There are all kinds of wardrobes to suit our needs. But what works for one person’s lifestyle, may not for another. So it’s important to remember that fashion is personal, a reflection of how we view ourselves and the world around us, as well as the times (and climates) in which we live.
Though styles change seasonally or with economic swings, you don’t need to run out and buy new clothes every season, a common approach in America and Asia. We can take a page out of our European neighbors’ fashion handbook and wear less, but better, ultimately resulting in a more sustainable way of thinking about fashion.
Too often we buy clothes on a whim because the sale was just “too good” to pass up or because it looked good when we tried it on in the store but didn’t give its wearability enough consideration. Are you saving your clothes for “one day,” but they somehow keep accumulating and you can’t remember the last time you wore them? Or, perhaps, you do remember, but you’re unwilling to part with an item because of sentimental attachment? How many times have you worn an item of clothing that you bought because you found them on deep-sale, but they didn’t quite fit and you’ve never bothered getting them tailored?
This doesn’t mean you have to give up on trends. After all, some become classics over time while other trends reimagine classics. But, you may discover that you can get more wear out of your wardrobe by creating a classic foundation and mixing in high and low pieces.
Clean out your wardrobe
According to Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner, in her book, You Are What You Wear, the majority of people only wear 20% of their wardrobe about 80% of the time. At some point, you’ll run out of closet space, and it’s time to figure out not only what you have, but what you’d like to keep and why.
- There are several questions to ask yourself as you detox your wardrobe. Don’t hang on to clothes that no longer fit you. Unless you’re healing postpartum, you likely aren’t wearing most of your clothes that don’t again. In the event of being postpartum, wait a year to one and a half years before detoxing most of your wardrobe so that you don’t have to buy all of your basics again unless they no longer fit your new normal. If this isn’t true for you, don’t be afraid to be ruthless. If a garment is stained and you’ve sent it to the dry cleaner several times and it’s still not gone, get rid of the garment. If items are still in good shape, gift or donate your clothes. If you’re safe at home at the moment, give your partner or kids a fashion-show, asking them to be loving and truthful, and edit from there.
- Take inventory of your wardrobe. Another strategy here is to lay out all of your clothes by type – dresses with dresses, pants with pants. What still fits? Does it fit well? What do you love? Do you need it? Will you ever tailor it so it does fit?
- One-in / One-out Strategy. Thinking of buying something new? Then consider getting rid of (a.k.a. donating or gifting) a piece that no longer serves you. This way you can buy what you need without adding to your clutter and practice more thoughtful consumerism.
- And if you’re the type of person that loves new clothes all of the time, consider rental fashion, or exchanging clothes with your friends on occasion.
Create a foundation of classic, quality basics
Roman Holiday, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Annie Hall, Blow-up, Sex and the City, Clueless. What do they all have in common? A style that transcends time and space. If you buy well once, you theoretically won’t have to replace your clothes as often – assuming you take care of them. Classic pieces don’t have to be expensive. Nor do you need to buy new for your wardrobe to be in style. After all, fashions that endure are the ones we keep around longest, especially for work or basic day-to-day style. Vintage pieces offer a sustainable approach to fashion that reveals how classics don’t age, assuming you’ve taken care of your pieces or buy well-preserved ones. Your wardrobe can consist of high and low pieces that you’ve sourced in a variety of price ranges.
And just because fashion stylists suggest everyone should buy certain investment clothing pieces – like black capri pants, a white button-down, a wool coat, a trench coat – doesn’t mean each piece is practical for your life. Consider what works for your style and local climate, and plan your foundational wardrobe pieces from there.
- Pick quality fabrics that will last you.
- Source quality staples like A White T-Shirt, A Breezy Tank Top, A Light Jacket, or comfortable sneakers.
- Invest in a quality tailor to ensure your clothes fit properly.
- Switch out your accessories and shoes to keep your classics fresh.
Create a versatile wardrobe
Building a versatile wardrobe means having clothes you can wear in a variety of ways. This can consist of both classic and comfy items. You can take various garments from morning to evening, or from work to after-work events, without needing to stop and change if you’re short on time.
- Create a capsule wardrobe if you really want to minimize the time and money you spend getting ready. A capsule wardrobe is a mini wardrobe that reduces your style to its bare necessities, changing seasonally or annually.
- Reimagine basic items, such as your favorite tee or a basic white tee, seasonally.
- Consider how to dress up hoodies for work, especially if you’re on a Zoom call.
Taking care of your clothes
How you take care of your clothes is as important as what you choose to keep or buy. Make sure you learn how to care for your clothes with Clothing Shop Online’s Clothing Care Guide, which has already outlined research for you on how to read clothing care labels and how to care for different fabrics, from stain removal to ironing.
- Pre-treat and wash your clothes according to care labels on time to prevent stubborn stains.
- Learn how to care for a range of fabrics with this guide to different fabrics, as well as learning fabric care 101.
- Rotate your clothes out by season and store them properly to prevent further damage.
- Invest in a quality tailor. If a garment you love no longer fits you or you bought a high-quality classic, but it doesn’t quite fit you right, take it to a tailor. In the long-run, it may save you money to hold on to a piece that fits you well than having to find the perfect fit off-track, since most clothing in department stores are manufactured to fit only 25% of the population as with Victoria Secret’s undergarments.
Start detoxing your wardrobe this weekend to get the most out of your clothes! It may help you to rediscover or edit your style according to what suits you without having to be new clothes. Consider these tips on how to get the most out of your wardrobe with Clothing Shop Online!