putting together a fabulous wardrobe, part 1

by crumpetsandt

since i’m moving up to berkeley for my new job in june, i’ve been inspired lately to reassess my wardrobe because moving unnecessary things is always painful.  that and after reading about wardrobe rehab on this blog, i’m inspired to write a little about how to put together and maintain a FABULOUS wardrobe in which you can grab-n-go and look awesome (because YOU’RE awesome, HIMYM-style, lol).  sale season is also coming up and reevaluation of one’s wardrobe will prevent you from making that unwise extraneous purchase that you couldn’t stop yourself from buying because it was ON SALE (hahah been there, done that many times).  having a game plan will help you shop smartly and not waste your precious moolah on stuff that won’t make you absolutely gorgeous.

now your wardrobe is a reflection of your personal style and tastes and differs greatly from personal to person.  i know i tend to gravitate toward simple, clean lines, very few layers and accessories (fans of the sartorialist are gonna hate me!), great cut and fabric, and skin tone-enhancing colors.  over the years, i’ve figured out a few tricks that i will establish here as guidelines in three parts and will try to write as generally as possible, giving concrete examples where applicable.  the three parts are:

[specific aim] (1) defining one’s look/style and clothing purge

[specific aim] (2) accessories and shoes purge

                       (3) future outlook: future purchasing habits after the purge

(…sounds a bit NIH grant-like, no?  i couldn’t help it)

today, we will tackle (1)!

a) defining one’s style:

(a.1) pick a look

(a.2) pick your color palette(s)

why do we need to do this?  because it will prevent you lots of grief and crying over spilled money later on.  also, it will make your wardrobe more fluid and easy to put together so that you will match in a good way and look nice without spending tons of time.  i have decided that my “look” is very much like this except with less heels.

mind you, my “look” is also decided by what looks good on me.  i know that i look better in simpler styles that have great cut and shape.  i actually really love and appreciate the boxy, oversized look, the rich girl preppy look, and also the sensual, sexier look but don’t have the body type for any of those styles (i look swallowed up by my clothes or with the last two options, really, really awkward and out of place).  an example that i will give is that i don’t buy blazers, oxford shirts, etc. ever (except for one interview outfit) because they look HORRID on me.  but most people can work the oxford/blazer look and look amazing.  similarly, i can’t pull off the leather jacket/cool sexy look ’cause i just look stupid.  it’s taken some honest, self-evaluation to arrive here but now i know even when things of those type are on sale, i’m not tempted.

so far we have “defining one’s style”…now we need to consider color palette.  i wear a lot of grey shades as well as purple/navy shades (no bright blues for me), white/creams, and pops of reds/pinks.  even though these colors are not my favorite colors (except for grey, but that’s more of a lack of color), i know that i look best in these colors so i buy my clothes in these colors.  i don’t own any green because i look awful in green, even though i actually really like green…my bathroom and kitchen would totally channel fresh green tones!  i also try not to wear too much black because i tend to look bony and anorexic in black, even though i know that black is a holy grail color for most.  figure out which colors you always get complimented on when you’re sporting it and that should say something.  i know a lot of fashion experts say stay with neutral colors in your wardrobe (black, grey, camel, navy, white, etc.) for ease of wear but i think that it tends to be boring and drab.  if you look good in a certain color, buy different items in different shades of that color so they would automatically look good when worn together.

trendy colors i sometimes buy but at h&m and sometimes zara only because it’s cheap and it won’t wear well for very long.  as for color pairings, i strongly agree with what aspairandaspare has said about 3 colors per outfit (*SUCH* great advice!).

b) clothing purge!

pretty self-explanatory for this sub-heading.  when you have a free few hours, buddy up (or if you prefer to do this alone, it’s cool too) and try on allllllll your clothes.  be honest.  anything that doesn’t fit anymore [too small, too big], not the right color on you, not fixable by hemming/alterations, or just doesn’t make you look awesome NEEDS TO GO.  ever seen “what not to wear?”  your ill-fitting, unbecoming (on you) clothes *need* to be thrown out/donated/gifted to a friend.  we’re gonna do this clinton and stacy style!  also make sure your bras and underwear fit you properly and don’t make you lumpy because if they do, no amount of beautiful clothing will save you.  after all this, put/hang/fold all the clothing that you will be keeping in your closet again.

SOOOOOO…what happened with my closet?

yay!  all my clothes fit into these two pictures

IMG_0637 yay! all my clothes fit into these two pictures

my summer basics are now whittled down to:

  • darkwash jeans (in skinny and bootcut)
  • fitted scoopneck tees (black, peach-ish pink, and grey)
  • loose scoopneck tees in multiple styles (mostly in white, and some in peach/pink and purple)
  • cotton tanks in white, oatmeal, black, pink
  • printed silk skorts in navy with white polka dots and pink floral print on black (actually looks like a skirt but are really shorts)
  • white and ombre dolman sleeve short sleeve shirts
  • mesh slightly oversized knit pieces in oatmeal and black to go with the corresponding tanks
  • shorts in white, pink with small purple flowers, vibrant chambray blue, dark grey, and jean
  • tank dress (white and black)
  • grey maxi dress kind of like this with the draping but mine is racerback and has more coverage in the front
  • many different dresses in white, chambray, various purple tones, peach-ish nude, cream,  orange-red, and navy in various materials and prints (cotton, silk, eyelet, lace, viscose, with crochet detailing, etc.)
  • light merino wool v-neck cardigans in grey, red, and white
  • navy cotton cardigan

in part 3, i’ll let you know where i shop/which brands i look for.  hopefully this gives you a sense of my style and the process i go through to revamp/reevaluate my wardrobe.  until tomorrow for part 2~