The Curated Closet

The Curated ClosetThis past month I read The Curated Closet, and I got SO much out of it that I wanted to share a quick book review with you!

Forever ago I posted about The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up (my post is here). And while I got a lot of inspiration from that book about how to clean out my closet, I didn’t learn much about how to shop better. So for the past couple years I’ve stayed in a cycle of buying, cleaning out, then selling or donating… aaannd repeat.

I was no longer hoarding, but I didn’t feel any closer to having a closet full of clothing that fit my style either.

One of the things I really love about this book is that it is INSANELY detailed. There is so much information and homework. If you do complete the steps (I did everything she said to do), you will learn so much about yourself, your style and your goals before you spend another dollar. It took me a few weeks to do all the homework, back in November, and I had so much fun with it all.

When I was done, I finally felt like I had a clear picture of how I want to dress, what my go-to “uniforms” are and how to shop smarter in the future. It made me such a pickier shopper, which is what I really needed. And I finally feel like I am building up a closet full of things that I not only love, but that are flattering and useful for my everyday life.


I LOVE that the book doesn’t recommend a bunch of basics for everyone, like a trench coat or black heels. I always hate when magazines and blogs do that because there are no basics that work for everyone. I seriously never wear white button up shirts, but every list will always say you need one. Meh.

I love that this book helps you spend the time to develop a completely customized plan for your wardrobe. To me, that’s the key because no two people are the same!

The Curated Closet I am super grateful I found this book when I did. If you struggle at all with building up a closet full of clothes that are useful and that you love, this would probably be a good read for you!

xx -Elsie

  • I need to read both the curated closet and the life changing magic of tidying. I’m also torn on whether to watch the new netflix series and I’ve heard mixed reviews x

  • Brilliant insights. Wish you shared more, there are a lot of great suggestions here. I have found my closet to be in need of a makeover every time I look into it. So, I sometimes wonder what to do about its contents. But this book sounds just like the solution I have been looking for.

  • OMG! I need this book so badly! My wardrobe is a mess!!! I’ve just got too many things (or too little space) and I can’t decide what to get rid of and what to keep… haha

    Did you have to throw away a lot of stuff after you’ve read the book?

    Tatjana xx

  • what a great idea. i’ve been thinking to it since before the holiday.
    thank you so much for sharing

  • I read The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up last year
    And love the idea of capsule closet, i have reduced my closet so much but i feel i can do more work in it
    This book is the one i need!

  • i’ve been so inspired lately by mari kondo and the minimalists and am slowly (it’s been a year and a half of very careful being) building a capsule all year round wardrobe, after realising no one could define what “essentials” were but me, because everyone has a different lifestyle and preferences, i’ve finally come very close to being finished with my wardrobe and i feel like i’ve finally found a style that is practical but that i also feel great in! so happy to hear this book helped you <3

  • I am curious about this one – especially because I’ll be moving halfway round the globe later this year and I don’t feel like taking all my crappy clothes with me. I did do some assignments from Colette Patterns Wardrobe Architect ( some time ago, which seems like something similar but for sewists (for whom the cost of not knowing their style is even higher).

  • Thanks for sharing this!
    I usually don’t buy this type of books but this looks like a good bedtime read to hopefully finally change my approach to my wardrobe and buying clothes.
    I recently moved to Singapore from Belgium, which means that my previously almost completely winter/autumn/spring closet transformed into a 100% summer collection (read= left all my previous clothes in Europe and had to buy everything from scratch).
    I am still building it and I already feel I’m overbuying or buying too impulsively, so this might be a good moment to do a small clean-up (I have been living there for only 5 months so I haven’t accumulated that much) and re-start with a new mindset (before it’s too late :p )
    I’m gonna give this a try, hope it will work for me too!

    xx Al

  • I didn’t buy any clothes in 2015. I still have a closet full, and I see no reason to buy in 2017 (I get vicarious shopping thrills via my kid, who continues to outgrow things). That said, I see the disconnect between what I wear and what I love but don’t wear, and it’s that I still fall for looks for my old lifestyle rather than my current one. I used to be a boss in an office and appear on TV, so I was very formal and dressy. Now I work from home and have a family and I need clothes that are comfortable and allow for running around without getting dirty or wrinkled. I donated most of my old work clothes–I’m not going to cook three meals a day and go to the playground wearing a suit.
    An excellent resource for thinking about minimalist wardrobes is the blog The Vivienne Files.

  • I just grabbed this book from the library. So happy you had such positive things to say about it. My closet is long overdue for a major overhaul. Is this book something you think you will refer back to (is it worth having a copy)? Thank! D

  • I read it last month too. It is a lot of work defining who you are and what is your personal style. But it does help you stop buying clothes for an imaginary lifestyle.
    Even after a closet purge to end all purges (seven trips to consignment, three to vintage, numerous bags to the cousins)I still have a mountain of clothes. A smaller more stylish mountain however.
    I have stopped buying clothes. Completely.

  • I just bought this book last week and I can’t wait to dive in to it. Curating my closet is one of the things I’ve been knowing I needed to do but just haven’t done.

  • It looks very nice!!

    Carolina 😉

  • I’ve been wanting to get my hands on a copy for this book for ages now!


  • Saw your post on Instagram about this and was waiting to read about it on the blog! I definitely want to check this out. I’ve been getting better at curating my closet and getting rid of the styles I don’t wear or don’t fit me properly, but I need some more help!

  • This book looks beautiful AND insightful – a wonderful combination 😉 Definitely adding this to my to-read list!


