Sunday, April 2, 2017

Bigass Weekend Post: Seasonal Closet Swap-Out, Movie Schtars, Plus Outfits and Shopping

Hey! It's April, and you know what that means...time to clean out my closet! 

But before I forget, you must check out the VIDEO shot by L, schtarring me and the fabulous Melanie (aka Miz Baggs) at Bag and a Beret. Hollywood, here I come! 


Closet cleaning! 

I took Friday off work, both for this purpose and as a mental health day. I really needed some personal downtime with just me, my clothes, some music and several cups of tea, and Vizzini, although he was not as "helpful" as he was in the fall/winter swap-out (here, end of September 2016, lots of closet pictures).

This is my "before" picture. I had this closet custom built-out about 10 years ago, as a reward to myself after I achieved a 50 pound weight loss. It's also incentive to me to maintain my weight, since I love beautiful clothes and want to stay fitting in the ones I have.
I'm pretty good at putting my clothes away, and keep my closet fairly neat. That's my steamer hose in the foreground.

First step is to remove all the shoes. These are the ones I decided to keep out for spring/summer.
A few pairs of boots, the "lighter and brighter" shoes, ones I can wear barefoot, and of course, my selection of party shoes (the first row). I don't wear these as much, but I keep them out all year. You never know when a party might happen.

Then I hauled out my binned and bagged clothes from inside the closet (the way it's built allows a lot of floor storage).
Warm season clothes tend to be thinner and less bulky than cold weather clothes, so they take up less room. It always feels like I have way fewer spring/summer pieces until I unpack them.

Shoe shelves getting a good cleaning. I use Murphy's Oil Soap spray on all the wood surfaces.
I Windex the mirror and (sometimes) the chandelier.

Then I start going through all of the clothes and pulling out the items that hit one or more of the following categories:

  • Festive/sparkly
  • Thick fabrics (wool, velvet, knits)
  • Short dresses and skirts (that I only wear with tights)
  • Boots 

Of course, whatever else strikes my fancy. Sometimes I just want to rest from an item, or I'm on the verge of getting rid of it, but will decide next season. September 30th is the next swap-out, mark your calendars!

My sweaters, blouses, long skirts and pants.
I didn't wear that beaded top in the upper left, but it's a gorgeous piece and is a "forever" item.

The pile of hangers starts to grow.
My "keep out" piles of sweaters.

The shoes so far.
I give the room and the closet a good vacuuming.

More of the winter boots and shoes.
I kept out about a third of these. I try not to focus right away on "what will stay in, what will stay out" as I can get distracted. This is a huge undertaking, and takes me all day to do, so I have to stay on target. I'm actually stiff in my legs now on Sunday from all the crouching and stretching!

My closet uses every inch of space. Way up high on the right and the left, I have shelves for my vintage and "forever" things. This shelf is my vintage hats, and two pairs of very old vintage shoes.
I have to stand on a small portable ladder to reach these sections of my closet.

And on the other side, my vintage fur muff, some steampunk things, and velvet storage boxes with sentimental items (Dad's sweaters, some small purses and hats, wedding stuff).
This shelf is lower, so I can reach that bit of the front. I have a few fascinators there, as well as a pair of fingerless leather gloves, a purse, and a glass beaded belt.

To the top left, closer to the door, is a series of shelves where I store my "going out" and party accessories. This is the top shelf, up against the ceiling.
Wigs, hats with veils, beaded purses. There is a shoebox in each corner, for storing a pair of shoes in each. This is a good use of space, and also allows me to see what's sitting up there. If I can see it, I'm more likely to wear it!

The shelf below that also has two shoeboxes.
My dressy purses, a feather fascinator and silver elbow-length gloves. I might need them!

When every shelf and hanger has been gone through, and all my fall/winter clothes have been removed, I'm ready to unpack the spring/summer stuff. Look at all those hangers!
Ooh, and that's the first bin open! I love this part of the process! I've forgotten half of these things - it's like Christmas seeing them again. This big one was all my skirts, and a few blouses.

I store three flat Glad bins under our bed, so those are next.
Two seasonal purses, and more blouses and tops and sweaters.

