I previously surveyed some of the incredible women inside my free VIP email community and one of the questions I asked was how satisfied are you with your wardrobe on a scale from 1-10.
The #1 answer? 5.
Keep in mind, the average woman spends $1,800 — $4,800 per year on clothing and wears less than 50% of what she owns. This is a generous estimate, by the way. Studies show that most Americans only wear about 18% of the items in their closets.
Even if you’re spending way less than the average woman… let’s say $1,000 for easy math… and wearing a high percentage of your clothes… maybe a solid 50%… that means you’re likely still wasting AT LEAST $500 every single year on items you don’t wear, let alone love. There’s a good chance you’re wasting at least half of your shopping budget to have a closet you’re only halfway satisfied with at the end of the day.
But friend, it doesn’t have to be this way! What if I told you the only thing you need to build a wardrobe you love right now is a simple plan? You don’t need to be a smaller size, have a bigger budget, or find large chunks of free time on your calendar before you can tackle the issue of having a closet full of clothes with nothing to wear.
No matter the starting point for your wardrobe, whether you have a handful of pieces you feel amazing in and just need to fill in a few small gaps or if absolutely none of it is working for you in this season of life, I believe it’s never too late and it’s possible for every single woman to have a thoughtfully curated closet she loves. This includes you, my dear.
So let’s review my 6-step process for building a wardrobe you love.
Step 1: Dialing-In Your Signature Style
What you wear and how you present yourself tells people –in the blink of an eye– a whole lot about who you are. So if you aren’t clear on your signature look, you may be showing up in a way that’s inconsistent and confusing –to your clients and co-workers, your friends and family, and even yourself! My desire for you is to maintain a cohesive look between the many facets of your life so you can give off an accurate impression of who you are everywhere you go.
On top of that, knowing your style allows you to navigate trends and start shopping with confidence! When you know what you like and what fits in with your day-to-day life and your goals, you can avoid wasting time and money trying on and buying things that aren’t really YOU.
So if you haven’t yet, go ahead and press pause on this episode and take 5-minutes to complete my free Personal Style Quiz. The real gold is in the 4-Step Signature Style Framework that I’ll email you after you finish the quiz. This framework is personalized to your results and it’ll guide you through solidifying and implementing this knowledge into your wardrobe. Remember, it’s not just about your taste preferences. Your personal style should also be based on your personality, your lifestyle, your goals, and of course, the message you want to project to the world. This process is designed to help you align all of these factors so your style is a full and accurate representation of you and your life.
Step 2: Learning To Flatter Your Figure
There are a few key factors you want to figure out when it comes to getting dressed.
Take some time to do your homework or at least consider what works well with your body’s inherent shape, your proportions, and your favorite features. These aspects of your figure have little to nothing to do with your current clothing size. Your body was designed with a particular shape and it’s likely you will retain that shape even as your weight fluctuates over the years. You also can’t do anything to change your proportions or how your body is spaced from your head to your toes. If you’re long-waisted or if you have a short rise, there are tricks you can learn to better balance your upper and lower halves through your outfits and styling.
You probably just haven’t spent much time researching this before!
Maybe you’ve told yourself you have no idea how to dress to flatter your figure. You don’t know which cuts are right for you, whether you’re an apple, a pear, or a pineapple (don’t panic; that’s a joke, not a new body shape), or which style of jeans to wear for your next date night. I mean, straight-leg, flare, boyfriend, skinny, wide leg… how’s a girl to decide?!
So you’ve either given up or resorted to winging it. But I encourage you to get back in the game, my friend. Because I bet you know a lot more than you realize. Most of my clients have a pretty great sense of what works for them when they really stop and think about it.
Take an inventory of the pieces you feel most confident in. Are there any recurring prints, silhouettes, fabrics, or details? Pay attention to what highlights the areas of your physical beauty that you love and what minimizes your insecurities.
As you’re working to build a wardrobe you love, there’s no room in your closet for pieces that don’t do you justice.
Step 3: Discovering Your Best Colors
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: color is everything. Wearing your best hues can help you look younger, healthier, more refreshed, powerful, trustworthy, and more.
When you’re shopping for new pieces, make sure you’re not only buying colors that excite you but also colors that connect with and enhance your personal coloring (think skin tone, hair, and eye colors). When the colors you wear are in harmony with your features and with one another, you’ll find it so much easier to maximize what you own and mix and match your wardrobe effortlessly. Plus, your best colors will work to bring out your best, so you’ll be likely to hear more compliments even on your worst days.
