Step 1 of wardrobe planning takes into account where we live. And it makes sense to start with our environment as the most obvious function of clothes is to protect us from the elements. Hence, climate and weather conditions determine what kind of clothes we need. Not only, though. The local environment and infrastructure also play an important role. We have different needs when living in a big city, small town, or in the countryside. Moreover, culture, traditions, and the common style in our community will most likely influence what we want to wear.
But first, let’s recap the three steps of wardrobe planning:
How to Plan Your Wardrobe in 3 Steps
- Step 1: Consider Your Environment – Where you live determines what kind of clothes, shoes, and accessories you need.
- Step 2: Review Your Lifestyle – How you live determines what types of clothes, shoes, and accessories you need.
- Step 3: Clarify Your Needs – Your environment, personal preferences, and lifestyle decide which and how many outfits (clothes, shoes, accessories) you need.
And now, let’s start with wardrobe planning step 1 and where you live.
Climate and Weather Conditions
Depending on the weather conditions, our clothing has to offer specific functions such as being breathable, rain resistant, windproof, or extra warming. Moreover, our needs can vary throughout the year. In some regions, the difference in temperature and weather conditions is huge between the seasons.
Consider Vacations Too
When planning our wardrobe, where we live matters, but also where we frequently spend our vacations. For instance, if you love traveling to tropical countries, you’ll probably need some hot weather clothes – even if you live in a place with cooler temperatures throughout the year.
Different Wardrobes for Different Seasons?
Let’s say there are four distinct seasons where you live. Would you need four different wardrobes then? No. You can always add seasonal pieces such as a warm coat and boots for winter, shorts and tops for summer. No problem as long they match your core wardrobe’s overall style and color palette.
Ask Yourself …
- In which climatic region do I live?
- What’s the average temperature?
- What are the typical weather conditions?
- Do temperature and weather conditions vary throughout the year?
- How many distinct seasons do I have to consider?
- Do I frequently travel to destinations that have a very different climate?
Local Environment and Infrastructure
Where we live in terms of the local environment and infrastructure also plays a role in wardrobe planning. We have different needs when living in a big city, small town, or in the countryside. Just think of footwear. Given you live in a big city, you want to have a pair of comfy sneakers to commute. Your stilettos won’t work for a small town that has – lovely but hard to walk – cobblestone sidewalks. And if you live in the middle of nowhere, you’ll probably be happy wearing outdoor boots.
Ask Yourself …
- Do I live in a (big) city, (small) town, or in the countryside?
- What kind of clothes are appropriate where I live?
- Do I need functional clothing? For instance, do I need hardwearing, protecting garments, or just a regular wardrobe?
Common Style, Culture, and Traditions
Where we live will most probably affect the style of our clothes. People dress differently, e.g., in New York, Paris, Rome, or Berlin. How you deal with these influences, though, is up to you. You can adapt to the common style rules. Or choose to dress deliberately different. It depends on what you aim for. Do you want to feel part of the crowd or stand out? However, even if you decide to wear mainstream, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a distinct personal style.
Culture and Traditions in Different Regions
In my opinion, we should never wear clothes that are seen as entirely inappropriate because of cultural differences. Thus, it’s a good idea to check this before traveling to foreign countries. And, of course, before moving to another place.
Ask Yourself …
- What do the people in my community usually wear? Do I want to be part of the crowd or stand out?
- Am I planning to move? How far will this influence my choices?
- Is there anything I have to consider based on the culture and traditions of where I live (or move/travel to)?
Where You Live vs. Your Personal Preferences
As explained above, for proper wardrobe planning where you live matters. But, to what extent?
This is where our personal preferences come in.
Here is a simple example. Let’s say you’re not really an outdoor person. You rarely take a walk. Mostly, you go by car. You’ll probably need less bad weather clothes than someone who spends 90 percent of their time outside. Even if you live in an area with rough weather conditions.
Another good example is when the people around you usually dress very casually. That’s the common style. But if you love to dress-up, you’ll need fewer casual clothes than the others. Just be aware that you might get comments on the way you dress. Because you’ll not blend in with the crowd. But this is ok. After a while, the ones that know you better will just take it as what it is – your personal style and preferred way to dress.
Ask Yourself …
- Considering my personal preferences and lifestyle, what kind of clothes are relevant for me?
Acknowledging where we live definitely lays the foundation for proper wardrobe planning. But, equally important are our personal preferences – and, of course, our lifestyle. Take a closer look at your lifestyle and how it determines which types of clothes, shoes, and accessories you need in step 2:
Wardrobe Planning Worksheet Collection
Plan and create a wardrobe full of clothes you love to wear!
More Tips and Inspirations
Here’s where you find all of my wardrobe planning articles:
I’d always recommend decluttering your wardrobe as part of the planning process. Thereby, you’ll get a much better idea of what to keep and what to discard.
- Wardrobe Decluttering a la Marie Kondo: Pros and Cons
- Wardrobe Decluttering a la Marie Kondo: Lessons Learned
A well-planned and well-curated wardrobe help you transition into slow fashion. I’ve listed a range of attainable steps for creating a ‘slow wardrobe’.
I’m sure you want your carefully selected clothes to last longer. My series of wardrobe maintenance articles provide tips on how to take good care of your clothes and extend their lifespan.
- 7 Tips to Extend the Life of Your Clothes
- How to Take Care of Luxury Fabrics
- Laundry Symbols Explained
If you like the ‘less, but luxe’ idea, follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for more tips and inspirations. And don’t forget to join my email list to receive weekly updates plus content that’s exclusively available to my readers.
Thanks for sharing this post and your thoughts!
Let me know how far your environment influences your wardrobe choices? Do you prefer to blend in or stand out from the crowd? I’d love to hear from you!