Do you have the best wardrobe you could have? In the past few years I’ve busted a few bad wardrobe habits: no more yellow or pastels! no impulse buying! kicking credit card debt to the curb!
And somewhere along the way, instead of building an awesome, top-notch wardrobe, I’ve got… a whole lot of nothing? How did THAT happen? Instead of a beautiful, well-curated, and all-coordinating closet, I’m scrambling to put things together.
For the remainder of 2012, and in to the next year, I want to build myself a better wardrobe. By 30, I want a wardrobe that is amazing, inspiring, and reminds me why I love clothes and shopping. Limiting myself to a wardrobe color palette, while a smart move for myself, was just part of what it takes to build a great wardrobe.
- Remembering to buy essentials: Did you know, I recently went about 5 years without owning a solid black t-shirt? And each winter, I’d put on a sweater and think, “Gee. Why did I stop buying Gap t-shirts? They fit so well, and I could get them in long & short sleeved… they’d be great under this sweater right now.” Or that, right this minute, I don’t own a perfect casual black skirt? Sometimes, in our quests to build beautiful, unique wardrobes… we forget to buy the basics that hold that wardrobe together.
- …but remembering not to live in ONLY essentials. Since stocking up on solid black tees? It’s hard to get me in anything else. Dressing myself has become routine, easy, and uninspiring. It takes nothing to throw on jeans, a black shirt, and pair of Converse. And it’s WAY HARD to get excited when you see that in the mirror every day.
- Knowing when to buy quality over quantity– or quantity over quality: A colorful Alexander McQueen scarf? A quality investment for my wardrobe: a beautiful, easy to care for accessory that I’ll wear a lifetime. My beloved black Gap essential t-shirts? Quantity reigns supreme, because I can never own enough of them! I prefer to buy quality when I know the lifespan will be more than a year: accessories, scarves, handbags, dress shoes. If it’s something that will require regular wear & tear (jeans, sneakers, flats, t-shirts), I try to shop the middle of the road and get more & longer wear buy owning multiples.
- Understand the quantities you ACTUALLY own & what you PERSONALLY need to feel comfortable: If you had to guess, how many dresses do you own? How many pairs of jeans or pants? My numbers are staggeringly low– 2 pairs of jeans. 2 pairs of pants. 5 sweaters (1 is a cardigan). With real numbers in mind, it becomes easier to figure out what sections you may need to bulk up. The fact I own 2 pairs of jeans may not be a big deal if I wore dresses and skirts every day, but I wear… jeans. Every day.
- Evaluating trends for longevity & compatibility. Mint & coral? Stunning colors, especially together. But not really my color scene. Florals? They seem so 90s and yet… the right floral print can find surprising range in my wardrobe of solids, stripes, and polka dots. Evaluating means really knowing and understanding my personal style and lifestyle; it’s allowing risk and intuition to work together.
- Building…with a changing body in mind. Since August, I’ve lost a solid 25 pounds. When building my better wardrobe, I have to think to myself– can I wear this down another dress size (or 2)? OR How can it be styled to flatter a loss or gain in weight? The last thing I want to do is build a better wardrobe–only to have to buy it all over again 25 more pounds from now!
With all of these things in mind, I’m constantly evaluating my closet to find gaps or areas to play. It gives me a better understanding of the actual ratios I should have in my closet, based on what I wear and how often I wear them, and provides more purpose to know that I’m filling up holes in my closet.
Do you feel you have built yourself an amazing wardrobe? What tips and tricks do you have to share with me?