cloak room

cloak room

I have a large walk-in closet in my front room that I use as a cloak room to store my outdoor shoes, boots, and coats. I love the words “cloak room.” They remind me of elementary school, and long, skinny rooms lined with hooks where we hung our coats, and stored our boots. My first elementary school (from grades kindergarten to three) had hangers and benches in the hallways outside each classroom. My second elementary school (for grades five through eight) was an old building, and had real cloak rooms inside each classroom. Right now when I think of them I remember darkness, and the smell of old wood and gym shoes.

(In this photograph, high up on the shelf on the right-hand side, sleeps a cat in a basket of pashminas. Oh yes.)

I appreciate someplace to hang my hat.

orange scarf

orange lace scarf

Isn’t this gorgeous? It’s a detail of an orange scarf that a dear friend gave me on the weekend. I love that she picked a colour that I wouldn’t normally buy myself. It’s special. Beyond my ordinary. This deep orange makes me think of Buddhist monks’ robes, and spirituality. It also makes me think of the second chakra, and healing my womb…

I appreciate the gift of an orange scarf.

wardrobe editing

clothes to donate

So I’ve been sorting my clothes lately. If you’ve seen the photos of my closet that I posted yesterday, you’ll probably already have guessed that I’m a bit of a clothing minimalist. I own four pairs of pants, four dresses, four skirts, and a couple-dozen tops and jackets. Plus assorted undies and socks, and workout gear.

Years ago I began to dream of owning only as many clothes as would fit into one piece of carry-on luggage. I’m not quite there yet. But it will happen. The most recent iteration has involved shedding a whole colour group that began to creep into my wardrobe about three years ago – blue-green. Don’t get me wrong. I love this colour. But I’ve come to realize that I’ll never get to a workable minimalist wardrobe with too many colours that don’t go with each other. And I already have a number of pieces that I love, in blue and purple-blue. I’ve decided to stick with those colours, moving forward. They go with black and brown (the colours of my pants and skirts), and with each other, if I want to mix and match tops and sweaters.

So these tops are awaiting donation to Goodwill…

tour of my clothes closet

closet 1

Have I ever mentioned that I love my closets? I love my closets. I kind of freaked out when I moved into my current apartment, though – because the building is 80-90-100 years old, and the closets are about three feet square. I made myself a commitment, though – I would pare down my wardrobe until it fit into the closets (ideally just one – I have two, but would prefer to use the second for bed linens, quilts and pillow storage). I met that goal, but every now and then I need to do some editing of my wardrobe, because I tend to accumulate clothes. Even though I hardly ever shop for them.

closet 2

So lately I’ve been sorting and evaluating and tossing. Being a former professional organizer, I love this kind of thing. It’s like playing What Not to Wear with myself. Plus, it means I get to spend time organizing and reorganizing my clothes closet. Have I mentioned that I love my closets?

closet 3

(I think part of what I love so much about them is the aesthetic appeal of all my favorite colours in one place. Plus the beautiful objects that I own, like wooden hangers. And baskets. (Scroll down to the last photo to see the latter.) Also, I love white walls. My closets have white walls.)

closet 4

closet 5

I organize my clothes by colour, obviously. Also by type. (My four pairs of pants are at the far left, above, and my four skirts and four dresses are at the far right (top photo). And no, there’s no special reason for four each of all those things. It’s just coincidence.)

closet 6

My tops and jackets take up most of the room in the middle.

closet 7

Below are some of my shoes (I also keep several pairs in my cloakroom near my front door), a basket of my flip flops, and a basket where I store any unused wooden hangers. When I take a piece of clothing out of the closet, its hanger goes in the basket until the item of clothing returns to the closet. I don’t know why, but I hate empty hangers hanging on the rod.

closet 8

closet 9

closet 10

I also have some hooks for hanging necklaces and bags.

closet 11

These baskets hold extra blankets and quilts (I have a decent vintage quilt collection), my iron (which I never use except when I’m constructing clothing), and some lint removers. This is what my closet looks like all the time, by the way. Sometimes there’s a bunch more cat hair on the floor, but that’s about it.

closet 12

fitting into your clothes

pants waistband

Do you know the feeling when you put on a pair of pants that have been tight in the past, and now they fit perfectly – or are maybe even a little loose? Yeah. That feeling. I’ve been having it a lot, lately, as I’ve made even more changes in my diet to try and address my endometriosis symptoms. Two of which are bloating and intestinal discomfort. A few months ago I couldn’t comfortably wear these pants. Now I can. It feels good.