shoes

Mid-season wardrobe therapy

“Chunky and cosy” no longer sounds as good as “light and summery” during this time of year. Time to get those blacks and grays out of my sight and bring out the summer dresses. But before packing my winter clothes away and taking out my summer ones, my aim for this summer is to get rid of a large chunk of my wardrobe, for peace of mind’s sake. I am donating some to friends, and the rest I will give to charity. I dream of a minimal wardrobe with only the things I love, and a little extra space for newly purchased clothes.

Getting rid of your clothes

When you’re in your teens you buy anything you fall in love with at first sight, whether it fits your body style and whether it is good or bad quality. It really doesn’t matter. As you start to reach your late twenties (like yours truly) you start to cringe at some of your purchases. I have been removing excess clothes year after year, but this year I want to outdo myself.

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You hear a lot of advice about how to throw away stuff from your wardrobe, but unfortunately you cannot stick to one equation. If you really love your clothes, you have a story attached to each and every one of them. You know the exact time and place where you got them, and even the places that you wore them to, so it can be difficult to get rid of them (unless you’ve never worn them!) Then there are emotional attachments such as clothes belonging to family members, vintage clothing, clothes bought from awesome holidays abroad etc.. etc.. Emotional clothing that you never wear should just be stored away in a box somewhere. These are memories, not practical clothes, so they’re only taking up space in your wardrobe. As for other clothes that have no emotional attachment, I usually store them away for a season, or more (if I really cannot depart from them). If I don’t miss them, I donate them. If I miss them (and so far, I never did) I bring them back to the wardrobe.

My mum told me recently, “Don’t buy any new clothes unless you remove an item you already have.” I actually think this is one the best advice I’ve heard with regards to throwing away old clothes, plus when I get the courage to remove something, I end up removing more than one, which is good of course.

This year I have accepted that certain clothes that won’t fit me now will have to go. If I lose weight, it’ll be an excuse to buy new clothes. I have also accepted that clothes that do not suit my shape, no matter how expensive or beautiful they are, will be given away to friends who have a more suitable body type. Plus it’s nice to see one’s unused clothes being loved and worn by someone else!

wardrobe

My wardrobe mid-organisation.. still a long way to go

Organising

Prior to organising your wardrobe, make sure you have good storage boxes and good quality hangers (I like the wooden ones). It’s no use buying high quality clothes when you cannot take care of them properly. I usually treat my everyday / indoor clothes differently from the rest. Although I still fold them and store them neatly, I don’t like to show them off. I want to feel good when I look at my closet, so I want to look at my best clothes, not my crappy ones! A good idea is to put clothes that need fixing aside, this can be anything from missing buttons, broken zippers, even ironing.. and don’t hang them before they’re good to go.

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Beautiful storage boxes to store away the little things.

Organise your clothes by occasion rather than by shape and item. It makes choosing outfits easier when you’re in a hurry.

Decide what to hang and what to fold wisely. Items such as jeans for instance, are good for folding, so don’t waste any hanging space on them. Other items might need ironing if folded, and certain tops lose their shape when hung. You usually know what to hang and what to fold by the way they are displayed in the store, but this is not always the case, and with online shopping it’s a complete guess. Although common sense should tell you whether the clothing material will wrinkle quickly or not.

accessories

The top drawer is great for organising accessories (although I still need to go through mine, sorting through accessories is another story altogether!) Bottom one is great for trousers that tend to crease, and delicate scarves.

glasses

Got most of these sunglasses for around 50 Euro cents form a car boot sale, old luggage/box also from the car boot sale, and it seemed the perfect place to store these.

Decorating

Some people like to decorate their closet and wardrobe by hanging jewelry and scarves to make it more feminine and decorative. I would be very careful because this process is exactly like setting up a still life or designing a display. When you see these kinds of things on magazines, they are done by a professional, so if you’re the kind of person who is prone to clutter, just put it all away, save for an item or two.

decor

This is my decorative corner, where I keep a fresh water pearl necklace; a gift from my mum, some purfumes, a Man Ray postcard and a frame that I got from ‘Patches’ a local hand-made & vintage market.

I’ve read tons of articles about how to organise one’s wardrobe and the phrase I keep reading over and over again is ‘Keep what makes you happy, throw away the rest.’ I think this sums up everything nicely; if you find yourself being annoyed at certain items, put them away for a while. It will clear your wardrobe, and your mind 🙂

giveaway

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The shoemaker – beautifully crafted shoes made by my late grandfather

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My grandpa Joseph Scerri working in his roof garden…I love the 60s-style orange shoes which is lying on the floor..

