Clothes On the Rack and Clothes On the Floor

“There’s a creative improvisation of putting on an outfit and getting up in the morning. You’re deciding: ‘What am I putting out there today? How am I feeling and how am I putting that out there?’”

Zoe’s bedroom is bursting with accent pieces, delicately laid-out clothes, and personal treasures. The carpeted floor is virtually clear, with the exception of a few socks that somehow escaped the laundry pile. They lay wrinkled but relaxed, in perfect opposition to the sweaters hung neatly on a white clothing rack on the opposite side of the room.


Off the bed and to her feet, Zoe runs her hands down the arrangement of linens and knits. “I hang the pieces that are inspiring me here to help me pick out outfits but also to have important and special stuff to see every day.” She lingers on a cardigan she just bought,  hugs it close to her chest, and says it makes her happy.

As a senior sales associate at Anthropologie, president of Kappa Gamma Chi, marketing coordinator for the Evvys, and a friend to many, Zoe embodies the clothes on the rack. She’s a woman with responsibilities. She stands tall, her clothes draped smoothly with every seam falling in the right direction. The ideal Emerson busy-body, she exists to some only via an Instagram feed, an email address, or a mutual connection. This girl is a brand new, thickly knit sweater on a level-set wooden hanger above a matching pair of leather boots.

But today, she’s a girl with a migraine whose plans for the night were canceled, and who is eager for a nap. She is comfortable in her own little corner of the apartment, and I am grateful to witness Zoe in the space she calls her own. “I’m very much an introvert in that I need alone time to recharge myself, and I think it’s amazing that you can just be by yourself and not care about having to create a space for other people.” Obligations aside and tasks completed, she exists to herself as someone to respect and care for.


On both productive days and lazy ones, Zoe’s bedroom is a resting place for clothes on the rack and clothes on the floor—a home for present and past to coexist.

“Every piece is like a little reminder of who you once were and how you’re bringing that into today.”

Text by Caroline Long

Photography by Goldmond Fong