What Does Your Closet Say About You?

You might be surprised—and you might even be inspired to make a change.

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It's Not Hoarding. It's Called Collecting

Chanel Parks, beauty editor, @chanelinezp

I tried getting rid of that lime skirt, but guess where it is? Inside my closet.
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My closet is pretty much just like Cher's in Clueless, minus the computerized outfit selector and the conveyor belt. Well, OK, it really only resembles hers because I have more outfits than I could possibly wear in this lifetime.

I get a rush from the possibilities presented to me on a daily basis.

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That means every morning is a treat, because if I neglect to set out my clothes the night before (pssh, I never do that), then it's just me, my closet, and the extra clothing rack, figuring out the day's ensemble.

Although the abundance of fabrics, prints, and silhouettes in my possession tend to overwhelm me, I do get a rush from the possibilities presented to me on a daily basis. I love having six different black dress options to pair with either my tropical-inspired blazer, my fuzzy cropped sweater, or even that long vintage embroidered coat that looks like it should belong to Ludwig van Beethoven.

The more pieces I collect, the more creative I can get with my outfits.

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And why not have a glittering pile of rings and necklaces? Sure, I haven't worn most of them in three years, but it's always nice to have the choice of pairing one of them with a Canadian tuxedo or floor-length black gown someday.

A dress with ruffles? Why not—it makes me look like a superhero.

The more pieces I collect, the more creative I can get with my outfits. Don't get me wrong: I'm not one of those people who can wear a different thing every single day, because I hate doing laundry. But I find comfort in saying "I don't have anything to wear" when, in fact, I always have something to throw on for a gala, costume party, or you know, another day at the office.

I've tried KonMari and similar methods to clear things out, but it never seems to work for me. Even though I personally can't even get my closet door to close (yep, it's like that), I do think it's helpful to divide your wardrobe into groups—or, at least to develop a method of navigation to avoid your mornings degenerating into madness. One thing I've found useful: reserving certain items for different days of the week or occasions.

There can be order in what seems like disorganization!

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For instance, I have jeans and skirts that I frequently wear to work, and then there are dresses and jackets I save for the weekend. It's the same with shoes: I have the black suede Michael Kors boots I wear when I need to dress to impress, but I'll save my old Steve Maddens for when I want to wear boots that won't kill my feet. See, there can be order in what seems like disorganization!

If someone thinks they can convince me to pare down my wardrobe, by all means, go for it. Till then, I'll just be over here reveling in my piles of clothes.

Getting Rid of My Clothes Calmed My Existential Anguish

By Rebecca Deczynski, editorial assistant, @rebeccadecz

This vintage coat is new to me, but I can guarantee I will love it for years to come.

I spent my teenage years cultivating a closet that brimmed over with thrift-store finds, Forever 21 binge purchases, and T.J. Maxx hauls. In high school, I maintained a seemingly impossible habit of never—or, at least, very rarely—repeating an outfit. I never imagined that one day I would crave a closet filled simply with all the basics I could ever need, and just a few special pieces here and there. Until, one day, I did.

For as long as I can remember, clothing has been a way for me to express myself, and it still is—but now, instead of picking my outfits from an overflowing sea of options, my choices are constrained by both the measurements of my New York City closet and the calculated degree of curation I've imposed upon it.

I was trying to figure out who I was, and I would do anything I could to manically move from one identity to the next.

In college, I gradually donated any and all clothing that I didn't love and replaced it with a limited wardrobe of (mainly black) clothing. Before that purge, I had turned my closet into a treasure trove filled with possible identities.

You don't need a huge closet to get creative with layering.

One day, I could piece together a pair of pumps, a cardigan, a vintage dress, and a headband to step out of my house with a nod to Blair Waldorf; another day, I could toss on a flannel shirt, swinging skirt, and a pair of moccasin boots for a decidedly more bohemian vibe. I was trying to figure out who I was, and I would do anything I could to manically move from one identity to the next, especially if it involved clothes.

I eventually decided to pare my wardrobe down, not because I'd suddenly, magically "found myself" and figured out who I wanted to be in this turbulent plane of existence, but because, in spite of having so many unknowns in my life, I realized that I'm OK with being who I am right now. As I slowly introduce color back into my wardrobe (a little tan here, a bit of burgundy there, a playful pop of pink every so often), I'm changing my style bit by bit, editing out old pieces as I add new ones. I'm in no rush to take on a whole new identity just yet.

I'm changing my style bit by bit, editing out old pieces as I add new ones. I'm in no rush to take on a whole new identity just yet.

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When I get rid of clothing that no longer speaks to me, it gives me a material sense of closure. As I edit and reorganize, I'm doing what I actually intended to do all those years ago as I stood before my teeming closet: I'm edging closer to becoming the person I want to be—this time, with a healthy dose of patience, and maybe even the teensiest bit of serenity. I am where I am, and I'm wearing what I'm wearing.

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What does your closet look like? Snap us pics at @chanelinezp and @rebeccadecz!

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