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DIY: Colour Blocking Your Closet

On the topic of perfectionism, one of my favourite activities in the whole world is colour blocking.  Considered borderline OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) by some, it makes the chore of laundry bearable.  I recently did an event where I kindly asked volunteers to colour block jewellery and shoes.  This was received with eye rolls, sneers and annoyance ‘really?’  But the end effect was quite smashing and they agreed that the visual aesthetic was worth the extra effort.  It’s just sooooo much prettier. 

Maybe it’s my formative years spent in retail boutiques, endless hours of folding designer jeans just so, meticulously spacing hangers on racks (a 1/2″ apart) and neatly merchandising  tops in an ombre effect (light to dark) that has engrained in me the need for my closet to resemble a store.  But I know other fashionistahs that share this compulsion so I feel much better about it.  We drank the Kool-Aid together. 

This morning I visited my good friend C who is in the process of converting her upstairs office into a walk-in closet.  Her grey dress pants were touching her light silk summer dresses.  OMG.  I exclaimed, “Your dresses are touching your pants.  Your closet is cute but you need to colour block.”  She agreed and as it’s still a work in progress. 

Here are some tips & reasons why you may want to transform your closet to top form:

  • Crank the Tunes – Colour blocking can be as relaxing as sitting in a giant hot tub.  Turn up your favourite melodies and start from white, move to colours, then fade to black.  Even if your wardrobe consists of grey to grey-black to dark midnight black, there is still room to colour block.  I like to work the colour wheel.
  • The Closet Edit – The activity of colour blocking also allows you to disect your fashion choices.  Never realized how much you’ve invested in the colour purple (my problem) or how much you need a functional blazer?  I mean, how many chiffon blouses does one need?  A general rule of thumb is if you haven’t worn it in more than two years, you likely won’t.  Perhaps a trip to consignment, Goodwill or a local charity is due.  Why hoard fashion that might have a better home with someone who will cherish it?  Give how you live.

A Perfect World: Anthropologie tops merchandised with like colours on vintage fixtures.

  • Shoes, To Box or To Hang? – When I used to have a gi-normous closet with tons of storage, I used to keep all my shoes in boxes, clearly labelled ‘Turquoise Snake Slingbacks’ or ‘Pink Satin Peeptoes.’  This was a convenient method until I moved to my studio style apartment.  Boxing shoes works for Kimora Lee Simmons and her ilk, but for those of us with limited space, hanging shoe organizers are key.  I like how I can see all my shoes which makes dashing out the door very easy.
  • Victoria Secret Up In The Hizzo – If you’re picking up what I’m laying down and you don’t think I’ve gone beyond the edge of reason or think I’ve been hit with the crazy-stick, you would die to see my lingerie drawer.  Boy shorts, lace hipsters and thongs folded in pocket squares and lined up in neat rows.  It is my pride and joy. 

Always wondered why I took Colour Theory in university. Fashion school pays off.



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