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January 15, 2020

Building a Wardrobe Starter Kit: Part 1

in, Fashion

I don’t think there’s a better time than the start of the year to broach the subject of building a wardrobe. We’re looking at simplifying this year. Infusing better instead of more into our closets. Focusing on what outfits and pieces resonate with us. I’ve gone back to square one with my wardrobe as my relationship with fashion has shifted over the past 2 years.

If you’re feeling the urge to do a closet clear out or find yourself wearing the same clothes consistently while staring down a full wardrobe, this challenge may be for you. I’m currently going through the process and while it’s been daunting it’s also very cathartic to evaluate my current clothing situation.

It also does a couple other things: allows me to make a bit of passive income by selling high quality, barely worn clothing on Poshmark (and donating the rest), and saves me money by narrowing my focus down to what I actually need to add to my wardrobe instead of buying another crewneck sweater because it’s on sale.

So let’s dive into the process and figure out the first steps to this challenge.

Start With a Mood Board

It doesn’t need to be a Photoshop creation. I love Pinterest for this task. Build a board with pieces you see on the platform that resonate with you. Try to identify pieces that are staples of your current wardrobe and colors, silhouettes, styles, patterns you’re attracted to.

Sharing mine below. 

Identify Words That Resonate With Your Current or Ideal Wardrobe

It’s just like building a brand. After all, your fashion choices convey your own personal brand in a way. List out a few words that speak to your ideal wardrobe. You all probably know mine by now:

| Minimal | Neutral | Feminine | Casual | Easy | Chic | 

There’s no perfect length or size of the list just make sure it conveys the inspiration behind your wardrobe choices. Use the free wardrobe worksheet below to help you plan it out.

Take Stock of What Pieces You Love

Set aside an evening or part of a Saturday to identify the pieces you already love in your wardrobe. It’s really only been in the last 3 years that I’ve started to accumulate pieces I would really miss if I didn’t have them around. A particular grey crewneck sweatshirt, dark wash denim, tan chelsea boots…

Find those pieces for yourself and hang them on a rack or special place in your closet so you don’t get confused on the next step.

Clear Out the Pieces You Haven’t Reached for In A Season

Although I’m a bit of a minimalist, I don’t love to jump the gun when I’m eliminating pieces from my wardrobe. A closet cleanse like this is great but if you’re on the fence about a piece don’t get rid of it immediately. I store off season and “on the fence” clothing in canvas totes in my closet.

If I haven’t missed a piece next year this time I know it’s fine to get rid of. But if there are pieces you know right away just don’t fit or have lost their shape and style, make a pile for donation or resale.

Shop Your Wardrobe + Look for Holes

Do you wear white tees often but just threw out 6 because they were worn out? You’re going to miss those white tees so now it’s time to add them back in.

If you realize you’ve amassed a great collection of hoodies but only have two sweaters (and you like wearing sweaters) you know it’s time to start shopping for a new sweater or two.

Use the images that inspire you and the words that describe your style to start to formulate outfits that you’re both comfortable in and inspired by. Shopping your own wardrobe is a great way to style outfits with pieces you already own and love. Editing down your wardrobe allows you to find those tucked away, forgotten pieces and use them to fill a gap in your closet.

Part 2 of this series we’ll focus on the building part of this process. We’ll look at all the items you’ll likely need to re-launch your style for 2020. Stay tuned!

Shop the Staples of My Wardrobe

Sezane Dress 

Cropped White Sweater 

Black Denim

Tan Hat 

Black Turtleneck 

Denim Skirt 

Chelsea Boots 

Polka Dot Dress 

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