Hi everyone! Since I know many of us struggle with this, I am sharing some of my best tips on how to build & thrift a functional wardrobe!
Making sure your closet is organized and decluttered is essential to this process. First, clean out your closet and get rid of everything that’s too small, big, worn out or outdated.
Next, organize your closet in a way that makes sense to your lifestyle. Often times people will organize their closets by color but try switching it up and organize your closet by separating casual and professional wear. Or perhaps you can push the pieces you don’t wear often to the side and keep 40 or so pieces in the center.
That sparkly dress in the back of your closet you wore once? The trendy leather skirt with the tags still attached? Those are all what Michael Kors calls “dessert” items. I love his meat and potatoes analogy. He suggests: “70 percent of the clothes you own should be meat and potatoes. 30 percent should be icing and fluff—that’s color, pattern, shine, and accessories. Too many women get the proportions the other way round, then can’t figure out why they can’t get dressed.”
Answer these questions:
How do I
spend my days?
What does your social calendar look like?
Thrift tip: Being realistic about the items you actually need in your closet saves you so much time and money at the thrift store.
Whether we realize it or not, we all have uniforms. They are the go-to outfits we grab without thinking.
Think of 1-3
items you wear all the time. Make sure to jot them down!
Now list 1-3 items that make you feel uncomfortable every time you wear them.
Go back to
that first list. Why do you tend to gravitate towards those first 3?
Now, what are common themes for the 3 that aren’t working for you?
When you go home, donate those 3 items.
Thrift tip: The thrift store is a great place to buy essentials. Add them to your wish list and make them a priority item each time you shop secondhand.
Think about your favorite celeb or blogger? Why do you love their style?
Branding your style makes shopping easier than you ever imagined. It’s definitely important not to put yourself in a box and to try new things, but it’s equally as important to know what your personal brand is like to avoid shopping for things that just aren’t you.
Think of words that you associate with your style, the things that make you feel comfortable and beautiful. For example: neutral, sophisticated, vintage, feminine, modern, colorful, etc.
Thrift tip: Gravitate towards these items. If there’s a “word” you want to explore, the thrift store is a great place to experiment with new styles.
Part of branding, list 1-3 stores you frequent or brands that work well with your body.
Now list 1- 3 places you’d like to try.
And lastly, 1-3 places you dislike.
What about fabrics? Fit?
Thrift tip: Best way to find quality fabrics? Use your hands! Touching fabrics helps you identify great quality pieces quickly. Want to find upscale brands? Most thrift stores will have special racks for brand name or designer items.
Developing your own personal color scheme is one of the most important steps to building a practical wardrobe. It helps you stick to colors that complement your skin tone and body shape. For the colors that don’t fit square within your palette, you can use those for accessorizing!
go-to neutrals for your wardrobe.
Now, pick 1-3 go-to colorful pallets.
These go-to shades will become part of your personal style or brand and will make getting dressed so much easier. Understand warm undertones vs. cool undertones. Peek at the color wheel to see which colors work well together or even try picking up paint chips from the paint store to play around with color.
Thrift tip: The thrift store is a great place to experiment with new-to-you colors. To make shopping more efficient, check to see if your thrift stores organize items by color.
Setting spending boundaries for your wardrobe really helps you avoid impulse buys.
Thrift Tip: Create a list of things and split your lists into three sections, need, want, willing to wait. Then set a limit that makes sense to your life. Monthly? Weekly? Per family member? Per category?
Adding accessories to your wardrobe is one of the easiest ways to put outfits together. If you’re not sure how to wear accessories, start by putting together a very simple outfit like jeans and tee or ankle pants and a neutral blouse for work and add an accessory. Try scarves, belts, tights, or bags.
What kind of accessories do you own and love?
What are three accessories you’ve wanted to try?
Thrift tip: Accessories are incredibly affordable at thrift stores! Stock up!
This is incredibly important. We aren’t all blessed with the stylist gene, so we must do work up front to get ideas. Make sure you’re constantly seeking inspiration everywhere. Try Pinterest, following celebrity style, follow fashion blogs, read magazines, join closet challenges. Once you’ve sought inspiration, recreate these looks by shopping your own closet. Try replicating a look at least once a week. Always, always, always Google the things you own to get inspiration. Recently bought a red coat? Simply Google “red coat outfits” or search that keyword on Pinterest for inspiration.
Try jotting down 3 of your favorite places to seek inspiration
Remember the rule of three when you’re shopping for everyday wear and work wear:
- Can I wear it three different ways?
- Can I wear it to three different places?
If not, put it back. You won’t regret it.
Thrift tip: Make the most out of your purchases. Keep your costs low and your wears high!
We tend to get into a routine, which is great because that makes getting dressed and shopping easier and efficient. However, most of us are afraid to try new things with fashion. Experiment with something new and see how it makes you feel. Take the piece home, research it, keep the tags on, and try it on with other things in your closet. The thrift store is a great place to experiment with new styles because of the low prices.
Document and take pictures for later.
This is a tip that’s often overlooked. Taking a picture of an outfit you either loved or hated will help you remember what you liked or disliked about it when you’re planning outfits. This will also help you keep track of the pieces you tend to gravitate towards, in turn helping you identify your own personal uniform, style, or brand.
There are several styling apps available that literally pick outfits for you based on your own closet. Some of these take time, but loading your information is worth the investment. Try:
Apparel or Cloth.