My closet and lifestyle revolution.

 

Remember when I said I was changing my life and going through a lifestyle REVOLUTION? Well this was the first part of it. My lifestyle revolution is that I am going to live a more uncluttered life. Im not going to say MINIMAL, heaven forbid! But more organized and neater. AND I’m not going to let sentimentality (unreasonable sentiments, not normal ones) and stuff have power over me. Its been about 2 weeks since I started this and I actually feel so much better… lighter, in a way. The stuff was getting in the way of my life.

I’ve spoken about my hoarding many times before…It’s not so much that I let things build up to gross and disgusting levels of clutter so much as I have a hard time parting with things, plus I’m unorganized. So my apartment was pretty much starting to look like a little mini antique shop… and in terms of my closets… they weren’t horribly messy, just literally JAM PACKED.

Two of my best friends decided that I needed an intervention. They started a company called C&C Closet Concierge, and thought I should be a client. First they organize your closets with you, and then they help you figure out what you need, don’t need, and should never wear again!

Here is a little bit about what they do:

So obviously, I agreed. These are the girls I go to when I have parties, photo shoots and need some tips! BUT lets just put it this way, throwing things away did not go down easy. AT ALL. I was like the worst patient ever. I went down kicking and screaming over every pair of jeans from 2001 (True Religion 3 sizes too big, am I EVER wearing those again?!? I hope not…) Gap maternity button downs that I used to cover my love handles in my 9th month…. 8 billion black t-shirts…. Ugly things from H&M or Forever 21, you know the things you buy when you are test driving a trend, but not ready to commit to it… those things. Ugh…. So here it is, the before, during and after. And the during was a really really really hard thing for me… Painful, but necessary.

BEFORE:

So you see, it wasn’t so messy (it could be neater) but it was just too jammed and apparently, I had everything in the wrong spots… And no one can get over that I fold my jeans, but I do, and its something I will never change! (You know I had to make the before photos black and white like those commercials…)

DURING:

A sweater in mid-flight and a heap bigger than my 3 year old.

Surveying the damage….It had to get worse before it got better!

Violá!!! 6 garbage bags full of giveaways. Not to mention the shoe boxes, which I don’t know why I bothered keeping for the past 6 years.

After:

And now, color coded everything, sweaters with sweaters, shirts with shirts, blazers with blazers….

That beige belt is vintage Alaia from my mom. It fits like a corset, and I get dizzy from no breath when I wear it, but by god, I will never part with it!


When I had the closets made, I had a hamper built in to the closet because I didn’t have room in the bathroom. I chose not to put in a lot of drawers, because I find they are terrible and get messy so fast and so I just keep work out clothes, underwear, socks, bathing suits in the drawers… I also keep a leftover Ikea stool from a party I made for Cookie in the closet so I can reach everything.

Bags and clutches are moved out of the way so pretty sweaters can be the first thing I see. Jeans and T shirts are also easily accessible.

I had a very shallow wall on one side of the closet and rather than leave it empty or have belt hooks on it, I had the closet guys build in 3″ shelving… I absolutely LOVE these shallow shelves. I use them to hold my belts, some of my jewelry, gloves etc… I also leave my contact lenses, deodorant and some make up in there because sometimes I like to put those on in the closet.  Its also where I keep extra business cards, check book and other stuff I don’t want flying around the house. 

After my friends left, I was still kind of nervous that I threw out something good. Then I dropped them to my moms house so my sisters could look it over, and while a lot of it was good stuff, it was nothing that I would or could ever wear again. Most of it was stuff that I NEVER EVEN LIKED IN THE FIRST PLACE! Things that never fit right… shirts a bit too low cut to wear, shoes a bit too small etc, things that I just held on to for no reason.

Next came PART II, THE FUN PART!!!!

Claudy helped me figure out what items were missing from my closet… Here are a few looks she put together for me along with a closet analysis. She mixed high and low to help me fill in the blanks.

LOOK 1:

My Closet Analysis from Claudy:

One thing that I noticed and loved about Nicole’s wardrobe, is that she’s not your typical shopper. Unlike everyone else, Nicole’s wardrobe is filled with statement pieces as opposed to basics. For example, she has a shrunken vintage brown leather jacket that doesn’t close, but doesn’t have a decent black leather jacket. She has a floral blazer, but her only black blazer was made out of sweatshirt material. The only problem with that is that there were no basics to pair these statement pieces with!!  My suggestions for Nicole were to add in some everyday basics to mix and match with her trendy duds. Like most of us, she is guilty of gravitating to the same style and color palettes ( Nicole is like a downtown hipster meets Ralph Lauren equestrian). The pieces I suggested for her would give her wardrobe a bit more of an edgier\ city sheek look for a more complete wardrobe.

