Ever had one of those days when you look into your wardrobe, and just, stare? Who hasn’t!
Nothing jumps out at you; you’re not inspired… you’re stuck.
You try on different outfits and combinations… 30 minutes has passed, and now you’re even more confused, and you’re sweating.
If you regularly face this problem, then it’s definitely time to restyle and de-clutter your wardrobe.
If your wardrobe funk is relatively recent, then perhaps all you need is a simple style revamp.
Seasons change and so do you. Because clothes express who you are, if you’re experiencing change in your life, it’s natural to want your style to reflect this.
I’ve put together 10 really simple steps on how to create a wardrobe that works for you; reflecting your unique, personal style.
Think of these steps as little assignments that you can knock over in 15 minutes or less. They’re designed to help you get in touch with your personal style, get creative with your wardrobe, and improve the way it’s organised. So that what remains in your wardrobe is an easily accessible, always inspiring, reflection of you.
1. Is It Really Essential?
Imagine all your clothes, bags and shoes were lost in a fire. Which 15-20 pieces would you ‘buy’ to start over? Pull those first and take it from there. This will give you insight into your personal style priorities.
2. Pinterest Your Style
What five pieces would you buy if money was no object? Create a Pinterest board for your ‘dream’ items. Thinking this way might ignite your creativity and give you insight into your ideal wardrobe and style.
And whilst Pinterest is awesome for dream outfits and pieces, you can also use it to hone in on your personal style. Keep the ‘Pinspiration' flowing; add boards and images that can help you shape the wardrobe that suits your lifestyle.
Find 10 outfits, or outfit combos, on Pinterest. If you’re not sure what styles flatter your body, look for pins with suggestions for your shape. Also search your occupation, event, body shape, style and season; you’ll be amazed how much inspiration you’ll find.
3. Be Your Own Style Icon
Finding your signature style is about distilling the essence of your style into a key combination of pieces that you can wear in different ways. The biggest style icons have a clearly defined signature style; just think of Audrey Hepburn, Kate Moss, Sienna Miller, Blake Lively, Kylie Jenner, Elle McPherson, the list goes on.
To find out if your signature is hidden in your wardrobe, pick a combination of the favourite pieces that you own, in at least three versions (e.g. skinny jeans, blazer and a simple tank or tee). Try out different combinations of these, and mix them up with handbags, boots/shoes and accessories to create different looks with your ‘signature style’.
4. The 3 Essential Categories
Start with one category; take all of your tops out of your wardrobe and pop them onto a rack or onto your bed. Go through them and sort into three piles: 1. Keep, 2. Donate and 3. Maybe. Don’t overthink it. Have you worn it in the last year? Does it look great on you? If not, Donate.
Does it look great but you never wear it? If you feel emotionally attached, put it in the Maybe pile. Aim to keep only what you love and genuinely suits you. Remember your goal is to define your personal style. There’s probably a good reason you never wear it.
In summary; Keep: Clothes you love, wear, get compliments on, fit well, flatter your body, and are in good condition. Maybe: is for pieces that may not fit properly, but are good quality and can be altered. Or maybe they’re in great condition, and you just haven’t found the occasion. If you really don’t have the heart to donate them yet, put them in Maybe and get them out of your wardrobe. I use a storage box that I like to revisit with these questions at a later date. Donate: anything that is dated, stained, pilled, doesn’t fit well or never gets worn.
5. Style Your Body
This point is worth reiterating. Even if it’s well-made, or matches your idea of style; if it doesn’t suit your body, get rid of it!
It’s easy to feel attached to something because it’s designer, expensive or you just like it. Try it on, look in the mirror. Does it look great on you? (be honest!). If it doesn’t, sell it or donate it to charity. Keep only what looks great on you.
6. Your Lifestyle
Your perfect wardrobe represents your style, and your lifestyle. Think of an average week; write down your main activities, and how many times they occur, e.g. work days, meetings, lunches, parties, lounging, special occasions, workouts etc. Make sure you have enough combos for the way you spend the most time. Sounds obvious enough but this insight can help guard against impulse buying. If you rarely make it to the gym, do you really need to jump on that LuluLemon sale? If you have regular meetings or dinners, do you have enough outfits to accommodate those in your own personal style? Is your current wardrobe versatile enough for what you get up to most?
7. Colour Me Gorgeous
Your colour preferences influence your clothing choices, and can go a long way to flattering your skin tone. If you don’t know which colours suit you, start by identifying your favourite colours. It’s amazing how we are often drawn to colours that suit us. If you’re not sure, a makeup artist can tell you, or there are a number of free online quizzes to determine whether you are ‘warm’ or ‘cool’ for example. Once you know, take a look at your wardrobe and eliminate that which drain your skin tone.
8. Itchy or Scratchy?
Another factor that defines your personal style is the type of fabric you like and feels great on. Does wool make you itch? Does it bother you when acrylic fibres pill quickly? Do you love the feel of cotton and natural fibres? Do you like your jeans with stretch? Note the fabric/fibre compositions of your favourite and most comfortable pieces, in both Summer and Winter. Moving forward, aim to buy only the fibres and fabrics that feel good on you.
9. Down Under
Don’t forget about your undies. Go through each item in your underwear drawer and toss anything that is torn or worn out. It happens to all of us; old and tired underwear does nothing for self esteem, so get rid of it. Keep and/or buy underwear that suits you, is comfortable, and makes you feel good. Streamline; you don’t really need more than 10 bras and 20 undies.
Did you find these steps helpful? If so share the love with your friends. If you have more tips you’d like to share, please leave them in the comments below.