Monday, September 30, 2019

Last September Outfit, and the Ginormous Closet Swap-Over

Hello, my friends! Sorry for the disruption in posting, but well...these giant posts take a long time to write! 

So you will forgive my brevity as we dive right into things. Here's the last outfit of September, a true transitional outfit. 
Transitional because this is very definitely a spring/summer skirt, and it is now tucked out of sight until the end of March 2020, when I pull it out and go, "Oh, yeah! I forgot about this!"

This is my entry for "Visible Monday" over at Patti's Not Dead Yet Style. Go!

  • Leather vest - Cabi, thrifted; last worn here in April 2018 when Ally came to town
  • Sweater - Judith & Charles, consignment; last seen here (3rd outfit) in April with tie-dye neoprene
  • Skirt - Alfred Sung, vintage 80s, vintage fair; purchased here for $32.00
  • Shoes - Tod's, thrifted; last worn here in March with a plethora of olives
  • Velvet blazer (below) - Talbots, thrifted; last seen here in February, revisiting autumn

The sweater is an all-year-round thing, but the leather vest and the shoes were pulled out of the fall wardrobe.
 I loved wearing the skirt all day. Very swooshy!

It has a high wide waistband, which perfectly matched up with the cropped cut of the sweater, but I felt like it needed one more item.
When were vests last in style? 10-15 years ago?

Dunno, don't care!
It only matters if I like it!

I wore my silk/cotton velvet blazer as outerwear - it was too warm to wear it in the office.
I like this look - I'll have to do a belted blazer over this next spring.

The stuff:
Giant heels that only LOOK high. They are actually only a 2" heel. I was still careful doing the stairs (death grip on the handrail - safety first!).

Brown and cream bling:
I'd forgotten about that pearl/bead necklace. I think it got it at the same time as my "swag o' pearls" necklace.

  • Necklace - Aldo
  • Wood ring - thrifted
  • Amber ring - c. 1996
  • Pearl ring - Erth, consignment
  • Earrings - thrifted

Before we get to the closet stuff, here's a few things I picked up at Winesday. Both Vero and Nancy brought some stuff.

Does this look familiar? It's mine, and I'd given it away to Vero. It's snug on me, but dang, I love that pattern!
I last wore it here in August 2018 - it's by Sandra Angelozzi, bought on consignment a few years ago. Although I did take it back, it's packed away in the spring/summer stuff, as it's a thin cotton/silk fabric.

I also found these two necklaces. Vero is a very good thrifter, and often visits a store near her office.
 The black necklace is so dramatic - it'll be great for winter.

The other necklace looked really familiar.
 Curved steel, glass...could it be?

It is! It's POLY by Christophe Poly!
I collect these! I was thrilled with my treasures. Thanks, Vero!

Also, before I started pulling apart my closet on Sunday, I walked to town to do my grocery shop and briefly popped into Rich Rags, where I found a pair of Fluevogs for $40.00.
I have this same leather in these shoes (link), but I love the black patent leather straps/buckles.

And the fact that they are flats!
 Oh, yeah!

They've had some solid wear, and have had the heels and toes fixed and those "fixes" in rubber are original (discovered once I figured out what model these are).
And yes - classic Fluevog - these are size 11.5. I wear 9.5, but in Fluevogs, I own size 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10 and 10.5. Now I can add an 11.5 to the mix! They are slightly loose, but doing up the straps on the front makes them fit nicely.

They say "Be ever present, Know your history, Plot your future."
Found 'em here! They are called the History Sandy, and the original retail was $349.00, marked down to $149.00. Not bad for $40! Ha, the notes on size say "Sizing help recommended." No kidding!

Okay, ready for some pictures? I started doing my closet swap-over around noon on Sunday and finished around 7pm. Long time...

Here's what my closet looked like before I started.
I do my daily photos right there in front of it - it's the size of a small bathroom. The tall chest on the right holds my tights, vintage slips, soft tops and camisoles, and I have two boxes of scarves handy on the floor for adding to outfits.

