to defining our aesthetic and, thus, who we are. As I am at a crossroads in my life, it is time to really take stock of who I am and who I want to be. What better way to help me on my journey than by remaking my closet into a real wardrobe?

What is a wardrobe?

A collection of clothes, shoes and accessories that display a cohesive, integrated whole. Everything matches. Nothing exists for that far off someday. The pieces are well made, of high quality, and fit beautifully. They reflect my personal style but fit my actual lifestyle. Every peice makes me feel elegant, beautiful and well dressed- even if I just grabbed what I could in five minutes.

This is going to be a long project. Especially since I'm going to try to thrift or make as many of the items as possible. I don't want to throw out everything and begin again, but rather learn how to weed out the things that don't fit and to create a beautiful collection.

As a guide for this journey, I've chosen Into Mind's 10 Step Wardrobe Revamp. I just found her this past week and have been devouring her website for inspiration. If you like this blog, you'll probably like hers. She has a wildly different aesthetic, but I really appreciate the thought and care she put into writing out each of the steps.

Hopefully this will be a fun journey, so expect a greater increase in fashion posts.


  1. About five years ago I went through a radical shift in personal style. I went from the hippie style of my teens (tunics, headscaves, cotton, wool, linen, blues, browns and greens) to the darker personal style I have today (top hat, (p)leather, velvet, brocade, silk, black, red and teal). I have gradually weeded out clothes from my earlier aesthetic. There are still some left that I love but just aren't "me" anymore. Otherwise my wardrobe is pretty uniform right now. I have some fabulously beautiful pieces that are too big for me but that I still can't seem to get rid of... And there is a certain lack of basics (they are just so boring to shop for). I have also recently lost two of my pairs of pleather pants to accidents and wear. I am in desperate need for replacements for those.

    While I can't say that I am completely satisfied with my wardrob as it is I do like it rather a lot! I regularly use most of my clothes so that is probably a good sign. I have a large array of outfits ready in my head but I can also experiment with new ones. I am also quite happy with my shoe wardrobe, I have shoes for almost any outfit/occasion. I am extremely pleased with my jewelry, I love sorting my necklaces and rings in different pretty jewelry boxes! ;) I also see my perfumes as part of my wardrobe. I love matching the aesthetic of my daily outfits with a suitable perfume! Leather perfumes for leather outfits, creamy perfumes for my softer outfits, tobacco or smoke for the really edgy outfits.... and so on. I associate scents with color a lot and feel the need to have that color match those of my outfit!

    Mostly I do like you and buy whatever I like but I have as a rule nowadays that I will only buy an item if I have something to wear it with. And there is only a certain array of colors that I will consider. My lifestyle right now is such that I have to have a few different wardrobes. One milder version of my personal style for work, one casual wardrobe for doing manual work/loitering around the house and then my main wardrobe with the really good stuff! In Uppsala I couldn't wear long skirts (maxi), biking in long skits is just a pain. Here in Finland I use heels a lot less as I drive a car a lot more and find it difficult to drive in heels (don't have any trouble at all with biking in heels though). So lifestyle changes certainly affects what clothes I wear. I'll love wearing my really long fluffy skirts to work this autumn and maybe I'll dare to be more steampunk. I wore whatever I wanted to wear to school but I am feeling a bit of a pressure to look professional for work... But a librarian working alone in a little library in the countryside can afford to be a bit eccentric, right?

    Hm, I didn't mean to write such a looong comment... But this is a very interesting subject!

    1. Hahahah. No I like the long posts! It means I've stuck a chord with you!

      Though Nadja, I am now almost positive that you have one of my dream lives: the land your family owns, the isolation, the wardrobe, the tea making and now working as a Librarian in a small countryside library? You really have a life out of a fairytale.

    2. I am happy with my life! I hope I can get a permanent position in one of the countryside libraries (local branches of the main library in the municipality) around here. In about a month I'll start work as a substitute for the permanent librarion who is going on maternity leave. So I have a job for about a year or more but after that it's back to job hunting again... They seem to like me at the main library though so I'm in a good position to get something permanent in time.