Having a wardrobe full of clothes doesn’t necessarily mean we have a lot to wear. This may be because we don’t love all of our clothes. Or, we got tired of them. Another reason could be we don’t have an overview of all the things piling up in our closets. But, no matter your situation. I guess you’d agree that we all want to make the most of our wardrobe. Here’s how.
3 Steps to Make the Most of Your Wardrobe
- Stay organized.
- Build a solid foundation.
- Get inspired.
Step 1: Stay Organized
Sometimes, we grab the same set of clothes over and over again without even noticing. There can be various reasons why and I will touch on them later on. However, the most obvious one is that our clothing isn’t organized in a way that makes getting dressed fast and enjoyable. This certainly is the case when it has become a hassle to retrieve a piece of clothing from a jam-packed drawer.
Check and Evaluate What You Have (Wardrobe Inventory)
Making a wardrobe inventory is an excellent way to gain an overview of all your clothes, shoes, and accessories. Especially if you tend to accumulate a lot of clothing. And half of it is sitting in your closet unworn.
Taking the time to go through your wardrobe and make notes on what you currently own is clearly worth the effort. You’ll become aware of what you frequently wear and what you neglect. You’ll also gain a better overview of what needs to be cleaned, altered, repaired, or replaced. Moreover, you’ll learn a lot about your style, preferences, and shopping habits.
This post provides you with some helpful tips on how to get this done:
Beautify Your Closet Space
Another reason why you always reach for the same clothes could be that your closet isn’t beautifully organized. When rails, shelves, and drawers are jam-packed, it’s challenging to get your clothes out. So no wonder you just pick what’s on top of a pile. Not only does such a situation limit our choices, but it’s also hard on our clothes.
Our clothing should be easy to retrieve from their space. The thing is, closet space is usually limited. Hence, we have to adjust the amount of clothing that goes in there. In case there’s an apparent mismatch, consider decluttering and then planning your wardrobe more strategically. Because if you do, you’ll get away with fewer clothes, still having many options.
Once you’ve made a bit of space, it’s time to beautify your closet. Why? Because when your clothes, shoes, and accessories are nicely presented, it can ignite your creativity. Just imagine you open a drawer, and everything is elegantly arranged and sorted by function, texture, or color. A beautified closet makes getting dressed so much more fun. And also more efficient.
Refer to this article for more details and inspirations:
Take Care of Your Clothes
We can have a gorgeous, versatile wardrobe but still restrict our choices if we don’t look after our clothes. Just think of the most-loved dress you can’t wear because you forgot to take it to the dry cleaners. Or the pants you have to take off again because the hem needs to be fixed. Making the most of your wardrobe also means maintaining it. And yes, taking proper care of our clothes and shoes is an effort. But the reward is we can pick from our closet what makes us feel our best and not what’s available to wear.
In case you need a bit of support, I’ve created a series of articles with helpful tips on clothing care:
- Wardrobe Maintenance: 7 Tips to Extend the Life of Your Clothes
- Wardrobe Maintenance: How to Take Care of Luxury Fabrics
- How to Extend the Lifespan of Your Shoes
Step 2: Optimize Your Core Wardrobe
Honestly, before I got this step right, I always felt I have nothing to wear – even though I had more than enough clothes. The best way to get the most out of our wardrobe is to identify and optimize the foundational pieces. Because they are the ‘work horses’ that tie everything together.
Focus on Wardrobe Essentials
I’m sure you’ve heard this many times before. But what can I say? Focusing on basics is a proven way to build a versatile wardrobe that works for various occasions. Now you may think, basics are boring. But this is not the case. These basics, staples, or essentials can be the typical little black dress, blazer, and button-down shirt – but they don’t have to be. Personally, I love such classic pieces. With a modern twist, though. However, your set of basics can be completely different. Only keep in mind that whatever you choose should work for most of the outfits you want to create.
Read more on why and how wardrobe essentials (still) work:
Identify the Missing Pieces
A vital step on your way to optimizing our core wardrobe is to identify the ‘holes’, i.e., missing pieces. To do so, we need to step back and take an unbiased look at our existing wardrobe. We have to give it a ‘reality check’ to see if our lifestyle and wardrobe still match. Why? Just imagine what happens if we don’t invest the time and energy to review our closet from time to time. We most likely end up with a big pile of jeans but nothing to wear for a formal business meeting. Or we call 15 party dresses our own, but only a pair of worn-out leggings for all our home office days. There needs to be a balance. And lifestyle changes have to be taken into account too.
