You don’t have to love fashion and style to benefit from dressing stylishly. It doesn’t take a lot of money or necessarily a large wardrobe.
It all boils down to well-chosen items that fit your lifestyle, needs, taste and budget. From there, getting dressed everyday will be a lot easier. It can also help you feel more confident, comfortable and look more polished at work or on the go. It’s something that everyone can do and benefit from — all ages, body types, genders, lifestyles.
Who wouldn’t like getting dressed to be easier, plus help you feel more confident, comfortable and look amazing?
The challenge can be in finding and buying the items you need. But it doesn’t have to be! We use an approach here at Condiment for building, shopping and styling wardrobes that has been pretty effective. Here it is below:
What’s your life/lifestyle? We all have to get dressed for a variety of different things throughout the week/month/year. However, there are some things that you’ll dress for more frequently — work, taking care of family, going to school, etc. Center the bulk of your wardrobe shopping and styling to what you have to dress for the most often. You can build out to the lesser activities once you have a good base wardrobe for what you do the most. Considering your lifestyle is also really important when it comes to what you buy. For example, if you’re chasing a toddler most days of the week, you’ll likely want at least some comfortable, durable clothes that can wash and wear easily. Think about your life and lifestyle first, and base your wardrobe from that point.
What do you like to wear/what are you drawn to? Everyone has things they like to wear, items they’re naturally drawn to. It might be that you love comfortable, pullover tops and tees. Or you may find yourself drawn to dresses and skirts. A lot of this stems from what we wore during our childhood. That doesn’t mean you’ve got to stick to it. But be cognizant of what you like because that’s what you will reach for in your closet even if it’s packed with clothes. Just the same, pay attention to the design, look and style of clothes, shoes and accessories. You might gravitate toward pretty, dainty flats. Or it might be edgy boots. There’s no wrong type of style — just your own. Finding it is the next piece of the style puzzle.
Find your look. Clothes, shoes and accessories create an outfit when they’re combined together into outfits and looks. This can be a bit of the trickier part of styling your closet. But over time you’ll get the swing of it like anything else. Start by looking out in the world for inspiration to get an idea of what outfits and looks you like. Maybe it’s super eclectic, creative outfits with a lot of interesting elements. Maybe it’s jeans and t-shirts and that’s all you need. Save looks to a Pinterest board, or to your desktop. Or tear out pages of looks and outfits that pop out in fashion magazines. This will help you get an idea of how you’d like to dress, which is key as you purchase items and/or work in your closet.
What do you need? We all have some type of wardrobe in our closet. It might not be the perfect wardrobe, or the ideal one at the moment. But there is a good chance at least some of what you already own can be put to use. Before you purge your current closet, take a quick step back and ask yourself — does anything I own fit into #1–3 above? If so, set it aside as you can potentially get use from it as you continue to build and style your new wardrobe. Make a list of things that you might need or can add in to meet your life/lifestyle needs and the look you want to have. You may find you don’t need anything — we’ve worked in plenty of closets here at Condiment where it was just a matter of restyling what somebody already owned.
Put it all together. Great style is all about the outfit, and a great outfit is all about the details. Don’t just buy clothes — buy them with outfits in mind. Ask yourself what you can wear an item with before you purchase it. Make sure you don’t need anything else to put it to work. While in your closet, always think in terms of outfits and looks — include things like scarves, jewelry and accessories. Roll the cuffs of jeans to mix up a look and add a style element, and so on. A sneaky way to make getting dressed super easy every day or for any occasion is to spend a few hours creating looks and outfit ideas. Then, when you have to go somewhere, you can repeat these looks over and over. It can really help!
Remember, you don’t need a lot of clothes! And they don’t need to be designer or expensive. Just be sure you’re buying what is precise and right for you and your unique needs and taste. From there, always aim to buy the best quality you can afford when it matters. Some items, materials, etc. are just not worth splurging on. As a rule, if it’s something you wear a lot (meaning more than 1x a week or several times a month) aim for higher quality so it lasts longer. Things like t-shirts and basics, or cotton in general, you can scrimp a little.
We talk about all of this and more in Condiment’s book Wardrobe Science, or you can hire our Virtual Styling Concierge. Details here and here.
Originally published at medium.com