Redesign Your Wardrobe for the Season
It is said that most women only wear 20% of the clothes they own. That means 80% hang unused, filling closets and drawers, and cluttering precious space. With that in mind, take a good look at how you live and what you truly wear.
1. Know What You Will Use
The first step in redesigning your wardrobe for a new season is to know what you will use. Make a list of the clothes you have worn in the last month, and the reason they were worn. Now check your closet for all of those unworn clothes. Why didn't you wear them? How many of them could you get rid of? Clear out your closet of unused, unwanted items, before you begin adding anything new. While you are at it, get rid of anything that makes you look ill or doesn't fit right.
2. Clear Out Off-Season Clothing
The next step is to clear out the off-season clothing. If you have a storage area for off-season clothing, then take the items that will not be used for the next few months there. Otherwise, store them in a garment bag to keep them clean and out of the way.
3. Know What You Need
The third step is to know what new items you will need. This will help when you are shopping, to stay focused and to prioritize your budget. Keep basics at the top of your list, season-less items and accessories next, and trendy items last. Example:
Your sister is getting married in June, and you want a new dress to wear to the wedding. That dress is of more importance than a tank top in the latest color.
4. Know Your Colors and Lines
Fourth, know what colors and lines look best on you. By knowing what is most flattering, you will be able to bypass the trendy items that would hang useless in your closet. You will be able to effectively shop sales, without the worry of bringing home unwanted items. Most importantly though, the items you do purchase will expand your wardrobe, giving you many outfits, so that you always look hip.
Get a bra fitting done, at least once a year, before you begin shopping for the new season. This will ensure that the clothes you buy will look their best on you. Remember, a well-fitting bra will make you look slim and toned, while a poor-fitting one will make even the most shapely look less than pleasing.
5. Go Shopping
Finally, go shopping!
Know What You Will Use!
A basic wardrobe is the foundation to dressing well. It consists of the clothing that is used day in and day out, as well as some special occasion dressing. It is season-less non-trendy clothing, that is appropriate any time of the year. The basic wardrobe could be your entire wardrobe, but this tends to lack personality.
To know what you use, keep track of what you wear and why you wear it for one month. This is your basic wardrobe.
- Is it what you want it to be?
- Would you like to improve it?
- Do some pieces need to be replaced?
Answering these questions honestly, before looking at the latest trends, will help you understand your needs.
I am a homemaker. I dress in jeans, skirts, tee-shirts, knit sweaters, blouses and blazers. I wear boots, mules or sandals, depending on the season. I have little use for a business suit or evening gown.
Suggested Basic Wardrobe
- 2 pairs of slacks, one dark neutral, and one other neutral color.
- 2 pairs of jeans.
- 1 skirt, medium or dark neutral, in a mid-weight fabric.
- 2 blouses, one lightest neutral and one colored.
- Tee-shirts, in neutrals and colors.
- 3 sweaters, season-less and light weight.
- 2 tailored jackets/blazers, that coordinate with slacks.
- 1 dress, in dark neutral, that can be dressed up or down, as needed.
- 1 purse.
- 1 three-piece suit set -- Jacket, skirt and slacks of same fabric.
Know Your Colors
Color is everywhere and a part of everything. Each season brings new colors for you to try, new trends for you to wear; but wait! How do you know which colors are right for you? How do you determine, under those bright fluorescent dressing room lights, what looks good?
There are many guides available, to help you determine your best colors based on your skin tone, eye color and hair; however, if you look at them for very long, you will become utterly confused.
Summer, winter, autumn, or spring—it seems like the answer would be simple, but the more I explored the subject, the more I found that not even the experts agree! Finding one model listed as three different seasons by three different companies sent me searching for a simpler cure. Along the way, I discovered three "tricks" that have never failed me.
1. First Impressions Test
First impressions are the things you notice first. To tell if a color is going to be pleasing on you, you can give it the First Impressions Test. To do so, stand in front of a mirror lit with natural light. Hold the material under your chin and close your eyes for ten seconds. Open them, and notice what you see first in the mirror.
If you see your face, then the color is good. If you see the fabric, skip it. It will never do you justice. When I am shopping and come across a color I am unsure of, I find a mirror near the store windows and take a look. While it may look a little funny to other shoppers, it saves me a trip to return ill-looking items.
2. The Makeup-Less Test
Yes, this test is just what it says: If you put a shirt on and look beautiful, even though your hair isn't brushed and you are not wearing any makeup, then make that color a staple in your wardrobe. These colors will make you look vibrant even when you are exhausted or sick. So far, I have found four colors that flatter me unconditionally.
3. Go With What Nature Gave You
Did you know that you came with a built-in color chart? Look in the mirror. See it now? Your skin, hair and eyes (in their natural colors) are in perfect harmony. You can never go wrong wearing something the color of your hair and/or eyes. When dressing, you will always look put together if you wear something that is the same hue as your hair. If your hair has highlights, choose the color you would like to emphasize and dress accordingly.