 

 

 

 Bluelab reversible skinny jean in Cheetah HERE with a grey tshirt tucked in ( $29, Urban Outfitters)  topshop leather jacket ($260, TopShop ), topshop mesh chain bracelt bumper set ($40,TopShop $) with rag and bone newbury booties (saks.com $495) or her Jill Sander black oxford laceup shoes for warm weather days and a ps1 small leather satchel ($1225, netaporter.com

 

LOOK 2:

Start with wine colored Rag and Bone jeans that Nicole already owns HERE, paired with her Isabel Marant DIY beaded navajo belt. Denim topshop button down( HERE ), or a crewcuts denim top size 14!! (HERE) Lanvin wedges (HERE) since nicole mentioned that she needed a nice wedge for day/night, or you can pair it with the Rag and Bone Newbury Booties from the first look. 

To keep the look a little more casual you can put it with either the Isabel Marant willow high top sneakers (HERE).  If you dont want to bounce, the ASH suede laceup wedges (HERE serve the same purpose.  Accesorize with jewelmint DIY earrings. 

 

LOOK 3:

Helmut Lang leather pants HERE if you’re lucky you may be able to score a pair on bluefly.com for 60 off!! With a light blue button down shirt by Caroline Hedaya (contact Caroline for more info) and my all time favorite black Isabel Marant mony fringe boots. HERE  

Of course if you arent one of the lucky ones to score the leather pants on sale and you dont want to break the bank, you can always substitute them with the bluelab reversible jeans that i put in day outfit #1 and wear them on the black wax side, along with the denim button down from day outfit  2 and this floral blazer that Nicole and i both snatched up from Zara HERE.

Accessorize with my all time  favorite Yves Saint Laurent arty gold plated glass ring available in many different colors HERE or with any  gold cuff you can find at H&M, Topshop, Forever 21 etc.

 

For  a TRIP:

Since vacation season is approaching and many of you are going to be jetting off to warm sandy beaches I figured I’d put together a few outfits you can wear to the beach or out at night.  Here are some simple and chic outfits.

I paired Nicole’s vintage denim cutoffs with a neon yellow button down since we all know she loves neon HERE. She could also wear an oversized white button down paired  with one of her brown skinny  belts HERE. Both outfits can be worn with the Sam Edelman gigi flat sandals in tan available at Zappos. HERE. She could also wear last summer’s pink raffia Stella McCartney sandals that she already owns. Sunglasses HERE. Wayuu Taya Bag is a fun accessory for summer or vacation, that you can feel good about! A large portion goes to charity! HERE
For at night I love this sexy orange cutout dress HERE paired with a long gold necklace or these Rag and Bone leather shorts that I spotted in Nicole’s closet HERE with a turquoise or hot pink button down that I also spotted in her closet HERE with a strappy shoe.
Another easy day to night outfit could be this flowy silk blu moon dress HERE paired with a denim jacket for at night.

Bathing suit shopping doesn’t have to be painful. For the honeymoon HERE,for the small chested,HERE or  for the bustier woman, HERE for the stomach conscious HERE.

So, I’m definitely buying the Topshop denim shirt, the neon button down, Im thinking about getting the Lanvins and the orange dress is INSANE but I will never wear high heeled sneakers, no matter what. Ha. I really love that Claudy really understood my closet and worked with the things I already have, and even the stuff I made! SO FUN and cool to see your stuff put together in that way! I don’t looooooovvvvvveeeeee fashion the way I love decor, and sometime I buy the SAME THINGS over and over again, so having a fresh perspective on your closet and your style is so refreshing!
I never would have thunk to put the wine colored jeans with the denim top. And I think thats obviously going to be my new uniform. Once I find an outfit I like, I wear it for a week! Of course, now I also have a better view of the things I have in my closet, and I swear, I have been digging things out of the archives like crazy. I think I wore this circa 2001 Puma puffer vest the other day JUST to prove to them that I would!
Anyway… I spent the entire week of X mas cleaning EVERY PART of my apartment. First I tackled the kitchen, then the linen closets, storage etc… then the kids room… the only room I haven’t gotten to yet is the playroom because its such a disaster. (Why don’t toys come with little toy sacks so that all the pieces can stay together?) I went through every cabinet, drawer and basket… I think I threw out 20 garbage bags full of stuff!!!(Canned lychees from the year I got married! Unopened mail! Magazines… don’t even get me started and don’t worry, not the good ones!
So, Caroline and Claudy are generously choosing 2 people to receive one hour free of either service! All you have to do is like their Facebook page HERE to enter!  Good luck, and a clean and organized closet (and life) for us all in 2012!!!! L’chaim!
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Comments

