Even though we hate to admit it, our personal style says a lot about us. From the intricacies of our outfit, to the size of our wardrobe, to the labels we support, clothing creates the opportunity for us to share a story before we even open our mouths. Just think about the last political tee, designer bag, or colorful pair of socks you came across and how it affected your perception of a person’s character. But how do we even begin to build a better wardrobe? The key here is to make choices at the checkout counter that will promote a better you and a better world.
I started the process of my wardrobe revamp in 2012 where I made a sort-of unspoken pact to not buy any clothing for a full year and to take that time off from shopping to really analyze what was and is truly important to me. After that year, I had my list of clothing style ideals, coupled with a new commitment to only buy quality, cruelty-free clothing ethically-made or to shop second-hand and recycled. Now I was ready to begin the de-cluttering.
Overhauls are notoriously expensive, so I started slowly. Paring down to my clothing essentials was easy by donating all the clothing that I hadn’t worn in that year (exceptions to this rule include formal wear or seasonal vacation clothing). Next, I began to assess all the clothing that I do wear to see if it matches the style I want to project. It it does, than I keep it. If it does not, than I either toss or donate depending on condition and so on and so forth. Just remember not to toss everything at once since you may not be able to replace it all immediately.
Build It Up
When setting out to shop replacements, I focused on incorporating a few wardrobe staples, like running shoes and jeans. It was important that I kept style inspiration close to maintain direction while shopping. This step requires patience since building up a respectable wardrobe can take years. Following the classic one-in-one-out rule, I was able to slowly transform my closet, one piece at a time without expanding it unnecessarily. The quality versus quantity paradigm should be applied here as well.
Organization plays a key role in keeping your wardrobe current, tidy, and easy to maintain. My open closet layout means that I only have enough room for a small amount of clothes, so everything has to have a place. I hung just enough hangers (with a couple extra) and arranged the folded items by clothing type. Paying attention to the details here will make getting dressed early in the morning efficient and fun.
If you find yourself starting to veer from your intended style goal, remember to reassess, get inspired and be practical. Defining your style isn’t a one-stop shop, and the payoff will result in a true representation of you.