Closet Case is a new column in which we invade the wardrobes of our real life style icons. Here Jen Mankins, the owner of Brooklyn's mini-chain of boutiques Bird and former buyer for Steven Alan, lets us in to her closet. Bird is one of our favorite stops to pick up clothes and accessories from designers like Isabel Marant, APC, Rachel Comey and Vena Cava from locations in Cobble Hill, Park Slope and Williamsburg.
How do you organize your closet?
By category: tops, shorts, pants, skirts, short jackets etc. I once tried to do it by color but everything in my wardrobe is a total riot of patterns and prints so that didn't really make much sense. As you can see I am busting out of this closet so I actually have a separate closet entirely for dresses and long coats, and a lot of seasonal things go in and out of storage every six months. I am in the process of renovating an old house and I am converting a whole bedroom into a walk-in closet/dressing room. I am beyond excited!
What is your daily uniform?
My daily outfit really depends on my mood. I wish I were one of those people that had a uniform, but that would never work for all of my different styles and moods. That being said I wear tons of dresses and almost always have on my blue-glasses, charm necklaces and my me&ro gold and ruby stud earrings. I almost never leave home with out a scarf either, as they are perfect for layering against the cold NYC winter air, or chilly office air-conditioning.
What do you keep in your handbag?
I am not a typical NYC pack-rat when it comes to my bag. I try to keep it as light as possible, but it's hard when I am running around between the stores and all my appointments during the day. I never leave home without my Comme des Garcons white clover-embossed zip wallet, a Chanel business card holder that I use for my work credit cards, my trusty Smythson Panama Diary, my prescription Cutler & Gross sunglasses, Trident bubble gum, lip balm, my Canon S90 camera and my IPhone.
What is your favorite recent purchase?
My favorite recent purchase is my canary yellow large PS1 bag from Proenza Schouler. It is like my own personal ray of sunshine! It took me a minute to figure out all its pockets and sections, but now that everything has its place it is the perfect bag.
What is your biggest shopping regret?
I don't think I have ever regretted anything that I have bought, even if I don't wear it, because I always buy what I love. But this spring I waiting on buying a gorgeous full-length pleated Grecian goddess dress from Lanvin and of course it sold out. You snooze, you lose is my favorite retail expression! I wanted to wear it to my best friend's wedding this fall, but I will have to keep looking.