I am a big supporter of having a smaller, quality wardrobe full of things you love to wear rather than a closet full of things a bunch of things you wear occasionally and four items that you wear non-stop. Keeping a concise and loved wardrobe can also help limit excessive purchasing, good for both your wallet and the environment! This is my tried and tested method of keeping my wardrobe balanced, and full of pieces that I love to wear that can be used for any price point or style type!
I know that a lot of people are champions of the minimalist and capsule wardrobes- I don’t go quite that far because I do like to have a good amount of choice, and I think that a capsule wardrobe would be very hard on the pieces that make up your collection, and you would possibly be done with them at the end of the season/year. Other than a capsule wardrobe, these tips can be applied to any wardrobe, any price point, or any style!
1) One In, One Out
This is a great philosophy for life in general, but is particularly useful in a closet- if you want to buy an item, you have to donate, recycle, or upcycle an item. Realistically, you only have so many hours in a day and days in a week to wear clothing. Hoarding piles and piles of it, or wearing something once a year isn’t doing anyone any good- maintain a rough number of how many pieces you need to have a functional wardrobe that gives you a good number of options, and stick to it. I personally prefer to know ahead of time what piece I am shifting out of my wardrobe, but it helps when I see a piece that I want to think “what will have to go to make room for this?”. It keeps your wardrobe in check and also forces you to evaluate how much you love the clothing you do have!
2) Keep a List of Wardrobe Holes
Do a full inventory of your wardrobe, and figure out exactly which pieces are missing. Not “pieces that I would like to try out” or “pieces that are for my dream life” but “pieces that I wish I had on a daily/weekly basis”. For example, if you wear two or three blouses on a weekly and every time you put it one of them on, you think “I wish I had a navy cardigan to go with this”, I would consider that a wardrobe hole. I would not consider random thoughts of “maybe I would look good in a blue leather jacket” a wardrobe hole…
Keep a detailed list of those pieces, and what exactly it is that you want them to be. “A red dress” is very vague; “a red dress with full length sleeves that doesn’t need to be dry-cleaned” will give you more direction when you are looking and will help you narrow down what you actually want. (Settling will only lead to more so-so pieces in your wardrobe that you don’t actually wear!)
3) Have a Separate “Dream List”
I am all for having those dream pieces that you are striving to buy and reward yourself with- by 35, I would I like to have my own Mulberry Bayswater in Black Leather with Silver hardware, not like I’ve thought about it or anything… I think that having something to reach towards is great motivation, and goals are never a bad thing. However, they shouldn’t be on your regular list of wardrobe holes, because they aren’t really holes.
**Also, a note on your dream list- ensure that they are items that you actually will actually wear and use on a regular basis. A lot of people will save thousands and thousands of dollars to buy a handbag that they are scared to use, or a dress that gets worn maybe once a year. ”
4) Do Your Research
When you are looking to fill holes in your wardrobe, I would put the time in and do the research on what you are buying. Pay attention to sizing and fit, pay attention to colour and how it works with what you already have in your wardrobe, pay attention to the fabric and hang. Don’t buy the first option you see because it is simply the first option, because I can guarantee you will have more. As I mentioned above, settling isn’t going to help you with much of anything when it comes to building a wardrobe that you love, and if you just grab the first thing that you see, you will probably find yourself needing to buy another item when you don’t like the one you bought in the first place. Try things on, read fabric breakdown and care tags, and keep your whole wardrobe in mind when you are buying things!
What do you find the most challenging about maintaining your wardrobe and buying new pieces?