Long skirts, trousers and jackets next.
I love those polka dot pants, that jungle bomber jacket and that gorgeous linen poppy skirt. I can't wait to wear these again!

Dresses! I want to wear everything here right away!
My purple kimono jacket! I forgot all about it! Everything is hung up (I steam as I wear things, but there are lots of wrinkles).

Now it's time to put all the fall/winter clothes away. I reassess the closet as well, pulling out a few things that I've decided to store after all. For example, the lavender wooly skirt, seen here last week, was nearly kept out, until I realized I have its summer counterpart in a lighter-weight fabric. The Mackage cream leather skirt below was a last-minute pull as well.

Below is what's left after the big plastic bin has been filled with the skirts and pants. What am I going to do with all this?
The big plastic bin gets crammed back into the closet (it fits under my dresses, and keeps Vizzini from hiding in the corners).

Here's all of the fall/winter clothes that I've managed to cram into the three flat bins. Into storage you go! They fit nicely under the bed, and also keep Vizzini from lurking too far under it. He's a dangerous kitty - we always need to be able to find him!
Oh, boy, that's a lot of shoes to store...

And so is this...
I missed taking a picture of the full collection (I may or may not be in denial over having 90+ pairs of shoes). Say goodbye to these for the next six months!

I save all the shoe bags that come with my Fluevogs and other brands, and I fit anywhere from one to four pairs into the bags, depending on the size.
These are tucked underneath my clothes on the floor, and underneath my shoe shelves, behind my flat walking shoes. All ties are turn away so that Vizzini doesn't eat them.

I also use large bags for that stack of clothes above. These are also piled under my clothes.
Vizzini does not get in my closet - it is cat-proofed!

I also go through all my belts (the three round velvet hat-boxes). Ones that are darker and heavier get put away for the season.
Scarves and soft belts are in the shoe boxes.

This is what I culled. Into the donation piles with you!
I have affection for all of these items, but eventually I give up things I don't love, or have fallen out of love with.
Those black boots served me well for many years.

A couple of years ago, when I unpacked my closet, I used a trick to make sure I evenly rotated through my clothes and everything got worn: I hang everything up backwards, with the hangers facing towards me. As I wear my skirts, pants, dresses, blouses and jackets, when I hang them back up, I put the hanger facing away from me.

It encourages me to really look at my items and think about wearing each one. If I don't want to wear it, chances are, it's for one of these reasons:

  • Bored/not inspired by it
  • Have fallen out of love with it
  • Doesn't fit right/is uncomfortable
  • Party/special occasion piece

My pewter metallic leather skirt did not get worn.
Keeper! It stays in the closet for this season.

Vintage cotton print skirt.
Also wearable in spring/summer. It stays out.

Smoking Lily cape/skirt, wool with satin lining.
Not feeling it anymore. Into the giveaway pile.

Peach feathered cocktail dress?
Oh, heck yeah, that stays. Party dress!

Joyce's pink 70s dress.
I moved this into the vintage section in the hallway closet. It's not a piece I wear much, but I want to keep it.

This super-sexy 80s glass beaded wiggle dress is awesome.
It's a lot of dress - but you never know. Keep it out!

This is a great dress to wear near Hallowe'en - I missed wearing it this year.
Oversight! I've packed it away for next year.

This burgundy vintage dress overwhelms my frame and I don't enjoy wearing it any more.
To the donate pile!

I adore this dark green satin dress.
Keeper, but packed away for the season.

A beautiful blue and emerald green (the lining) strapless dress.
I love this piece. I need to wear it with a t-shirt again (here) and make it a daytime fun dress.

This is a gorgeous dress.
Keeper, but put away for the season.

Another beauty of a dress.
Kept out. I might need it!

This dress is insanely flattering.
But looks like nothing on the hanger. Staying out for the season.

I will never get rid of this dress.
It's packed away for the season (it's very warm to wear).

This is quite an insane dress.
I need to rest from it, so it's packed away.

My Valentino suit jacket didn't get worn. I did wear the skirt from this suit, though (which is now packed away).
It's looking at me...
I moved this to the vintage closet. I'm not going to wear this often.

An amazing party skirt.
I love this piece, but didn't get to it this year. Next year, for sure!