Color can definitely be tricky. But a simple place to start is determining whether you look best in warm, neutral, or cool colors. As a quick and simple test, which jewelry tones do you gravitate toward: warm gold, neutral rose gold, or cool silver? Take a look at your jewelry collection or ask an honest friend or family member what they think looks best on you.
I realize this is only a jumping off point. So if you want to dive deeper into the world of color, I recommend looking through some of the articles in the color category of my blog and I’ll drop a link in the show notes so you can find them easily. And of course, we can also work together to discover your best colors. So I’ll let you know how you can take the next step if this is something you want personalized recommendations on. It’s one of my very favorite things to support my clients with!
Step 4: Auditing Your Closet
Once you’ve covered the foundations and gotten crystal clear on what works for your personal style, your figure, and your colors, it’s time to take a look at what you already own through these new lenses. Is your style represented well? Do you have pieces that flatter you and highlight your favorite features? How do all of the colors work, both on you and together? Does your wardrobe feel cohesive? What’s working well? And what’s missing?
I know closet clean outs can feel daunting, but they can also be incredibly fun and are always rewarding in the end. Besides, to build a wardrobe you love, you need to know where you’re starting from. After all, you can’t get directions to point B without knowing point A, right?
Set aside a small block of (ideally distraction-free) time to quickly audit your current clothing and accessories. I love to work on one section at a time ─blouses, sweaters, jeans, pants, shoes, you get the idea.
You can also download my free Closet Audit Flowchart to help with the process! I’ll put a link in the show notes for you.
As you’re working through your existing pieces, jot down what fits within your ideal wardrobe and what’s missing.
Step 5: Designing Your Dream Capsule
Once you’ve taken the steps to figure out what works for you in style, fit, and color, putting together a capsule closet for each season will be a piece of cake.
No matter the number of pieces, range of colors, or styles you choose, looking at your clothing as a cohesive unit, designed to mix and match effortlessly, will save you so much time and stress in the morning. There are lots of ways to do this. You just need to find the approach that works for you!
Ultimately, this is your time to dream, play, and experiment your way to a drool worthy wardrobe. My clients and I love using Pinterest as a way to gather ideas, look for recurring themes in what they like, and start to nail down how many and what styles of each clothing category they ideally want to have in their collections.
Think of designing your dream capsule like curating your very own art gallery or decorating a room in your home. You want to have a special connection to each piece while ensuring they work together as a whole. So don’t forget to take both a detailed and a birds eye view of your plans.
Step 6: Shopping With Intention
Going through the steps of auditing your closet and designing your dream capsule will help you start to formulate a list of what you want and what you need. Knowing what you need and how badly you need it (or don’t) enables you to prioritize. And prioritizing helps you know how to maximize your budget.
So in this final step, you can decide how much you want to shop and how much you want to work with what you already have on hand.
Either way, the secret to your success is in the word “intention”.
Now that you’ve done all this research and spent time getting clear on how you want your wardrobe to look and feel, you’re going to kiss impulse shopping goodbye! If you need support with this, check out last week’s episode #20: 3 Habits To Help You Stop Impulse Shopping.
You’re going to be discerning about what comes home with you from the mall or makes the final cut in your shopping cart. You’re going to run through the foundations to make sure each piece is well-suited to your style, your figure, and your colors. You’re going to make sure it has a place in your gallery… I mean, closet!
Because you can’t build a wardrobe you LOVE without being a bit pickier than you have in the past.
This means no more wasted dollars
+ items that you’ll actually wear
+ pieces that make you feel your best
And all of that = a thoughtfully curated closet you love.
Putting It All Together
I’ve handed you the formula.
You know what to think over, what information to seek out, and what steps to complete.
And if you’re ready to do this, I’d love nothing more than to personally guide you through the process and help eliminate all of the guesswork along the way..
My Wardrobe Refresh Program is a self-study course designed to help you curate a closet you love and reclaim your confidence. In 6 modules, I’ll take you step-by-step through the process I’ve used with my private clients over the past 15 years and outlined for you in this episode. You’ll enjoy unlimited access to the lessons, including a bonus module on confidence, guest expert trainings on topics like budgeting and body image, and a private community where you can receive direct support from yours truly, because at the end of the day –it’s not about what you know, it’s about what you do with that knowledge.
If you’re ready to get started, I would love to welcome you inside this program. You can head over to herstylellc.com/program for all the details and to enroll now.