CLOSET COUTURE brings you the expert that the celebrities turn to for closet 911 help, Melanie Charlton Fascitelli, President and Creative Director of CLOS-ETTE
By Emma Santangelo
Melanie, how did you come up with the idea behind Clos-ette?
About 10 years ago, a designer friend approached me to help her with her showroom and boutique as she needed to set it up for editors and buyers to visit. I went in and did the remodeling work, and then she hired us to work on her loft, because she loved the outcome so much. That’s basically where the idea behind Clos-ette came from.
Do you believe that an organized closet makes a fashionable woman?
I definitely do, I think organization can help us with our thoughts and as well as with our clothing. Just like in a store, it’s easier for you to shop when it everything is displayed well. It’s the same thing for your closet: when it’s set up appropriately, it helps. It really doesn’t even matter what the size of your wardrobe is, if things are untidy and discombobulated, it’s not going to work for you to get in there every day to figure out what you need and what you have and get yourself dressed.
How do you personally organize your closet? Do you arrange by color, clothing type, most-worn to least-worn, etc.?
Ideally, the way you organize matches up with your personality. Some people fall into the “outfit” category and some fall into the “separates” category. I’m a big category person, especially with my shoes.
If you are “Separates” you mix and match a lot of items in your wardrobe. I organize my items by color and by type. So all my shirts are together in one big section, with sub-categories: all my long sleeve shirts then all my sleeveless shirts are together, etc. Same thing for dresses, from cocktail to day, and so on. Everything is always organized from lightest to darkest.
But of course, some people work best with their clothing organized into complete outfits. I often times also create a hanging space that is a packing space for myself, I travel quite extensively, so I create a packing space to help myself visualize what I want to bring. At Clos-ette, we really tailor to the client and the way he or she likes to get dressed.
Here is how I would do it at home:
• Start by taking an overall inventory and editing. Weed out the things that you haven’t been wearing for awhile. The question that I always ask my clients is, “would I buy this now?” and “would I wear this now?” If you can’t afford a stylist to help you with your items, have a friend come over with a glass of wine and have them go through your closet with you. If you’re someone who doesn’t get rid of stuff easily, you’ll definitely need the extra help in deciding.
• Next do an inventory of all of the items you have left.
• Then, figure out what how it’s easiest to get dressed. You may have to go to through more than one organizing round so you can figure it out. And you’ll have to do more specifics, like evening wardrobe items, or types of pants (work, summer, weekend, etc.) Some people work better with categories like that.
• Get the same type of hanger for everything and then organize it all by category, then color. When everything is on the same hanger, it’s easier to visually comprehend what you have to work with.
What is the best way to handle shoes?
Shoes are a pain point when you’re limited with space, as they take up a lot of it. The best way to organize shoes is to sit them on a shelf that is slightly tilted forward so shoes are easier to see. One major thing: Don’t keep them in their boxes if you can. I’m not a fan of putting a photo of the shoe on the outside of boxes, especially if you’re limited on space. If you have limited space, it’s best to line the floor of your closet with shoes. Or you can go to the Container Store and buy a double layer shoe holder.
For accessories like hats, scarves and belts, how do you fit them into the overall organization of the closet?
If you come to us for design, we have many ways to architecturally construct storage areas. If you don’t have the money to hire us, I’d say that unused shallow wall-space is the best way to hang accessories. Get a level, get a hammer, and put up a bracket for items such as hats, scarves, belts, etc. And put a mirror next to the area so you can have your little accessories niche. For handbags, don’t scrunch them all in drawers. I like to put them on out on shelves, with some tissue paper balled into the shape of an egg inside them, almost like a shoe-form, to help them stand up and keep their shape
Jewelry – it's delicate, what's the best way to display but protect and store?
Check out the Clos-ette jewelry box and storage solutions in the photos above – pegboards are great, as you can see. And catch us on QVC next week – details below – where we will be selling our traveling jewelry case!
As seasons change, so do the clothes we wear. For those of us who don’t have room to keep all of our clothing in our closets at all times, are there some staple pieces that you recommend leaving in the closet year-round?
Your sweaters are a staple piece. You can use them year-round. If you have the space to leave them in your closet, definitely leave them.
What’s the coolest closet you’ve ever been in?
(Laughs) Well, Beyoncé and Jay-Z had amazing wardrobes. Who else, let’s see…Julianna Margulise, Liv Tyler, Phil Collins, Eva Longoria….. love them!
***CATCH CLOS-ETTE ON QVC!!!*** We don't want you to miss out on our QVC debut! Tune in on June 2, 2010 at 9am EST on QVC for Clos-ette Too's initial launch. We will be selling our coveted traveling jewelry case on QVC's show, My Time with Mary Beth. Mark your calendars! If you miss it, the product will also be available on QVC.com.