Fashion Lesson #18 "Closet Control"

I am reading an interesting book by Barbra Horowitz entitled “Closet Control“. It discusses techniques on how to edit your wardrobe, arrange your closet and turn old treasures into new.

Barbra starts her book introducing readers to her three wardrobe philosophies: Eco-Selfish, Sweaters In Your Head and Small Space, Big Dreams.

First, she defines Eco-Selfish as “…working with what you have rather than constantly buying more”.  Readers are encouraged to renew old items by having them tailored in a different way (i.e. sleeves cut or dress shortened into a top) or by shrinking or dying old pieces.

Ms. Horowitz is known for her interesting techniques in cutting old t-shirts into a new designs.  Below, is a video demonstrating how she reconstructs a new T-Shirt.

I’m not exactly sure about that T-Shirt for me, but she does have some other interesting designs in her book.  One useful tip that I did walk away with, was to not be afraid to cut off the bottom of my T-Shirts.  I have an extra long shirt that was really popular about two years ago, but now looks a little dated.  I cut off the bottom and pulled it so the edge rolled (to hide my uneven cutting) and now it looks great.  Now that I think about it, I have another really cute shirt tucked away that I could use this same technique on.

The Second philosophy she discusses is Sweaters In Your Head.  In her book, she relays an encounter with one of her clients who remarked, “It’s hard to let go of that sweater in your head”, referring to the struggle we all have in purging old items that have a story or represent a meaningful period in our lives.

Barbra’s solution is to either re-work the old garment in a new way by re-tailoring, cutting, dying or shrinking it; or to re-sell or donate it when possible.

For most people I work with, I think that letting go of an old wardrobe is very difficult.  However, giving away a garment go doesn’t mean that you are letting go of a memory, it simply allows you more room in your closet for more.

Moreover, how many times have you looked in your closet and said to yourself, I don’t have anything to wear?  The truth is, you may not, so it’s time to purge.


Which brings me to the last of Barbra’s philosophies Small Space, Big Dreams.  With this philosophy, she urges us to keep our “wardrobes lean and light.”

How many times have you walked into your closet and felt overwhelmed by the disorganization and the sheer volume of your wardrobe?  Many times we wear a select number of pieces and ignore the rest.  Barbra purges her closet 4 times a year (once for each season) and either donates or resells her clothing. 

If it has been a long time since you have purged your closet, you may have a very large donate pile due to all of your dated pieces.  But, with regular editing, the resell pile will become larger and you will have more money to re-invest in your current wardrobe.  Further, I agree with Barbra that one should not hold on to items older than three years.

When it comes time to break free from your old wardrobe and create room for your new abundance, Barbra has the following “Closet Commandments”:

  1. Remove everything from the closet.
  2. Clean the space-don’t be afraid to use a little elbow grease!
  3. Paint the space (optional, of course, but worth the effort).
  4. Plan how you will fill the space-grab a pen and paper and start diagramming.
  5. Purchase storage and organizing pieces.
  6. Put everything back.

If you are looking for some great ideas on how to maximize space in your closet, click here for some inspiring illustrations.

Finally, in reading “Closet Control”, I felt that Barbra had several interesting ideas and is well worth the time to read.  Her philosophy may give you that gentle nudge you have needed to pay attention to your closet and its contents.

To read more about this book or purchase it, click here.  Don’t forget that you can also pick this book up from your local library (I did).

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Filed under books, Business, Fashion, fashion blogger, Fashion Lesson, Fashion Sensei, Metro Detroit, retail, Style, Trends

3 responses to “Fashion Lesson #18 "Closet Control"

  1. Hm, I really enjoyed that closet control piece. My closet isn’t too full to be honest, yet I’m still conservative about what I do add to it & sometimes edit what I already have if I feel like changing my look up a bit. lol

  2. Pingback: Bookmarks about Closet

  3. Thank you very much for the very thoughtful post. I am very grateful that you enjoyed Closet control.
    xBarbra Horowitz

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