Walk-in closets – dream or nightmare?

A room full of clothes

When I was a kid, I dreamed of having a dressing room. Clothing racks along two walls and shelves for shoes and bags along the others. I thought that this is what Caroline of Monaco (one of my style icons back then) would have. 😉

fashionover50 woman in leopard print skirt with utility jacket
Back view of outfit with Great Northwest utility jacket hold in shape by a DIY clip, GNW tights, Steve Madden sandals, AMS umbrella, Forever Twenty-one skirt and Camel bag (all own)

When we moved to Alaska, we rented a house that had a small, toilet-stall size walk-in closet. There was a clothes rack on the back wall, a shelf for sweaters and co on the side wall, hangers for hats on the other, and a full-size mirror on the inside of the door.

fashion blogger over40 wearing a mixed print outfit
Great Northwest utility jacket with Jeanne Pierre sweater, Forever Twenty-one skirt, GNW tights, Steve Madden fall lace-up sandals, and Camel bag (all own)

It seemed huge to me. Half a year later, I run out of space as I had not yet figured out how to dress in Alaska. You can’t possibly have a full wardrobe for all temperatures between less than -50F (-45.6oC) and more than 85F (29.4oC)! Tweet this.

style blogger over 40 in an outfit for a rainy day
Golden leather Burberry trench coat with GNW tights, Steve Madden fall sandals, AMS umbrella (all own)

Over time I learned to createinsulation by layering and what to wear in cold wet weather. When we moved from Goldstream to College, I was not so much excited about the walk-in closet at the new place. It was three times the size of the one at the old place! A nightmare!

I remembered the wisdom of a former student of mine. She had said

“Nicole, what you haven’t worn in a season, you will not wear again. Toss it, sell it or give it to charity! Whatever, get rid of it!”

What you haven't worn in a season, you won't wear again. Give it to charity! #fashionwisdom Click To Tweet

Thanks goodness, ballroom dance dresses take a lot of space. I had them move into the closet instead of storing them in rubber-maid boxes in the garage or crawl-space. I also moved my shoes in. I was afraid of accumulating a wardrobe where you have nothing to wear because you lost track of what you have.

I “re-organize” my closet twice a year – prior to the warm and cold seasons to keep my walk-in closet an edited working wardrobe and not a storage room of what I wore once upon a time. For a how to organize a wardrobe see the post series at the link. In a wardrobe, one of the worst things is an item that takes up real estate for years without seeing the light.

fashionover50 - woman looking stylish on a rainy day
Back view on outfit with Burberry trench coat, GNW tights, Steve Madden sandals, American Meteorological Society umbrella (all own)

What is your wardrobe nightmare? Are you more the accumulator/collector type or the editor? How old is the oldest item in your closet and do you remember when you wore it the last time?

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Photos: G. Kramm

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