And here we go, closet all unpacked, and ready to go for spring and summer!
Skirts on the top rung, jackets on the bottom rung.

Shoes on the right. The heels are from higher to lower as you look from ceiling to floor. Walking shoes on the bottom three shelves and on the floor.
There's a strip of ribbon attached to the front of the shelving where I store my flower pins, bits of ribbon, safety pins, a measuring tape and belt buckles.

On the left, we have the dresses at the far end.
I hang what I plan to wear for my next outfit off the front of one of the dress hangers. I see a Comrags dress in my future!

Blouses and longer skirts and trousers at the front.
I see myself in the mirror.
Boots on the floor. My shoes for the planned outfit sit out prominently.

I first did a seasonal jewelry swap last fall, and really enjoyed having a smaller, more curated selection for the season. It has also helped me clear out some of my pieces.
All my fall/winter jewelry packed into a shoe box. This box is stored under one of my scarf boxes so that the scarves are not on the floor.

My Gram S's jewelry box is where I keep my vintage pieces. Here we are, ready for some bright and sunny spring/summer outfits!
I keep my stud earring collection in the crystal dish.

I have a large multi-drawer jewelry box for my everyday pieces.
At the top are my rings, brooches and a few odd pieces, then in the middle, my earrings (smaller on the left, bigass on the right), then a deeper drawer for bracelets and bangles.

This is the jewelry box with all the drawers put back in down the front, a lovely Bombay Company piece (a gift from L many years ago).
I keep my large gold hoops and a few other odd earrings in the mirrored top. My necklaces go on hooks on either side (I can't close the doors on the sides - I always leave them open). Arrayed in front are my dish of earrings, a few small storage boxes for vintage things and pendants, a silk bag of chunky pieces, and a litter of bangles and leather cuffs. 

And there we go - I'm done! I started around 10am and finished at 3:30pm, with breaks for lunch and checking email. 

Where was Vizzini during all of this action? 
"Staying warm and snuggly, I'll have you know, Woman."
Ah, a nap would have been lovely - cleaning out my closet and swapping all those clothes is a lot of physical exertion - but no time! I've got an event to go to!

I organized my office's "Women of" dinner/drinks night, and even though I took the day off, I couldn't miss it! I was looking forward to hanging out with some of the fabulous women I work with. 
I felt rather fabulous myself! This is my entry for "Visible Monday" over at Patti's Not Dead Yet Style. Go, go, go!

  • Dress - Comrags, thrifted; first worn here (4th outfit) for the Sing-Along "Sound of Music" in December 2016
  • Shoes - Ecco, vintage store; purchased here for $25.00 in March on our trip to Vancouver
  • Jacket (below) - Lord & Taylor, thrifted; last seen here in September 2016 over a mullet outfit

I love this dress. It's 8% metal, woven into the fabric! It wrinkles like mad (it's like aluminum foil), and is really shiny.
"This how silly your poses look."
It's also itchy on the seams a bit, so I'm wearing a vintage camisole and short half-slip under this.

Get used to this jacket - I will be wearing it a lot this season!
I've had it for a year, and wore it most of spring/summer 2016 as my outerwear. Great sun coverage (important for my ink), and it's light enough even on a hot day. 

The stuff: 
I wanted to wear these shoes right away. I am happy to report that they were fantastic. I walked to town and back in them, for a stretch of about 4 hours. 

Silver bling:
The shoe charm bracelet was given to me by one of my WW women. It is quite nice quality, with little sparkly stones, and nice detail, although one of the flats is missing its sole, and there is one stone missing on one of the heels. She told me she thrifted it, thinking of me. Aw! I like that there are three heights of heel represented: heel, kitten heel and flat.

  • Bracelet/square earring - Fossil, gift from L
  • Dangly earring - Fossil, thrifted
  • Death Star ring - Soul Flower
  • Shield ring - Nine West
  • Bracelet - gift 

I was home early following our event, with plenty of time for L and I to hang out, listen to music and play boardgames.

Saturday morning, Elaine met up with us at Floyd's for brunch, followed by grocery shopping, and then a little wander around town together. She recently got back from New York (she went to this concert - wow, Patti Smith and Iggy Pop!) and we wanted to hear all about it.
It's definitely spring now - I am thrilled to go back to light layers!

