Building a wardrobe takes time, planning and money. And if you're going to spend your valuable time and money building your style, you want to ensure that the outcome is effective and functional for the future. I am often asked for shopping tips and ways to make your wardrobe dollar go farther. To make the most of your wardrobe, take a look at these tips.
1. Think about lifestyle. – If you want your wardrobe to “work for you”, you need to take inventory and build a wardrobe that is in direct proportion to how you spend your time. If 50% of your time is spent in work related functions, then you need 50% of what’s hanging in your closet to be business appropriate.
2. How do you want to be perceived? – Your wardrobe sends out bits and bytes of information about you. Pay attention to details such as garment & shoe care, design elements, and fit. These can either work for or against you. Know the details that will help you send the right message.
3. Do your homework – know what designers fit your figure the best and which ones can easily be tailored for a custom fit. – Once you have a clear understanding of what styles work for you, the easier it will be to identify the designers who cut their garments for your figure type. This will save you time and frustration in the fitting room.
4. Focus on the most challenging part of your body. – Is it more difficult to find pants or jackets to fit? Determine which it is and build your wardrobe around those pieces.
5. Build a wardrobe of small groupings. – A functional wardrobe is made up of multiple groupings that start out with as few as 7 pieces. These groups will be based on a 2 – 3 color palette, have fabrics that coordinate, and are similar in styling.
- One matched pant & jacket (casual or formal)
- A second jacket to wear with pant
- One open sweater or vest
- One skirt
- Two (or more) tops
Once you have multiple groups, you can begin to mix and match garments to increase the number of outfit options.
6. Begin with your base neutrals. – Build groups based on neutrals. Fall colors include (i.e.: navy, gray, black, camel, brown)
7. Identify your core color(s). – Start with three colors in addition to your whites and base neutrals. Choose colors that will blend across the groups to give you the most flexibility.
8. Layer to polish your look. – A completed “look” begins with three pieces. In addition to your pant (or skirt) and top, the third piece could be any of these: jacket, sweater (worn or thrown over the shoulders), vest, scarf, tie, colored top worn under a shirt.
9. Tie it all together with wraps and outerwear. – Nothing stretches a wardrobe more than scarves, wraps, and outerwear/cardigan type sweaters. This brings color into our groups, helps to create a variety of outfits and prevents you from getting bored with the same old look.
10. Shop your closet and replace items that are worn, pilled, or stained. – Now’s the time to assess the condition of what you own and replace those items before you need to wear them.
The 10 tips provided here should allow you to make the most of your wardrobe dollar and give you the confidence to create multiple outfits.