An excerpt from the New Yorker, January 9, 2019
“Beacon’s Closet, the used-clothing emporium with several locations in New York City, is a site of ritual humiliation. (Italics are mine.) Perhaps you know the drill. You haul your bags of old sweaters, shoes, or slacks to the counter in the back of the store, where a team of stylish buyers (perpetually twenty-seven years old, with Bauhaus haircuts) awaits. As you look on, they pick through the piles of clothing that you once considered fashionable and determine whether any of it is worthy of being purchased and resold in the store.
Inevitably, most of it is not. That pricey Saks coat with a bubble hem that cost half your paycheck? No longer “in season.” The patent-leather wing-tip brogues you purchased when men’s shoes for women were all the rage? Not really “moving on the floor” at the moment. Any items they do decide to purchase will earn you a small amount of cash or a (marginally larger) store credit. The rest you can lug back home, or deposit in the in-house donation bin, to clear space in your closet for a fresh round of fashion mistakes.” (Italics are mine.)
This article takes a look at the hypothesized link between the recent surge in donations to consignment shops and the airing of a new TV reality series featuring Marie Kondo and her method of life-changing tidying. Kondo is an organizing juggernaut- author, speaker, reality television star, brand.
Hogwarts had the sorting hat. Kondo sorts by joy. Items that “spark joy” are keepers. Others should go. What could I possibly add to the MK phenomenon? Maybe some Rules? They may not spark joy, but they can foil misery. And eliminating a negative can be as satisfying as accentuating a positive. Apropos ritual humiliation and fresh round of fashion mistakes…
Three of the Rules
CREATE A UNIFORM. What is it that makes you, you? Not just in clothing, but in decorating, cooking, entertaining, gifting- basically a “lifestyle” uniform. Habits (aka “uniforms”) are mostly helpful. And breaking out on occasion is too.
FASHION IS FLEETING AND SHOULD BE LARGELY IGNORED. STYLE ENDURES. Define yours. It’s nothing more than confidence, clarity, and consistency, tempered with authenticity.
MISTAKES HAPPEN. ADMIT, LEARN AND MOVE ON. Perseveration will only gnaw at you. If you can afford to correct your mistake, do so. If you must live with it, endeavor to not make it again.