My dream closet.

October 20, 2008

My dream closet is beautiful to behold. Like this:

My dream closet is well-curated, filled with things I love and love to wear. My dream closet is not stuffed. It is easy to navigate. My dream closet contains empty shelves.

But, alas, my dream closet is a figment. A fleet-footed phantom, out of reach of my clothes-horsing, co-habitating Small state of being. It is, of course, a dream.

In the real world, in the world of bad weather and trips to the gym and sartorial sentiment, my closet takes on the appearance of Henry VIII: overfed, overdressed, generally overboard.

I’m with it enough to realize that the above dream closet isn’t a real closet. And, if it were, it would be holed up in some temperate climate, one that doesn’t have rain and wind, and one that doesn’t make its owner walk two miles to work. This dream closet is a Hers closet; there’s no His here. No Pisa-like stack of balled up man-sweaters to constrain, no sets of fancy man-shoes, each pair of which takes up the square footage of four adorable ballet flats.

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t begrudge the dream closet these things. After all, I’m not interested in wishywashy climes. And it’s those His markers — the leaning towers of sweaters and Ronald McDonald dress shoes — that represent the closeness that comes with getting hitched (or, at least, living in the same house).

I do, however, begrudge the dream closet its pristinity. (Is that a word?) I begrudge its perfection, its aesthetics. I envy its simplicity; I envy its ease. But to attain said closet splendor means purging. It means purging, and not restocking. It means No New Threads, period. Either that, or a tit-for-tat tactic: one item in, one item out.

How to go about this? The “I haven’t worn it in six months” test? The “does it fit / does it flatter” scenario? The “wow, this is so ugly” frame of mind?

And, an even larger consideration: What will an exercise like this achieve? Will it keep me from scrounging secondhand stores? Will it keep me from filling up free space with something new?

The more I focus, the more I see the dream closet as a false symbol for self-control. Maybe it isn’t the dream closet I want. Maybe it’s the sophrosyne. Maybe it’s the so-called “simple life.”

Or maybe it’s that super-cute cropped jacket with the bluejay print, there on the left. Or the plaid wool overcoat. Or maybe that killer white tote. Yeah. Maybe that’s it.


17 Responses to “My dream closet.”

  1. Roberta said

    I’m with you my friend. I have tried and tried to get that closet. But you are right… where do my college softball t-shirts go… and the baby clothes I wore that mom thinks my kid should wear… eek! Good luck!!! My the closet gods be with you.

  2. Totally! I almost want to declare closet bankruptcy and start from scratch. Like on What Not to Wear.

    In any case, I found a robust closet-help post at Apartment Therapy; it’s worth a read.

  3. Rhonda said

    I love a post that sends me scurrying to my 12 pound Webster’s Unabridged! Now I not only know what sophrosyne means, but I also had to backtrack in the dictionary to find equipoise. I could have trusted my intuitive grasp from the roots but … must … have … official … corroboration … (can you till I’m a librarian?) That closet is, I agree, a work of art. Maybe that will be my new criteria for choosing articles of clothing, they must contribute to the artfulness of my closet. It really could be a novel way to build a coordinated wardrobe. And I’m sure this is sour grapes and a tendency toward contrariness, but it also brings to mind a cutesy quote that I have used in the past to justify my own messiness, “a clean desk is sign of a sick mind.” There must be a correlation to closets!

  4. Ha! I keep my cubicle clean to the Nth degree — I wonder if that’s the largest amount of space over which I can keep a modicum of control.

    I love the idea of turning your closet into an artwork in progress. I hadn’t thought of that, even after scrutinizing the closet above. What a great thought. Again, though, I might need to declare Wardrobe Chapter 11 and start from the beginning.

    Of course, maybe I should pick out the things that do work within the closet-as-art scenario, donate the rest (or just store it temporarily), and really get a feel for what I really wear.

  5. Rhonda said

    I just realized that you already own a perfect pair of shoes for this closet, those electric blue flats!

  6. Oh my gosh — you’re right! That’s it; I’m dream closeting today! :)

  7. Emily said

    As the proud owner of MY dream closet I have to say that it is worth every ounce of agony required to get it!

    Once I built the thing I filled it with things as they were washed. I HATE laundry so what has found its way back in is only the stuff I love! This has also made me VERY protective of it’s beauty and I am soooo picky about what comes to live in it’s beauty.

    Nowhere in your vows did it say that you HAVE to share a closet, did it? ;-)

  8. That’s a great idea for determining what you actually wear, Emily; sounds similar to the method in which you color code hangers (blue hangers for things that have been worn and washed, for example, and green hangers for the unworns).

    Nope, the vows didn’t state that we share a closet, but the tiny house did — we only have one, so we’re forced to make do. I think it’s a sham sometimes, but then I remember all of the other lovely aspects of my mini-house and I start to forgive its closet challenges. A little.

  9. I’m getting there. It’s so satisfying to look in the closet and see only things you actually want to wear!

  10. […] I’ll tell ya: it was easy this month, given my major bout of fed-upness with the state of my closet, and, by extension, my goiterous wardrobe. This weekend, I planned to […]

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  13. […] But more important than the in-closet laundry basket and the handbag hooks: keeping the things you own manageable. Like in my dream closet. […]

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  15. I have to say that my dream closet would be one like they have in the movies, one you can walk into and there are rows and rows of shoes, I just love shoes, and then rows and rows of shelves and hanging space. I think that this is any womans dream.

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