Tuesday, July 19, 2016

How to Build the Perfect Wardrobe

Hello! My name is Paula and I blog over at The Geeky Shopaholic. I write about all the things that I enjoy and find interesting. And one of my favorite things in life is shopping! Obviously, it's in my blog title after all! 

Because I love clothes so much, I read a lot of style books. I've learned so much from them, even if I feel like they're written for people with a different lifestyle than me. I'm just an average girl, and most style books seem to be written for people who live fancy lives.

Over many years, I've learned a lot about style from trial and error. And so I want to share some of that with you, and hopefully, it will make your fashion journey a little easier.

Be Realistic

The first thing that you need to do is be realistic about the clothes you actually wear. We all have this fantasy version of ourselves. Maybe you see yourself as edgy or bohemian, but when you purchase those kinds of items, you never wear them.

I always saw myself wearing cute stiletto heels, and well-cut blazers with my jeans, when in reality I'm more ballet flats and cardigans. So, all those heels and blazers I bought? They just sat in the closet never worn. Just because you love a certain look, doesn't mean you'll actually wear it.

So think about the clothes that you actually wear. The ones you go to over and over again. How would you describe them? Feminine? Tomboyish? Classic? Modern? Think about these adjectives when you're shopping. If a piece doesn't fit those terms, maybe it isn't for you.

I think peasant tops are so pretty, but I would buy them and never wear them. And it was because they weren't really me! Building your perfect wardrobe is a journey! And on my own journey, I learned that the pieces that are me are simple, casual, classic pieces with a hint of nerd.

Second, consider the events you regularly attend? For me, it's things like church, weddings, showers, and girl's nights out. So, I keep items in my wardrobe that I know will be appropriate for those occasions.

I have no need for formal wear, but maybe you attend several formal events a year, so it would be worth it to you to have a few pieces in your wardrobe. This is one reason that all style books suggest owning a Little Black Dress!

Third, consider where you live. I love all these cute layered looks that I see a lot of style bloggers wear in Spring and Summer, but I live in Tennessee. It's way too hot for that! I've learned that if I have to layer something I won't wear it because it just feels too hot and complicated.

Now, let go of fantasy style and be honest with yourself, that's when you can start to build your perfect wardrobe. Don't expect it to happen overnight. It's a process! And if you allow it, it can be a fun one!

Here are a few more tips to help you along your journey.

     Mix and match pieces.
There's a lot of wisdom in the advice to not buy a piece of clothing unless you can think of at least three pieces already in your wardrobe that it will go with. If you have to buy a top to go with that skirt, is it really a good piece for your wardrobe? Sometimes the answer might be yes, but most often it will be no.

     Consider a work uniform.
I actually have to wear a uniform to work. And you know what? I love it! It makes getting ready for work a breeze. And there's actually a lot of research that shows that having a uniform helps reduce decision fatigue. So, consider having some go-to looks for work. Maybe you won't wear that uniform every day, but you can use it on the days you need to conserve your decision making energy.

     Find pieces that make you feel hot!
I love skinny jeans! When I wear them I feel cute, stylish, and hot! Every woman needs that piece that makes her feel wonderful! For you, maybe it's cute shoes or a certain style of blouse. If you don't have it yet, keep looking for that item that makes you feel like your best self.

     Learn what works for you.
I use to think that having clothes in a lot of different colors meant having a more complete wardrobe. But I've since learned that this isn't true! I would end up ignoring the colors that I didn't truly love in favor of the ones I do. Now that I have a smaller color palette, I'm actually wearing more of my clothes! I love pinks, corals, navy, and plums.

And if there is a color that you love, but you feel looks horrible on you, try using that color in an accessory. I love yellow, but most shades of it wash me out, so I buy yellow purses and shoes to get my fix!

I've also learned what patterns I'm drawn to - I love polka dots, stripes, plaids, and florals. Patterns like paisleys, abstracts, even most animal prints aren't for me. So, don't just think about the patterns you love, consider the ones you don't. This will help you narrow down which ones work for you.

