how to edit and build your wardrobe step 1: do your homework

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Building your wardrobe is like anything else important in your life: it’s best with a clear plan that allows for flexibility over time, with the understanding that it’s not going to be perfect overnight.

 Your wardrobe should be a collection of your favorite pieces, to be mixed and matched allowing you to look and feel your best. The following steps done in this order will help you achieve this:
 
1. DO YOUR HOMEWORK: Determine your desired image
2. EDIT WITH PURPOSE: Remove what doesn’t work
3. LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES: Create personal shopping rules
4. SHOPPING SMART: Buy only what you love and fits your desired image and lifestyle
 
Step #1. DO YOUR HOMEWORK: Determine your desired image
you need: pad and a pencil
 
Before you edit your existing wardrobe, you need to know your desired image. Make a list of adjectives you want your look to project for casual, business, and dressy outfits.These may be the same or completely different for each category. For example, when casual you’d like to look sporty and fun, but for work you want to look well put together and chic. Be honest and thoughtful with yourself; your style should reflect your personality and lifestyle.
 
Know your lifestyle. Being realistic about your lifestyle makes it easier to shop for it. Are you a stay-at-home parent taking care of a baby or toddler or are you running around with older children to various activities and school functions? Do you attend many social functions? Are you a business owner who doesn’t need to dress in formal business attire? Note: A common mistake people make when they don’t have a strict dress code at work is dressing too casually. Remember: “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.”
 
Start an inspiration file or board to help you achieve your desired look. There are no rules for finding inspiration; look at everyday people, celebrities, characters from movies, places and/or eras in time. Look at nature and art for colors and color and texture combinations. Find designers whose look you like and follow their work season to season. (Go to style.com to see pictures and videos from all the runway shows.) Note: When looking at other people, make sure they have your body type or similar shape. What looks good on a tall, thin person won’t necessarily work on someone shorter with curves.
 
 

4 responses

  1. Great series of articles. I came to the same conclusions by myself but it took me a long time – maybe if I’d read this earlier it would have helped me. My only disagreement is about dressing for the job you want. Not everyone is dreaming of a ‘suit and high heels’ position. I like my job even if it doesn’t require a strict dress code. I agree that I shouldn’t dress too casually just because I can, though.

  2. anne: great point about the ‘suite and high heels’. the saying is vague on purpose. ‘the job you want’ could be anything so dress for THAT not necessarily be overdone.

    for instance a friend started as a PA on a movie set and while the other guys dressed super casual (they were building sets) my friend look appropriate but a little nicer than everyone else and while those other guys were laughing at him for looking so ‘nice’ he was the first to get promoted.