How is your wardrobe contributing to your life?
Is your wardrobe:-
- a place that you can go to each day and easily create an outfit that makes you look and feel great?
- bringing you joy?
- the right mix of clothes for who you are and your lifestyle requirements?
- current and not outdated?
- full of clothes that easily mix and match to create a variety of outfits?
- an inspiring place to visit?
Many wardrobes that I go into have lost their purpose and direction. They have become storage spaces for unworn, unloved and forgotten clothing. Having a lot of clothes and going shopping does not ensure that you have a wardrobe that works for you.
A wardrobe that works for you will give you the gift of:-
- versatility and value every day.
Let’s look at ways to make your wardrobe your favourite place to shop.
These steps outline the process that I adopted over the last year to create more outfits to wear.
1. Review how you feel about your wardrobe
Ask yourself these two questions:-
- What do I want from the clothes in my wardrobe?
- What don’t I want from the clothes in my wardrobe?
When I asked myself these questions this what I came up with:-
- I want my clothes to:-
– easily mix and match,
– have the versatility to be dressed up and down
– be comfortable and give me freedom to move easily
– make me smile every day
– give me energy
– be different
– last for more than one season
– bring colour to each day
- I don’t want my clothes to:-
– be the same old same old
– hang in the wardrobe and not be worn
– be a waste of money
– not have the ‘Goldilock’s Principle’ – read more here
2. Look at Your Colour Palette
Open your wardrobe doors or step into your walk in, stand back and take note of the colours you see.
Are they a mismatch of colours or do they coordinate?
A colour palette is needed if you want to be able to mix and match your clothing items.
Your colour palette needs to have:-
- neutrals – colours not on the colour wheel such as black, grey, camel, brown, beige, navy
- colours that cordinate to add interest, variety and accents. This gives you the opportunity to create more outfits from your wardrobe pieces.
Having a Colour Consultation with a professional stylist ensures you wear colours that make you shine and are able to build a cohesive wardrobe.
Be Colour Confident outlines the benefits of a Colour Consult.
When I looked in my wardrobe I noticed that black was my neutral and teal was my main colour. I have added three new neutrals – navy, grey and white plus berry colours as well as patterned tops and pants.
This white Cotton Village tunic upstyles these eight year old Cordelia Collection shorts. Shoes and necklaces used to upstyle. It can be worn with jeans, slimmer line pants and with a slip dress under it.
This grey Cotton On dress is teamed with navy accessories to create a professional work outfit. Just by changing the accessories I can change the look and feel of the outfit.
What a difference it has made to the number of new outfits I can wear. By adding only one new piece of clothing to your wardrobe that coordinates with four other pieces you now have four new outfits. Now that is an investment.
2. What is Missing?
What is in your wardrobe needs to compliment your lifestyle? Think about the types of activities you need clothing for to determine what you need to shop for. This gives direction when shopping and lessens impulse buying.
My wardrobe was very lacking in summer play or casual clothes. This year I added two pairs of shorts as well as a couple of summer dresses. This summer I showed my legs (yes I had to shave them more regularly). I have kept my legs covered by wearing pants for most of my life.
After years I threw my irrational thoughts about my legs out the window and exposed them by wearing shorts or knee length dresses. This was very liberating. We have to work at feeling good about our body and being realistic as to whether our thoughts are founded in reality or not.
Wearing this berry Cotton On top with Big W navy with white spot shorts. The shorts are actually men’s – I find them very comfortable on my straight up and down H shape body. The top has had the straight hemline cut into an asymmetrical line. This is actually a cold shoulder top with the sleeves tucked in.
Many clothing items can be worn as casual or smart casual. Teaming these Target blue & white sorts with my favourite top and adding accessories I was ready for a lunch date.
3. Set Yourself Style Challenges
Opening the wardrobe door and reaching for the same old outfit combinations is going to lead to feelings of boredom and the ‘I’ve got nothing to wear’ syndrome. To maximise the clothing in your wardrobe you need to take some time to play and experiment to discover the potential outfits that you actually have in your wardrobe. There are a lot more than you think.
This year I set myself two style challenges to take me out of my comfort zone and maintain interest and variety in what I wear.
- Mix and match patterns and prints. (see images below)
- Wear more than one necklace at a time.
I also set aside time (20 minutes to an hour) every four to six weeks to go shopping in my wardrobe. My aim is to create new outfit combinations I haven’t worn before. This makes me really look in my wardrobe and I discover forgotten clothing that is given a new life. Sometimes it results in items added to my shopping list. It also can be time for some quick culling when I discover something that doesn’t fit or I don’t like any more – wardrobe maintenance on the go.
Here are some ideas for shopping in your wardrobe to create new outfit combinations:-
- An organised wardrobe makes it easy to SEE, FIND and REACH your clothing when getting dressed. It also saves you time. If you need some pointers on wardrobe organisation read What Your Wardrobe Doesn’t Need
- TRACK and MONITOR what you are wearing. Hang all your clothes on the rail backwards with the hook facing frontwards. Yes it does feel very strange and awkward but it d0es serve a great purpose. When you wear an item of clothing rehang it with the hook facing in toward the wardrobe. (Hope this makes sense) This means that you can clearly see what clothes you are not wearing and make choices to wear something different. The more of your clothes you are wearing on a regular basis the more value you are getting from the money you have spent.
- SET YOURSELF A GOAL to wear at least one different outfit combination a week. Reach for an item of clothing that is hanging backwards. Sometimes it is easy to reach for the same reliable combination because it is easy. This results in wardrobe boredom and wasting money on clothes that are just taking up valuable wardrobe space.
- RESTYLE a favourite outfit
- – change the shoes you wear,
– add an accessory ( necklace, earrings, brooch, belt, scarf, different handbag.
Read How to Upstyle an Outfit from Day to Night for more restyling tips.
- MIXING PRINTS & PATTERNS can be a great way to increase the number of outfit choices in your wardrobe. Read more here.
Wearing two patterns – my long lasting Andiamo pants with a home made newsprint top jazzed up with red accessories. When I add a colour to an outfit I like to repeat it once or three times.
- STYLE WORD for the day – Think about what you are doing for the day and choose a couple of words to help guide your outfit selection.
Inspiration for this outfit combination came from the words playful and fun. The spots, colour and big earrings create that feel. A young girl in a shop actually said to me, ‘your outfit is great, it is so much fun.’
- TAKE PHOTOS of the outfits you create and love to wear. Use the photos for inspiration when getting dressed. It is very easy to forget some of the great outfits you create. Keep a record on your phone or print out the photos, laminate them and attach them to a curtain ring hanging on the back of your wardrobe door for easy access. There are also style apps you can use but I haven’t used them.
- PLAN your outfit the night before or select a few on the weekend. When you are in a hurry you will always reach for what you know and walk out the day not feeling confident and happy.
Hope these tips inspire you to SHOP and PLAY in your wardrobe so that you can get dressed with
STYLE CONFIDENCE – YOUR WAY EVERY DAY.