A Happy Closet

Recently, my family and I attended a convention for my husband’s line of work. The convention was at a Disney Resort in Orlando, Florida.  Disney World itself was hot, tiring, overwhelming, confusing… very much like childbirth.   And just like labor you kind of block out the bad parts and have this strange feeling that you would do it all again. During the convention we were very fortunate to have a spouse’s breakfast with two guest speakers, Bobbie Thomas, the Today Show Style Correspondent and Gretchen Rubin, bestselling author of The Happiness Project. Although these may sound like two very different presentations, there was a lot in common between them.

The uber-fabulous Bobbie Thomas.

Both women were warm, funny, genuine and excellent speakers. I truly felt like I was having a conversation with a girlfriend as opposed to sitting in the audience. Bobbie had some amazing tips. For example, don’t commit “shoeacide” – when the whole outfit looks great but you fail with the shoes. They don’t have to be the trendiest or tallest but make sure they are in good condition and in line with the rest of your outfit.  Visit her website to see her demonstration on cardi-wraps, one of her must have basics. I swear she can do no less than 63 outfits with a cardi-wrap with options to flatter everybody’s shape and size. The overall theme to Bobbie’s presentation was not how to make over your style, but very much how to create a wardrobe that reflects who you are – through color, fit and personalizing your outfit with accessories. I absolutely loved how she said that your clothing is a way for you to “talk to the world without words.” So very true!

If you are not familiar with Gretchen’s book, The Happiness Project, it is her personal journey researching how to be “happy” and what that word really means. It was  helpful that she spoke with actual concrete tools that we can use to achieve a happier everyday life. One was  as basic as energy – really, truly, getting enough sleep and exercise.  Also, knowing your own body and senses – make yourself and your body comfortable – get enough to eat, ensure you have the right lighting, temperature control, smells that feel good around you. One of the biggest results from her research was how much clutter affects  our mood. Gretchen stated the obvious but often overlooked, “Outer order contributes to inner calm.”

So often when I go into someone’s home and into their closet so much is revealed. Sometimes the whole not wanting to get dressed thing comes directly from the way the person’s closet looks. We all would like a closet like Oprah’s that looks like our own personal boutique,  I’d even settle for her bff  Gayle’s closet!

Oprah's own store, I mean closet. via oprah.com

Yeah…but that’s not going to happen considering mine isn’t even the size of her shoe island. But who says you can’t make the best use of your own space?  If your wardrobe is the suit of armor that we use to face the world every single day, than shouldn’t that suit of armor be granted a dignified space? It deserves a space where you go in and everything fits you – inside and out. That is achievable, even without Oprah’s resources. Little touches to make the space more inviting will make you want to go into your closet, want to take care of it and in general be a great place to start your day. Is there a paint color that you love but it just doesn’t work  in the rest of your home? Maybe it is something ultra-girly like “frosted lilacs?” Then paint your closet walls that color. Or  try a very cool geometric print wallpaper. If you are out and see some beautiful fabric boxes why not buy those for storage in your closet. A funky runner rug, unusual chandelier, whatever it is make sure it makes you smile every time you enter your closet.

photo via pinterest

Recently, I helped a client who had multiple closets around her home but her main closet was practically empty. She was suffering from the classic “I have nothing to wear.” Consolidating her separate closets into one organized by color and function gained her a whole “new” wardrobe.  Only things that were extreme to summer, winter, or formal ware were removed and the result was a cohesive collection that gave her a lot of versatility. Organizing by color creates a huge impact visually and is pleasant for the eye. If you take care of your wardrobe it will take care of you. Empty your closet of the useless clutter and I promise you will feel lighter as well.

A "happy" visual

*Insider tip –  Although it may be an investment upfront, buying the best matching hangers that you can afford will give your closet that “boutique” feel, regardless of the size. It is also vital for taking care of your clothing items so that they don’t get stretched out because of improper hanging. It sounds trivial but if you buy a more quality item it will be in your closet for years to come and multiple wears if it is taken care of when not being worn. I simply prefer the look of the classic wooden hanger with small notches at the tops. However, they are heavier and take up more room in your closet.

Another new and popular item is the felt “huggable” hangersfirst made popular by Joyce Mangano. Knockoff versions can be found at many different stores and price points but make sure the quality is there and they can support heavier items.  See what works for you and pick out the best for your budget.

Wooden hangers from Hope Depot
joy mangano hangers via tidyhouse.com

*Insider tip – Sign up and follow blogs and websites you like! It is the easiest way to have tips and relatable advice sent right to your inbox. Hopefully you will follow mine and I strongly suggest signing up for the words of wisdom from both Bobbie and Gretchen. I think it will soon become obvious to you how a  happy wardrobe makes for a happy you.

 www.bobbie.com                                      www.happiness-project.com

Published by suziegaffney

owner at Suzie Gaffney Styling

4 thoughts on “A Happy Closet

  1. Just love all your wonderful closet tips. I am inspired to go clean my closet now. Tired of looking at winter clothing I need my spring clothes to be brought out.

  2. Thank you Suzie for sharing your experience with these two dynamic woman. I will definitely sign up for their blogs and am also interested in reading the Happiness Project. I look forward to your blog entries.

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