Sunday, September 7, 2008

Attack of the Giant Clothes Closets

custom closet

Rose Kim, founder of Dolce Home Interiors in Danville, says that for some couples, the old "shelf and pole" are woefully inadequate. "The woman may have 7 to 10 feet of hanging clothing and between 75 to 200 pairs of shoes," she explains. "That doesn't leave much room for the gentleman." -- Bigger is Better, by Carol Lloyd, in San Francisco Chronicle Magazine

My goodness, what to make of a statement like that?

First of all, the old "shelf and pole" system tends not to work well for many people, even those who have nowhere near the quantity of clothes Ms. Kim mentions.

Second of all, one study shows that the average woman owns 19 pairs of shoes.

But the article might well be right in asserting that "giant closets have become the new granite countertop." Luxury Home Digest writes: "In our coastal San Diego luxury real estate market, buyers are almost manic about their closets."

Luxurious Living reports on one couple's closet: "An entire spare bedroom, 14 feet by 12 feet with high ceilings, that has been converted into what is now one of their most lived-in spaces." The person with that closet says, "The closet is a luxury I use everyday. You can avoid cooking if you want but you do have to get dressed."

What if you have a more modest closet, more modest needs, and a more modest budget? I'll cover that in my next post.

[photo from Segale Bros.]


Joy said...

OMG! Just - stunned. Those poor people, needing to purchase and take care of so many things. I'm working my way down to one suitcase and two pair of shoes but in total, I'd save I've got 4 times that, maximum. 8 pairs of shoes (1 pair of boots, 1 pair of slip ons, 1 pair of sandals, 1 pair of runners, 1 pair of hiking boots - okay, so 4 pairs of shoes - total).

Anonymous said...

It's official - I'm below average. "Only" 16 pairs of shoes.

Jeri Dansky said...

Joy and Angela: I'm personally so not into shoes; I have about 10-15 pairs, and then a small collection of slippers to offer visitors, since I'm a shoes-off household. Some of those pairs are multiples of the same shoe; I find shoes that fit and buy more than one pair.

But I've worked with women who are very into shoes, and easily have over 80 pairs.

Cynthia Friedlob said...

Articles like "Bigger is Better" are just depressing. I've never been able to understand how people can justify 200 pairs of shoes.

I think our society is so polarized into the haves and have-nots that our former generally shared priorities have been dramatically altered, and not for the better.

Doom. Gloom. Must turn to chocolate for relief.

Anonymous said...

Wow-- I didn't realize that my five pairs of shows were so unusual. Having a hard time figuring out what I'd even use more for? I can only wear one pair at a time, after all. I guess if someone's really, really into shoes, they would enjoy having a collection of a dozen pairs or more, but I can't figure out what other purpose so many shoes would have.

Jeri Dansky said...

Anonymous, even those of us without the shoe-loving gene might want more than five pairs.

I have a pair of shoes that stays in the car as part of my emergency kit - in case I'm wearing sandals (as I often am) and need a better shoe for walking distances.

I'm also about to have a pair of shoes that just lives by my bed - another emergency preparedness thing. If I try to make that one of my normal wearing pairs of shoes, it would be harder to make sure I always get them tucked away by the bed.

Also, I've been told that shoes last better if you don't wear the same pair every day. When I find a shoe I really like (such as the the sandals I've been wearing for years), I tend to buy multiple pairs at once - so I can alternate, and so I've got a backup if they stop producing that shoe.