Friday, April 04, 2014

A New Favorite French Book...




When I travel, I always try to find any cool books about style, fashion, wardrobe planning, art etc. etc...  This one looks pretty innocuous, but since it's by the authors of L'Armoire Ideale des Parasseuses, I thought it was well worth grabbing.

For a long time, I've often pondered the difference between  stores that we love, and closets that we detest.  If this were my closet, I would be endlessly happy:

Eileen Fisher Store - Madison Avenue New York

So how does one get to the point of loving one's closet as much as one's favorite store?  This excellent book has a great mental strategy:


  1. Your clothing = your boutique collection

    Think of your closet as the things that you would purchase if you were a buyer for a multi-brand boutique.  You know how boutiques will carry multiple brands, but will all have a unified feeling, and theme, and overall aesthetic?   That's what you're trying to accomplish when you purchase your clothes.
  2. You = the designer

    Rather than being in a passive position, and being a victim of your shopping whims, being the designer who curates the boutique in question puts your solely in charge.
  3. Your wardrobe  = your shop

    Your construct your closet be like an ideal boutique, in which you find the perfect mix between indispensable basics, and more creative pieces which lends originality and personality.
  4. Your purchases = restocking your store

    Everything that you purchase must coordinate perfectly with what's already in the store.  That's the principle of restocking: you don't add pieces that are incompatible; you always build on the same foundations.
  5. Your wardrobe organization = the store displays

    In boutiques, clothes aren't just hung up at random. They're presented to tell color "stories", or all items in a category are shown together.  The most current pieces are given prominence - your trench coat in the spring, your sundresses in the summer.  You can hang complete outfits on a hanger, and have them ready to go.  Or even pull together outfits and photograph, to create your own look book.
  6. Looking in your closet = shopping

    Do you have an irresistible desire to go shopping? Organizing your closet can serve a function similar to that of window-shopping - you can rediscover forgotten garments, think of a new way to wear your basics, new ideas might appear. You can come up with some new outfits without spending a penny.

I think that this is a fascinating way to think about one's wardrobe and one's closet...  I'm going to try it on, mentally, and see how it feels.

Alibris: Books, Music, & Movies


22 comments:

  1. It is a great concept! I looked up the book and found their blog : http://www.larmoireessentielle.com/

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love this, Janice. You give a whole new perspective to the idea of shopping one's closet.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for sharing the book! I think another thing that makes stores so appealing is that everything is clean, freshly painted, and the clothes are ironed and on hangers. If we make our bedrooms and closets look appealing (fresh coat of paint, coordinated hangers, etc...) we will like the things better inside the closet. If we hang up our clothes and make sure everything is clean and ironed, it will make wearing our clothes easier.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Genuis. Pure genius!! As I've clarified my own personal style, I've been discouraged by the fact that there is no one store that offers all the items in my "pallette." Creating my own boutique! Brilliant!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow, a great way to think about your wardrobe. Does that book come in English?

    ReplyDelete
  6. What an interesting approach. I'ld love to hear how it works for you in real life. One of the reasons the store in the picture looks so good is space. Most of us are pretty limited in that respect and it can be a real challenge to organize clothes as opposed to just storing them.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Interesting idea! If this book is only available in French, does that mean you will walk us through it? ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's only available in French - their first book was never translated, so I don't know if this one is a candidate. And of COURSE I'm going to share most posts drawn from this book - it's too good not to share with my friends!

      Delete
  8. I always scroll through your posts for the eye candy, before going over it again in more detail. When I came to the photo of the store, my immediate reaction was: 'I would wear any one of these pieces', and then I read the caption. :))

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm particularly interested in what my brain is translating as "the 11 minimalist icons." Don't know if you have interest in translating that, but it looks good!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm starting a major closet purge this weekend. Instead of looking at it as a horrible chore, I'll look at it as creating my own personal boutique.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is a wonderful concept. And I love the idea of redoing your closet instead of going shopping, that it will give us the same experience.

    ReplyDelete
  12. That sounds like a fabulous idea. Unfortunately our closet is rather ugly...it needs a makeover before I could open up shop but that is a great place to start. Now to convince my husband!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thank you for the book suggestion...will have to brush up on my French prior to purchasing but I love your synopsis of it. I did check out of my library, "The Triumph of Individual Style..." It was very good!! Merci.

    ReplyDelete
  14. It does seem like this is exactly where we have all been heading on our journey with you...selecting a color and style story, editing out things that don't fit the story, carefully shopping for whatever is missing and necessary to complete the story and organizing our closets to make it easy to work the story in our daily wardrobe selections.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I have realized that I have too many clothes at home. My closet and drawers can barely contain them. Do you remember where you picked up the book as I will try to find a copy while I am in Paris. I would shop in your boutique.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I like the idea of our wardrobe as our boutique but I'm afraid we're limited in our ability to play designer. We can tweak fit with the help of a seamstress, but unless we actually make our own clothes, we can do things like change to a different fabric or add sleeves or make skirts longer.

    There are some items of clothing I search in vain for and wish I could design for myself! At the moment it's summer tops - short sleeve (not cap or flutter sleeve), non-creasing fabric (i.e. not viscose! or cotton/linen), neat enough to wear untucked for work. VERY hard to find!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I recently read a post on jewelry organization that includes grid wall supplies - the same kind boutiques use - to help create one's own "micro boutique". How ironic that you would post this so soon after that find!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Love this concept. To implement it, one needs to remove the garments that are rarely/never worn, are out of season, don't fit but are being saved until they do, etc., the "purge." I'm in the middle of that process and thank you every day for educating us about the need to do it. I LOVE your 333 posts, saved most of them.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Just came across this post via Grechen and I love it. I am lucky enough to have a huge closet, but it's filled largely with things that I don't wear -- because I have the space. I need to do a brutal weeding so I can better see the things that I love, and identify holes that need to be filled.

    ReplyDelete
  20. But the fly in the ointment is that stores completely change their stock sometimes several times per season. If not several times per season, at least every season the stock is significantly different from previous seasons. And designers don't all design new collections that perfectly coordinate with old ones, many make quite dramatic changes from one collection to the next.

    Sarah

    ReplyDelete
  21. Just re-read this post and looking at my closet, I'm happy to say, its starting to look like my own personal boutique... Thank you Janice...you are such a positive impact. Stacy

    ReplyDelete