  • So cool you liked it that much! Got the book for Christmas (was on my wishlist ?) and can’t wait to start! I also really liked Marie Kondo’s book, but had the same problem that I didn’t know what clothes to buy. Last spring I tried buying a capsule wardrobe with like 20 items as a blog suggested. It was definitely a step forward but I somehow always end up with clothes that don’t match (especially when you try to dress yourself in the morning:))! Can’t wait to start with the new book! Thank you!

  • This book sounds so good! Thanks for sharing it with us. I love Mari Kondo’s method for decluttering clothes, but you’re so right that there’s a gap in how to shop smarter.

  • Oooh this book looks amazing, I had the same problem with the life changing magic of tidying as you

    – Natalie

  • Love this book! The author also has a blog: which has been incredibly helpful to me as I try to pare down my closet and find my true style.

  • I’m waiting for my book to arrive in the mail! Did you purchase the workbook that went with it from Anuschka’s website? Just curious if one needs it (or finds it helpful) to easily do the assignments 🙂

  • a closet tour, from all the ABM girls would be badass. Actually, like you do home tours, you should do closet tours of stylish people. that would be awesome!

  • Your review sounds so interesting, i definitely have to read this book now! Although I love white button ups haha

  • This sounds like exactly what I need. I just transitioned to being a full time stay at home mom last month. I have one 18 month and I am expecting twins in March (eek!) I don’t really want my “uniform” to turn into yoga pants and t-shirts but the reality is I need stuff to be comfortable and VERY functional. This book sounds like it could be key to some much needed inspiration.

  • Love this idea! It sounds way more personal and approachable than other methods I’ve heard about. I think the only thing keeping me from diving right in is my limiting work uniform- (shop clothes, basically. I WILL get paint or glue on something) which feels like it will never quite reflect “me” like my non-work clothes do. Although, I guess paint and glue are a large part of my life, so maybe I should embrace the thought of adding them to my wardrobe, lol.

  • this is unrelated to the post but did you guys recently change your font style? i’ve viewed your page on 3 different browsers (chrome, safari, and firefox) and they’re all super hard to read. really small and thin type. maybe its just my computer? but i’d thought i’d share just in case.

  • I also read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up early last year and felt it was an important first step but don’t feel set on a style. I’m interested to see what The Curated Closet can help me discover!

    Kondo’s book was most important because it revealed that I want to tidy BEYOND possessions for a purpose. One of my big goals for 2017 is trying to minimize my belongings and racing thoughts so I can focus better on career and personal goals. I think defining a style would also align with my dreams.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • This book looks amazing and it actually reminds me of a book I’ve read a few years back that changed my vision on a lot of things. Dominique Loreau, a french author, wrote a book that could be translated by ‘Less is More’ where she explained how to rethink everything we know about clothing, wellbeing, traveling and so on. I think you might like it. x

    Jessica — NinetyCo 

  • I”m going to have to check this out. I am such a clothes hoarder (insert face palm).


    La Joie de Vivre

  • Yeah- all my years with DD boobs scared me off from buttons forever. haha!
    xx- Elsie

  • Haha, ok! Since you’re the second person to ask I really will write a post about it.
    My uniforms are simple- mini skirt with tucked in top (usually with tights or knee socks), jumpers and overalls (these do really well for me and I have a zillion) and mini (well above the knee) dresses that range from something i’d wear to brunch to something I’d wear on a date night!
    I’ll have to figure out how to take pics and turn it into an actual interesting blog post. (scratches head)
    xx- Elsie

  • Totally! I feel like I can already see it. I’ve been working on this for about two months now. :))
    xx- Elsie

  • this looks like exactly what i need! and i am with you on the white button up… don’t have one! i don’t actually wear a lot of button ups- they aren’t the most comfortable!

  • Elsie can you write more about your personal process with the book and maybe about finding your “uniform “? It sounds so interesting

  • Oooh this would be totally helpful for me right now!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • I am definitely interested in reading this now. I am putting this on my list of books to read for 2017. My closet is crazy and I feel like I clean it out every month. I am a serious shopaholic.

  • I need to read this! I feel like when I shop I never can find exactly what I’m looking for. I follow some fashion bloggers for inspo but their fashion pieces are just way out of my budget. I have so many clothes but I’m disappointed in most of them.

  • Elsie—This quote is everything: “There are no basics that work for everyone.” You’re so right. This needs to go on an art print in an upcoming Happy Mail so that all of us subscribers can put your wisdom up on the wall of our closet and smile when we get dressed every morning.

    I’m so glad that this book helped you.

    I had a book-free, personal style-overhaul epiphany last spring while watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (and falling in love with Lillian’s goofy bohemian style) and then IRIS (the doc film about the inimitable fashion icon Iris Apfel). That timing was so lucky for me.

    I used to dress in a very boring “norm-core” way at the office. Lots of black and lots of boringness! I realized that my outside way of dressing didn’t reflect how I felt inside. Now I dress colorfully and comfortably, and each morning is exciting. I’ve been slowly filling my closet with playful pieces that interchange easily and allow me to, well, feel like me. I’ve been buying nicer, more timeless things that are meant to last and I couldn’t be happier.

    xoxo from Chicago

  • Put it on hold at the library. Thanks for the recommendation. You posted this at the perfect time because all my clothes seem to be getting destroyed way too easily, probably because they’re all cheap. And I’m tired of having a mountain of clothing while feeling like I have nothing to wear at all. It’s ridiculous and it needs to change.

  • Could you do a longer post on what your closet looks like now and what you ended up discovering as your uniform?

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