My chandelier - every closet needs one - and my poppy tile, purchased at the Art Gallery around 17 years ago in some sort of auction. It might have been a really early Urbanite! They were dead back then.
As you can see, my closet goes right up to the ceiling! On the left we have some of my costume/steampunk stuff (along with storage boxes containing some of my archived clothing, like my Dad's sweaters), and on the right are a bunch of costume hats. Stuff I don't wear much, but is fun to have!

First, I start on the front left with the blouses, and start removing items that I'm either packing away for the season, or that I'm ready to let go of.
The hangers pile up! I only use wooden hangers, with about a dozen velvet flocked ones for slippy clothes. For pant/skirt hangers, I have a mix of wooden, foam clipped and some old black plastic ones from when I worked in clothing retail (1999-2000).

My pile of fall/winter that was living behind the spring summer clothes. I shove it in back and forget about it!
What an exciting-looking pile of goodies! Some of that is new-to-me and some is stuff I had out in warm weather and just didn't work for that season (too hot).

Here's some looks inside, with all the spring/summer removed. I ended up doing another round of removals later, as I ran out of hangers.
I also moved things around to shake up my brain into seeing things in a different way. I reversed the colour way (I usually do light -->dark, following a rainbow). I moved my blouses around a few times. Gathering a collection of trousers means I have less room on that first hang section on the left.

On the left side, right up near the ceiling are my vintage shoes, my first pair of Fluevogs, and two other sentimental/old pairs - basically my shoe archives. I can't reach that shelf without standing on something, but I can grab one of the four hats/fascinators that live up there.
The shelf under that with folded jean-style pants and my odds and ends pile (acid wash vest, leather shorts, leather peplum top, bustier and a sparkly shrug).

Below that, some piles of sweatery tops. Bulky, solid thin, cardigans. This changed as I unpacked my sweaters and sorted them into piles.
The bottom shelf is right above my pants/long skirt hanging section. It's thinner sweaters and tops that layer. The stuff I wear more is near the bottom.

And there's my collection of pants, long skirts and blouses that stayed out.
On the "need more hangers!" cull later on, some of these got packed away/put into the giveaway pile.

Dresses that are staying out:
There's far too much space in there! More dresses!

My lovely gold mirror, and the right side of my closet.
Short skirts on the top - I tend to stash my out of season purchases behind them - and blazers/jackets on the bottom.

Lots of space. I rearranged the colourway on this shelf as well.
I tend to keep out things for fall that work well with tights (lots of short skirts), or are darker colours, although I made an effort to keep some brights out this year.

Jackets and blazers.
Some of these had to get packed away - I didn't realize I had so many in storage!

Here is my 10 piles of clothing, folded and ready for storage, and a whack of shoes that are going away for 6 months.
And Vizzini's dish and L's Dungeons and Dragons manuals...yeah...

Now we pull all of the bags (eleven, I believe) and and the big tub out from inside the closet - all that space behind the lower-hanging clothing and the dresses is ripe for storage.
 My one big tub goes under the dresses. The little bags are easier to fit under shelving and behind clothes. I have to store them with the ties hidden away, to protect them from moths and Vizzini. I unload all of these. Many of the bags contain boots and shoes - I have far more fall/winter shoes than spring/summer, or at least, they're bulkier than sandals.

Then I pull the three flat tubs out from under the bed:
I dust everything as I go: closet, shelves, chandelier, tops of the tubs.

And I hang everything, and re-assess it (do I really love this?) as I go.
 I also turn all the hangers backwards - you can see that in my dress section here. As I wear garments, I turn the hangers around. It helps me ensure I'm wearing my entire wardrobe, and questioning what gets unworn - it's usually party dresses or gowns, with a few stragglers that usually go into the giveaway pile.

Heh, you can also see my computer on the desk, and the mess of hangers. It's organized chaos!

