A few months ago, I had the pleasure of writing a profile on a metro Detroit blogger named Grace Liang for the magazine I work at. Grace, who moved to U.S. from China a decade ago, has a super interesting life. She teaches, she blogs, and she’s open with her followers about difficult topics, like learning English in a new country and losing her husband to cancer. Before we sat down for the interview, I had a feeling that I was going to have a hard time figuring out where to exactly start her story. But when I walked into the location of our meeting — her dressing room — I knew I had my scene.
This dressing room was gorgeous and super enviable. I was immediately distracted from my questions and instead proceeded to pick her brain about the construction of the spare bedroom turned walk-in-wardrobe. Along with an impressive display of designer shoes, bags, and clothes, the room featured shelving units, racks, seating, a cow hide rug, and various decorations. What made the space really memorable though is that it was distinctly Grace, and her personality showed both in the way she styled herself and the room.
I left the interview not only feeling inspired by what Grace had shared with me about her life (yes, we did finally get to the questions), but tempted to create my own dream dressing room. Since then, I’ve been scouring the internet and purging items in my current closet space to create space for what will one day be my ideal wardrobe space. Below, check out a few must-have items I’ve come across at Arhaus*.
A standard in any great (or even mediocre) dressing room, a mirror is crucial for getting your outfit selection right. Gone are the days of $5 plastic frame mirrors you made use of in college. Now, your mirror can also serve both functional and aesthetics purproses. If given the option to go with a full-length or horizontal mirror, always choose the full-length. Take it from me, there’s nothing cute about running late and standing on a chair to see if your shoes and top actually look good together.
A dresser (obviously) is key for any dressing room. While a closet or hanging rack is great for garments that need a little extra room to breathe and space to shine, a dresser can provide the right amount of coziness for sweaters, undergarments, and fine knits. These types of garments actually hold up best when they’re folded. Because I’m shorter, I prefer a lower dresser so I easily access anything I decide to put on the top of it, such as jewelry trays, my favorite magazines, and cards or junk mail I’ve been hoarding.
If there’s anything that I’ve learned from moving multiple times in the past few years, it’s that lighting can make or break a space. Case in point — my boyfriend and I lived in a basement-unit apartment several years ago, and to this day we’re convinced that we ultimately signed the lease because of how great the hanging lights in the kitchen were. When it comes to dressing room lighting, it’s crucial that the fixture you choose is both functional (you obviously want to see the clothing and accessories you’re trying on) and stylish. I personally love really geometric silhouettes, like the chandelier to the left, but you can decorate your space with whatever style you prefer for the same effect.
Having the right decor can really help amp up your dressing room. Just like Grace did in her walk-in-wardrobe space, play up your personality and opt for artwork, candles, jewelry holders, and makeup trays that are distinctly “you.” I’m a big fan of modern rustic decor, so a candle holder, like the one pictured to the left, would be a great addition to my dressing room. Large fashion photography prints, like images by Steven Meisel or Bruce Webber, would also complement a dressing room space.
If you want to fully enjoy your wardrobe space, it’s important to make it as comfortable as possible. Seating in a dressing room can help make your space feel more cozy, and just like a mirror, it can be both useful and pretty. The seating I have in my dressing room — a canvas style chair decorated with a faux fur black vest — is actually pretty similar to the one pictured here, and I really love it. I often sit in the chair when I’m using the items on my vanity (more on that in a future post) or to toss my outfit rejects on when I’m short on time.
What are some of your dressing room must-haves? Let me know in the comment section!