“Where do I start when rebuilding my wardrobe?” “How do I know what to keep or add?” Your questions help me to focus on the subjects in which you are most interested. It took me years to fine-tune my closet, so I will share the tips I wish I had always known.
1. Edit your closet to remove the things you never wear. Create three stacks: give away, throw away, and repair/alter/store. If you haven’t worn it for a year or if you put it on and then take it off, again and again, there must be a reason. Let it go. If you have sentimental items that you will never wear again, pack them away with your other keepsakes. Don’t let them take up valuable space in your closet.
2. Build your core around classics with simple lines. Focus on three neutral colors in all the basic shapes you like to wear. (Blue denim is considered neutral.) Having a light color, a dark color, and bright color increases the mixing and matching possibilities. These should be colors that you know look best on you. (For example, my colors are black, white, and shades of blue-gray. I use the colors found in my hair and eyes.) You can always add accent colors and more ornate items later, but you need these basics to start.
3. Your wardrobe should match your lifestyle. Think about events that cause you to stand in front of your closet in despair because you have nothing to wear. Make it your priority to fill that gap when you shop again.
Arrange the pieces you keep by color, category, and length. When you stand back and look at what remains, you will see your style and where you need to fill in some missing elements.
Again I will use my closet as an example. I like to wear jeans and blazers with tank tops or long sleeve tees. It is a priority for me to have jeans that look neat and fit well. I have light and dark blue washes, black and white jeans. Tank tops and tees in white, black, and silver/gray, and button-front blouses in these colors are always in my closet. Blazers and cardigans in black, white, and gray are also represented. If I have one of each of these items, I can be well dressed for any event in my daily life. Add a nice pair of dressy black pants and a fancy jacket or two, and I am covered for any evening event.
Accessories such as scarves and jewelry and good quality bags and shoes pull the looks together and add the pizzaz that keeps me from looking too plain. The bracelet I am wearing is from French Kande.
We don’t need a lot of clothes. We need basics that can be mixed, matched, and worn casually or dressed up as you wish. Prints, patterns, and ruffles are memorable and limiting. If you can’t wear it with at least three other things in your closet, it might be a show pony rather than a workhorse. Make sure you have enough workhorses to get you through anything your lifestyle requires.
We were in the middle of a day-long photo shoot when we got the call to pick up the cases of fruit we had ordered to help out the High School Band. All I had to do was throw on a jean jacket and put on my sparkly brogues by Louise et Cie, grab my basic chain bag, and I was ready to go in two minutes. Life should always be this easy!