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Beware the “I Wants” of March

I know it’s St. Patrick’s Day, but today’s Closet Case Study references a different time in March.  Yesterday brought the first whisper of spring weather to Manhattan, and the first inspiring catalog Anthropologie has released in ages to my mailbox. The heady combination left me climbing into bed last night with a serious case of what my sister would diagnose as the “I Wants.”

The catalog still had some of the less-than-special pieces (knit rayon-argh!) that have permeated the store over the last few years, but it also had a bit of that old “Dries for real girls” magic that made me love it years ago in California. I think the “I Wants” started when I saw a floral Brazilian bathing suit, pictured under an oversized white button down shirt.

Anthropologie, March 2010, page 5

Well, I know I’ve got a perfect boyfriend-style white oxford from Steven Alan’s sample sale, and surely I must have a great Brazilian bathing suit in the archives from my time there

Yours truly, happily home in Rio de Janeiro, 2002

I flipped a few more pages, and then I saw this skirt:

Anthropologie March 2010, Page 21

I turned down the corner of the page. And then I thought, don’t I have a plum-colored silk skirt with a bustle, that I bought years ago in St. Louis? I do. If only I could find it. I could wear it with some little vintage Hawaiian print blouse to similar effect. 

Do you see it in here? I don’t.  

Maybe it’s in the “Spring bins” stacked beside my bed. (One of those books, by the way, contains a clue to my next trip’s destination.)

Rather than getting out of bed to look for the purple skirt, I flipped a few more pages, and found this amazing accessory, aptly titled, the “Epic Headband.” 

Anthropologie March 2010, Page 21

But upon further online investigation, I’ve found it’s little more that a shantung scarf, cleverly tied. Surely I’ve got one of those in the archives–many of which came out a couple years ago in celebration of the Prada turban

Indeed, they’re somewhere in there.

So it would seem that shopping, even for cheap accessories–which I previously prescribed this time of year, is not the sustainable solution for my pre-spring “I Wants.” Loathe as I am to admit it, I’m afraid the answer lies in cleaning, so I can see those purple bustle skirts, brilliant Brazilian bathing suits and springtime scarves fit to be tied. (The boyfriend button-down, however, is not missing, as I wear it year-round.) The best way to do this is with a friend–and I have two who balance the needs quite nicely. Some might say my friend Nicolette suffers from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, but I say she’s an organizational savant. She made me hang up all my necklaces like this, and it wouldn’t be an understatement to say it changed my life–or at least the way I accessorize. Okay, my life. 

Kristen Joy Watts, on the other hand, who you may remember as a bit of a style savant, and has previously referred to my closet as Narnia (like the shop we love), will help set about unlocking its magic. Ideally, each will sit on my bed on a Saturday, and help me purge and reorganize my bins, drawers, wardrobes, boxes and closets, in exchange for a home-cooked meal and likely a cocktail or two. I can already hear how this will go.

Nicolette: “I can’t believe you ever wore that.” Kristen: “You should wear that tonight. With scrunchy socks.” (That, my dears, will be one hell of a Closet Case Study!)

So I’ve already got spring’s most important accessories–friends to help me mine for inspiration. Now my main “I Want” is centered around one wish: the weather to wear this stuff.

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