The Closet Project: Days 47 – 50

‘Right’ I thought, ‘ time to get down to the business of gaining some control on The Closet Project (and then all in my currently chaotic life will follow suit. It will? It will)’. So I decided to write one week’s blog in one quick post. Then I began writing and it became one week’s blog in one not-so-quick post. Soon it was an incredibly long post. Then it was just plain ridiculous.  For everyone’s sake I’ve left it at 4 days. 4 long days…


The Threads I Wore

Day 47 was the day of the jumpsuit. This one is from Zara and another of those items that I styled a look around and fell in love with when it was on the model. I very rarely buy anything without sleeves but this was different… the arms peeping out were so slender and brown. Even the legs looked long and lean. Wow this jumpsuit did amazing things. Of course the first time I wore it I realised those arms and legs were belonging to the model and didn’t actually come with the outfit. As a result it’s a rarely worn item but actually, now that I’ve been forced to wear it for daytime (it was this or a ball-gown), I think I’ll probably wear it more. I feel less of an imposter in it this way.

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The evening saw me wearing a pair of Collectif trousers that I’ve owned for a number of months but hadn’t gotten around to taking up. I had been coveting these ’40s style brace-pants for ages when I saw the ever-stylish Aine of favourite Vintage store After Sybil wearing a pair at the last Vintage Ireland fair. When I admired them on her she told me she could order me a pair so soon within no time, I had my own pair. A bit like the jumpsuit however, the reality was it had again been the beautiful model that made me fall in love with them. Although I don’t at all do the justice to them that Aine does I still love them as something different to my usual ’60s-centric attire. The oversized blouse is from Miss Selfridge and, although I have it years, I wear it only once in a blue moon as it is literally the most horrible item to iron I have ever had the misfortune of owning. Now I don’t claim to enjoy ironing at the best of times and It’s probably because there’s so much material but I swear that every newly pressed section re-creases as you move it around the board. My language turns a lovely shade of blue with every undertaking. These driving gloves are from my previously mentioned favourite Aussie designer, Alannah Hill. They are another gift from my brother and sister-in-law and I adore them. Not only are they beautifully made in cream and blue leather but they have buttons and perforated fabric that just cry out to be worn whilst driving a soft top on the Riviera. Or perhaps for murdering (more of that later)…

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Next day saw me return to another very old (forgotten about) favourite from Johann for Urban Renewal at Urban Oufitters. As with the previous dress from this line, I visited this number for many consecutive weeks. This was a dress clearly made for a bustier lady as every single time I’ve ever worn it I have flashed my ample padding-covered fried eggs. As the neck is tied I’m always lured into a false sense of modest security but the truth is something quite different. More like superman with a bra. And there was me concerned with showing too much of my arms…

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Back to black for day 49…  these particular jeans are from Topshop and could be Baxter … or are they Leigh? Who knows? Either way they’re well worn and well comfy. The blouse is from a boutique in NY’s East Village. On the last day of a trip, I took off on a mission to visit every single boutique I missed the previous three days. Of course I failed miserably, becoming totally overwhelmed by the choices of Vintage dresses and ultimately leaving them all behind and buying a random blue and white blouse. As it happens I get quite a bit of wear our of it. Note to self: It’s totally see-through. Coral underwear makes an unplanned guest appearance giving the illusion that one’s bosom lies upon their stomach. At least I’m hoping that’s an illusion…

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Day 50 confirms yesterday’s confession of a grey jumper weakness. I mean really, grey jumpers? And grey jumpers that aren’t just for the gym (maybe they should be)? Who ever knew? In fairness I really had nothing else suitable to go with my very yellow Zara skirt. I had considered moving this skirt to my summer ‘holidays’ clothes collection (oh, hadn’t I mentioned them?), thus avoiding needing to wear it during this project but the truth is this skirt is woven and heavy and everything a summer skirt isn’t… well, besides bright yellow of course.

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After all of that grey-embracing it was time to return to the land of Vintage. This is another Circus number, a ’40s – inspired tea dress that makes me feel like a housewife and hipster all at once. Actually it has never made me feel like either of those things but next time I wear it it will.