Speaking of, here's the doorway outside the den, where I pile up my shoes, from the bathroom door, heading down the hallway to the left.
The vacuum is out ready to give everything a deep cleaning.

Looking down the hallway to the living room...
That's a lot of shoes...but we're not quite there yet...

They spilled out into the living room. I counted them this year.
Including my spring/summer shoes, I have 91 pairs of shoes. I'm good with that.

 And here we are, closet all back as it should be, nice and tidy.
Don't you love all my shoes - that's the Tower of Power!

The left side - oh, so many goodies to play with!
Somehow, everything fits.

Here's a look at the Tower of Power, from the top shelf near the ceiling where I keep my party shoes (aka they hurt to wear but I still love them and can wear them for parties).
I liked my purses and handbags to be within reach, so I put them just below. You'll notice that I store things behind my shoes (I use every inch of space!), including my wedding shoes, and my wigs.

Boots that fold, platform soles (that aren't Fluevogs).
 And the double boot shelf. All Fluevogs!

Standard work shoes on the next two rows. 
Although eight of those are Fluevogs, I do have other brands!

This is the bottom shelf, plus shoes that live on the floor.
 All flats! My flats collection is growing as my heels collection is shrinking. I also store things behind the shoes on the floor.

The far right corner - you can see a bit of my storage there.There are at least 5 bags of spring/summer back there and two boxes of shoes.
When I store my boots on the floor, I usually put one boot forward and tuck its mate behind it.

The left side - all those lovely dresses waiting to be worn!
This is where the blouses ended up. I actually have fewer dresses for fall/winter than for the warmer seasons.

And my long skirts and pants.
 I did end up keeping my pink satin Boss Lady Pants out!

There are my "I can walk to town in these" boots.
It's important to have shoes you can actually walk in! Funny how that works!

Here we are again, way up at the top. No change there. 
But we see a change on the shelf below that - my bulky cardis are shoved on one side (note my awesome "I don't care" folding job), and my odds and ends pile grew. 

The last two shelves got full! Bulky sweaters, specialty sweaters, thinner cardigans. 
And in the "frequent use" shelf, more have been added. The far right pile is the "not yet worn" stack. 

I also go through my belts (three hatboxes' worth) and my obis/sashes (one box). 
 They live in front of the mirror. Once these go in, the closet starts to feel full.

I tidied up my lingerie/hosiery chest, and put one of my golden vintage dishes out for my accessories that haven't been worn yet.
I ended up clearing them out of that dish and now that's where my accessories for the next day's outfit goes.

Here's the giveaway pile. It's grown slightly.
Some of these things I still like...but I don't LOVE. Some of them are old, and I'm just tired of them. Some of them don't feel like me anymore. I never wear the floral Docs (I think Cat will want them).

I also pulled out all my scarves and hats.
 I did take a picture of the bags of furry scarves and the bag of gloves, but by this time, I was tired, and it was blurry. Screw it, I'm done!

I wasn't able to get to my jewelry swap-over - oh yes, I do that too! L was doing laundry, and I require half of the bed to swap everything.
Here's what my jewelry looks like. A brocade bag with big bulky stuff, a two-tiered glass dessert stand for my cuffs and bracelets, my grandmother's jewelry box (my vintage stuff lives there), my big Bombay Co. jewelry box, and my thrifted crystal dish for my small earrings.

I pull out my shoebox of storage...
I got excited and started unpacking and sorting things before I remembered to take a picture. These little cloth bags are great for keeping sets or like things together. I pulled out everything and sorted it on the bed.

At the bottom are my bags of jewelry archives, some old stuff I don't wear but want to keep. Also my ginormous turquoise and quartz necklaces, which are really too heavy most of the time.
I'd totally forgotten that I had this metal compact. I'm not sure where it came from - Mom, do you know?

It still has the little round pad for putting powder on your nose.
It used to have the original powder when I was a teenager (remembering that means I've had this since the 80s), and I topped it up with talcum powder.