From my experience, the best way to identify the missing pieces and ensure that our wardrobe reflects what we’re up to daily is proper wardrobe planning. Give it a try! I’ve created a series of blog posts that help you with the details. There are also worksheets available for you to download that make it easier to capture your findings.
- All about Wardrobe Planning
Invest in Quality
Building a great wardrobe is a bit like a puzzle – the right pieces need to be in place to complete the picture. Finding those essential items isn’t always easy and takes time. So once we got hold of them, we, of course, want those perfect clothes and fabulous shoes to last. Despite taking good care of them, the best way to achieve this is to invest in quality. Quality pieces are made to last. Moreover, they add a little luxe to our wardrobes.
Spotting quality pieces in today’s abundance of ‘cheap’ choices can be a challenge. Here’s what to look for:
- How to Spot Quality When Shopping For Clothes – 3 Things to Check
- How to Shop for Quality Shoes You’ll Love to Wear
Keep Your Wardrobe Current
Finding a way to keep our wardrobe current AND focusing on long-lasting quality pieces can be challenging. So, how can we build a ‘slow’ wardrobe and love our clothes longer but avoid looking completely outdated? I believe the trick is to find the right balance between all-time classics and trends. Playing this game became easier for me once I stopped thinking in ‘new outfits’ only. Because, if we take a closer look, we see that trends are reflected in:
- Silhouettes and cuts
- Colors, prints, and patterns
- Fabrics and textures
Being aware of this gives us more opportunities to incorporate trends without having to replace half of our wardrobe. For instance, to change the silhouette and vibe of a blazer, we can add a belt and roll up the sleeves. Or we can add a scarf or other accessories in a trendy color to update our wardrobe.
Step 3: Become Your Own Stylist
Making the most of our wardrobe means wearing the same clothes, shoes, and accessories repeatedly. But how do we avoid getting bored with our existing clothing? The answer is by styling them in multiple ways. Fortunately, with Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest, many great sources of inspiration are available today. And, of course, not to forget the good old fashion magazines. All of these resources can help you become your own stylist and come up with fresh ideas.
Recreate Looks (Shop Your Closet)
Getting inspired doesn’t necessarily mean copying a specific style or buy a complete outfit you’ve found on Instagram, YouTube, and co. Instead, take what you’ve discovered and analyze why you love it. Is it the overall vibe? Or a specific detail? Once you have a clearer picture, check for pieces in your existing wardrobe that could work. And remember, it doesn’t have to be an accurate match. It’s more about recreating the idea than the exact outfit combination.
If you need more details, Alyssa Beltempo’s YouTube channel is one of my favorite sources of inspiration when it comes to this specific topic.
Find Different Ways to Style a Piece of Clothing
I absolutely love photo stories or videos that show how to wear a specific piece of clothing in x different ways. Sometimes it’s how an item is styled, e.g., the way a shirt is tucked in, the sleeves of a blazer are rolled-up, or how a scarf is tied. Or you can draw inspiration from unexpected color combinations or how items go together. All these ideas can help us continuously refresh our looks.
Be Your Own Source of Inspiration
Most certainly, we can also be our own source of inspiration. So, every time you’re happy (or even a bit surprised) with how you’ve styled an outfit, take a picture! It only takes a few extra seconds, and you have something to refer to on days when you’re in a rush or less creative.
Wear What Fits and Makes You Feel Good
Making the most of your wardrobe also means letting you shine in your clothes. However, this is only the case if you feel comfortable. Who wants to wear, for instance, a skirt that urges you to continuously pull down the hem. Or an itchy sweater or a blouse that makes you sweat? Cuts that are too tight, fabrics you don’t like, or styles that aren’t truly YOU won’t let you feel your best. Holding on to clothes that don’t work for you isn’t a good idea. Sometimes, we have to part with what no longer serves us to optimize our closet.
And there you have it. These are my best tips on how to make the most of your wardrobe.
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How do you organize, optimize, and revive your wardrobe? Share your tips and tweaks in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!