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One of my fondest memories from my childhood is the time I used to spend with my grandpa in his workshop. I couldn’t wait to leave my mum`s house to escape her obsession of playing Barbara Streisand’s songs all day long, and go to my grandparents, especially during the holidays. Between the smell of my grandma`s baking and the scent of wood, glue, leather and clay, this was a perfect playground, compared to my mum`s boring routine. I used to spend hours  trying to make small furniture for my doll house with the help of my grandpa, and sculpting small statues with his clay casts. I learned so much from him and I am sure that my love for practical work and maybe also drawing evolved from these playful experiences. He used to let me paint his workshop door in all sorts of colours; can you image leaving a paint job to a seven year old, given their colourful taste? Sometimes pink, sometimes orange and maybe with some flowers and suns on it as decoration :).  As long as I was enjoying myself and learning something he did not complain. I used to come up with something new every day; sometimes I wanted a bed for my doll, a handmade present for a friend or a wooden frame for one of my drawings. I used to drive him crazy, but he was so patient. He used to ask me “What`s new today Ruti? What are you going to come up with today?” all with a suspicious sweet smile.

Losing him when I was nine years old was one of the most painful experiences in my life, however all the experiences and discoveries continued to grow with me. He did not leave just beautiful memories behind him but he also left a lot of beautiful shoes 🙂

My grandfather was a shoemaker. He used to make and fix all kinds of shoes. He was one of the few shoemakers left in the Cottonera / The Three Cities. Actually there was a time when he was the only shoemaker in Birgu. Although he made some shoes for me as well, I was not lucky enough to have him alive when I was growing up, you can imagine how many shoes I would ask him to make for me. My mum on the other hand was an extremely lucky girl. He used to make her a pair of shoes for every new outfit, including that of her wedding. I am sure that this is a dream come true for most women. Now I am the new owner of all these shoes and I also wear them for special occasions. Apart from shoes, he used to make leather belts, jackets, bags and other accessories. It is a pity that trades like this are becoming very rare. I am very grateful that my grandpa had shared all this talent with us. He was a person who was gifted but  humble at the same time, given that his trade, although requiring skill, patience and creativity, was just a common job that was already dying at the time.

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An interesting detail of one of the shoes…I still wear this one..it is one of my favourites

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Some of my grandpa`s Sketches and scribblings

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My mum`s wedding shoes also made by my grandpa

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last moodboard

Different photos of my mum during the 70s wearing my grandpa`s shoes..she looks so proud:)

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A beautiful leather camera bag made by him in the early 70s

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I couldn’t believe my eyes when I discovered these. One of my greatest treasures..my first shoes made by my own grandpa. Super cute.

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my grandpa when he was 20 years old

RunWays with Block Colours

The Spring/Summer wardrobe is normally associated with florals whether subtle and dainty or bold and dramatic. Pretty dresses and decorative accessories are also a typical staple for the sunny months. When I was looking through this spring/summer designer collections I was in fact expecting to find the usual patterns and florals, and I did, however I found myself being attracted to block colours, structured geometric shapes and lots of texture.

Block colours are fantastic because they are so much more flexible than patterns, so for someone with a budget, I find it’s better to splurge on something that can be worn in a multitude of ways. Some might argue that they are not as daring as graphic prints and patterns, however I do feel that this really depends on the shape of the piece of clothing. An asymmetric or unusually-shaped outfit can still be bold and daring, and with no graphic distraction from the form of the outfit. Block colours allow for the focus to be put on the lines and curves, the fabric and its texture.

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Dior Femminine & Bold Blocks, vogue.co.uk / topshop.com / modcloth.com / asos.com

As I’ve just mentioned, the great thing about blocks of course is that they can be worn with almost anything, so you can go for a mix of patterns this season, and then get a really cool block-coloured piece of clothing that can be worn with any of these patterns. Of course, choose your colours wisely, and this doesn’t necessarily mean stick to one colour scheme or go for safer colours, clashing colours offer interesting surprises if you know what you’re doing.

Blocks can be understated & elegant in simple pastels, or bold and over the top in neon colours and matched with hip prints. Curvy girls might shy away from these kinds of straight-cut dresses and tops, however not all of them are shapeless. Waist clinching block shirts and dresses are  a great way to flatter a curvier figure, whilst the so called ‘shapeless’ dresses are better suited for slimmer boyish shapes.

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Waist clinching blocks, vogue.co.uk , topshop.com , asos.com

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Chanel’s chunky accessories, Stella McCartney’s laid back shoes, and a variety of beautifully simple & elegant bags

Below: Block inspiration from “Style’s Inspiration” Board on Pinterest by Chiara Bollecchino

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