Recessionista: Your Closet Vs. Barneys
I can’t remember exactly how or when I first heard the phrase “shop your closet” (it was relatively recently), but it’s becoming an increasingly common part of my fashion writerly patois. The expression refers to the practice of diving deep into your closet, storage space, or perhaps parents’ basement to uncover your own fabulous clothing from seasons past—so long past, in fact, that they somehow feel new. It was the subject of Bill Cunningham’s “On the Street” audio slideshow yesterday titled “The Keepers.” (If you haven’t experienced one of these, I suggest doing so soon. You’ll fall into deeper love with the O.S.—Original Sartorialist, natch.) Cunningham tracked one woman who dug into her expansive armoire and revived a series of fabulous coats. She was clearly once a world-class shopper—which seems to be a necessity in making this a successful phenomenon. But we all probably have something hidden away that deserves to see the light of day. I, for one, have a black Helmut Lang coat from 2002 with a knit hood (pictured here on a fresh-faced young girl named Erin Wasson) that’s both superwarm and chic and makes me wonder why I ever put it away. Actually, those old Helmut goodies really stand the test of time. My closet “purchases” so far also include a fantastic slouchy pair of Helmut Lang pants that I tweaked slightly, having my tailor cuff them to an slightly more au courant above the ankle length. And a taupe wool double-breasted Louis Vuitton coat from 2000 that was an assistant-era splurge may well show up in 2009, too. What are you going to “buy” from your closet? Tell us what you think is worthy of revival—and what no one should bother dusting off.