Strategic Shopping for a Versatile Wardrobe
If you’re like many women, you shop with eyes wide open for clothing you can love. Maybe a sweater screams your name when you least expect it. Or, the entire outfit on a mannequin display makes you giddy. If you’re like many women, three weeks after you buy these items, you may wonder why it seems you have nothing to wear. It’s common, really, and it baffles women. “How can I really have a closet full of clothes and feel this way?”
Buying beautiful clothing when you see it does not necessarily lead to a cohesive wardrobe. Buying clothing with a plan — clothing items that will support multiple outfits — will lead to a versatile, functional wardrobe. And if you plan for it, that wardrobe can be worn year-round, eliminating the old routine of exclusive and separate wardrobes — the ones made up of items you only wear 4-6 months out of the year.
The Staples: To avoid storing an entire wardrobe for half the year, aim to build a capsule wardrobe with basic pieces in predominantly all-season fabrics. Basics (major garment items like skirts, trousers, and jackets) are staples you’ll wear year ’round when strategically chosen. Seasonless fabrics like lightweight wool, and medium-value colors such as light taupe or grey, work in both summer and winter.
Seasonal Tweaking: Make outfits seasonally-appropriate by simply swapping out the companion pieces. For example, wear the same pant and jacket with a sleeveless shell in summertime; then a turtle neck sweater in winter. Switching out jewelry and accessories, like shoes and handbags, lends an outfit a seasonal update in a budget-friendly way. For more about transitioning seasons read this post.
Expansion Pieces: Once you create a core of neutral, season-spanning basics, you can get creative with adding prints, patterns, and other multi-color garments. Mindfully choose them with a linking color as the common thread (yellow with neutrals in the warm-weather example shown; red and black with neutrals in the cold-weather sample). When you build a wardrobe with separate pieces that coordinate, you’ll have limitless options for mixing and matching. You won’t get bored or run out of ideas, and you’ll never have to think, “I’ve got nothing to wear.”
Final Word of Caution: Be wary of buying that pulled-together outfit off the store display when the pieces that compose it relate to nothing else in your closet. Those “wardrobe orphans” will make you wish you’d kept your wallet in your handbag on that shopping trip.
Have a comment? Question? Let me know your thoughts in the comment box below. I read them all. (You just might be the inspiration for my next blog post.)
Patty Buccellato, is an image coach and founder of Refined Images. She brings extensive knowledge and expertise to her work with men and women individually, as well as with corporate employee groups.
Patty established Refined Images in 1994, and while her studio is based in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, you’ll find her serving clients throughout North America in their homes, offices — and, yes, even in shopping malls! To get your FREE copy of Patty’s “How to Shop Like a Stylist,” visit www.RefinedImages.net or contact Patty.
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