It appeared from her remarkable collection of designer cocktail dresses that she danced the night away many times in her life. Dresses with vintage lace, taffeta, and silk; large bows at the shoulder, low-scooped necklines, and off-the-shoulder flirtations hung majestically in her closet. I could tell that the woman who wore these clothes had fun getting dressed for evenings out with her airline pilot husband who flew for thirty years!
Around the world in 80 days…she and her husband flew wherever they felt the urge to visit. She selected beautiful treasures to add to her couture collection wherever she went. Her closet became a united nations of fashion!
She enters the ballroom of her pilot husband’s holiday party wearing an Adrianna Papell Evening Silk Jacket draped over her shoulders. You can hear her whisking by the guests wearing wide-legged chiffon black pants with a velvet waistband. Underneath, her white sleeveless silk blouse drapes loosely around her bodice and disappears at her waist. Everyone’s eyes are on this superbly dressed woman…
This is what I fantasize about when I’m hired to do a closet clean out for a woman who has passed away. I mentally reconstruct her life through the clothing artifacts hanging before me. I guess it’s inevitable I do this, as I majored in Archeology in college, theorizing how people must have lived by examining the remnants they left behind. I can feel a woman’s personality and imagine her life experiences by looking through her closet.
People often ask me how this closet clean out process works, which I call “Estate Closet Clean Out.” I start with a thorough inventory of the closet (and drawers, if requested), and begin dividing pieces into Donate and Sell piles. I’m looking at the quality, newness, functionality and wearability of each piece. I also keep an eye out for extraordinary pieces that might elicit excitement and a little hitch in the giddyup! Most of the pieces go toward donations at the local thrift store. Any “like new” clothes purchased within the last five years are sold by a local consignment store. The older, “vintage” pieces that are in excellent condition get photographed, described and sold on eBay to reach a broader audience.
Some may think this work is a bit sad, but I have to tell you, I find it the most fulfilling service I offer. I’m helping family members move forward by taking the burden of removing their loved one’s personal items (what is more personal than the clothes you wear?), and I’m celebrating the joy and spirit of her clothes by sharing them with women who will cherish and appreciate her good taste.
Your closet holds so many truths about how you live your life, what’s important to you, and how you feel about yourself. I often remind my clients that their closets are NOT supposed to be museums, but in a way, that’s exactly what they are! Your closet tells me the tale of where you’ve been, where you’re going, and how you choose to express yourself.
I wonder what your closet says about you?
Are you a person who values the finer things in life? Do you favor quality over quantity? Are you a party girl, the first girl on the dance floor, or do you prefer to entertain small groups of friends at home? Where have you traveled? How organized are you? Do you collect beautiful shoes? Do you have accessories for every outfit? What are your favorite colors to wear? Bright pink and striking royal blue, or muted gray and black? Are you into natural fabrics, the luxurious feel of silk and velvet, or do you prefer the ease of polyester? Are clothes even important to you, or do you consider clothes as simply something to keep your body covered?
Even if you’re not interested in creating a united nations wardrobe, you probably want to look good and feel good when you walk out the door. I can help you get clarity about what to wear and how to organize your closet. This is something you can gift yourself this holiday season.
My style services are guaranteed to please you, or you get your money back. No questions asked. Here’s what some women say about working with me (if you need a little nudge!):
“I find that I am becoming more accepting of how I look now and I am seeing that I can improve my style without needing to do any of those things “Linda shows you how to look at yourself from the inside out and create a confident appearance that matches your personality and body shape. No one else approaches style this way!” — Louise H.
“Linda shows you how to look at yourself from the inside out and create a confident appearance that matches your personality and body shape. No one else approaches style this way!” — Louise H.
What a beautifully written and eloquent piece, Linda! And such an excellent insight into a very important service you offer that must be very difficult for most families to imagine in advance. You’ve taken the burden off of their shoulders with such grace and deep appreciation for people’s lives.