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A Tale of Two Closets

A Tale of Two Closets

by Melissa Magasaysay

In the time of peak closet clean out, two women discover what must-have items they need to create their ideal wardrobe

With a nationwide quarantine taking place and an indefinite amount of time to spend at home, many people will find themselves dumping out drawers, clearing out racks of clothes from their closets and in general “project” mode as ways to feel both productive and distracted from the world’s current global health pandemic.

Closet organization experts and all around stylish individuals, 11 Honoré’s VP of client services, Katie Murphy and design director, Danielle Williams Eke have taken deep dives into their respective closets this week to create space and peace of mind. The process has been more thorough than usual for both and the results proved fruitful for a more minimal closet, plus discovering the most essential pieces they need to have a practical and inspired wardrobe.

“If I haven't worn it within the year and I don’t see myself wearing it in the upcoming season, I donate it. I try not to think too hard about it, because I can always create an excuse for something!”
A Tale Of Two Closets
Here, Katie and Danielle go through their closet cleanout techniques and pinpoint the exact pieces they need for proper wardrobe replenishment.

Q&A with Katie and Danielle

What kind of closet clean out have you done? (more extreme than usual?)

KM: My normal spring cleaning has gone to another level. Believe it or not, I am a minimalist when it comes to what’s in my closet. So, I usually take my closet edits pretty seriously, but I reached an all time high over here.

DWE: Social distancing has allowed me to spend some much needed time cleaning out my closet, more than I have in the last year!

WHAT IS YOUR GENERAL APPROACH TO CLEANING OUT YOUR CLOSET?

KM: I learned this from years of working at The Real Real: only keep what you wear and donate or consign the rest. It’s a really simple rule that I don’t over think. I have a pretty constant flow of out with the old, in with the new. I have a whole process of trying everything on to “retest” it. I try to style it differently and if it doesn’t wow me, then it’s going. I’m pretty tough about what stays.

DWE: My general approach is to focus on the upcoming season, so currently spring and summer. Then I usually think about if I wore it in the past year or last season. If I haven't worn it within the year and I don’t see myself wearing it in the upcoming season, I donate it. I try not to think too hard about it, because I can always create an excuse for something!

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST DISCOVERY/REVELATION IN THIS CLEAN OUT?

KM: That I have too many dresses. Don’t get me wrong, I love dresses and would consider myself a dress girl, but I need some variety.

DWE: My biggest discovery is that my style has changed within the past year. I think there are clear staples that will always be relevant in my wardrobe, but there are quite a few items that I’m no longer emotionally attached to.

WHAT DO YOU REALIZE YOU NEED MORE OF AND WHY?

KM: You’d laugh if you saw my notes (oh yes, I take notes during my closet cleanouts, so I stay organized and know where and what I need to fill in.) I need basics. I have some of the core pieces covered (great-fitting jeans in most styles), but I don’t have an updated classic black blazer. I also need a non-black, solid color cocktail dress. I need tops and chic pants that are comfortable, but not jeans, something meeting appropriate. And I need spring weight leather. Yes, I need it! It is still chilly in NYC well into May, but I prefer to wear light weight and light colored leather over my dresses to keep it fresh, but also not freeze.

DWE: I realized I needed more woven tops, blazers and dresses that can be worn day to night.

What items are you buying in order to replenish your wardrobe in a way that makes the most sense now?

KM: I’m buying the Veda Baby Jayne white leather jacket, the RtA black blazer, a Wingate classic white blouse and Christian Siriano textured black pants.

DWE: 11 Honoré has a great assortment of wardrobe staples right now. Tops from Bacaal, RtA and ALC. Great blazers from RtA and Veronica Beard. As well as versatile dresses from Veronica Beard, DVF and Bacaal.

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