It's stamped, how awesome!
 It's from the 1950s - here is a much more pristine one in the same design. Mine is very scratched - it obviously lived in someone's purse!

Grandma S's jewelry box is next. Out with the spring/summer, in with the fall/winter.
Out with the spring/summer, in with the fall/winter. Lots of sparklies for the holiday season!

My bangle/bracelet organizer is all done.
More bronze and copper.

I weeded out the summer stuff from my crystal dish.
And took this amber candy dish out of the kitchen and used it for my hematite collection.

All done!
And I'm so glad I don't have to do this again for another six months!


  1. I always like seeing your changeover posts and I love that you have 91 pairs of shoes! now I know why you always have the perfect pair of shoes for every outfit! I don't have many shoes but I find I'm wearing the same ones over and over - i need to try mix it up a little and try different things! I have been meaning to wear my printed ones for a while but the weather keeps disagreeing and threatening rain, ha!

    I really like your bracelet holder too, i think I've seen a similar stand / display thing in an opshop here so I am definitely going to keep an eye out for one, I could use something like that for my new wardrobe room whenever it's finished. I'll be doing the hanger trick then too! ;)

    1. Thanks, Mica! I was dreading counting the shoes, and was relieved that I wasn't over 100. That seems like a good cap for me, ha ha! More shoes means they last longer! Spread the wear around. Wear your printed ones anyway - they are things and are meant to be used.

      Thanks! I felt very clever when I figured out what to do with that thing (my mother-in-law bought it for me). It's a great way to see all my cuffs. Ooh, you're doing a wardrobe room!? I'm so envious!

  2. So glad you've managed to wear that divine floral skirt before packing it away. It will be such a lovely surprise in Spring, though. On the other hand, I am quite, quite envious of the fact that you've finished your swap-over. I am not looking forward to mine, that's for sure, especially as I will need to divide it over several weekends. I love your closet, it looks so organized, whereas I don't have a closet and my wardrobes are in our bedroom and our spare room. I wasn't at all surprised to read you've got 91 pairs of shoes. I haven't counted mine, but it must be close. Nothing wrong with that eh? I'm loving your jewellery display too. Oh, and I also have a glass dish where I put the jewellery I'm planning to wear the next day! xxx

    1. Thank you, Ann! It'll be better in spring - it was quite chilly to wear yesterday, even with a slip under it.

      I am relieved to be done! It's so much work - but I do have the advantage to having most of my wardrobe in one place. I don't envy your separate areas! Heh, I'm glad I'm not the only one with a ton of shoes! Nothing wrong with that, though! It's my money, my hobby, and I don't have to justify it.

  3. Gah - I love peering into your closet, Sheila! So colorful and lush. So many options for creating your daily super-star looks! That swooshy skirt you wore on Friday is a keeper, yes? Love it. xo

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Patti! I'm actually feeling overwhelmed and stymied by the choice! I need to get in there and build some outfits, trying things on.

      Yes, the skirt I wore yesterday/Monday is a keeper, just packed away for spring, that's all.

  4. Wow... your wardrobe is like my dream life. :) And $40 Fluevogs?! I'd cut off toes to fit into those. I thought I was the only person who uses a "death-grip" on staircases. My girl-closet is upstairs and I have to descend a long steep staircase to get to my photo area: always afraid I'm going to be discovered days later in a heap at the bottom.

    1. It's pretty cool, isn't it? I love my closet. I know, I was pretty excited about the Fluevogs - you really don't see too many of them second-hand.

      Ha! No, death-grip all the way, girlfriend. I'm always envisioning wiping out in the stairwells here, or smashing out my teeth or something equally unpleasant.

  5. What a great day to return to your blog! I do love this blow by blow account of your day. I think you're much more healthy than me with your pass-it-along mindset - I tend to hoard and hoard until I literally don't have any more room to store the next lot of purchases - that usually prompt a clear out!

    1. Thank you, Anna! It was such a long day, doing the full swap-over! I am really ruthless when it comes to culling clothes. I don't want to hoard.