     Don't skimp on the key pieces.
There are two items that you shouldn't skimp on - shoes and bras! Why? Because these are two areas that need the most support! I'm not going to tell you how much to spend, but always get the best that you can afford.

You also should get a professional bra fitting. Every stylebook says so! But how many of us actually listen to this advice? I know I didn't for years! Last year, I finally went for my first bra fitting. For the first time I feel like I'm wearing a bra that truly supports me, and it is the best thing ever!

     Don't forget loungewear.
On those days that you just want to lounge around the house, what are you wearing? Is it something that you'd be embarrassed to open the door in? Does it make you feel frumpy? I use to lounge in clothes like that too. But I hated how they made me feel. Even though I'm just laying around the house doesn't mean I want to feel like a slob.

So, I started investing in cuter loungewear. Just simple t-shirts, yoga/sweat pants, and tanks tops, but they're cute, and stain/hole free. And they make me feel good!

After all this, is my wardrobe perfect now? No, because I still make mistakes. Like I said earlier, this is a journey. And with every step, my wardrobe has become a better reflection of who I am, which is what we all truly want from our wardrobes.

So what about you? Tell me about your style journey? What have you learned along the way?

About the Author:

Paula is a geeky writer who loves to blog, read, shop, travel, and obsess about SuperWhoLock. She enjoys cuddling with her boyfriend, being Mom to her Chihuahua, and Netflix marathons. Paula would most likely be sorted into Hufflepuff.

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  1. This is a great post! Definitely pinning it to my style and capsule wardrobe boards. Love all these tps!!

  2. LOVE this post! Every single one of these tips really work. I did a major wardrobe edit earlier in the year and I considered everything you mentioned here.

    Great post!

  3. I am an engineer, too, and shopping for clothes is one of my stress reliever. This is a good read, thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    RenAlexis | The Random Bibliophile

    1. Thanks! And shopping is one of my stress relievers too!

  4. Loved this post . Very helpful

  5. These suggestions make perfect sense. Also these are suggestions that can easily be put into place.

  6. I just bought a bunch of new underwear because it really is important to have nice stuff, you have to wear it everyday! Also totally agree it's important to invest in clothes that work for your environment.

    Laura | Laura Aime Vous

    1. Yes! Definitely gotta have good underwear! It's the foundation of your wardrobe! :)

  7. Thanks for the great advice! I grew up with two sisters whose complexions are completely different than mine. I thought I could wear the same colors and styles as them and wondered why I didn't look as good. A few years ago, I found a program called Dressing Your Truth that helped my identify my best colors and styles. I have never been happier with my wardrobe choices, but it took me years to figure it out. Thank you for providing this type of information to those out there who may be in a similar situation. :)

    1. Thank you! My sister and I have completely different complexions as well. And completely different taste in clothes!

  8. Great advice! I am still trying to figure out the balance between what I wish I could wear and what is realistic, but I'm getting closer!

    1. I'm definitely doing better about this, but it sure took a while!

  9. Definitely great tips. I hate wearing a uniform to work! haha. And you are SO right about shoes and bras. Totally worth the extra buck for good ones.

  10. Such great advice! :) I find it so interesting when I look up on the blog to see when I last wore something - as often I'm not wearing pieces as frequently as I think! Making sure I'm buying things I will wear right away has made a big difference, as I'm not just buying pretty but impractical things just because I like them.

    Away From The Blue Blog

    1. This is something that I've struggles with too! But I'm learning!

  11. These are great tips, I need to be better about mixing and matching pieces!

    1. It definitely takes your wardrobe to a whole new level when you do!

  12. This is amazing ! The 'Be realistic' tip would have worked wonders for me 3 years ago when I had a short pixie cut, and thought I'd dress girly but never actually wore the clothes that I bought !


    1. Lol That's me with with my peasant style clothes! Thank you!