How To Maximize Your Wardrobe
Whether you like it or not, the clothes you wear project a message about you to the outside world. The good thing is you have the power to control that message. Dressing in a way that truly represents who you are will help you feel confident about yourself. But more than that, it will also shape how people view you based on appearance alone. If you care about making a good first impression, apparently, studies have shown you only have 7 seconds to do so. No matter your personal everyday style, learning how to maximize your wardrobe can be beneficial to anyone.
However, it’s especially helpful to those that own tons of clothes but always feel like they have nothing to wear. Maximizing your wardrobe will help you do a few things. For starters, it will help you make use of the clothes you already own. This, in turn, can help you save money and lead a more sustainable lifestyle that’s better for the planet. Another big bonus is the time you’ll save digging through your closet trying to piece together an outfit.
This blog post is dedicated to those who want to lead a fashionable but less complicated life. So without further ado, here are my top tips for maximizing your wardrobe.
How To Maximize Your Wardrobe
Clean Out Your Closet
First things first, you need to figure out what’s actually in your closet. You can’t make the most of what’s in your closet if you don’t even know what’s in there! I suggest setting aside some hours, or even a whole day if need be, to thoroughly go through your clothes. While sorting through your clothes, ask yourself these three questions when deciding what stays and what goes.
- Do I love it?
- Do I wear it?
- Does it project the image I want to portray to the world?
While going through your closet, make three separate piles of clothes that you’re discarding.
- Consign. You can sell clothes, shoes, and accessories that are still in great condition but you just don’t wear them anymore. Bring them to a consignment store, or if you have the time, list them yourself online. Sites like Poshmark or Depop make selling your unwanted clothes easy.
- Donate. Items that are unable to be sold but are in “gently used” condition can be donated to your local nonprofit. Salvation Army or a women’s shelter are both good places to donate to.
- Trash. Throw away any pairs of shoes or clothes that are stained or ripped beyond repair.
Organize Your Wardrobe
Once you’ve sorted out your clothing, it’s time to organize everything. Group clothes in a way that makes your most used items accessible and easy to find. Arranging things by item type and color make it easy to find what you’re looking for. For example, I hang all my pants by material, cut, and style.
Store items like winter coats or pieces you don’t often have an occasion to wear. Place these in the back of the closet or storage until needed.
Fill In Missing Pieces
Now that you’ve cleaned out and taken stock of what’s in your closet, you can figure out what gaps in your wardrobe need to be filled. Before buying anything new, you want to explore new ways of mixing and matching what you own. Looking at magazines, fashion blogs, and Pinterest for outfit inspiration is incredibly helpful. Doing this can help you find all new ways to wear your clothes that you’d never thought of before. You can see some inspo on cute denim outfits here. Or these links will show cute ways to wear jeans and plaid pants.
When you do need to purchase new clothes, here are some questions to ask yourself before making a purchase.
Does it match my personal style?
Sometimes clothes or accessories may catch your eye. But if it’s a style that you never wear, then chances are that you won’t get much use of it. Developing your own personal style and figuring out your wardrobe basics will save you money and closet space. By dialing in your color palette and fashion style, the pieces in your wardrobe can all be worn together. It can also help you be more mindful when shopping and prevent impulse buys.
Do I already own something similar to this?
A lot of times, we tend to gravitate toward a particular style of clothing. Chances are that we already own something similar to what you’re now wanting to buy. Do you really need another blazer, graphic tee, or pair of jeans?
Will you actually wear it?
If you find something you like, think about how you can style it with other pieces you already own. Mentally put together at least 5 outfits with the new item and other items you already have in your closet. If you’re unable to do that, chances are you won’t get very much use out of it. Exceptions to this would be clothes bought for special occasions like weddings, prom, and vacations. Consider selling it after if it’s a “wear only one-time” piece.
Is it good quality?
When shopping for staple pieces for your wardrobe, quality matters. A cheap price tag might be nice for the bank account, but fast fashion items aren’t meant to last. They fall apart fast and will quickly fall out of style. Investing in classic styles and quality pieces will ensure your clothes last for years to come. Clothes don’t have to be purchased new. If you’re not in a rush, spend time searching through high-end thrift stores. Online shops are also a good place to find good pieces at deeply discounted prices. The key to this is to be patient.
The proper accessories can always elevate even the most simple outfit. One easy way to completely change the mood of an outfit is to switch the accessories. You can take the exact same outfit from daytime to a nighttime vibe with an accessory change. Here are a few things to keep in mind while accessorizing an outfit.
- Mix metals. There’s no need for your jewelry to be matchy-matchy. Don’t be afraid to mix your metals; pay attention to how things layer so they sit right and don’t tangle.
- Don’t Clash. If your outfit is already busy with colors or patterns, opt for more subtle accessories. You don’t want your shoes, purse, clothes, and jewelry all fighting for the spotlight. Accessories should complement the rest of your outfit.
- Mani and Pedi’s. Keeping up with your nails is a must if you like to wear lots of statement rings or open-toe shoes.
- Comfy Shoes. No matter how beautiful a shoe may be, hobbling around in pain will ruin the effect of an outfit if it doesn’t fit; it’s time to add them to the clear-out pile.
Wardrobe Staples to Invest In
I know that every woman’s style and preferences are different. However, in my opinion, these items are ones that every woman should have in their closet. I also believe they are worth investing in over most other wardrobe items.
- Blazer. A blazer can be worn for work, out to dinner, or to a school meeting. They’re incredibly versatile and will pull together any outfit.
- Black Dress. Black dresses hardly need explaining. Dressed up or down, an L.B.D. is appropriate for pretty much any occasion. I believe every woman should have one that they immediately feel like a million bucks in.
- A Designer Bag. It’s a simple truth that a designer bag will immediately upgrade the simplest of outfits. Every closet should have a well-structured neutral-colored bag. What price point you’re willing to pay is up to you. But this is another item that can be bought pre-loved for a big discount. Fashionfile is a trusted site for buying authentic preowned designer accessories.
- Black and Nude Pumps. If you only want two pairs of heels, own a pair in each of these colors, and you’ll always be good. Either color can always be worn with any outfit choice.
- Jewelry whether you buy costume jewelry or invest in high-end pieces, everyone should have a few rings, bracelets, earrings, and necklaces appropriate for various occasions.
When To Update Your Wardrobe
From time to time, it’s a good idea to take stock of what’s in your closet. Here are a few signs that can help you tell if it’s time for a wardrobe refresh.
Several Of your Staple Items No Longer Fit
Nothing in life is constant, including our weight. If you’ve reached a point where you’re no longer comfortable in your core pieces, like your favorite jeans, shirts, dress, or jacket, it’s a good idea to replace them. You can decide whether or not you want to work towards fitting into your clothes again, but in the meantime, you should be comfortable.
Your Closet Is Full, But You Have Nothing To Wear
Clothing is such a personal expression of how you feel about yourself and how you want the world to view you. Most of us have this problem from time to time. But if this is a daily theme, it’s probably time to find some new pieces that inspire you. An easy way to make your wardrobe feel fresh again is with some new pants, bright tops, or fun accessories.
Your Wardrobe No Longer Reflects Your Lifestyle
Becoming a mother, changing careers, or moving to a new city are just a few big changes in life that can require a wardrobe overhaul. This is a good time to sort through your closet and decide what still works and what needs to be retired.
And lastly, something I want you always to know. I’d never share anything with you that I don’t already own or would be unwilling to spend my own money on. And you can follow me on Instagram to see more style posts!