  • Blouse - Le Chateau, thrifted; last seen here in May 2016 with mint green and "Star Wars" shoes
  • Skirt - Bedo, thrifted; last worn here (4th outfit) in June 2016 for brunch with my Aussie relatives
  • Shoes - Miista, thrifted; last (not) seen here in March to see Elton John
  • Coat (below) - Danier Leather

I love revisiting things after six months, like this bright blue blouse, which wasn't worn much last year.
I liked how this pouffy skirt went with the shoes.

Ready for an afternoon of fun! No gloves, as I like to carry as little as possible when I'm shopping. 

The stuff: 
I wore these to walk to town. I caught the bus home 6.5 hours later, as I was starting to get tired. So much walking and activity in two days! 

Minimal bling: 
Non-snaggy earrings for trying thing on.

  • Earrings - Plum

Elaine and I stopped in first at the St. Vincent de Paul. I found these purple velvet stretchy jeans.  
They are a deep, deep purple.
Only $5.00! They are by DG2 by Diane Gilman which is a Shopping Channel brand, ha! I had never heard of it before. I might wear these around the house most of the time, but I'll try them in at least one "real" outfit.

I found a fabulously floppy hat for summer!
I love a big orange straw hat!

Only $4.00!
Looks like this would be around $20.00 new.

Elaine had some shoes on hold at Footloose, so we poked around in their sale section. These had to com home with me!
Pink metallic leather? With a faux wood platform and white lug soles? Yes, please!

These are by Wonders, and are made in Spain.
They were marked down to $100 from $225, so pretty good deal! They're pictured in Footloose's blog here, from March 2016 (linking 'cause I love!).

From there, Elaine and I split up. She headed home and I wandered over to the WIN Warehouse Store. I tried on a ton of stuff (as always), and came home with three good pieces.

I really liked the interesting construction of this dress. The speckly-looking pattern is lace leopard, with the sleeves being sheer. It's also featured on the puckered sides on the hemline.
It has a cowl neck in dark blue and black stripe, with black stretch cotton. The body of the dress is the striped fabric (also cotton), and it has pockets and red detailing at the front. It is strangely flattering on - I really liked it.

It's by Boo Radley of Australia and was $26.95.
There's a good look at the fabrics. I'm looking forward to wearing this.

I go through white and cream blouses at a rapid rate, so I'm always looking for new ones.
This is a nice texture and thick enough not to be completely see-through. I like the elbow-length sleeves (tattoo coverage), the peasant shape (bow!), and the finished bottom, so that it can be worn untucked.

It's by H&M.
Only $6.95!

I am a sucker for a shiny shirt. Add ruffles and it's going in my cart!
This is a really nice shirt - note the finished bottom. The ruffles need steaming, but the fit on this is awesome.

It's by Jones New York, and was only $14.95.
I'm happy with that.

Look who else is happy.
"A nap in the sun. This is the life."
I agree! I'm off for a nap, and to enjoy the rest of my day with L.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!


  1. Wow! Thanks for a glimpse into the back story. I love seeing how people manage their storage. You have accomplished a huge feat. I hate that time of the year that involves switching out my closets and drawers. It's on the horizon here in Wisconsin.

    1. Thanks for reading about it, Daisy! It's so much work, but totally worth it. I hope your spring arrives soon!

  2. This post left me with a case of severe closet envy. I love how organized everything is - you can see what you have, which makes it much easier to get dressed. I agree with you about enjoying the re-visiting of your spring and summer clothing (much of mine is stored in a steamer trunk off season). It's still pretty chilly here, so not switching the wardrobe yet. I love seeing all your gorgeous dresses.

    And speaking of dresses, that metallic one is is so pretty!

    1. I am lucky to have such a nice big closet. I'll never be able to go back to a small closet! It really does make it much easier to put outfits together. I hope it warms up soon.

      Thanks, it's one of my favourites already.

  3. WOW! As always, an entertaining and highly interesting switcheroo there. I'm due for one of my own. Seeing all your floating spring and summer fabrics brightens me up. You have so many fantastic pieces. And all your shoes and boots... Gaaa. Hahaha. Thanks for putting this together to share.

