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I believe a wardrobe is a work of art—a personal reflection of the person wearing it. It tells a story unique to you. I treat my wardrobe like my canvas. Every time I add a new piece, or take a piece away, it is all based on my mood—what I am enjoying, aesthetically. My inspiration tends to come from art. Pieces from the 70s, such as Henri Matisse’s, all the way up to current pieces, such as ones from Italian artist, Piero Pizzi Cannella. When I say these artists inspire me, I am referencing their color palettes. Most of my wardrobe is neutral in color—deep browns, ivories and black. While that does not really set me apart from what is “trending” now, what sets me apart is the feeling I get when I am wearing my pieces.
I have a few investment pieces, as well. I believe a great deal in investing my money in pieces that last. Rather than resorting to mass produced items, I try to save up and invest in materials that are built to last. In other words, if you can avoid polyester and rayon, that is a beautiful thing. Some of my pieces I became fortunate enough to receive from a family member, who has also invested in quality clothing. You might be surprised to know that I do not own a lot of shoes, either. I treat my shoes, like I treat my clothing. I really only purchase what I know I will wear and will go consistently with my wardrobe. However, I will only buy them if I cannot see myself not owning them. My rule is every piece has to be something I cannot be without. It is not worth leaving the store with it if it is not. There is oddly a gut feeling and a level of intensity when it comes to making this choice. I might even carry it around the store with me, before making a decision, just to let the idea of the piece settle with me.
I am not a woman keen on accessories. If anything, I am minimalistic in that area. I own one watch, and only pair it with pieces here and there. I recently got back into the idea of earrings. I do not even own a pair. Necklaces and bracelets are too much for me, and I only wear one ring, which I have had for years—something with sentimental value. There is, however, an exception when it comes to handbags. I used to collect them. This started from a young age, and I realized that I was fascinated by all the different shapes, colors, and designs. As time went on, I started to pay attention to material. I took note of which ones in my collection kept ripping and tearing. I eventually grew tired of asking my grandmother to sew my handbags together, and vowed to myself to pay attention to detail. So, like everything in my wardrobe, I only own a few handbags—all of quality materials. In the case of handbags, less is always more. You never want to over indulge.
Much like art, I enjoy putting my clothes on display. I do not just put them in my closet and shut the doors, at the end of the day. A few months ago, I went to Ikea and purchased myself a simple, metal clothing rack. It has its own corner in my bedroom. I can see it when I lay in my bed, which helps toss around ideas in my head when I cannot sleep. Displaying my clothing just makes it all the more personal. I realize this thought process can be hard to understand. I have come across many who find it pretentious, or a waste of time, but I'd rather get the message across that it is not about living luxuriously, for me. It is about treating your wardrobe like anything that truly matters to you—nurturing it and doing the research, as well as putting in the time to make sure it does not fall apart. If I could offer select tips to someone walking through this process, I would say pay attention to material—do your research. Figure out who is making your clothes and how. You do not have to rule out fast fashion completely, but I would not base your whole wardrobe off of it. Second, put on the back burner the idea that you are dressing to please people. Even if you are trending, it is never about what is accepted, it is about how it makes you feel. Do not look in the mirror and wonder who is going to appreciate you looking how you do, look in the mirror and know you created something individualistic—unique to you. Everyone is allowed a sense of pride in their art.