wardrobe therapy

Ever look into your closet and just wonder, "What the heck is going on in here?" The Magpie had one of those moments, staring into the abyss of a somewhat cluttered, borderline neglected closet and realized it was long overdue for a review. It was made all the more apparent when I was very honored to be included in 425 Magazine's Voices of Fashion article, featuring several a-mazing local fashion and style experts. I just felt very lucky and extremely fortunate to be included, and I keep waiting for a voice to bellow down from the heavens: What the heck are you doing on this list, you Old Bird?! But talking about trends, both fleeting and forever golden, got me looking into what's sitting on my hangers at home. I realized, good gravy, this closet needs a serious look-over!

Our wardrobes are very much like employees. Our clothing is with us every day, but ultimately, they work for us, to prepare us for wherever the day takes us, and like any employee, reviews are necessary. I periodically edit my closet, pulling pieces I haven't worn in a while and donate them, or if it's something I still love but there's nowhere I'd wear the item to, I give friends first dibs. It's like making sure a puppy has a good home. But I needed to take a harder look, with a creative eye, to identify what was truly getting voted off the island, and what still had potential, if I gave it more thought. 

I rediscovered an old favorite pencil skirt -- one that I actually sewed myself; it was inspired by a J. Crew skirt from many seasons ago that had little embroidered anchors on it. I found an emerald green fabric with little pink flamingos embroidered, and I thought that would make for a grand skirt. I hadn't worn it for a while, but paired with a new pair of Ikat-print flats, the skirt felt new, and I was excited about the piece again. I dug through my tangle of costume jewelry where I always get a little stressed, looking at all the possibilities of what to wear. I struggle with some pieces, wondering how I'll wear them, but then I try mixing things that would never seem to make sense, like an oversized silver bead necklace that almost looks like pearls, with a bright pink 80s fringe necklace -- somehow this works. And now I can't stop wearing these crazy things together! 

It just took some extra time to really revisit all the pieces in one's wardrobe, experiment with layering and piecing things together, knowing that for every 5 or 6 failed pairings, there will be one that makes the style lightbulb glow bright above your head. And sometimes it takes a little incentive to dig through clothing you haven't looked at in a while -- a new pair of shoes, jewelry, a fun blouse, can make an old thing feel new again. I keep a rule stuck in my head every time I put an outfit together: something old, something new, so that everything is integrated and your wardrobe can feel like a somewhat less-than-dysfunctional family. And when all else fails: a hat can really finish a look!

Jaunty Fine Print: Photos by Denise Sakaki

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