A new year is as good of time as any to revamp your wardrobe. It can be common to assume that giving time or attention to what you wear is a frivolous or “fashion” thing. But, it can actually help make getting dressed easier everyday — and make you feel amazing as well.
When You Shop, Shop Strategically
A major mistake that many make in their closets is a lack of focus, direction and purpose. We tend to shop on autopilot, grabbing and buying whatever stands out or looks good on store shelves and racks. However, that’s a sure fire way to have a wardrobe that doesn’t work for you. And considering that it can be a significant investment of your time and money to build yours, it’s important that what you buy — and all of what you buy — performs well for you and does its job.
Be as focused and purpose-centered when you buy clothes, shoes and accessories as you would if you were buying a home appliance, or other major investment. Just because a shirt costs $50 doesn’t mean you should waste your money on it. Assess your current wardrobe before you buy anything. If you already have two pair of medium wash jeans, you don’ t need that third pair. Buy a dark or light wash instead, or pants instead of jeans, to ensure you’re creating a wardrobe with range.
Also, evaluate your lifestyle as you plan — what do you dress for the most? What kind of clothes do you find yourself reaching for or wearing a lot for this? That’s how to keep your wardrobe functional. It doesn’t do you any good if you’ve got a closet full of casual weekend clothes but need to get dressed for work 5 days a week.
Understand Your Body Type To Make Shopping Easier
A second challenge when shopping and styling your wardrobe is understanding your unique body type. I’ve helped many people who assumed their bodies were the problem with finding clothes that fit well and comfortably. It’s actually not your body at all — it’s the brand/designer and how they cut their clothes. It’s different for every brand/designer. That’s the real reason why you might hit a dozen retail stores and not find anything that fits you — the brand or designer isn’t cut for your body type. The good news is, there are plenty out there that are right for different body types.
The key is to find what brands and designers work for yours. Once you know, you can put them on repeat when it’s time to shop for clothes. It’ll make everything a lot easier. You can find a ton of information online about body types if you’re unsure what yours might be.
Think Complete Wardrobe, Complete Outfits
Another common wardrobe mistake is a lack of cohesiveness and compatibility between the items in your closet. A bunch of random pieces will be less wearable (or unwearable all together) if you don’t have the corresponding pieces to create an outfit. This is where shopping strategically and with a focus is also paramount. When you see something you want or like for your closet, give a little thought right then and there: What would I wear this with that I currently own? If you can’t think of at least three things you can pair something with, ask yourself what you need to purchase additionally to make that item give you wear in your world.
A solid wardrobe that works for you will need to have a mix of “foundation” items, like basic tops, jeans, pants and skirts, to support the more unique or “statement” items you might own or want. Go into your current wardrobe to determine if you have a good foundation layer. If you do, great — you can work in random items. If not, you need to focus your initial efforts on establishing your foundation layer first.
The last piece of advice is to always have complete outfits in mind. When you shop, as you get ready in morning, etc. That’s what really brings together a look, gives it polish, etc. A sneaky tactic to make outfit styling easier that can also make getting dressed super efficient is to create “pre-canned” outfit ideas through a weekend styling session. Put items together in your closet, write them down or take a photo. When you need to get dressed, you can default to these looks, and repeat them all you need or want.
The good news is: Once you get the hang of it, you’ll have your personal style, wardrobe needs, and perfect fit sources locked down — shopping and styling is ultra easy from there.
Condiment’s book Wardrobe Science is a proven approach we’ve used to build, shop, style and maintain precise, personal wardrobes using business and retail strategy. You can have a look here.
Originally published at medium.com