by EBB on Friday, March 16, 2012
The modern mother may, on occasion, wander into her closet - look around in frustration and wander back out again. The explanation is simple of course, the poor thing has NOTHING to wear. But wait, you might say, what are all those items hanging from racks and sitting in drawers? Aren't those clothes? Yes, they are clothes. But they are not the right clothes for today. Or any other day between now and the start of summer. They are warm wooly clothes and cozy corduroy clothes. They are boots and silk blouses. They are winter clothes. And the modern mother is sick of them all.
At this point the modern mother may start to look for some "spring clothes" only to discover - she does not seem to have any and possibly never did. Except for a few things that look like something a Somali Pirate might wear in a pinch. Did we mention that the modern mother does not love to shop? She like clothes and she likes to look nice but hours spent wandering around stores and trying things on is just not her idea of fun.
If only there was someone who could help.
Then she remembers. What about the lovely ladies over at W2WW? They seem to know a lot about clothes. So she picks up the phone and asks if they do any sort of "emergency closet intervention." Luckily, for the modern mother, they agree to help. She is given an appointment and expected to prepare by doing the following:
Step 1. Closet Sweep - go through all your clothes and decide whether to a) keep, b) store or c) give away. If it is not flattering or you never wear it - it goes away. She learned a lot about this process in this book.
Step 2. Once she has decided what to keep, organize her clothes by season, item and color. If she is lucky she may be able to store out of season items in another area.
Step 3. Have the clothes she wishes to focus on ready for the appointment. In this case the modern mother was looking for help with everyday spring ensembles. Some a bit dressy but in general something she could wear around town, to work in her home office and to collect the enfants terrible at school.
Then the fun began. The lovely Jennifer and Lisa of W2WW arrived and the intervention occurred. The modern mother has laid out her meager spring wardrobe on her bed and hung a collection of "what do I do with this?" pieces on a garment rack she had recently picked up.
The ladies were fabulous. Jennifer was typing away on her laptop while she and Lisa shouted out suggested combinations and ensembles the modern mother would never have known existed. They might look at a pair of trousers and say something like "Try those with the navy sweater, do you have a striped t-shirt? OK, add it to her list. What about ballet flats? You need a more neutral color. " And so on. Or they might look at a skirt and say "That is doing nothing for you." Which in the end may be the best help of all.
After the lovely ladies left, promising to email her some thoughts, the modern mother felt like she was getting somewhere. Not only did she have more to wear than she thought; she had also gleaned a good sense of what strategic pieces she might need. For this dear reader, she has learned, is her biggest problem. The modern mother lacked a coherent strategy when shopping. She would go to the store with some half-baked notion that she needed some spring clothes. No list, no colors in mind, just the vague sense that she needs something to wear. She would then gravitate to items she liked with little regard for how they would work with the rest of her wardrobe. This friends, is how she has ended up with seven charcoal ribbed zip cardigans and thirteen kaftans in assorted colors (apparently these are called clones in the closet re-org business).
Before she could even start to make her list, the best thing of all happened. An email arrived. The most helpful fashion email ever. It was an excel spreadsheet listing the spring items in her wardrobe in the left column followed by what items they could be worn with on the right. It was brilliant! Stupendous! Then it got better. Below her own clothing was a list of suggested items to "fill in" her wardrobe, what they would work with and links (dear reader, can you stand it!) to those recommended items. Wonderful suggestions in a variety of price points such as the j.crew toothpick jeans, sperry flats, tanks from old navy, and a lovely Theory top from Sacks.
All in all the modern mother can't thank the W2WW ladies enough for saving her from herself and her closet.