We all try to do this in advance, but rarely succeed: the seasonal wardrobe change. Many of us start digging out that sweater only when it is already too cold.
My least favorite thing to see when I open the closet door is see piles of clothes spilling out. And it is a sure thing I am not alone. Being hardly a minimalist in my shopping habbits, this happens to me more often than I would like to admit. Working in fashion, loving shopping and trends makes my life a constant struggle with my fashion urges.
So how do you create that perfect wardrobe? First things first: organizing what you already have
Start with the basics
Take a look at your closest: focus on what are the heavily rotated items in YOUR closet. True, the white shirt and the perfect jeans are pillars of some wardrobes. But not necessarily yours. If you find, for example, that you keep going back to that printed wrap top, take notice. Think why these items are so loved. What makes you want to wear them? Look at the colors, silhouettes, cuts, details. Do these garment make your figure look great? Do you feel it is easier for you to pair the colors? If the answer is yes,it means these are YOUR basics.
Put them aside. When shopping, keep them in mind. A white never worn shirt won’t do your wardrobe any good. Usually each season there should be around 10 of those items in your wardrobe.
There is a difference between the important basics and safety blanket items, the ones that don't do you any good and just make you feel safe. If you got a habbit to wear one of those shapeless sweatshirts or sweaters way to often, we have another post coming for you soon.
With the basics of your wardrobe in mind, start going through the entire wardrobe. I do this every season. It helps me to cleanse the closet and let go of my shopping mistakes.
I don’t believe in the 6 months rule by the way. But I do believe in getting rid of clothes that are:
too small/too big
don’t really fit well anymore ( snag, loose, shrank in laundry)
worn out, lost shape, torn or have impossible to handle stains or peeling
clothes that make you shrug – meaning clothes you really don’t like and won’t wear anymore.
clothes that do not fit your lifestyle – so that sparkly top you worn when you were 20 won’t probably be a good choice for your kids playground.
Clothes that you have nothing to wear with
Quality vs. Quantity. disclaimer.
You will be surprised how many of the clothes will fit into one of the “tossable” categories. But I do want to note that once you focus on quality items the pile of the clothes that lost their “looks” gets smaller and smaller.
At this day and age, it easy to slip to that route where you buy the things you “kind of like” but then have nowhere to wear or cheap basics that lose color and shape after just one wash. All of these will be in the donation pile very soon. It will be wise to avoid such purchases in the future.
When talking quality – we don't necessarily talking big buck. It is possible to find an alright quality in highstreet stores, as it is also posible to find poor quality in high end boutiques. I still have some items I bought in stores like Zara and Mango more than a decade old. So use your judgement.
Before you start the entire project, it is important to check the offers from designers and brands you like for the season. Read some blogs and magazines, understand what is out there, what looks you like, what you would like to look like this season. I tend to fill many wishlists on many websites and bookmark my favorite garments as well.
Armed with your knowledge, go to your basics and start creating ( imagining is fine as well 🙂 ) outfits that will fit into your lifestyle, and will be comfortable and make you feel 100% amazing.
This is important, because this will be your “uniform”. How trendy it will be – is up to you and your personal preferences.
I find that building looks around bottoms is generally easier. Meaning that most of us own more tops than bottoms so it is easier to create several looks around one bottom.
Five to ten looks is just what you need. You gotta leave some room for improvisation.
To the Task!
Now you are ready to fill in the gaps.
This is the time to address your virtual shopping carts and wishlists. To browse the looks and items you like and see what can be incorporated into your wardrobe.
Unless you have a very strong will, I suggest to leave room for wiggle here as well. Because of the fast pace fashion has these days, I am pretty sure in a month or two you will have additional items you will like.
For most of us, shopping is not a necessity. I am sure I can live at least 3-4 years without actually buying anything and still look well dressed.
SO, even if you are on a tight spending budget, it might be a good idea to spend your money on the best quality possible basics and on interesting and unique items, be it only one or two three items per season. But they will be ones that you really treasure.
The Perfect Mix
Did you notice how many of the chicest women mix high and low brands, traditional makers with emerging designers and vintage clothes?
There is no perfect advice on how to do that, besides just not forgetting to look everywhere.
It is so easy to go to a high street retail chain and just buy the total look.
But it is important to remember that today, when so many stores around the world carry pretty much the same merchandise, the MIX, is what makes your look unique and truly you. And at the end that is the point of it all.