Yes, that’s right, the Parisian closet philosophy. Sounds very technical, very chic, n’est-ce pas? It’s a concept that my friend Mimi introduced to me at Ef’s one-year anniversary party and it stuck. She explained that due to Paris’s cramped quarters, Parisians typically have small closets. Instead of crowding their apartments with mounds of clothing and letting things get really out of control, they keep a tidy closet of a reasonable number of high-quality, well-fitted clothing. The pieces are classic, tailored, easy to mix n’ match and can be bedazzled with fun accessories. Now of course, we realize that not all Parisians have small closets and a minimalist wardrobe but they are known for their love of black, simplicity and the magic of a fabulous accessory to add pop to an everyday garb.
Inspired by this idea and by the fact that my closet is painfully Parisian in its size, Mimi and I tackled my bursting wardrobe and captured my Parisian closet purge on camera. I’m in the midst of editing the video but wanted to share with you a post from West Coast fashion blogger, Zoë of Lion Heart Vintage. I discovered her great blog while researching for the video and she generously agreed to write a post for us about her own Parisian closet clean up. Big thanks to you Zoë!
Picture this: you’re sifting through a bottomless pile of clothes that you bought on a whim and now can’t seem to wear. You’ve broken into a light sweat, you’re running late, and you’ve begun to mildly doubt whether you even like clothes anymore… “Who invented clothes anyway? THOSE FOOLS!” As you try once more to dig through your closet, the garments morphs into a giant Clothes Monster made from a once-worn plaid cape and cheap leopard-print boots… You just barely make it out alive, vowing to simplify, organize, pare down, purge!
We’ve all been there. Even the most well meaning, eco-conscious fashion-lover or thrift-fanatic can get caught up in excess shopping, passing trends, or “retail therapy”. It can feel great in the moment (“It was half off!”, “It’s one of a kind!”), but what we end up with is colossal piles of clothes we either never wear or never needed in the first place. What it really comes down to is that this kind of wardrobe can become just plain STRESSFUL. As a result of many dealings with my very own Clothes Monster, I’ve developed a seasonal strategy to keep my closet under check. I call it The Parisian Closet Purge.
I’ve always admired many Parisians for their timeless style and emphasis on classic pieces – well-cut trousers, silk blouses, striped sweaters, versatile footwear, etc. Simple and seasonally-transitional items that give proof to the motto “less is more”. In taking these guidelines to heart, I now attempt to do at least one big reorganization and purge of my closet every season. Let me tell you, it has done wonders for honing my personal style and allowing me to tune into the kinds of pieces I truly appreciate. Next time I see something on sale or at a thrift store, I think: “Will I just be getting rid of this in my next closet purge?”
A really fun outcome of these closet purges has been coordinating and combining efforts with friends – helping each other stay objective (sometimes ruthless) about getting rid of those duds we never wear, as well as doing clothing swaps and recycling our items, or giving things away to charities. This time around I took a few of my purged items to a local consignment store where I’ll hopefully make some money back. Who knew getting rid of clothes could be eco-friendly, community boosting, and dare I say… fun?
So this Spring take a leaf from the Parisian’s book and try focusing your efforts on paring down your closet to the items that are most classic and essential to your personal style. Just think of it as anti-Clothes Monster insurance! ^_^