    1. It makes me feel brighter too! Even though it's so much work, I always feel better - fresh and ready to go.

  4. I always enjoy reading your seasonal closet switch over posts! deserve a cat nap after all that fun/work!

  5. I love these posts - I get to see inside your fab closet, and go through your process with you. So many new Spring treasures too - love that ivory peasant blouse so hard. I shall deal with my major envy and congratulate you on your art! xox


    1. Thanks, Patti! I felt like everyone was there, ha ha! The ivory blouse is very you.

  6. Wow! No wonder you need a day off to organise your closet! How extremely organised you are.

    I try to put away only the heaviest, winterest clothes into storage over the summer and what doesn't fit into the chest at the end of my bed goes in black plastic sacks, labelled and dated, and up into the loft. We've had a couple of coldish summers here and in Ireland so it's good to have warmer clothing to hand if needed.

    What wonderful outfits you wore and what fabulous finds. I can't wait to see how you style the new items.


    1. It seems to become more of a production each time. I can see that - packing away only the really big, thick, warm stuff. I am lucky to have enough storage for all my stuff. Thank you for checking out my post!

  7. Oh my fave posts!!! You are so good I will never get tired of saying this Sheila. You have it all under control.
    Also I always wonder... if I had a minute to shop Sheila's closet what would I take ? Your closet looks like a boutique, a very specialised one, if I may add.
    BTW I laughed and loved the video !! you two are really something together!!
    I totally want to see you wear that cool floppy hat.

    1. Hee, I knew you would love it. I like to linger in my closet with a glass of wine, so I would invite you to do that too! I'm glad you liked the video - it was so funny to make. Oh, I'll be wearing the hat, no worries!

  8. Wow, thanks for taking me through your closet! I had such fun in there. Treasure abounded, evaded dresses, the feather trimmed number, that gorgeous metallic leather skirt - i am so glad you kept that!\ I have a similar way of organizing my clothes, and try to give away one item or two , with each item I buy, so my closet is not overstuffed~
    love the hat and lavender shoes!
    and the 8% metal dress - how could one go wrong?
    xx, Elle

    1. Thanks for reading about it, Elle! I also try to weed out items along the way, with the closet swap-over being a major purge. Thanks!

  9. That metallic dress is an utter knockout with your ink!

    It's so fun to see your closet and all your summery treasures. I still have a few more weeks to wait, but you're giving me hope.

    1. Thank you - I'm amazed at how good it looks on me. Sending spring your way! I hope it arrives soon!

  10. Thats a busy day you had swapping out your closet!
    Love that dress that you wore that night with the women that you work with and that jacket is PERFECT!!!!

    1. It was a very busy day - a lot of hard work. Thanks, Lesley!

  11. massive fabulousness!, so interesting to see how you organize your closet, all the shoes and boots, all the shelves for them, and all your amazing stuff!, I think it's always a problem how to store the boots!. And I enjoyed a lot to read about your strategies to protect your items from Vizzini!!
    Love your metallic fab dress, it fits you like a dream and you look gorgeous!
    I also like how your pouffy skirt went with the shoes, such a lovely combo!
    And such really amazing purchases!, I love those purple pants, the orange hat and those shoes (Wonders is a lovely brand!) and fab dress and shirts!

    1. Thank you, my dear! Agreed, boots are a pain - they take up so much room. Heh, I have to totally cat-proof the closet - he is a naughty boy. Thank you so much for all your kind words. It means so much.

  12. What a mega post! I'm exhausted just from looking so goodness know how you must have felt doing all of that. I'm slightly fuzzy as to what I've seen but the most memorable shot was of you in the orange hat - blimey you suit a big orange hat baby! And those pink metallic shoes are rather brilliant too. Lovely, lovely post x


    1. Yup, it's a big job, for sure. I'm excited to wear the orange hat. Of course I needed it! It's still a bit chilly for the shoes, but I'm excited about them.

  13. First, I want to say I really enjoy your fashion adventures. Wow. What an amazing collection. Wow. What incredible organization. I'm stunned you had energy and time to document the process. Thank you for sharing.

    I'm loving your 'Vog collection. Mine started with Muenster wing tips and was quickly followed by F sole Bond girl boots. Sigh. Def could use a 12 step program.


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