The Basics of Building A Practical Wardrobe
Building a practical wardrobe successfully with items you love to wear is no easy task. In fact, it is quite difficult. I found I am at the beginning stages of a much-needed wardrobe makeover. Living a sustainable lifestyle as a fashion blogger has to be well thought out. And for a girl that shamelessly loves to shop this lifestyle shift will be a challenge. But we can do this together!! On this blog post, I will be sharing my tips on how to build a practical wardrobe that is right for you that is full of timeless, quality made clothing that is tailored to your lifestyle and personality.
Tip Number One: The Closet Clear Out
I just did a closet clearout and this one little organization task has me feeling so accomplished and much less scatterbrained. Lately, I just cannot take the clutter in my apartment. And with a big move coming up in about a month it was time to minimize my possessions while also trying to figure out how to control my consumption.
To start I needed to determine my needs, not my wants, for my everyday practical wardrobe. I went through and dug out all of the beat-up items that needed to be donated. And also the items that were hardly worn were set aside to sell on Poshmark. I had a lot of clothes that no longer fit and some I had only bought for one occasion. Make sure you have storage for the items you are selling on Poshmark, that way you can get them out of sight until they have sold. I threw all of mine in a large vintage suitcase for an easy and stylish storage solution.
Tip Number Two: Organize by Season
After the unwanted items are moved go through and sort your clothes based on the season. I separated all of my summer/spring items away from my fall/winter items. Tucking away your seasonal clothing that is not practical is a great way to get a better visual of what is in your closet. Leave everything on a hanger when you store it so you can easily pull it out when the seasons shift.
Tip Number Three: Organize by Category
Next sort all of your items by category, short jackets, long jackets, blazers, hoodies, dresses, skirts, tees, blouses, sweaters, cardigans, off-the-shoulder tops, work clothes, pants etc. This gives you even more of a visual of your most worn items. When you are looking for a sweater or a jacket you can see all of your options by looking in one place. Instead of scavenging through your entire wardrobe. Genius right? Just having my work clothes in one spot has been saving me a lot of time of rummaging through a disaster.
Tip Number Four: Try to Live with What You Have
When you get a clear vision of what you own you can style outfits with ease. When everything is carefully organized in your practical wardrobe, it is like having an entirely new wardrobe. You find items that you forgot you had and fall in love with your clothes all over again.
I recommend starting to style your outfits for the week. Set your outfits aside on a small clothing rack. You will be amazed at how easy it is. For instance, if you find outfit inspiration on Pinterest try using that image not to shop but to put together something similar yet unique with your wardrobe. If the image is showing a girl wearing a dress over a sweater for instance, just look at your sweaters and dresses that you already own. I guarantee you will put together a rocking outfit with your personal touch.
Tip Number Five: Slowly Determine What Is Missing
Don’t determine what you are missing in your closet from other people who are trying to tell you what to buy. You have to shut off that noise in order to successfully curate a functional wardrobe. This is meant to be a slow process. If you are constantly trying to reach for an item that isn’t there write it down.
Creating a wardrobe wishlist sets the intention for buying items that you need and will wear often. Creating a practical wardrobe wishlist is like creating a grocery list. When you are focused on what you need you are less likely to pick up an impulse item. With less clutter and less fast fashion items, you will start becoming happier with your purchases.
Tip Number Six: Shop Intentionally
Shopping intentionally starts with unsubscribing to emails and unfollowing bloggers. Especially the ones that cause more harm than good. Just keep a couple of your favorites for inspiration. It is best to follow women that are on the same path as you who encourage intentional shopping. That way when you look at your Instagram these women will keep you in check.
Now we all have our weaknesses when it comes to certain stores that we love to shop that create that impulse. We are human not everything decision is going to be perfect and we cannot always shop for just what we need.
However, determine what stores are your weaknesses so you can plan a budget and strategy to feed the beast. I would say my biggest weakness right now for impulse shopping is Gal Meets Glam. As a dress lover, you always feel like you need to add a new one to your wardrobe. Gal Meets Glam releases new dresses every month and they are quite pricey.
If I decide that I am in need of a new dress that month I budget down with the intention that one dress is the only thing that I will buy that month. If there is a company you love to shop. Try this method of limiting your impulse to one purchase. This makes you more thoughtful about what you are buying and will help you think clearly if you really need this item or not.
Tip Number 7: Quality Over Quantity
When shopping for an item that is on your need list it is best to invest in quality. Quality does not always have to mean luxury. If you are shopping on a budget start looking for items that are secondhand and vintage. You will be amazed at what you can find at affordable prices. I have been able to find wool, silk, cashmere, linen, cotton, and other natural materials. Those are pennies on the dollar that are still in great condition. My favorite places to shop for vintage and second hand is The Real Real, Depop, Poshmark, Etsy and local thrift/consignment stores. Another great place to shop for closet staples that are new, quality made, at reasonable prices is at Everlane. Plus there are many more ethical brands that I will be introducing you to that produce quality made clothes from ethical and sustainable sources. Check out my eco-fashion section for some ideas on where to start and start following along for more fresh ideas and inspiration!
I hope these tips will help you shop and live intentionally in the new year while building a practical wardrobe of your dreams. Please share your ideas and comments below! Thanks so much for reading!