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The Curated Closet: A Simple System for Discovering Your Personal Style and Building Your Dream Wardrobe Paperback – September 20, 2016
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"it never hurts to take inventory of what's in your closet already in order to make good decisions when you're staring at a pile of "yeses" in the dressing room. That's where Berlin-based blogger Anuschuka Rees comes in. . . [she] is dedicated to helping women curate their perfect wardrobes using all kinds of handy charts, infographics, and lists that make the process less emotional and more data-oriented."
"Fans of the author's blog, Marie Kondo devotees, and anyone who's tired of having a full closet but 'nothing to wear' will treasure this superb resource."
– Stephanie Klose, Library Journal
"Does your weakness for sales leave you with clothing you’ll never wear? Do you love buying dressy clothes but seldom have an occasion to wear them? Do you have a full closet but still have trouble finding something to wear? Style blogger Anuschka Rees may have a solution for you. In The Curated Closet. . .she outlines how to analyze your wardrobe and lifestyle. She counsels discipline, suggesting you make a list of the items you need and shop with that list in hand, looking for quality and durability."
– The Boston Globe
"Lifestyle blogger Rees’s first book, based on the blog Into Mind, is a fun and practical guide to discovering one’s personal style. The goal is for women to easily choose an outfit that they like every single morning, to wear a large portion of clothes from their closet, and to be able to dress for their own lifestyles. Focusing on what one likes to wear and what one does most often, Rees provides a variety of methods to achieve a wardrobe that works. To begin, readers are encouraged to document their own outfits for two weeks (taking a photograph every day), observing their favorite and least favorite looks, colors, fits, and garments. From there, Rees advises readers on how to revitalize their personal style and build a fully wearable wardrobe. The book uses simple but eye-opening graphics to emphasize its points, such as side-by-side pie charts comparing lifestyle to current wardrobe. Refreshing and thorough, Rees delivers a fashion-forward guide that’s awesomely sensible."
– Publishers Weekly
“Have you ever walked out of your house only to later regret your less-than-perfect clothing choices? The Curated Closet [is] about ten steps above and beyond most other closet make-over books. You'll get a walk-through into building a dream wardrobe that you will actually be happy to wear. Author Anuschka Rees guides the reader through a series of questions that will hone choices to your personality and your varied lifestyles. (Hiking, office work, semi-formal, hanging out, etc.) Once the wardrobe is pared down to what you really need, Rees works on teaching methods to put together outfits that work. In her own words, she'll teach 'the secret to making sure you never again have nothing to wear.' I heartily recommend The Curated Closet to anyone who has ever stood in front of their closet, baffled by its contents.”
– Tracey Trudeau, Powell's Books
“In a world inundated with fast fashion and rapidly changing trends, it’s easy for our closets to become graveyards of misguided purchases. In the midst of plenty, identifying our personal style can feel harder than ever. Anuschka Rees’s The Curated Closet is a smart, straightforward manual that encourages readers to discover what they like and to develop a wardrobe that makes getting dressed easier. Anuschka's pragmatic book should be required reading for anyone familiar with staring at a closet full of clothes and still feeling like they don't have a thing to wear.”
– Erin Boyle, author of Simple Matters
“This chic, thoughtful book is full of genius methods for taking control of your look, your habits, your budget, and your wardrobe. Best of all, it helps you discover your own unique style rather than follow the trends—authenticity is always in fashion!”
– Alison Freer, author of How to Get Dressed
About the Author
ANUSCHKA REES is a writer and the creator of Into-Mind.com, the go-to online source for all things personal style and minimalism. She has a master's in social psychology from the London School of Economics and has spent years studying the intricacies of human decision making, which she's used to develop her unique system of personal style-defining techniques.
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Anuschka lays out a detailed approach to developing your personal wardrobe. She stresses that personal style is very different from being fashionable. She explains when a capsule makes sense, when a "curated" wardrobe makes sense, and how to blend both. Most importantly, she teaches you how to define your own clothing rules. She does not provide lists or pictures of what works together -- that's your homework. She does provide completed samples of each assignment. Do not purchase if you want a quick, do-it-in-one-afternoon guide. It was work; however, I have a clear set of personal rules, fabric preferences, and outfit formulas. Pieces a quick-capsule-approach guided me to discard or pack-away are now in purposeful use!
