How To Build a Functional Wardrobe – Strategies
Building a wardrobe doesn’t happen overnight. It is a graduate process that takes time and effort and you need to commit and work on it constantly if you want to have a functional and timeless wardrobe.
A working wardrobe means that:
- You don’t stand in front of a bursting with clothes closet every morning feeling that you don’t have anything to wear.
- You have appropriate outfits for every occasion and every season.
- You have clusters of clothes (or capsules) containing of styles that go together and create various outfits.
- You possess versatile and modern accessories and know how to use them.
- Your wardrobe is consistent with your body type, proportions and colour season, which ultimately means that everything you own will fit you well and will compliment your natural colouring and personality.
- You will save money by simply not doing any impulsive purchases
- When buying new pieces you will know exactly what you are looking for and won’t waist time.
The first step is to clean your existing wardrobe.
This task is relatively easy ones you know your body type, colour season and wardrobe personality.
Take everything out of your closet and evaluate every single piece you own.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I love this piece and do I wear it often (trust your instincts)
- Does this style fit my body type, is it flattering
- Is this piece in my Colour Season Palette, does it compliment my natural coloring
- Does this style reflect my Wardrobe Personality (is it me)
- Can I mix and match this item with the rest of my clothes
- Is this item in decent condition
If you answered yes for all the questions then the item is a keeper, if not then you should get rid of it. Don’t get emotionally attached to your clothes (especially to the bad ones), you will see how liberated and rejuvenated you will feel after you are done. Do not keep anything that you haven’t worn for the past one year (chances are you will never wear it again), anything that is torn, has holes, looks old or is out of style. If you have designer clothes but they don’t fit your body type try to take them to the tailor and see if they can get them fixed with accordance to your proportions. Do the same evaluation for your shoes and accessories. You can donate the clothes you are disposing of, give them to consignment stores, sell them or simply give them to friends.
After your wardrobe has gone through an assessment and proper cleaning it is time to start creating your clusters of styles. This means that you have a small group of coordinated clothes that work well together and allow to mix-and match and easily create various outfits. You can have very small group of styles but if they work well together you can create many different outfits with them. After you created a working cluster you can add new pieces and adapt as you go. Clustering is a great strategy because it will bring a consistency to your personal style, it will brake the overwhelming task of wardrobing and will safe you money and time since you will know what you are looking for when you shop. Clustering is most popular for work wear but you can have clusters for leisure, evening wear, vacation and so on.
How To Do a Cluster Wardrobing
- The first step is to choose a pattern, print or stripe that you will work around and it will be basis of your cluster colors. Make sure whatever you choose works for you (if you are petite avoid bold prints, if you have an oval body type do not do horizontal stripes etc.) Try to choose a print that will repeat some of the tones of your personal colouring. Also one or two of the tones of the print or pattern should be a neutral colour that you can use as a base for your basic pieces.
- Try to have at least 2 tops, two bottoms and a jacket or cardigan (this will give you up to 8 outfits). You can start with one pant, a skirt, two blouses and a cardigan for example and then build on that adding a blazer, more blouses, a dress and so on.
- Select basic pieces with simple lines and design. Styles with too much details are harder to coordinate.
- Select pieces that go together and can work at least with two other items.
- Pick accessories that will go with your cluster. For example if you are creating a work cluster choose work appropriate accessories in colours matching the main colour scheme (and your color season) of your work collection (see the How To Dress For Work section for more details)
- Make sure you have appropriate shoes in the right colours and for the occasion.