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Aunt Toby explains the wardrobe thingy

If you are the sort of person who has a closet full of stuff that you don’t wear and the feeling that you don’t have anything to wear, then this is for you. Please watch the video – it’s 5-6 minutes long. keep an open mind (don’t get all bound up with the rack, table and shoe display, ok?).

Now, a really good exercise is to take out a piece of paper and analyze what the stylist is doing here, so you might want to watch the video again. And this time, boil it down. Here is what I got:

There are two basic print families in this grouping, plus a tie-dye effect. One is a floral with orange, peach, sort of a putty color and navy blue. The other is a geometric which I’m not sure is brown or black, but which is on a cream-colored field and has orange in it. The tie-dye is this sort of grey-blue and I’m going to just pitch that to the side because with only a top and a long skirt, the designers were just doing a bit of brand extension here; those items are not central to the collection. What are the common features of both of these prints: the orange/peach family.

In the floral print, they are working with:
a long sleeved top
a long jacket with solid lapels
a sleeveless v-neck dress

In the geometric print, they have the print made up in a couple of fabrics – what looks like a fairly stretchy knit and a very lightweight chiffon sort of thing.
The knit has been made into:
a straight skirt
an Eisenhower jacket with putty colored accents at the hem, zipper and neck.

The chiffon has been made into:
a sleeveless cut-in at the shoulders top
a handkerchief hem dress
a flouncy skirt

There are several solid colors being used here:
White: Jacket, slim skirt, and pants
Navy: Jacket
Pumpkin: Drapy pants
Cream: Sleeveless top, an embroidered top, and a flared skirt
Orange: Asymmetric sleeveless top, crochet tunic-length sweater, and a short leather jacket with a ripply edging.
Black: leather laser-cup top, and leather shorts
Putty: short zip jacket

The white, cream, navy, black and putty are neutrals – they will basically go with everything. The one “wildcard’ color is: Orange (and I’ll throw the pumpkin in that color group also).

While you are at it (and this might require another viewing of the video), please note some of the more clever things the stylist is doing that would give the customer more ways to wear things:
— He puts the floral top with the floral pants, thus producing a jumpsuit effect (without the fuss and bother of how to negotiate the bathroom issues). Then he adds a contrasting jacket to dress it up. then he switches out the contrasting jacket, adds the contrasting belt and the matching print jacket with the dark contrasting lapels. The contrasting belt and lapels makes that work.
— He uses that cream colored top in a lot of the pairings and then puts it with the matching skirt with a fancy belt to create a dress-effect.

Now, no one is going to walk into the store, stand in front of the rack with the list in front of them and pick off every single item on the list. That’s nuts. But here is what you can do: Stand in front of YOUR closet and pull everything out and arrange it on the bed (and the floor if need be, and on a rack if you have one). Set the solid colors aside and arrange those in color groups. Then take a piece of paper or some 3×5 cards and write down what you have in the solid colors. You might find that you have an amazing number of items that are the same (like, a bunch of black skirts and pants, several black jackets and so on).

Then, look at all the print things and analyze, just as we did here, what will go with what. You may find (and I think we all do this) that you have ‘orphan’ items which go with nothing and other items that go with several things. You might also find that you have things that you can’t make an outfit out of no matter what you do because the color is just too specific. Don’t throw anything away, But, as you put things back in the closet in their color groups, ask yourself the following question:

What’s the one thing I need to make this into an outfit? It might be a scarf in a print that pulls together several colors that you have in solids. Or, it might be that you need one of those solid color skirts or pants that the stylist is making use of in the video. Or, it might be a couple of belts. Make a list of those items,put it on a card in your purse so that when you go shopping, you can look for those particular items. If you are someone who sews, so much the better – you can staple scraps of fabric to the cards so that you actually have the colors with you.

Now, for the last several years, I have been working through a closet which is in black, white, and red. That is actually a very easy color grouping, but I’m a bit tired of it, and I am making myself things in the teal, brown and raspberry group. After viewing this video, I realize that I need a couple of prints to pull some things together and I will look for those now. This is not to say that what I have in the closet is wasted and needs to be sent to the charity shop. The black and white things will work very nicely. The red is outside the new grouping but can be used at other times. So we shall see how this develops.

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