Need help building your wardrobe? Can’t afford a stylist? You are not alone, you are actually the majority. Impulse buying among most of us is an epidemic pastime. Who doesn’t love to wear something pretty and new? To build a smart wardrobe, it will take some work on your part, a fresh mindset, a few boundaries exercising a little self-control.
Here are some tips to help you build a smart wardrobe without going broke or hiring a stylist.
Define Your Style and Simplify The Options
So, shall we get started? Let’s begin in the closet hanger by hanger, and pull together similar styles. Chances are, there will be some crazy pieces in the mix. Tops you were always planning to wear, but never did get the nerve. Or the slinky dresses you dreamed of wearing, but you chose something more conservative. It’s fine, we all make silly purchases. That’s the fun of shopping! The goal is to discover which styles you find the most repeated, and build from there.
Pick A Fashion Icon
This helps to narrow down the options and find a wardrobe direction. You will probably have more than one, that’s great. I like my style to reflect a modern, contemporary minimalism flavor, which is reflective of my icon – Aubrey Hepburn. This means my wardrobe reflects simple pieces, and tons of fun sunglasses, gloves and floppy hats, but I also love Bohemian styles that icons like Ali McGraw brought to magazine covers. This fun style includes pieces like long tunics, peasant tops, riding boots and knit caps. If you don’t love any particular fashion icon not to worry, you can still streamline.
Consider Your Comfort Zone
Exploring styles is one thing, but wearing them is quite another. Don’t count on becoming the next Lady GaGa of trendy fashion, if you fear criticism. A smart signature style doesn’t need to scream (look at me). A little anxiety or nervousness can be a motivator, but confidence is the mother of timeless glamour. Adopt a style that will make you feel at ease in your own skin, eager to greet the world and bold enough to push your boundaries.
Pick A Color Palette
Most stylists will tell you to buy a navy blazer, a little black dress, a white shirt, etc. That dress for success analogy is long faded away. It should come down to your skin undertones that determines your most flattering color palette. A good tip to keep in mind – If your veins are blues and purples, stick with cool tones like blues, greens, black and whites. If you have yellow undertones, go with a warm tones which represent amazing soft creams, pinks and browns. For help determining your undertones check out this website at www.stylecaster.com for more undertone details.
Make Some Decisions
I know you want to keep everything, but as painful as it is to streamline – you must. Choose the pieces that flatter you the best. Remember to consider the color palette you are aiming to develop and the style that looks smart with your body type. Some of us can wear anything, but not all of us can wear everything.
Hmm! I know what you’re thinking, I’m forever young… Despite your beautiful body my lady, age is an essential consideration when selecting fashion pieces. I have pieces that I love that stretch my age boundaries from time to time, like screen tees and baby doll dresses, but I’m super sensitive about the time and place I wear then. If you are over 40 and have great legs you might can stretch it and wear trendy floral shorts, however if your legs are not your best asset, opt for longer length shorts like sporty bermudas. Defining boundaries for yourself sticking to them is important to your signature style. This is where most fashion lovers struggle the most, asking questions like…
- Are my boots too high?
- Can I still wear crop tops? What type of bottom should I pair?
- Should I wear a bikini or a one piece?
- Am I revealing too much
Evaluate What You Own
Set up a daytime casual lifestyle section, evening options and versatile pieces that can overlap all of your different lifestyles. Keep your working section the smallest and very organized, your time is pressured getting ready for work. I use the phrase for working style KISS, keep it simply simple. Put aside all the extra clothes that are messy in storage in large bags under your bed or in the attic for another season. Get excited a little, you are making progress.
Add On – Layering Pieces
These layering pieces are necessary to outfit properly. Basics like V-neck tees, Tanks, Tights, and Jackets make the outfit pop, so don’t underestimate their value to complete your look. For each event in your day, add pizzazz with an add-on. Scarves are a fun versatile add-on – don’t worry about thinning out these goody’s. Scarves go a long way in creating distinct looks.
At the office – add-on a beautiful, colorful scarf to show a little of your personality.
Date night – tie the scarf around your head for a 60’s throwback or as a Hepburn swept away look.
Beach Day – make a triangle fold, wear over your swim suit for a glamor update
The possibilities of outfitting with scarves are endless. Hang them up and separate, and keep them all.
Create A Capsule Wardrobe
Create a mini wardrobe (known as a “capsule wardrobe”) where every item can be worn together. You can use 30 pieces for 30 days or 20 pieces for 20 days of outfits. Remember to pick fabrics, colors and lifestyles that will work together. This will make getting dressed easy breezy.
Detox The Leftovers
Now that you have finished the grunt work, its time to DETOX. If you have 20 pairs of jeans and you only wear the same 3 pair, consider sizing down your options. Same goes if you own 10 black sweaters, but half of them never gets worn, get rid of them.
Once you define your signature style, shopping will be easier. It will be simple to buy add-ons and ignore the crazy stuff you once bought. A mannequin displaying a gorgeous coral dress might look great, but would the color really look flattering on you? Consider your where you live and be mindful of the climate when investing in wardrobes. In the south, you can wear lightweight pieces longer than heavyweights and in cold areas, you have a longer window to wear coats.
Building a smart wardrobe is a process, but as soon as you get started the easier life will be in the long run. What tips do you have that to share that helped you develop your signature style?
Very truly yours,