Whether you’re starting your style from scratch, revamping what you already own, need to swap out some staples for better quality pieces, or have absolutely no interest or knowledge of the world of fashion, you need to read The Curated Closet. Berlin-based style writer (and blogger!) Anuschka Rees has created a one-size fits all guide to personal style.
As I’m sure you’re aware of by now, I recently switched up my wardrobe to follow the concept of the capsule wardrobe. I’ve written about it before, but in case you’re new around here, this lifestyle is about quality over quantity. It minimises spending and promotes sustainability in fashion.
In doing so, I’m absolutely loving checking out tips, tricks and outfit inspiration in mastering the capsule wardrobe. I’ve been looking at a range of blogs, Instagram accounts, Pinterest boards and YouTube channels, but – especially as someone who works largely sitting at a screen – it can be really nice to do research away from the laptop. Aside from people watching for street style inspiration (central London is definitely the best place for this), I wanted to see what kind of books are available on the topic.
I found The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees on Amazon (hello next-day delivery and £5 off the RRP!), and from that I’ve pretty much learned everything I’ll need to know about building a wardrobe filled with investments as opposed to the usual fast fashion impulse buys.
What I particularly love about The Curated Closet is that Anuschka continually emphasizes that she is not writing to give you a ‘wardrobe essentials’ guide because our lifestyles are so subjective that, frankly, there is no such thing! The book is entirely about you, your day-to-day, and how you want to feel when in your clothes.
This book is the culmination of all my research. Think of it as a toolbox full of tips, techniques, exercises and prompts designed to help you cultivate a strong personal style and build a functional wardrobe that allows you to express it.
The Curated Closet is divided into four sections:
Part I / The Basics
Anuschka begins by allowing you to solves the infamous wardrobe dilemma – why you have a wardrobe full of clothes, but nothing to wear. This is, so to speak, the basics of the curated closet philosophy – where it came from, why it exists, and why you’ll want to employ the concept in your own life.
‘Keeping up with fashion’ captures the underlying message that the fashion industry is sendin gto women to drive sales, using headlines like ‘5 Skirts You Need This Spring’ or ‘Essential Trends for This Year’.
Most women think you have to be fashionable to be well dressed. And that’s what I thought too until only a few years ago. But here’s what I’ve learned since….
Part II / Discover Your Personal Style
Here Anuschka prompts you to find out what you actually like and dislike style-wise. Whether you’re set on your taste or you’re going in without any strong opinions, you’ll definitely learn a lot about yourself in this section. The opportunity to play with colours, materials, silhouettes, moods and textures is offered in such a way that makes it extremely accessible (and exciting!) to get started with.
Pretend you are a researcher conducting an experiment: keep an open mind, be sure to pay attention to every detail, snap pictures on your phone and take lots and lots of notes.
Part III / Build Your Dream Wardrobe
This section takes you through the practical aspect of curating your wardrobe – from detoxing what you already own to figuring out how (and when) to begin building your capsule clothing collection. Anuschka explains how to assess your lifestyle in an objective way which allows you to figure out the pieces you should be investing in accordingly, alongside putting your colour palette and new-found taste into practice.
Fashion is a form of art, and you want your clothes to look good, sure, but you also need them to feel good and be practical because you spend your life in them. You have stuff to do, places to go, and people to meet. A functional wardrobe is one which supports you in all these endeavours, rather than making your life harder.
Part IIII / The Art of Shopping
This part is absolutely fascinating. With its first chapter titled ‘How to shop like a conscious consumer’, Anuschka interrogates the culture of fast fashion and how the marketing strategies of the fashion world manage to manipulate our thought process and, consequentially, our budget. She explains how to employ the philosophy of The Curated Closet when out and about, from analysing the quality of a garment to knowing when it really fits as it should.
The average person in the 1960s bought fewer than twenty-five new garments a year and spent almost 10% of [their] income on clothes. Nowadays, we buy close to seventy new pieces a year – more than one per week – but spend less than 3.5% of our income on clothes,
This book is a brilliant step-by-step guide for anyone looking to spend more time enjoying their morning coffee and less time standing confusedly in a post-shower towel-burrito staring blankly at an overflowing wardrobe with no clue how to put any of it together. Let’s face it, we’ve all been there.
Let me know if you’d be interested in a tour of my capsule wardrobe or a capsule wardrobe seasonal haul!
What are your thoughts on the concept of The Curated Closet?