  1. Wow! Wish I lived in NYC and these two could come help me! Love all their suggestions for wardrobe. Sometimes it is a great idea to get others help even when you are creative. I find I have trouble with my own home and fashion because I lack the element of bouncing ideas off my clients and my brain just keeps thinking of options! Great post! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Oh how I would love if there was such a service here! I just started my closet overhaul yesterday and literally packed up 4 bags of things I know I will never wear- feels go to get rid of so much stuff. I have such a small closet so have a lot of work to do in terms of organization but it’s a start. I feel so the same way you do…just itching to simplify a bit. Your closet looks so organized and pretty…perfect inspiration for me!!

  3. Nicole, wow I want your closet and stylist. Great job! The drawers for lingerie, socks, bathing suits, etc. Another fresh set of eyes helps so much!

    Happy New Years and All the Best in 2012!

    I hope you will come to enter my Giveaway from Serena & Lily!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

  4. I am dying to have someone come and makeover my closet and tell me what I need to buy to fit into the mix! Your closet transformation is awesome, I love how they went through everything and cleaned that massive closet right up!

  5. I love the looks! And your closet looks AWESOME. Great job! I love the feeling after cleaning out a space packed with stuff- it’s the best! I’m sure you’ll get a lot more use out of the stuff you do have now!

  6. Love the new closet and the looks – esp #1… hello reversible skinnies!

  7. robin says:

    would never have thought to put all these things together on my own but they all look great!!

  8. oh my god… this is the best post ever! good for you for starting 2012 with LITERALLY a clean slate. my mom keeps stuff like you and i vowed never to do it :) i purge shit constantly!

    your closet looks amazing and i cant wait to see pics of your new looks when you get them!

  9. Millie Marcus says:

    WOW! Your closet looks amazing, love the before + after. Happy to know that there are other people that also color code their closets #nolongerafreak :) Also, the reversible skinnies are SICK!!!

  10. I love this post..everyday I dream of a fairy coming in and doing this exact thing to my closet..but in my dream she Stays so that she keeps it organized too.
    What a great idea to start this company – taking it one step further and really helping you see what you might need (perhaps out of your comfort zone) just like what we try and do for others in design..
    Brilliant work! and Good luck to the Caroline and Claudy on their new adventure. Thanks for sharing your makeover too.
    Jennifer @ Dec-a-Porter

  11. TARA says:

    This is something I could really use. My closet looks full, but there’s probably a lot I can get rid of and a lot more I could use. I’m going to use these great tips to get started.

  12. Outstanding! What a transformation and such an inspiration…my closets are in need of a dramatic make-over and sorting out!
    Love the black and white pumps by the way…killer!!

  13. Michmish says:

    I’m so proud that this all went down. You know how I feel about organization…Love this post!!!

  14. Doreen says:

    YoUr closet looks amazing. I love organizing and this is exactly how I would want my closet to look. I also love how they were able to use your vintage pieces in an updated way. That’s something I can use some help with!

  15. Awesome! i am struggling with letting go of things at the moment too. I could so use this.

    I wish I was in NYC. Unless, they want to do a crazy skype closet intervention. PLEASE.

    xoxo

    Rebecca June

  16. ASchwek says:

    I’m with you with the folding jeans! Hate jeans hanging! Looks amazing

    • Nicole Cohen says:

      I think we are the ONLY ones! I HATE hanging jeans!

      • Lauren says:

        Who hangs jeans? And why? lol doesn’t make sense to me.

  17. esther says:

    claudy that black sweatshirt blazer i was laughing we bought it together and i have it too lol nicole i love ur leopard sweater and leopard booties poking out of the closet lol i forgot how huge ur closet is. and ps. jaclyn folds her jeans also

  18. esther says:

    and nic my worst thing is keeping all the parts of the toys together cause i always say one missing piece the toy is garbage

  19. Marielle says:

    wow, u guys did a pretty damn good job!!!

  20. How cleansed do you feel???!! Love it when I discard all of the extra stuff I don’t need. Bet it is a weight off your shoulders!!!