Changing Your Clothes

Shopping, Sewing, Upcycling, Repairing: Make the most of your clothes!

Makeover Monday Meets Closet Confessions: A Sweater Story

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It was only a matter of time. Ever since I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve become more and more uncomfortably aware of the shortcomings of my own closet (wait, maybe that’s the reason why I started this blog). I’ve covered some of these faults in my Closet Confessions posts, and still have lots to talk about under that heading. And since Makeovers have now taken over my Mondays, I should have known that, sooner or later, they would cross paths on my way to what I hope is the perfect wardrobe.

Today is the day: Makeover Monday comes to the Closet Confessional.

The confession: This photo is worth at least a thousand reproving words.

Confession/Before

Confession/Before: My sweaters are in an unholy mess.

Yes, this is my sweater collection. In my defense, this jumbled mess developed because I love my sweaters. I wear these sweaters. A lot. (In Portland’s mild climate, sweaters are much more versatile for me than coats.) And since they’re collected on a rather high shelf above a hanging rod, it’s not easy to put them away neatly, even though (a) I’m tall, and (b) I bought a small footstool precisely to make this easier. And the only other positive note here is that all but 4 of the pieces on this shelf were designed and hand-knitted by yours truly (make that yours truly embarrassed by this mess).

The makeover: If you’ve read my previous post about different approaches to organizing your closet, you’ll recognize my process for making over this shelf:

1. Try organizing by type: all cardigans together, pullovers, and other (wraps, capelets, cocoons), thus:

Organized by type

Organized by type: the 2 stacks on the left are cardigans, the stack 2nd from right is pullovers, and “others” (wraps, capelets, cocoons) are on the far right.

Even though I was pretty sure before I started that I would prefer grouping my knits according to color, going through this preliminary step is illuminating nevertheless; for one thing, cardigans clearly dominate my sweater wardrobe. That’s not a bad thing (especially since, as I mentioned, I wear sweaters as coat substitutes), but it also means that this way of organizing won’t work very well for me. At least not on this shelf. The cardigan stacks are so high that they’re toppling over onto the shorter stacks.

2. Organize by color. Since the rest of my clothes are currently grouped by color rather than by garment type, it makes sense to do the same with my sweaters; theoretically, this should make it much easier to compose outfits. Let’s see what that looks like:

Organized by color

Organized by color/After: Apparently I really like my knits in fifty shades of wine! (Sorry about that, gray.)

I suppose it’s because wardrobes are generally acquired a little at a time, but I always find myself surprised by at least one aspect of my clothes collection whenever I change things around in my closet. In this case, I hadn’t realized how high a percentage of my sweaters have at least some red in them; now that I think about how many of these reds could be described as wine—cabernet, merlot, bordeaux, even the occasional shiraz—could there be an association of ideas going on? (Unconsciously, of course.) I always think of green as my favorite color, but in my knits, at least, there’s not that much, other than the funky bronze-y gold-greens I favor. They look great with the wine colors, incidentally.

I also notice that there are only a few with gray, one blue, and one black! (Now is a good time to compare the dominant colors on this shelf with those hanging up, incidentally.) To me, the effort of rearranging is worthwhile, because it virtually always yields new and unexpected insights. Which is why I do this in my own closet, and rather shamefacedly confess my experiences to you.

You’ve seen my closet; it’s not that professionally-organized-designer closet by a loooong shot. It’s not very big, it has 2 hanging rods with shelves above them, and that’s it. And because I’m regularly getting (and making) new things, it exists in a state of flux—I’m constantly trying to come up with pieces that are as versatile as possible, for a quality-over-quantity-based wardrobe. This, by the way, I consider to be a positive sign, because I believe our relationship with our clothes is reflective of our lives, i.e. as long as we’re evolving, our wardrobes will mirror those changes.

Changing Your Clothes has never been a fashion blog per se. That’s not its intention. My purpose is to help us all get more out of the clothes we already have, whether that’s by smarter shopping decisions, making minor repairs and alterations, or all-out makeovers. I’m convinced we all have at least the foundation of a wardrobe we can love.

When I was working on my pilot’s license (stay with me), one of my instructors liked to say that “flying is a series of small corrections”— his point being that no such thing as a “perfect” flight actually exists, so that’s not the appropriate goal. And maybe, just maybe, my “perfect” wardrobe doesn’t exist either. I’ll just keep making that series of small corrections while I’m enjoying the ride.

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Author: colormusing

I'm a writer, color palette creator, and designer of fashion, costumes, graphics, knitwear patterns, and yarn.

4 thoughts on “Makeover Monday Meets Closet Confessions: A Sweater Story

  1. The organize-by-color method is really the best.
    And you’re so right, it’s surprising what we can find just by reinventing clothing from our own closet.

  2. Oh, Lindy, this looks like my stack of sweaters which I have tried to organize by type and they get all mixed up again. Never thought about organizing by color for some reason – a great idea which I will definitely do! Thanks.

    • I’m so glad it’s helpful, Kim! I’m sure this one way of organizing won’t be ideal for everyone, and I admit to being obsessively color-oriented (I just rearranged some of my books according to spine colors), but after all the experiments, this is what works for me.

  3. Pingback: Makeover Monday: A New Wardrobe Equation | Changing Your Clothes

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