When you edit your closet there are items that stare back at you with a big fat question mark. Should they stay, or should they go? You no longer wear the items, yet your intuition tells you to keep them – just in case. Storing these items in a holding zone away from your wardrobe so that they don’t take up valuable closet space is a good solution. The idea is that you re-evaluate the items in your holding zone from time to time and pass them on when you haven’t missed them since their exile.

My holding zone usually consists of a few pairs of shoes and toppers. I tend to leave them there for longer than a year because each time I revisit the stash, I find a good reason to keep some of the pieces. This strategy is reinforced by the fact that every so often I take an item from my holding zone back into my closet because it unexpectedly works for my current style. This is exactly what happened when I recently shopped my holding zone to fill a wardrobe hole.

Black Parka

I’ve had the black parka for eleven years and it’s been in my holding zone for at least six (the photo above with Rosie and Jasmine is one of the last times I wore it.) That’s a very long time! The parka is well made, weatherproof, cozy, current and semi-structured. It fits well and is very practical. It’s also hooded and has a pretty faux fur trim. It ended up in my holding zone because despite all these great attributes, I got tired of the black. So about six years ago, I bought a short gold puffer coat to replace the black parka. I wore the gold puffer quite regularly, but it doesn’t have a hood so I wore a hat to keep my ears and head warm and dry. 

Now that we’re walking more often with Sam, our precious six month old Yorkie, and the wet Seattle Fall weather is in full swing, I’ve been missing the hood. A few weeks ago, I remembered the old hooded black parka in my holding zone and promptly retrieved it. It has effectively filled my wardrobe hole and is once again in frequent rotation. The fact that it’s black is not ideal, but the parka is in great condition and perfect in every other way. It seems a waste to buy another. It helps that Greg thinks the black parka is wonderful (black is his happy colour), and that the faux fur trim breaks up the black. Wearing the parka with non-black boots helps too. I can absolutely make this old black parka work well enough for my current style. 

I don’t regularly shop my holding zone, but every so often it works out well. Now my two ultra casual toppers have swapped their position in my wardrobe, with the gold puffer replacing my black parka in the holding zone. Sometimes it makes sense to hold on to an item if your intuition tells you that it might come in handy one day – especially when it’s a very practical piece with a high longevity factor like my black parka.

Have you effectively shopped your holding zone for items to fill current wardrobe holes?