Know When To Hold ‘Em: The Closet Edit Revisited


While you’ve been riding camels in Doha (with just the right wardrobe, I must say)…

I’ve been doing the work of a wardrobe consultant in Washington, D.C. — editing wardrobes.  This past week, I had the real joy of combing through the closet of one of the most chic, well-presented women I know.  Her collection of exquisite dresses, jackets, fabulous shoes and knits is not only stunning but really well curated and edited.  Every piece has a purpose.  If I weren’t following the high moral code of all wardrobe consultants worldwide (we really haven’t formed as a group, but I can see it coming), several of my client’s things would have somehow made their way to a give-away pile with me as the beneficiary.

My purpose there was less of a “slash and burn” mission and more of a consideration of her overall wardrobe and how it could be put together in a more meaningful way for her professional and social life.  She had told me that she didn’t hold on to anything she wasn’t wearing or didn’t need — and her closet was a clear reflection of this approach.  About mid-review, I found a GORGEOUS long jacket/sweater/robe-like-coat in her closet for which I would give my right arm.  When I asked her about it, she said she found it through a trunk show a few years ago — a Pamella Roland design — had loved it but hadn’t worn it much recently because she didn’t know if it was still in vogue with its unstructured design and below-the-knee length.  Also, she hadn’t found the right occasions for it, as it presented a sort of “boudoir” appeal which isn’t so D.C.  We considered the coat for some time: whether to cut it shorter…or even, gasp, get rid of it if it didn’t serve a purpose.  I took a photo of her in it for my files:

Client wearing Pamella Roland cashmere/wool robe coat

We both knew it was a keeper, but didn’t know what look she would be going for when wearing it.  The answer was not long in coming. The next day when reading my WWD, I was hit with the front page photo of a model wearing pieces from the Pre-Fall 2012 Collection from Nina Ricci.  There it was — a long-ish unstructured leopard “robe coat” that was described as having being “lingerie-inspired.”  You just don’t see “robe coats”  two days in a row and not take notice.

Peter Copping for Nina Ricci Pre-Fall 2012 Collection

And if that weren’t enough of a sign from heaven, two days later I saw this, again reading WWD, from Maison Marten Margiela for Pre-Fall 2012:

Maison Marten Margiela Oversized Coat for Pre-Fall 2012

Made from satin-trimmed wool blankets, this luxurious looking coat lacks that all-buttoned-up feel.  Of course, I could think only of the oatmeal Pamella Roland that is just itching to come out into the light for next September.  My client and I agreed: hold it, don’t fold it.  So now our new objective is to find the right dress or pieces for next Fall that will keep the robe coat looking more like a coat than a robe.

Here’s the closet editorial tip:  For those pieces in your wardrobe that were great at the start but have perhaps lost their edge or purpose along the way, hold on to them.  Try them on once a year to check the fit and whether they are still becoming on you.  Then watch the trends ebb and flow to see if you can wear the piece in a new way a few years later. If it was a significant investment piece and still looks good on you, hold it as long as you have a place in your closet for it.

Back to you, Ann, on the camel.

(Photos courtesy of Tyler Prochnow, Julia Farr and Dominique Maitre)



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2 responses to “Know When To Hold ‘Em: The Closet Edit Revisited

  1. Joyce Farr

    Great analysis and guidance . I thought the coat might look good on Ann on the camel! XXX Mom

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