Creating a Wardrobe You Can Actually “Shop”

Have you seen all those great “shop your closet” posts?  I personally love them, but what if you have a closet you can’t shop? With a few tweaks, we can have you shopping from your own wardrobe ASAP.

To start, you may have a few complaints about your current wardrobe. Like  what if your wardrobe doesn’t seem to go together?  What if you are tired of the clothes you have, or what if much of your wardrobe doesn’t fit, either your body or the person you are now?  I’ve experienced all three of these situations, so I can totally relate when one of my friends says “I have nothing to wear”  I’m completely bored with my clothes or I can’t “shop from my closet”!

I have worked through these issues to develop a really great wardrobe that feels like “me” and developed a few tips that can help you love your wardrobe again, so you can have those covetable “I shopped this from my wardrobe” moments where you look amazing and aren’t constantly running to the store to buy new things.  I learned to refine my “look” so I wasn’t always following trends I am embarrassed to wear the next year or that don’t feel like “me”.

To work through this process, you will simply need some time,  your cell phone to take some pictures and a pen and paper to write a few notes.

When your clothes don’t go together at all:

When I first started putting my wardrobe together, I worked at a high end department store.  My co-workers and I were constantly trying things on, falling in love, and buying new clothes, especially when things went on sale.  The result:  a whole bunch of cute (and beautiful) clothes none of which went together.  Sometimes I bought an “outfit” that went together but didn’t blend with anything else in my closet, or I’d buy separates that didn’t go with anything else I had.

The solution:   Set some time aside to play in your closet.  Lay out your clothes by color, pattern and texture.  Grab a note pad and answer these questions:

Do you choose certain patterns, colors or textures over and over again?  

What colors do you gravitate to?

Do the colors in your wardrobe go together?

Is there a favorite color you can use to start building a capsule around?  

Which are your favorite go to pieces?

Can you build new outfits around your favorite go to?

Can you create new outfits you hadn’t considered with the clothes you have laid out?

Do you need a neutral pant, skirt or jacket to tie your outfits together? (I found that I needed a few neutrals I could wear with the patterns and textures I had to create actual outfits)

Once you have taken a look at this jot down a few items you need to add to your wardrobe to tie your pieces together.  If you have lots of solid color items, choose a pattern, and vice versa.

When you are completely bored with your wardrobe:

Sometimes I am just plain tired of the same old thing every day, especially lately.  I have the basics, I know what colors  and shapes look good on me but I am just plain bored with my outfits. (This happens to be my situation as we speak, actually)

Classic elegant wardrobes look and feel amazing, but we can sometimes fall into a rut.  

The solution:

Consider accessories.  Accessories are a simple and relatively inexpensive way to elevate outfits and breathe new life into a classic wardrobe.  

Consider adding a“trend” piece to your wardrobe. Yes, you heard this bit of wisdom from me, when my wardrobe starts feeling a bit stale, I look for a trend piece, an item that offers a “pop” of color or I add an interesting necklace.  

Consider a remix:  Try different outfit combinations to change things up. 

Wearing A Boho Outfit I wouldn’t Wear Now

The clothes in my closet didn’t fit me anymore.

There are three ways our clothes don’t fit us anymore: the first is that they don’t fit our body anymore. We’ve gained or lost weight, or, our shape has changed as we have gone into menopause.  It’s not uncommon for our weight to be distributed differently as we age, even if we don’t gain or loose weight.

The second way our clothes might not fit, is that we’ve changed on the inside and our clothes no longer reflect who we are anymore.  This happened to me after my divorce.  My former husband liked me to wear very sexy clothing: think Housewives of Orange County.  When we got divorced, I was changing internally, and the “Housewives” look just didn’t feel like “me” anymore.  

Finally, our lifestyle may have changed.  I went from senior manager in a corporate job to running a business at home while raising a small child.  Then from raising a small child to empty nest and starting a blog.  And lately, another lifestyle change:  spending most of my time at home.  Sometimes we just simply don’t have the clothes for lifestyle we find ourselves living.

The solution;  So let’s take a look at what’s going on here:

If you have gained or lost weight, or are in the process, looking for some inexpensive pieces to tide you through this transition may be in order.  

Start to get to “know” your new self by creating a few Pinterest mood boards where you can pin pictures of outfits you love.  Every so often, go through and critique those looks.  Figure out what you like about the look.  Maybe try on similar looks to see if they suit you.

Take an inventory of your wardrobe to see what you are wearing and what you need more of.  For example, as we spend more time at home, we may want to look for comfortable yet chic looks, “easy care” items or loungewear.

Start to build capsules and combinations around these items.  (See my how to elevate joggers post here)

The worlds of fashion and style can seem super overwhelming, but the more you tune in to your own personal style and build from there, the more fun you will have putting together new outfits and soon you too will be shopping your own closet creating outfits that look amazing on you.

If you want to take things further and organize your closet a little, try my favorite hangers. I like two types, first, a good sturdy wood hanger or an equally sturdy (made by the same company) non slip hanger both from Amazon. I learned the hard way to go for plastic drawer organizers, my favorite is from the Container Store you can check them out here. (They come in several sizes).

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