A peek inside my closet

before and afterWith Marie Kondo inspiring people world-wide, many are tackling their “tidying” tasks. And while getting rid of things that don’t spark joy is a good thing, what to do with the ones that do?

There have been many closet organization articles – nay, books – written on the subject. Over the years I have tried a few, including my seasonal closet flip where I banish off-season clothes to another space.

I still felt angst. Something wasn’t right. Just lumping all my fall-winter clothes into a closet still seemed disorganized. I have been a fan of putting the things you wear back on the right side of the closet, so you can see the stuff on left side is things you never wear.

But that leads to a bit of a jumble.

Enter my new closet organization solution.

I have organized first by item type (pants, jackets, skirts, tops, dresses) and then grouped them by colour, regardless if they’re winter or summer clothes. This last bit is where the madness comes in.

Cats and dogs living together?! Mon dieu!

Here’s my thinking. Perhaps something I normally wear in summer can provide a pop of colour to an otherwise dark winter outfit. Or, with arctic-level air conditioning in summer, a warm sweater on top of a light dress can be just right.

Revolutionary. Well, at least for me.

my closet jan 26 2019

Yes, this is an Ikea Pax wardrobe.

Here’s what my closet looks like now, well at least my jackets and pants. (Dresses, skirts, blouses and cardigans are in the next wardrobe over. Sweaters, jeans are in the baskets below. T-shirts and tops are folded in a dresser.) I have aligned my colours vertically so that it’s easy to see thepants and jackets that go together.

I learned many things:

  • I have far too many black/black patterned jackets.
  • Despite seasons of searching, I still don’t have a red jacket.
  • My wardrobe is mostly black/green/brown, with a little blue and wine mixed in and whites for summer. Huh. Who knew?

When putting together an outfit, you should always start with a base item – and now my base pieces are colour-coordinated. I feel like it will be easier to pull outfits now since I can start with a base, choose a coordinating piece and then add a pop of colour.

This works for me. What works for you?


The French Girl Style Myth

eiffel tower

The world is fascinated by French girl style. After all, who could possibly be more chic? I, myself, have read many books and articles proclaiming to decode French girl style. Why is it so mysterious and perfect at the same time?

It wasn’t until I was actually in Paris a couple of years ago that I experienced French girl style for myself. Eager to learn their style secrets, I spent much time observing French girls in their native habitat: strolling in Le Marais district, in cafes on the left bank, in quiet streets off the Champs Elysee, relaxing at the beach-like ponds in Les Tuilleries (although many of the folks in this pic are likely tourists like we were…)Tuileries_Garden_pond_chairs

What did I learn?

Some French girl style facts are true: most don’t wear makeup, most don’t have perfectly coiffed hair, most wear a lot of black. They smoke too much and I never saw anyone jogging.

But there truly isn’t a style formula that one can emulate. Why? Because the biggest differentiator is French girl attitude.

There’s a playful mix of bold confidence and seductive sexiness that are the main factors that define French girl style. They aren’t obsessing about that last 5 pounds to lose, or whether red shoes with a green trench coat is the right thing. They’re confident enough about themselves, their bodies and their looks not to care what others think. It’s just that simple.

Their just-tumbled-out-of-bed hair and no makeup look suggests they’re more concerned with living life on their own terms. It says the French girl has more important things to do than spend an hour a day in front of the mirror.

If you don’t like her red shoes and green trench, then clearly, it’s because you’re out of touch. That’s her confidence shining through, where we mere mortals might be stressing about what others think.

So instead of trying to perfect French girl style, why not be your most perfect you? That starts from the inside, with confidence and a peu d’importance (of little significance) attitude.

Wear clothes that give you confidence, make you comfortable and express your inner fierceness. Own it. There’s a saying that goes, “people wouldn’t care so much what others think about them if they realized how rarely they do.”

So, be bold, be strong, be resilient.

Wear what makes you happy.