Articles about curating your wardrobe seem ridiculous to many of my readers I know. Give me a moment to clarify why this can add freedom, ease and confidence to your daily life. I promise, you might feel inspired to edit that closet and create a Pinterest board to assist you when you’re out shopping!
How to even figure out HOW you want to look in your daily life.
1 Know your needs
Here’s how to analyse your lifestyle requirements:
Make a list of your regular activities: Work, meeting friends, time at home, etc.
This is what your final wardrobe and also your starter kit should be tailored to.
Yes Dear, I am discussing your “Starter kit” because you WILL procrastinate if you think you need to harness your ideal wardrobe all at once!
2 Define your ideal wardrobe
Your starter kit pieces should all be part of a bigger framework you are working towards: your ideal wardrobe. Define your style and then write down some notes on what your current wardrobe lacks for this ideal wardrobe. Feel free to go into as much detail as you like here, but don’t feel like you need to have every single thing planned out. Concentrate on the overall look you are going for and the most important elements of your style (key colours, fabrics, proportions or details).
3 Choose maximum-impact key pieces
that are versatile
Now that you have a better idea of your lifestyle and the wardrobe you are working towards, you can use these two pieces of information to figure out which types of items would have the biggest impact on your look right now and could serve as corner stones for your ideal wardrobe. For now, try to only focus on which types of items might be good candidates for your starter kit.
Here are some guidelines for choosing your starter kit pieces:
What are your 3 biggest activities you consistently invest your time in? How happy are you with your wardrobe options at the moment for these 3 areas of your life? For maximum impact the majority of your starter kit should be tailored to the one activity that you are least happy with.
What are the colors, fabrics and overall style you want represented in the most lacking area of your wardrobe? Choose pieces that really signify the key idea of the overall look you are going for that you already own. From here you will see what you need to purchase for your starter kit. For example, if you want your ideal wardrobe to contain lots of well fitting pants with brightly colored shirts but your pants are not fitting well yet your shirt collection is fabulous, you have nailed what you need. Put a pair of navy and a pair of camel colored well tailored pants on your list. Select items that you will get a lot of wear out of i.e. can wear several times a week and several times between washes.
To give extra versatility to these new options look at your current shoes, bags and accessories. Do you have dress shoes as well as casual sandals that can be worn with these outfits? If not which do you need to add to your starter kit? Continue with bags and jewelry, you will most likely have dress up and dress down options that will allow you to start truly defining your ideal lifestyle wardrobe and only need to add to your starter kit what is missing or worn out.
4 Find the best quality your money can buy
Once you have figured out which types of pieces you want to include in your starter kit, the next step is to go out and find a version for each item that fulfils your criteria and is in your price range. Make it your goal to hunt down the best quality your money can buy: that includes the quality of the garment itself but also how well it fits your individual body and style concept. Here are a couple of pointers on finding good quality garments on a budget:
Price is not a reliable indicator of quality, that’s why it’s a good idea to study up on how you can assess the quality of a garment yourself, especially when you are on a tight budget.
As a general rule, you’ll have much better luck finding simple, unstructured pieces at more affordable stores than pieces that are very detail-rich and tailored. So, for pieces for which tailoring and details aren’t a crucial component, consider going for a simpler version.
For things like jackets and coats or any other item that you can’t find at a good quality in your price range: Go the second-hand/vintage route! Successful second-hand shopping usually takes up quite a bit of time, i.e. time to browse through thousands of online listings and clothing rails. If you are prepared for that, definitely give it a go!
5 Continue working towards your ideal wardrobe at your own pace
Once you have your starter kit all set, you will undoubtedly already be a lot happier with the general state of your wardrobe and hopefully will also be extra motivated to stick to your newfound style resolutions from now on. So: Set yourself a flexible budget and continue to work towards your ideal wardrobe, however fast or slow your budget allows.
Instead of five new pieces a month, you may only be able to afford one or two new pieces now. But if chosen well, those two pieces a month slowly but steadily add up to something bigger: A cohesive, high-quality wardrobe full of pieces you love and can wear for many seasons to come.
A closet filled with Intentional choices that allow you to wear pieces that feel great, look great and create numerous outfits out of minimal items saves time, headaches and money.
For lots more advice on how to rebuild your wardrobe from scratch: Check out the INTO MIND workbook.