So, where to start?
Consider your personal style. What you wear, and what you want to be wearing. Are you happy with the clothes in your wardrobe? How much of it fits into the aesthetic that you want for yourself? Are you wearing hipster ripped stockings and acid wash jeans when you really want to be wearing tailored suits? I find it’s helpful to put together a mood board for my wardrobe. You can do this with magazine cuttings, or with images collected online. This will help you visualise when you’re feeling uninspired, and help keep things on track.
Now, take an honest look at your wardrobe. How much of it do you actually wear? How much of it is leftover from the days where jeans sat awkwardly high on your waist, and scrunch socks were cool? (ok, so scrunch socks will always be cool) Basically you need to assess what you have, what you wear, and what you are willing to part with.
Start by separating your clothes into 3 different piles. Definitely keep, maybe keep and a donation pile. Everything you know that you do not want can be donated to friends, family, or charity. You can filter through the ‘maybe keep’ pile once you’ve started to think about the outfits that you will be wearing.
Think about your lifestyle and the outfits you most often need to put together. Are you a working girl? Are you a student? Are you a party animal? You should be able to section your wardrobe into 2-3 areas. (eg: work, casual, event)
Try to think of 3-4 outfits for each “section” of your wardrobe. This is a good starting point. Once you have these basics, you will be able to build on them and increase your wardrobe as you go. Write them down so you have a reference. Look at the pieces you’ve chosen. Are any of them sitting in your “definitely keep” or “maybe keep” clothes piles? How many pieces could work for every section of your wardrobe? These items are the most important on your list, and should be bumped up to the top of your shopping list.
Time to shop… It’s important to focus on buying good quality pieces that will last you for a few years. When starting out, focus on the pieces that you will get the most wear out of. You can buy cheaper pieces that you will get less use out of, and replace them further down the track. It’s handy to take a list with you when shopping, but if you’re not a list writing person try to stop yourself before buying something. Think about how it will fit into your wardrobe – does it suit you and your personal style? What will you wear it with? Will you get more than one wear out of it?
Take stock every season. It’s a good idea to re-assess your wardrobe at the start of every season. Put away all of the summer/winter clothes that you won’t be wearing & make room in your wardrobe for new pieces you might want to invest in. It’s also a good time to look back at the pieces of the season to see if you actually got any use out of them. Do you really need to keep these pieces in your wardrobe? If not, donate them to charity.
Be organised. Invest in some good quality hangers & organise your shoes and bags so you can see them clearly. Having an open and organised closet makes dressing a far more pleasant experience!
A few snapshots of my own wardrobe…
Okay, so admittedly a lot of the things I happen to find on Etsy are things that I would love to receive as gifts myself. Santa, if you’re reading this… Take note.
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