A GREAT WARDROBE,
& PERSONAL STYLE
What suits you plays a big part, something I write about a lot on IDEALISTSTYLE.COM, but taste is equally important. What colors you like, shapes, lengths, what kind of materials, textures and prints, it all plays a part. Recognizing what's YOU, and what's a waist of money, is a very important piece in building your dream wardrobe (and sparing the environment from the "buy and throw a way" culture we have evolved into). Figure out what you like and actually use, instead of buying things you don't really need.
My favourite color is black. Other than that I have a preference for warm colors like, for example, ivory, sunny yellow, green, peachy pink, tomato red, and so on. Even when it comes to prints and materials I have a type. Floral or tropical patterns, polka dots, lace, mesh, metallics, velvet, satin, scuba, 3Dprinted materials, or other textured or sharp fabrics that has a little spice or edge to it (for either a futuristic or fairytale feel). I know what I like, and buying anything else is a waste of recourses. It has to be the right color, the right material, the right shape, and the right length. Also, there's different rules for different type of clothes. For example, If I buy a navy blue, short coat, I'll use it maybe once every other year, because it just doesn't feel like me. A black full length one however, is something I'll use at every chance I get. This is the difference between building a collection of clothes, and being a person who keeps shopping and yet have nothing to wear. Get to know yourself, what you like, and stick to it. Trends are fleeting, style is forever. And this planet needs a little bit more of quality over quantity.
As for organizing your closet, I've heard people say, "when cleaning out your closet, think of what you wouldn't buy now if you were shopping. This will reduce the number of clothes in your closet by 3/4". I think that advice alone is not very economical or environmentally conscious. However, if you add a little extra to it, it's brilliant. Combine that advice with, when out shopping, imagine yourself at home getting ready for whatever that piece of clothing is intended for. Consider if you would actually feel like wearing it, if it's really a cheap version of what you actually wanted, and if maybe you already have something that covers this need at home?
Fashion goes in cycles. In five to ten years those last years jeans could be the hottest thing again, so buy quality items and aim to reuse them. I've gotten rid of too many things, ten years too soon. Those 90's mom jeans I inherited from my mom, that no one understood back in 2007, well.... they're super trendy right now. #regrets
Don't act too hasty, but don't procrastinate or hoard either. Make conscious decisions, and you'll have a much better wardrobe collection for it, without having to spend money every new season.
I'm not going to lie or sugar coat it, this takes work and energy. But, on the other side we buy too much, and throw away too much, and it's not good for our wallet or our planet. So, you're really doing yourself a favour by becoming a more conscious shopper. Hard work pays off in the end.
Below, you can see a little visualisation, of the results of my own closet/shopping analysis.
What I learned about myself, is that I am an "emotional dresser" with a dash of some good old OCD. Someone who prefers to dress the way they feel that day, and have a strict sense of what feel's like them and not. Anything not perfect for me, will not be used. Not even at home on the couch. It's pretty much the opposite of someone who wears whatever, and will just throw on the same old thing and go. I express my mood and what I've been inspired by lately, through my looks. If I watch a lot of Sci-fi, you can be sure I'm going to walk around looking like a cast member from "The Fifth Element" or "Star Wars", or something similar. The perfectionist part, rears its ugly head when I also need it to look flattering on me. Which is why anything not fitted to my height, "Skittle" body type, and "CLEAR WARM soft" coloring, is a deal breaker. This level of style commitment is not easy if you're not rich, and compromises have been made a lot of times. Sometimes I get it right, sometimes I have to settle.
It's also kind of a bad combination with the fact that I'm (or used to be) a "fantasy shopper". Someone who sees something that looks cool or pretty, get lost in fairytale land where that would be a great look (usually on someone else), and then buy it without recognizing that I'm never going to feel like wearing that. Usually, because it's not really for me, doesn't suit me, and is not realistic to my lifestyle. It used to end with stuff hanging in the closet with the price tag on for years and years. Now, I know that I need to peek out into reality for a little while and consider if I really need that. The truth is, that when shopping, the answer to that question is NO, 90% of the time. So much money saved, that can rather be invested in clothes that I actually will wear.
How you shop and what you keep, are the habits that needs to be shaped, broken, or learned from, to truly get your wardrobe and style in order. That said, there is no shame in having a hundred dresses, if you use them all, and there is no shame in owning only one pair of shoes, if those are the only ones you use. Do what's right for you.
The trick is to think of your closet as a collection, and only shop for what's missing. Never just buy something because it's pretty or cool. Take notice of what you really need when roaming through your clothes getting ready, and make a list. This is a good way of preventing that impulse shopping, based on your feelings for that random shiny dress you just got a fleeting crush on (that you'll never get to wear). The key is to build a wardrobe where you can find an outfit for any occasion, without having to go shopping. Even if it's for work, a birthday party, camping, or a wedding. Too many of us have the "I have a hundred party tops, and yet I have nothing to wear" kind of closets. Or, the "I only have work clothes, and nothing fancy". It's all about finding that right balance.
Instead, spare the environment the pollution, and save money on buying long lasting quality items. This way, you can rather spend your money on replacing basics (Also, more left for the occasional splurge on fashion fabs).
HOW TO MASTER YOUR WARDROBE?
Step 1. Figure out who you are, and what styles you like.
Step 2. What is your life really like? Do you need to be fancy for work, or wear sensible shoes?
Step 3. What flatters your face shape, body shape, type of looks, and colors?
Step 4. Make step 1, 2 and 3 work together and for you.
It's all about figuring out who you are, what you like, and edit until you find a way to make that style look good on you.
Step 5. Get rid of the items that doesn't do you justice.
When going through your closet, imagine you're shopping and remove anything that you wouldn't buy now.
Then consider if you'll ever feel like wearing that again, before you either store it or give it to someone else. If it clashes with either step 1 or 3, you will never need it, so get rid of it. Well, unless you can alter it to suit you. If it's only a matter being in conflict with step 2, I might come in handy at some point and you can store it for later.
Step 6. Yes, after you clean out the unfitting and unflattering items from your closet, you'll probably have to be a consumer and buy new stuff. But, this time be very selective, and think long term.
When you're in the shop trying on clothes, imagine that you're at home getting dressed. Would you actually feel like wearing this piece of clothing in real life? Do you already have something that covers this need in your closet?
Also, remember that fashion goes in cycles. In five to ten years those last years jeans could be the hottest thing again, so buy quality items and aim to reuse them. There are really only three good reasons to get rid of clothes.
1. It's not your shape or color, or your style at all (you will never wear that, so shop smarter next time).
2. They're so worn out there is no hope for a salvage.
3. Give those previously mentioned things away to charity or someone else who will have a greater use for it (recycle).
Everything else can be reused, altered, repaired, or stored for a later time.
This philosophy is what keeps my closet fully stocked, and the reason why I haven't had to stress-buy anything new for an upcoming event (not even for Halloween) for the last three years. I actually, hardly ever buy new things other than replacing worn-out basics and favorites, and the occasional fashion find that has been on my closet's "missing list "for at least 6 months. If you can't forget about it, it's probably worth owning. If you do forget about it, you never needed it in the first place.
Also, don't forget that you can borrow clothes from friends, and vise versa. It's a good way to get a trend or an outfit out of your system, without having to buy unnecessary things.