It seems like the older I get, the more I enjoy reading non-fiction. This year found me reading a total of four, counting the one I just finished yesterday. In 2016, I read three and in 2015, I read two. Maybe in 2018 I’ll read five?
I’ve heard The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees recommended in a couple different places, but the place that stands out in my mind is Anna’s YouTube channel. She is a beauty and lifestyle YouTuber from the UK. I’ve enjoyed her videos for years, and some of my faves have been her capsule wardrobe videos. I’m not actually subscribed to her channel, mostly because our styles are so different, but that’s beside the point. I genuinely love her outfit videos despite the fact that our styles rarely intersect. She recommended The Curated Closet, and I immediately put it on my tbr list.
Well, I thought this would be the perfect time of year to read it. I’ve packed away my summer items (save a few), and fall/winter is my favorite time of year. My outfits feel more like me, and I’m generally happier. If I was going to pick a time to read a book about overhauling my wardrobe, this would be the time.
And I was so, so right. This book was so good, I read it in a day. It was good not only because of the content, but because I could actively apply it to my wardrobe right now. If I’d read this at the beginning of the summer, I would’ve been bored. I really hate summer clothes, so my motivation is seriously lacking when it comes to summer outfits.
On second hand, do you think I should re-read this for summer? Maybe it will give me a swift kick in the pants and I’ll finally figure out why my summer wardrobe feels like it’s constantly lacking.
The Curated Closet, in my opinion, is for anyone who wants to streamline their wardrobe. You could just be starting out with a wardrobe overhaul, or you could be a veteran of personal style and just need to maintain what you already have. Personally, I lean more towards maintaining my wardrobe at this point. If you’d asked me before I read the book, I probably would’ve landed myself somewhere in the middle of newbie and veteran. Turns out, I know my style pretty well. I’m just really bad (or good, depending on perspective) at impulse shopping.
I see a top in a color I love and instantly think it’s for me. Sometimes I don’t pay attention to the material or cut. One aspect that catches my eye is all I need to purchase. Granted, I’ve gotten much, much better over the years. After reading this book, I’ve realized that I am very good at recognizing my personal style; I just get carried away with small details while shopping.
So, on to the book! I read this on my Kindle, so I don’t know what the paperback version looks like. But, in the beginning of the Kindle version is a click-through quiz of questions pertaining to style and wardrobes. It was super interesting. Based on your answers, it gives you a chapter recommendation to focus on. I took it twice and was recommended Chapter 8, which is making your wardrobe match your life style, and Chapter 15, which is about styling outfits.
This book is divided into four parts. They are The Basics, Discover Your Personal Style, Build Your Dream Wardrobe, and The Art of Shopping. After reading The Basics and glancing through Discover Your Personal Style, I realized that I do know my style well. So, I did not do the exercises that are prescribed in Discover Your Personal Style. They did seem very useful, as did the exercises in the sections that I read.
I skipped to the Build Your Dream Wardrobe section, which housed the chapter I was recommended about making your wardrobe match your lifestyle. Chapters 8 through 15 were incredibly useful. The exercises involved making outfit equations that fit my lifestyle and then listing the items I already have that fit into those equations. That was so helpful and such a tangible way to see how my clothes fit into my everyday life. Since I work out of the home, most of my wardrobe is for the office. However, I work in a smart casual environment. I have a little crossover between my work and personal outfits. That’s super helpful to keep in my mind while I’m shopping. And you all know how I love items that do double duty!
One of my equations is this:
Top + ankles pants + flats
This is just a super basic example, but depending on the season I might add to the equation. For example, for fall I love this one:
Button-up top + cardigan + ankle pants + booties
It’s the same outfit only layered for the colder weather. Seeing this in equation form made me realize how many outfit possibilities I have! Anuschka stresses that the equations need to be your best outfits. That means they fit into your lifestyle, you’re comfortable in them, and you look good. Those style equations are the outfits that I love to wear.
One way that I know an outfit is great is based on whether or not I want to throw on my pajamas as soon as I get home. If I am so uncomfortable during the day that I want to put on pj’s the moment I walk through the door, then something is wrong with the outfit. My style equations are outfits that feel so good, I wear them until after the kids are in bed.
The last section of the book is all about becoming a good shopper. It also covers topics like laundry and garment care, which are important for maintaining your wardrobe. Although I didn’t need some of the info, it’s a really great guide to taking care of clothes. If you are just starting to invest in your wardrobe, I definitely recommend giving that section a read. It will be valuable to you.
As if I haven’t said it enough, this book was very helpful. I’m not stranger to remixing my wardrobe, but it never hurts to refresh my outfits and gain a new perspective. The more books I read about fashion and style, I realize there are little parts I glean from each one that stay with me. There are more than a little parts from this particular book that have already been useful for me.
If you are at all interested in personal style, The Curated Closet is a must-read for you!