Sunday, January 20, 2008

Through the Looking Glass and Into the Wardrobe

I find it interesting that closets have become so popular and imbued with status, just as bathrooms and kitchens have been. Nowadays if you don't have a huge custom closet you can tend to feel like a second-rate citizen. More and more in magazines you are getting to peek into the fashion shrines of women from celebrities to regular women profiled in issues of everything from Domino to Better Homes and Gardens.

And, of course, who could forget Carrie's closet on SATC:

I've always had a fondness for my closet beginning in childhood. The house I lived in for most of my childhood had a small walk-in closet in my bedroom. I loved it because, like the Narnia wardrobe, it became an entrance into another world. I played in there and read in there, leaning my pillow up against the door to barricade myself in and my sister out. I had a bookshelf in there too, which was filled with books and special treasures.

I actually still have that bookshelf. It's lived through multiple moves from that time going with me to college then back home and then to my first apartment and now it lives in a whole new state and is a lovely chocolate brown. Can you see it? It's successfully blending into the wall.

Suffice it to say, I like closets even more now. I would love to have a whole room dedicated as my dressing room. I'd love it to be a jewel-box of a room with an ottoman or a chaise to lounge on, built-in cubbies and a three-way mirror. I'd equip it with matching wood hangers and drawer shoe boxes.

But, I live in an old house (as I've mentioned) that I love. So, as many an apartment dweller or vintage home owner knows, closet space is usually small to non-existent. Luckily I do have several closets, it's just that none of them are very big. And when you have a considerable number of shoes, etc., you have to be organized.

I take up three of the four upstairs closets. But none of them are very wide so they equal about one standard long closet or maybe a good sized modern walk-in. I have recently broken my own rule about taking over the guest room closet (sorry friends and family!) but I was running of out space for the shoes and the Master bedroom was looking kind of crazy! It had to get reorganized and put away.

Alright, ready? Here's closet 1:

This acts more as a storage closet because most of those clothes don't get much rotation. They are a little dressier than I normally wear. I've also got some off-season things in there as well as a few unique items. There's a few tulle skirts there off to the side and those two white boxes on the top shelf have tiaras! I have a big purse in there and some hats also. I also have a hat box full of vintage gloves and another one for scarves.

Down below are, of course, shoes! I've got boots in the front there and some espadrilles and sneakers and my Topsiders in there too. I've also got my really formal shoes in there. You'll see that almost all of my shoes are in a shoebox. This actually helps me to remember which are which and also enables me to stack more of them in there.

Okay, closet 2. This is the recent victim to the spread of stuff! You can see that the luggage racks are still in there. A sad testament to the sacrifice that was needed. Actually if guests come, I could probably move all the clothes into another closet so there would be plenty of space to hang stuff up. We also have an armoire that is empty so they can unpack in there.

There are not a lot of clothes in there. Mainly some Summer season skirts and tops. But you can sort of see the shoes stacked up in here.

When I did the big switch around I decided to organize my shoes by color. I've got whites and pinks and creams in here, as well as floral patterns and a bunch of sandals. I could probably list all of them out, but really, who has that kind of time?

Now, onto the really big show... the Master bedroom stuff. I know this is about the closets, but I really couldn't get along without my armoire. This thing is packed!

OMG! Look at all of that. It looks crazy here, but actually it is well organized, I swear! The top shelf has purses in the back and some smaller accessories and clutches in the front. The vase on the left is holding some hair things and my new vintage pink sunglasses. In the middle are boxes with my feather fascinators from KissCurl topped by a vintage glove box (filled with gloves, of course).

The second shelf has tights and knee socks from this year in a range of colors and then sweaters. I keep my knit stuff folded and organized by color. So the middle is greys/blacks and then a big pile of argyles in a variety of colors. In front are perfumes and my little feather poof wand.

The lowest shelf has camisoles in the front and then more sweaters, pink/red, greens/cream and brighter shades.

This also has three drawers, the top drawer is filled with almost all of my jewelry and some belts. Recognize anything? The middle shelf is underthings for everyday and the bottom is for the actual lingerie. Whoo hoo!

Yeah, we haven't even gone to the closet yet and I'm showing you more stuff. I like to create categories and behind my master bedroom door there is another one.

That stack is mainly vintage. That's why all the boxes are the same. They're actually photo boxes repurposed to hold my eBay purchases. The good thing is I can use the little tags on the front to id what's inside. Plus they're only $2 each.

Finally! The daily closet. Drum roll please...

See how narrow that is? That has to explain why I've taken over three closets. What's fun/weird about this closet is that I have to step down two steps to go into it. It's on the same level as the bathroom. The bar for the closet is in the middle of the space. On the plus side I can stack shoe boxes all the way up the back wall. There are also two shelves back there.

I've also added a few hooks for some additional easy access, two on the front and one below the clothes for some bags.

Hey, look! It's some of my new sale stuff. Once it gets worn it will be integrated into the herd. Right now it's in staging mode.

The top shelf has some of my luggage, another obsession. I buy all these really cute bags and then they are too nice to go on the plane. I need to take more road trips. I mean, I can't be expected to check that cute pink Dooney pilot case. It would be ruined!

See the lower hook for the bags? What I used was a shelf support and then put some velcro on top to keep the handles from getting scratched or slipping off. I step down and duck under the clothes to get to the back. I know it's kind of crazy but, what can you do?

More shoes!

Does that look excessive?

These are all organized by color - black, then browns, then reds, then greens and so on.

I also tend to stage my shoes. So until I wear them for the first time, they hang out for a while on the toy chest I use for storing my yoga and workout clothes. This kind of typifies how I look at shoes and fashion. There's a mix of vintage, new Manolos and inexpensive pumps. I like them all.

So there's a peek into my secret lair.

For more fun take a peek at these:
Jennine at The Coveted exposes her closet, which may be smaller than mine

Gala took everyone through a thorough Wardrobe Taming

Vivre owner, Eva Jeanbart-Lorenzotti has the closet of my dreams (almost). Hers and others are featured at Brilliant Asylum

A closet must-have: wooden hangers, preferably monogrammed. I'm still saving up for mine.

Unless you want a more whimsical closet - then go for cloud hangers. Even your clothes will have sweet dreams.

I'm not the only one who loves closets.


Daniela said...

Since your guest room closet is looking somewhat... sparse... is having a sale on cashmere today only; up to 70% off.

Not being an enabler or anything... but a girl has to share a good sale!

Princess Poochie said...

You're pure evil! : )

Thanks for the heads up!


emily said...

wow, impressive.. ;-)
though i wonder what about the idea of converting part of your attic or office space for ONE GIANT closet? ;-)

Princess Poochie said...

Ha! I wish, but our attic is not good for that. But the space would be awesome!