“Home Shopping” Has New Meaning – Proactive Wardrobe Planning is Part of the Big Picture

The next time you decide to go shopping for new clothes visit your closet instead. I believe I had a spiritual experience Saturday. Instead of spending a ton of money online or at the mall, I decided to visit my closet.

Shopping online at favorite websites seemed like a fun way to spend Saturday morning. There was a ton of new clothes already in my shopping cart when I had to make a trip to my closet to get a trouser size. The shopping cart had James Perse T-shirts and cargo pants, Vince sweaters and Juicy Couture Bermuda shorts. I was having a ball as I usually do when I find a good sale or bargain.

I was going to buy a new pair of James Perse parachute cargo pants when I needed to verify my size. So, low-and-behold, I walked into my closet to see which size I bought last month. That’s when I decided to take a closer look at the clothes hanging neatly in sections of pants, shorts, capris, blouses, dresses, T-shirts, jackets and coats. Actually, my closet looks like a well-organized section of a high-end department store. I’m in the designer handbag and purse business, so I make it a habit of collecting high-end fashion from every cool website and boutique possible.

My shoes are all neatly organized by Designer names and color-labeled on the outside of the box. My favorite sneaker collection is the Nike Rift in wild colors and patterns. Camper leather shoes are very comfortable so I have many neatly arranged red boxes on the shelves. Prada Sport shoes range from flat to platform, and they are all color marked and labeled. Hermes dress shoes get worn less, but nonetheless, they are neatly arranged on the shelf.

I have a soft-spot for boots, so my collection of Henry Cuir, Prada, Ann Demeulemeester, Mosquito, Robert Clergerie, Camper, Miu Miu, Diesel, Michael KORS, UGG, and Ralph Lauren are all neatly labeled and waiting to be worn. They range from ankle height to over-the-knee style, and I wear them with just about anything when I’m in the mood for boots. My favorites are a new gaucho style from Brazil. And, of course, you can’t beat the light weight of Henry Cuir for warm weather.

My closet is really a fun place to visit and keep organized. All the Hermes designer purses are neatly stored in their orange boxes and labeled on the outside. Of course, my favorite of all the Hermes designer handbags are the impossible to source Birkin bags. The Hermes Market Bag is also a fun medium style and great to grab for daytime or evening wear.

As I stood looking for the James Perse cargo pant size, I realized I had several things I had not worn with tags still attached. So, I began pulling items and holding them next to each other. Then, without hesitation, I began coordinating outfits from the closet’s contents. I found tops I forgot I had. I found double James Perse T-shirts in the same color and style! I was having the time of my life. All of a sudden I realized home shopping had a new meaning. Balenciaga and Dries Van Noten blouses were funkier than ever! Marc Jacobs, Yves Saint Laurent and Eskandar jackets were fashionable, timeless pieces. Robert Rodriguez skirts, crochet tops and gaucho pants had never looked so beautiful.

It was impossible to coordinate items without trying them on, and I don’t buy clothes if they don’t look good on my figure, so I knew it all fit. I just hadn’t thought or taken the time to put certain things together. I tried on every outfit I coordinated. It was like buying new clothes. Robert Rodriguez met Marni for the first time, and they looked great together. Calvin Klein and Ya-Ya were a match made of 100% cotton! Dosa and Pinko are ready to wear to a party. As-is Gucci and Ann Demeulemeester. One of my favorite combinations is a green silk Bernard Willhelm dress worn over a pair of cotton Danang leggings.

Most of the time when I am getting ready to go out I walk into the closet and think there’s nothing to wear. Who would have ever thought Bernard Willhelm and Danang would be a good match? I’m usually too much in a hurry to think creatively when I need to pull items together and end up wearing the same thing too many times. Now, the task is done. Proactive wardrobe planning is now an integral part of the big picture.

Many of the items matched as though they were destined to be worn together. I found an off-white silk Armani asymmetric tunic I purchased on sale at Neiman Marcus about three years ago had dry-cleaned and never wore. The Armani tunic is now hanging over a Gary Graham black, silk, long, straight, sheath dress – also never worn. The two items look as though they were made for each other. The look is updated, the style is current, and I never wore either items! I can’t wait for a special occasion to wear the new outfit.

Shopping by instinct is a habit because I am a notorious bargain hunter. Shopping by need or any other motivation rarely produces good results. So, the colors, styles and designs in my closet all blend into one another creating a personal style. You know, probably just like many creative shopper-types.

The items I tend to buy nowadays are signature, classic, funky, pieces I know I’ll wear or need someday! They range from Danang silk cargos to Rick Owens knitwear. Prices are usually all mark-downs because I don’t believe in paying full price unless of course, the price is right! My entire small business was based on off-retail pricing, so I must walk my talk personally, too. I truly believe below-retail is the only way to shop.

Running a small Internet ecommerce website lends itself to simple, comfortable work clothes. Sitting at a computer all day is ideal for comfortable, funky, cottons and sweats. So, when I go out, I like to add a bit more style and accessories. Marni jewelry and Hermes silk scarves can really upscale a plain T-shirt or cotton skirt. For shoes, a pair of simple, Prada sandals or a pair of Kork Ease platforms are my favorite shoes to wear with just about anything. It’s difficult to believe I’ve been in love with and wearing Kork Ease for over thirty years! Pulling it all together and making the look fashionable is easy when there’s a closet full of almost forgotten Designer clothes, shoes and designer handbags.

Home shopping has a new meaning. The time I spent matching tops, bottoms, shoes and purses saved me loads of prep time for my next date, meeting, appointment, etc. Most of the quality time shopping at home was spent coordinating the items I rarely wear leaving everyday and very casual items to a more free-style mood selection process. I’m no longer worried about what to wear to dinner Monday night, or what I’ll wear if/when he asks me out! It’s all there, and it’s been there just waiting for me to make the time to pull it all together. Do I feel relieved? Yes. Do I feel as though my time was well-spent? Yes. Do I need to buy more clothes? Of course, but not this weekend! I’ll save that activity for next week, or maybe after I’ve had a chance to wear everything currently in my closet at least once!