  6. What a gorgeous skirt! I love its print so much and the fact that it is a maxi length makes it even better. I love maxi skirts! They're so feminine and chic. I like how you paired this one with the vest. The blazer you wore as outwear is fabulous as well. Your heels and accessories are very cute too.

    91 pairs of shoes. That's a great collection! So fun to see your closet. I don't have a special closet room, I wish! Albeit my guest room that is also my office room is starting to resemble a walk in closet because some of my clothing items don't fit in the closet anymore...or maybe it is just becoming a messy room with all kinds of things inside. :)

    So fun a coworker of yours visited Split, I hope he enjoyed it.

    1. Thank you, Ivana! It's a lovely print - the length is between a maxi (not totally full-length) and a midi.

      91 is a lot! I'm glad you enjoyed my little closet tour. I like the sound of your guest room - maybe you should convert it to a giant walk-in closet??

      He did! He said it was very beautiful. :)

  7. What a pretty skirt, I'm glad it got an outing before it's winter hibernation!
    I so commend your commitment to your wardrobe and to your regular culls and donations to colleagues.
    I did my changeover yesterday - it took 20 minutes! I think I've sold half of my wardrobe this year! My clothes are pretty much year-round. After reading about your 91 items of footwear I ran upstairs and counted mine - 31! Apparently the average British woman owns 25 pairs. xxx

    1. Me too, Vix - I'm excited to haul it out again in March.

      It's really hard to do - but I remind myself, if I want to keep shopping (and I do), then I need to move things along.

      Wow, 20 minutes, I envy you! I recall the days of not doing a swapover - I had a lot fewer clothes then! Glad you're there on the average with shoes!

  8. I am so envious of anyone who has a walk in closet. You have achieved a super efficient swap over; no wonder it took so long! IT looked wonderful when you'd finished it.

    I find the idea of seasonal jewellery strange; I wear mine all year round - and I probably need a walk in closet for my jewellery alone!

    I have about 60 items of footwear including walking shoes and boots.

    1. It was a big factor when we bought our condo, Vronni! It does feel really good to be DONE.

      I used to do that as well, but again, limited storage and it's nice to "rest" from some of my pieces.

      Nice, that's a good amount. :)

  9. What a huge clothes swap over. You are so organised, Shiela.

    I love having a peek through people's wardrobes and yours is delightfully colourful. X

    1. Yup, that's me - I have a very logical brain! Thank you - I love looking in people's wardrobes too.

  10. Wow, that changeover looks like a lot of work! The closest I come is getting everything out for my twice-yearly moth proofing. I've never thought of swapping jewellery over with the seasons - the closest I come is making sure the Halloween pieces come out in October.

    1. It is, Mim! Moth-proofing is a good idea - they've gotten me more than once. I started doing it with the jewelry in the last few years, once my collection started getting larger than my containers.

  11. I've always loved seeing your swap over from afar. I admire your commitment to only keeping what you love and for not extending beyond the space you've given yourself. Your friends are very lucky to have you!!

    1. Aw, thank you so much, Fay! The closet is a gift to myself that keeps on giving. :)

  12. I always enjoy your switchover, love to see all your shoes and boots!. And it's fabulous to see all the clothes coming out to play!
    I'm also trying to let go those clothes that I like but don't love. I call them 'nice but not fabulous' clothes. I need more room for fabulousness!
    besos & happy autumn

    1. It's fun to see, isn't it? I was looking at one of my swapovers from 7 years ago, and I had a lot less clothes then!

      It is hard to let go of "good" clothes, but I find that knowing they are going to my friends or coworkers helps - I know they will go to a good home, where they will be loved and appreciated.

      Happy Autumn to you, my dear!

  13. Ah yes, the seasonal switch-over...I haven't done mine yet as I'm waiting for the weather to settle into consistent fall temperatures. Your walk-in closet always induces serious storage envy!

    1. Thank you! I love that I have so much storage. Our weather here is really changeable too.


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