The Curated Closet: Beginning Steps

Friday, February 17, 2017

Last spring, I had a pocketful of ThredUp credit, and a desire for summer simplicity, so I decided to do a capsule wardrobe for the months we were in Utah.

I was extremely careful about my picks, and put each new item through a rigorous love test to see if I would actually enjoy wearing it.  I returned a lot of stuff and really tried to be smart about my decisions.  I had high hopes for my careful capsule.

Five months later, I was sick and tired of most of my picks, and felt like I had chosen all the wrong clothes.  I was frustrated and unhappy with my clothing situation, and the whole experiment felt like a total failure (see more about that here).  There were a few shirts that I hardly ever wore, and some that I had initially loved, but didn't really work for me.

Despite originally thinking a capsule wardrobe would be just the thing, I decided capsule wardrobes weren't for me, and moved on.

Then, a few months ago, pictures of this book called "The Curated Closet" began popping up on my Instagram feed, and within just a few days, I had seen it, or heard about it about 5 times.  And conveniently it was on the new non-fiction shelf at my library just a few weeks later, and I knew I needed to check it out.

Once I read the first chapter, I knew it was going to help me fix my unhappy closet problem.

The author, Anushka Rees, walks you through an incredibly detailed description of how to make the closet of your dreams, with shopping guides, helpful examples and beautiful photos to keep you going when you don't think you can ever get there.  It isn't about capsules (although, there is a section about that in her book), but it talks about having a smallish wardrobe filled with the things you love, which sounds dreamy to me!

Over the next couple of weeks, I am going to walk you through my experience using this book, and how it is has helped me gain a greater vision of what I want my closet to look like, and how I am going to make that happen.

Finding your style is a somewhat lengthy process, but the rewards are great.  Effortless daily style, clothes that make you feel great, pieces that really fit you, and a wardrobe that can last for many years.

This journey begins by collecting a series of outfit images that appeal to you.  Styles that you like, combinations that appeal to you, maybe a particular piece that you love wearing.

I made a Pinterest board, but then, per Rees' suggestion, I combined it all onto one Photoshop page.  For this post, though, I actually broke it down into some specific pieces/looks that I like, so you can more easily see some patterns.

After I assembled a bunch of photos, I started going through and looking for trends and patterns in what I had pinned.  It was quickly obvious that I definitely had some preferences, and quite a specific style, despite my not feeling like that in my closet.

Here are a few of the patterns that I found in my board.

- Individual items - striped shirts (particularly tee shirts that are white with black or blue stripes) and button down blousy types (especially loose fitting); scarves; oversized sweaters and shirts (never boxy); Anorak jackets; medium brown ankle boots; high neck or turtleneck.
- Colors - black, white, tan (not for shirts), navy, light blue, burnt orange (or orangy red), grey, and olive green.
- Silhouettes - Fitted on bottom, loose on top, or loose on bottom (skirts only) and fitted on top.  
- Materials - Denim, wool, light cottons, linen, a little lace, leather.
- Styling - high waisted skinnies with a button down and a sweater, plus booties; oversized sweaters with jeans; loose tees with jeans or black pants.

Patterns in the pictures (you can find all the sources on my Pinterest page):
Chambray. All the chambray!

So many stripes! 
Orange.  I really like orange, and it makes me look tanner than I am.  
Brown leather accents.  I need more of these.  I totally love them, and have very few currently. I love these accents with olive, too. 
White button down shirts.  I just invested in a new one, and it was such a good feeling! Also, can you tell I love them with tan?  

Thanks for making it all the way through this insanely long post!  More to come on this soon, I promise!  These posts have been WEEKS in the making, so they will be coming over the next few weeks as I tell you more about my experience reading and working through this book.  I would love to hear about your experience if you have gotten and followed the directions in this book, too!

Elsie, from A Beautiful Mess has also been working in this book lately, and while her style is vastly different than mine, it has been fun to see her posting about it!


  1. I loved this post so much and can't wait to read more about it! And you picked such great outfits in all these collages.

    1. Thanks! It was surprisingly fun to put these all together!

  2. Since my closet is fairly getting overhauled, I look forward to more on this.

  3. I've been unconsciously dismissing all the items I don't like and I have almost nothing to wear now but clothes appropiate for working. This post couldn't have come in a better moment! Eager to see more of them!

  4. I've been unconsciously dismissing all the items I don't like and I have almost nothing to wear now but clothes appropiate for working. This post couldn't have come in a better moment! Eager to see more of them!

  5. making pinterest boards about home decorating was the most helpful thing to figure out what my style was in that department. Such a good idea to do it for outfits.

  6. excited to hear about this! This is an idea that appeals to more than capsules although it is quite similar.


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