The darkest color you should wear is the darkest color you can find in your natural makeup. The pupil of the eye and the shadows in one's hair is the reason charcoal grey is a universally appealing color. The same is true for the lightest color you should wear. Look to your teeth and the white of your eyes to find the best light shade for you. Your skin tone is a third color nature has given you, but since you are already covered in so much of it, use this color sparingly in your clothing.
Colors for Everyone
Good News! There are some colors that are universally flattering. They look good on everyone, regardless of skin tone and hair color.
- Charcoal Grey
- Bone or Off-white
- True Red
- Cherry Red
- Mellow Rose or Pinky Coral
- Hunter Green
- Yellowed Royal Blue
Know Your Shape
Pear and apple, hourglass, round, square and oval . . . there are many ways to describe one's shape, but how do you know which one is you, and more over what clothing look best on you? One of the things I have learned over the years is not to fight nature. You are made the way you are, and no amount of trying to change that will improve the way you look. You look best when you are you! It is best to learn your shape and what works for it.
If you know your basic lines, and work with them, finding great fitting clothes will be instinctual. Did you know your style at one time, but seem to have lost it? Look back: What looked good on you then will probably look good now. Have you gained weight, changed jobs or simply don't understand today's fashion? That is okay. The way you used to dress, when you looked great, still has clues for you today.
If your shape was reduced to its most basic lines, what would you look like? An easy way to answer this question is to analyze your silhouette. Standing close to the wall in a dark room with a narrow crack of bright light behind you and look at your overall figure. What do you see?
- Do you appear tall, short or average?
- Is your torso long, short or average?
- What about your legs: are they long or short?
- How broad and straight are your shoulders?
- Does your bust stand out in the silhouette, or disappear?
- Is your waist defined?
- How large are your hips, in proportion to your shoulders?
- Are your arms thick or thin? What about your ankles and wrists?
Clothing that flatters your figure will mimic your figure. They will also highlight your best features while camouflaging your problem areas. Looking at your silhouette, what is your best feature? Make sure to play it up!
Note: Never try to hide in baggy clothing. It is not flattering. It makes you look and feel like a bag of potatoes!
Know What You Want
You've gone through your wardrobe, weeding out the unflattering clothing. You have determined what color look best on you, and you know what cuts are flattering. It is time to shop!
- Make a list of the basics you will need for the new season. Don't forget a jacket, swimsuit or coat, depending on the season. Replace any worn undergarments.
- Add in any special occasion items you will be wanting.
- Think about what trendy piece or two you would most like for the new season. Make note of your ideas.
- When shopping, try everything on! Never buy without first trying, and don't waste your time on things that don't make you shine.
Angle on December 21, 2011:
I loved it
Christa Dovel (author) from The Rocky Mountains, North America on June 15, 2011:
Thank you Fatiha!
Fatiha on June 10, 2011:
Wouawww i love it ! So simple, clear and it works !
Christa Dovel (author) from The Rocky Mountains, North America on February 02, 2011:
Thank you Spider Girl!
Spider Girl from the Web on January 30, 2011:
Awesome hub! And very helpful too :)
Christa Dovel (author) from The Rocky Mountains, North America on August 10, 2009:
DoodleLyn from Upstate New York, USA on August 10, 2009:
Great hub, Christa. I definitely can use some of these pointers. Thanks for the info.
Christa Dovel (author) from The Rocky Mountains, North America on July 19, 2009:
Alice, Glad you found something to take away. Using the silhouette is one of my favorite tricks.
As to clues from yesterday, when you look back at the clothes you use to love wearing, what do they have in common? A neckline? The length of the shirt? The cut of the jeans, or skirt? Did they draw attention to one of your best features? Was the color just right? Whether you have gained or lost weight those things do not change as much as one might suppose. Your basic body shape stays about the same.
Alice Clearwater on July 19, 2009:
I find the idea about looking at your silhouette very insightful. You say, "The way you used to dress, when you looked great, still has clues for you today." Could you elaborate more on that? I'm trying to figure out what those clues might be.
Christa Dovel (author) from The Rocky Mountains, North America on July 11, 2009:
Welcome to Hubpages, Jenny!
Jennifer from Canada on July 11, 2009:
Love this hub! Great ideas! I really need to remodel my wardrobe big time! I am new to Hubpages. Feel free to check out my hubs and post a comment if you like!
Christa Dovel (author) from The Rocky Mountains, North America on May 06, 2009:
meggin on May 06, 2009:
totally awesome! I have been fighting with my wardrobe lately! All the things that used to go with this or that are gone and I have been wanting direction to simplify! Your awesome!
Christa Dovel (author) from The Rocky Mountains, North America on May 06, 2009:
Gr8archer45: I'm so glad you like it!
gr8archer45 from Pakistan on May 06, 2009:
Thank you Christa for answering my request so brilliantly! You have given really comprehensive advice in this hub:)