When I lived in DC, my favorite thing about the city was the twenty-something government employees who dressed like my grandmother and began conversations with “Which side of the Hill do you work on?” Oh, I’m sorry…did I say favorite thing? I mean reason I left.
My actual favorite thing about the city was the closet in my apartment, and since my grandparents hail from the motherland they are actually far trendier than the Vineyard Vines-clad blondes that swarmed my Washington neighborhood in hoards and would never be caught leaving Brighton Beach in matching pastels.
[Not my actual grandparents. But pretty close. Image c/o]
But back to the closet. Extremely reasonable (comparatively speaking, of course) DC rents allowed my first post-college apartment to be a glorious dwelling in a building with a courtyard pool and sparkling gym. While I spent many the hour lifting 5 pound weights and sunning myself, by far the best part of the residence was my closet. My Washington closet was approximately the size of my current bedroom in Manhattan. It was a beautiful place where I could organize my shoes in color order on the spacious floor, separate my garments by “identical silk tanktops in various colors and patterns,” “bodycon miniskirts,” and “ugly things to wear to work.” I had an entire section dedicated to coats, which I re-arranged weekly based on either length order or how much I liked them. Scarves and necklaces hung from individual hooks on the wall, where I had framed approximately 20 pictures of my friends doing the sorority squat and dozens of pages ripped out of magazines. A mirror hung on the inside door, and a small shelf held baubles and bronzers.
Sometimes, when I felt overwhelmed by my 9-5 media job and my hobbies of eating, shopping, and doing yoga, I would pull a chair into the closet to relax in my happy place. A visiting friend slept on an air mattress on the floor, and I’m pretty sure I once hosted a pregame that took place entirely behind my closet doors. A single tear drips slowly down my face as I write this. RIP, closet.
In New York, I am not quite as lucky. I have to make do with a tiny hall closet that I have annexed entirely for dresses and shoes (thanks roomie!) and an even smaller one in my room where I hang blouses, skirts, and pants. I’ve had to get extremely creative with storage now that I don’t have a wonderful room that brings to mind Cher’s rotating closet robot (just kidding. It was nowhere near that majestic. I would sever anywhere from one to three
fingers/toes inches of hair for Cher’s rotating closet robot). Despite my less than ideal storage circumstances, after 6 weeks in my apartment, I have made it work. Creative genius below.
[Accessories live on the bedside table, along with photobooth snapshots, business cards & matches from favorite restaurants, assorted bowls and stands from flea markets, and my go to lipstick, NARS ‘Manhunt‘]
[Making use of every nook and cranny: a random built-in shelf displays my recent book purchases (currently: Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart, How Did You Get This Number by Sloane Crosley, Freedom by Jonathan Franzen), framed pictures of my boyfriend and friends, a heart-shaped box for spare buttons and lighters, a Buddha I’ve had since freshman year of college, and my favorite spray for freshening up a room: Crabtree & Evelyn Rosewater]
[Bags live in another built-in nook, along with belts. Bags: Tory Burch, Michael Kors (black & purple), Bottega Veneta, Belts: mostly vintage or stolen from my mom along with some Zara and Forever21 cheapies]
[Finally, finishing touches hang on hooks in the
foyer hallway for easy access on my way out the door. All Totes, Scarves, Hats: NYC street vendors/free from retailers]
Not bad for an apartment that my mom recently described as “cute, honey! Almost the size of dad and I’s bedroom, don’t you think?”, right? Part II: The Actual Clothes Coming Soon.