April 22, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

From Brooks Brothers and Talbots to REI

Sometimes I feel like I can tell the story of my life by my closet. When I think back to years past and the clothing that I purchased, wore and cared for, it’s basically a three-dimensional version of my resume.

Before 2014 I was a corporate executive meeting with clients in business suits, separates and sometimes business casual. My wardrobe reflected my life, a closet filled with white-collar work clothes.

My go-to stores were Talbots and Brooks Brothers (preferably during one of their sales). The tailored blazers and scarf accents were a mainstay of my clothing portfolio. The bulk of my closet space was taken up with professional attire for work. Maybe I had a couple of pairs of jeans for the weekend, but not many.

Now, in 2017, you can’t even find a matching blazer and pair of slacks in my closet. My go-to pants are yoga pants that I wear every day (I call it my “ninja outfit”). Sometimes I show up in jeans depending on the client’s needs. When asked to make a presentation about my services to senior groups and baby boomers, I have my black slacks in two lengths depending on what height heel I am wearing for the event. As for the jacket, forget about the blazer with restricting shoulder pads. I lean towards a soft, unlined cozy jacket. Goodbye shoulder pads, hello comfort.

During my first year in business I won a gift card for an outdoor/camping store and stopped in their store to look around. Since it was summertime and I was sweating up a storm in un-air-conditioned homes, I needed clothing that would wick sweat away from my body. I found the camping and yoga clothing to be comfortable and well made, and the store provided excellent service.

And speaking of closets…during the Christmas season Don and I attended our friend’s annual holiday party. I was listening to some guests talk about what’s in their closets, and their organizing challenges and successes. One person mentioned that she had a dedicated closet just to store her gowns. This concept is totally foreign to me; I’ve never been a big black-tie-event attendee, and to tell you the truth I never raised my hand to attend. Don and I are just not that formal. However, I do respect that others have this as part of their clothing “resume” and they are required to maintain an adequate selection of floor-length gowns to wear to elegant parties. Since I cannot remember ever wearing a floor-length gown, except to my wedding, I was listening with interest to this conversation.

Next thing I know, after the new year began I found myself in a client’s home who had a separate storage area for her and her husband’s formal attire. How funny that I had just had this conversation a few weeks earlier. This is what I love about my work, experiencing new ideas and concepts, and learning from my clients and friends.

We all have requirements in our personal and professional lives, some demanding more of one kind of clothing than another. What you have in your closet is a reflection of who you are, what you do and how you live your life. When things change, so do our wardrobe requirements. Let’s celebrate our differences with a big cheer and a self-hug. And a now a quick organizing suggestion…before you go shopping for a new ball gown or pair of yoga pants, check your closet first to make sure you don’t already have something fabulous to wear.

PS: Both of my previous go-to stores served my wardrobe needs with great service and value. I cherish the time that I wore my special suits and blouses. I have some wonderful memories of what I wore during my proudest moments. Those clothes are now providing other working women with fabulous experiences and the opportunity to provide for their families.

PPS: May 2017 be a year of joy and riches in all its forms for you and your loved ones.

Happy Organizing!

By Eileen Bergman

 Eileen Bergman is a Professional Organizer and a proud member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) and the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD). Eileen is listed in the resource directory for the Hoarding Disorder Resource and Training Group. Eileen may be reached at 973-303-3236 or [email protected].

 

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