While Anuschka is exceptional on the wardrobe element, I was only able to follow everything based on previous work. I'd be a bit lost on color, personalized style words, and garment basics without the prior read of Bobbie Thomas, The Power of Style (similar approach with clearer guidance on personal style & color palettes), Nancy Nix-Rice, Looking Good Every Day (required text for FIT NY Image Consultants), and Jennifer Scott, Lessons From Madame Chic (light-hearted stories underscoring and explaining personal style, quality, upkeep, yep, no quizzes her either). For me, understanding the fundamentals allowed me to maximize Anuschka's approach.
Having read those books, Anuschka is exceptional at the final mechanics of building and updating a wardrobe that meets YOUR needs and style personality. Really, no book can do it all. The Curated Closet is the final piece to my personal style & wardrobe journey!
Madame Chic -- put me in the proper mindset
Looking Good Everyday -- provided the nuts and bolts
The Power of Style -- prompted detail work on my style personality, color palette, and clothing details
The Curated Closet -- solidified my rules, set my outfit formula, and established an on-going "curating" approach
A few years ago I went with the minimalist “33 piece” wardrobe fad. That actually half-worked for me. It forced me to be far more selective and mindful about what I was buying and it pared down my choices- I really had an easier time putting outfits together. But it only half-worked, I bought less and was more focused on versatile wardrobe-building pieces, but I got pretty tired of the style that I had developed.
Enter “The Curated Closet” by Anuschka Rees. Less focused on having a minimalist wardrobe (although that’s part of it), this book teaches the reader how to develop a personal style that works with your budget and how to be a smarter shopper. This book filled in some missing pieces for me (no pun intended). I had focused on developing an interchangeable, versatile minimalist wardrobe of pieces I liked, but I hadn’t ever taken the time to intentionally, thoughtfully consider my own style.
Author Anuschka Rees instructs her readers to develop a style overview. This is actually a process that takes some time and effort. From creating a “mood board” of pieces that reflect your style to writing down specific qualities like silhouettes, materials, colors, etc. I came up with quite a few examples of things it turns out I really DON’T like: turtlenecks, faux fur, mid length skirts, as well as things I do: square necklines, jackets, and the color black just to name a few.
Having a well-developed sense of your own style is key to being a better shopper; there’s so much you can just immediately bypass when you’re shopping. But there are other components to being a better, smarter shopper and some of these were things I really needed to learn. One of the biggest mistakes I was making was just having a general idea of a piece I needed –say a blue shirt- and then going shopping and finding something (on sale) that more or less fit the bill. Before I knew it, I was ending up with things that theoretically should have completed my wardrobe, but in actuality were just filling my closet again. “The Curated Closet” taught me to be A LOT more detailed and intentional about filling in pieces. “Blue shirt” is far too broad: turquoise, square-necked, mid-length sleeve, cotton blend, fitted, etc…turns the focus away from finding something I generally like on a clearance rack, to something very specific that may take some time to find. I may pay more for a high quality piece, but in the end will save a lot of money because being intentional and focused on the specific wardrobe I am building, will prevent me from making lots of cheap purchases that I’ll just toss out in the end.
I still have some shopping behavior changes to make- I know that. But I have improved a lot and so has my wardrobe! I would definitely recommend this book to anyone that finds themselves with a closet full of close and nothing to wear, or who is ready to develop a personal style and become a smarter, better shopper.
First of all, none of it is cookie-cutter; it's about what works for YOU. It starts with a look at your current outfits (as opposed to pieces in your wardrobe). She asks you to take pictures of your outfits for two weeks and then looks at your FAVORITE outfits, that you felt the best in, and helps you analyze them to figure out WHY you love them and then build your whole wardrobe around those elements. This is different from every other challenge I've looked at, which have you look at all the clothes you WORE and build your wardrobe around the pieces you wore, which is NOT the same as building it around your favorite outfits. For me, I had a lot of favorite pieces, mixed with filler pieces that I only felt "meh" about, and consequently only felt okay about the outfits, even though they had some of my favorite pieces. No more "meh"!!!
Walking away from this book I am purging a good chunk of my wardrobe (again; I'm down to less than 40 items now) but now have a clear set of guidelines for building it back up. I have a color palette, a couple of go-to outfit formulas, and a very specific but concise shopping list, of what I want to add, in order of priority. I finally feel like I've reached an end-goal and don't need to purge anymore! All that's left is to find the few pieces on my shopping list, and enjoy finally having my ideal wardrobe. Thank you for writing this book Anuschka Reeves, and thank you to Caroline at the Un-Fancy blog for recommending it!!