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Why I Wore Them

Day 47 was one of the most frustrating since this project began. I had worked non-stop for a number of early days and evenings, my mouth was shredded from my braces, my speech was dreadful and my energy zero. All I wanted was to take one of the many easy, ready to wear looks hanging on my ‘keeping’ rail. It was all I could do to make myself choose from my nearly bare wardrobe. I had an Xpose shoot for which I had organised a stand in stylist for the interview (thanks Roxanne!). This meant I didn’t need to be camera ready but I did need to be comfortable enough to run around, do fittings, returns etc. and still presentable enough to deal with clients and venues. The jumpsuit was generally for nightwear with heels only but it was the most appealing looking piece of clothing at that particular moment so gold brogues and black cami it was (the jumpsuit is backless). Thankfully all worked out well and the vino tasted all the sweeter at the end of it.

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Next day I had a meeting to attend so needed to ignore the desire to don a dressing gown for the duration. I do believe that the best ways to feel alive is to add some red lipstick. Once I knew this was the primary feature of my look (anyone else class red lipstick as an outfit choice?) I chose my clothes around it. Thankfully it was warm out; Thankfully I had the presence of mind to wear a cami and a safety pin. Thankfully the fried eggs stayed under wraps. I’m still immensely impressed with myself.

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Although by evening time I thought bed was the best place for me, Special Gentleman and I had accepted an invitation to a Murder Mystery dinner so… party-time it was! We had received frankly hilarious descriptions of our characters so knew that we were spending the evening in ’40s Paris. I was to be Cherie Boot, a husky-voiced cabaret singer, all androgynous and mysterious. SG was Pierre Paysaski, a shabby looking poet of Russian and French parentage. The fact that we were the only guests to dress directly from our everyday wardrobes made us wonder if we should take a moment to consider further our general style choices. We decided instead we would drink wine and enjoy what was a rather brilliant night, thanks to our fabulous hosts, Huges Le Grandbutte & Ingrid Pith. Rather thrillingly I turned out to not only be a man (no one was more surprised than me!) but also the murderer. Hooray! The gloves became all the more significant.

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 Sunday was a day of catching up with pals, drinking coffee, and establishing what brunch items would be acceptable to consume with my braces (eggs in; bacon out).

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On Monday I spent the day in Kildare, pulling looks for an upcoming fashion show. The weather turned baltic so the addition of tights was essential. It was a clear case of comfort over style and, just in case this didn’t look bats enough, these particular tights are far too large for me so constantly fall into a gather at the ankles. I have no doubt that the client observed my outfit choice and general demeanor with trepidation. Would you trust your collections debut showcase to the girl that looks like she fell into her wardrobe and stayed dressed in whatever stuck?

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Day 50 was a day of admin, errands and appointments. After over a week of moaning of mouth pain I returned to the dentist only to learn that yes, there was extra wire stabbing my tongue. Yippee! My tea dress happily skipped from the clinic with me and my new sense of relief.

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Where It Will Go

I think it’s time to hang up the neck-tie dress of the flashing. It’s time to hang it up forever. In light of the realisation that I do indeed have a huge quantity of clothes, I have further sorted my remaining threads and have created a couple of different piles, including ‘charity’ and ‘selling’. I was all gung ho to dust off my eBay account but have since reconsidered. I believe I shall now come thundering into 2014 and set up a Depop account. All the cool kids are doing it. Actually that may mean I have very little success with it. Watch this space – I shall update anon.

What The Special Gentleman Thought 

’50 days? And you still haven’t run out of outfits, seriously?’ This was greeted with a distinctly non-impressed, jaded face; bull-like if you will. ‘You know what you’re doing, pumpkin? You’re doing a dissertation. That’s right, a dissertation of clothes… oh, and I’m very proud of you.’ Said face clearly had desired effect.

x Irene x

PS – thanks to Papa Bear for taking my tea-dress photos. I may have been all wet hair and disheveled but he was adamant that we get his painting’s best angle… x