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How to Build a Wardrobe for Success

Imagine this: Your hair is freshly done, eyebrows are perfect, nails are freshly polished, and you’re rocking one of your favorite outfits. You probably feel like you’re on top of the world. Now, picture this: Your hair isn’t looking it’s best, your eyebrows are a little “fuzzy,” your polish has grown halfway down your nails, and you’re wearing sweats because you just don’t feel your best. We’ve all been in both scenarios. In which do you feel more confident?

You can be creative and show your personality by dressing in what makes YOU feel good. One of the best things about fashion is there are no rules (unless you are in certain work scenarios); we are able to express our personality through our dress. You can dress exactly as who you want to be, or “dress how you want to be addressed.”

Evaluating Your Lifestyle and Wardrobe
When it comes to building a new wardrobe, the first step is the most important step: Evaluate your lifestyle. Everyone lives a different life and has different needs. A 16-year old’s ideal wardrobe is going to vary from a 28-year-old working professional’s wardrobe; a stay at home mom’s wardrobe is going to differ from someone who works in corporate America.

Your wardrobe should reflect your needs, personality and lifestyle. Your work (dress code), income (how much disposable income you have for clothing) and surroundings (location based on the weather) should all play a role in helping to determine your wardrobe needs.

Most of us have a closet full of clothes, but we often find ourselves saying “I don’t have anything to wear.”

This could be because your wardrobe does not match your lifestyle. Things to think about when evaluating your wardrobe are: What type of clothing do you spend most of your time in? Casual, active, professional, business casual, semi-dressy, dressy or formal? Of what is your wardrobe mostly made up? What would make your closet more practical? What key items are you missing? What could you hold off on buying because you already have a lot?

Build a Solid Foundation
Regardless of your style type, there are a few wardrobe basics every woman should have. These basics are classic items that can be paired with each other or even with your trendier pieces! The best thing about your wardrobe basics is that they are timeless pieces, meaning they will never go out of style. The wardrobe basics include: button-ups, basic tees, chambray top, pencil skirt, dress pant, casual pant, black blazer, leather jacket, statement necklace, stud earrings, black pump, nude pump, ballet flat, tote bag, clutch, cross body purse, black dress, cardigan and sneaker.

Defining Your Style Type
Without taking the time out to define your style, your wardrobe can easily be all over the place. In order to help you define your style type, think about a celebrity, a public figure or even someone you personally know whose style that you admire. Additionally, think about exactly what it is that you love about their style. Do you love it because of its simplicity? Maybe it’s more of a mature look that you are going for? It could even be the boldness of the person’s style that you really admire.

When thinking about your style goals, it’s important to be realistic. Maybe Olivia Pope from Scandal is, “style goals” for you. If you’re a stay-at-home mom or you have a 9-5 where you wear the same uniform every day, you may not want to invest in an entire wardrobe that is similar to Olivia’s. Maybe you have events that you attend where you get to dress in your Olivia inspired looks. If this is the case, when you revamp your wardrobe perhaps 10 percent of it should be inspired by Olivia while 50 percent of it caters to where you spend the majority of your time.

Create a Shopping List
Just like a grocery list, you are going to do an evaluation of what you need so that when you get to the store, you already know what you are there for. First, let’s go back to our Wardrobe Basics Checklist. What items on there are missing from your wardrobe? Make these items a priority. Remember, they are important because they help to build the foundation of your wardrobe. Also, look over your list of different styles/cuts. This will also help us have an idea of what fits your body type and looks good on you while out shopping. Be sure to also write what you feel you need more and less of. You should have also looked at some inspiration for your new wardrobe. Were there any must-have items you spotted?

After purchasing your staples for your wardrobe, focus on the areas where you feel you are lacking the most. You can reference your Evaluate Your Lifestyle worksheet for this.

Shop For Your New Wardrobe
While this may be the best part of building your new wardrobe for some, it may not be for everyone. A lot of people don’t like to shop. If that happens to be you, don’t forget you have to option of hiring a personal shopper! Since you have narrowed down exactly what you need, this will make it easier for you and your personal shopper if you decide to work with one.

By Kyra Danaya

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