We all assume that in order to look fabulous and have the wardrobe of our dreams we need to be overflowing with money. Or at least have a big monthly budget dedicated to shopping. Those things can be of help if you want to have a big and expensive wardrobe for sure. But don't be fooled into thinking that this means it will automatically make you look chic and fashionable. On the contrary, the more crowded your wardrobe is, you are more likely to be lost in the sea of garments and be overwhelmed and sometimes even wear the same 'safe' outfits over and over again.
Here are some tips on how to build the perfect wardrobe with any budget:
Decide What Your Dream Wardrobe Looks Like
A dream wardrobe is different for everyone. Each one of us has a unique view of what we want to wear, how we want to look and how we want to be seen by others. You have to visualize these images clearly in your mind so you always know what you're looking for. This will help you buy only things that you really want and that will compliment the rest of your wardrobe. You will also avoid marketing traps by being more decisive and firm with your choices.
When you have in mind exact garments you want to buy, there is no fear of over spending, filling your wardrobe with bunch of cheap, useless items or wasting time 'browsing'. You can spend more time on finding good deals and discounts for your dream items rather than searching through endless sales looking for anything to buy.
Try using this rule: If you see an item and you think:" It's nice,on sale and I think I like it" - step away from the item 🙂 This only means that it's not something you really see yourself in but rather you like what you get for that price. On the other hand, if you see a garment and you think: "Wow, I would look fabulous in that,it's gorgeous!"- then buy it if you can afford it. If not try finding a better deal or a very similar, more affordable item. Anything in life that creates spark in your heart is worth having so surround yourself only with those things that make you happy.
Develop a Budget
I always find articles advising to create a monthly budget for updating your wardrobe according to what you can afford to spend on clothes. This never really worked for me. If I set up a certain amount to spend each month on new garments, I usually feel obligated to spend that exact amount. So I buy things that I don't really need or like as much as I should. Instead I decided to divide my budget according to seasons as it makes more sense because we are more likely to need new things when weather changes or for some seasonal occasions.
You just calculate your monthly allowance for shopping and then multiply with 3 (4 seasons each having 3 months). So let's say you can afford to spend $100 each month on new clothes, shoes and accessories. This means you can spend $300 per season to buy some new goodies.
Having a seasonal budget gives plenty of time to think about your purchase. You can assess your current wardrobe to see what you really need for the upcoming winter. For example maybe a new warm scarf is you number one choice and you will have plenty of time to find the perfect one with a good price as well.
This also means you can buy fewer but higher priced items. For example, if you buy according to your monthly budget, the most expensive item you could buy would be priced at $100. If you buy on a seasonal basis then you can buy something up to $300 but that can mean buying only one item for the course of those three months.
Sometimes we also overspend during holiday sales because a monthly budget doesn't seem sufficient when you have all these amazing sales going on so you decide to go over it just 'this' time. Having a seasonal budget will make you more patient waiting for a good deal on things you really want to buy.
Plan Your Outfits
There are so many visual references that can help you plan your perfect outfift, like Pinterest or Instagram. You can find all kinds of creative, trendy and affordable ideas for a great outfit. Just don't forget to put your unique spin to it and adjust it to your own style, proportions and physical characteristics.
Invest in a few classic pieces such as :
- a nice pair of jeans
- an A-line or a pencil skirt
- some casual layering tops
- a blouse or a button down
- a little black dress
This way you will always have a backup outfit if everything else fails:)
To save on time and also be more confident to get out of the house,you can style 2-3 outfits that you know always look fabulous on you and have them ready in your closet to throw on and go. This helps avoiding situations where you refuse going out with your friends or meeting new people just because you feel like you don't have anything to wear or you don't feel inspired to create a look for a day/night out.
Smart Shopping Over Sales
Most of us go crazy during holiday sales and spend so much money on things we don't really need or even want that much just because it's clearance or 70% off. You probably already know how this only makes more clutter in your closet and it's not helpful if you want to have a balanced wardrobe, but it's always so tempting and you decide to indulge.
Always keep in mind how it is better to have fewer fabulous, higher quality items than a load of trash you will probably wear only once. Shop for quality instead of quantity. Sales are usually a way for a store or a brand to get rid of less wanted items, things that are harder to sell or a way to get rid of an old collection or last season clothes.
We all love the sound of someone saying we are saving this much or that much money but in reality during a sale you are actually paying for an item's real worth instead of added margins and marketing costs.
There is also a difference between a sale and a discount. Sales and clearance sales are usually just a way to get rid of the things stores weren't able to sell because of the fit or something else that didn't appeal to the customer. Here you won't really find any quality items unless it is on clearance because there is just one item left or there are just a few sizes available. That can be a great deal but it's hard to find.
Discounts on the other hand can bring you some nice deals, especially the ones offering something like 50% of an entire store or collection because they give you more freedom to choose items you really like or need. Also, coupons like $20 off or similar are a great way to get the item you want at a lower price.
Organize Your Closet
Keeping your closet organized and knowing what you have and need is an ideal way to have the perfect wardrobe. It doesn't have to look like you are in a store or be very neat. However, it helps to have all things categorized so you don't have to spend too much time looking for something and you know exactly where you need to add some things.
A good way to organize your wardrobe involves:
- separating warm weather clothes from cold weather ones (summer/winter)
- dividing bottoms and tops
- it is also useful to separate casual/everyday clothes from going out garments
- you can color coordinate if you want or even better create color stories
- always have prepared one or two everyday outfits to grab and go and one outfit for more special occasions
- keep your accessories displayed and sorted so it is easier to compliment an outfit
- keep your clothes clean and fresh
Clean and Purge Often
One of the most important things on your way to a perfect wardrobe is to learn how to clear your closet from clutter. Here are some ways to become a pro in purging your wardrobe.
Keep the Emotional Stuff Away
It is in our human nature to become emotionally attached to items, including clothing so we often keep things just because they bring up good memories. This can lead to overloading your closet with so many things you don't wear anymore, things that don't fit or aren't in fashion at all but they still occupy precious space in your wardrobe. Don't get me wrong- it's fine to keep one or two things you want to save to remember something but rather keep them in a box on a shelf as a memory than in your closet as a wearable garment.
If it's Broken Get it Fixed
All things waiting at the back of the closet to be fixed or dry cleanse, need an assessment at least once per season. Take all the clothes to dry cleaners at least once every three months so they don't end up being forgotten. If you have something that needs to be fixed, like have buttons sewn on, make it shorter or adjust the fit, don't let it pile up. Doing these things on time can save you from unnecessary clutter and mess.
If it Doesn't Fit, Donate or Sell
You probably have some clothes (we all do) that is hanging in your closet waiting for the day you loose 5 pounds or clothes that is too big and you need to get it resized. Those things will only occupy space and they are not useful to you at this given moment. It is better to donate them or sell so you make space for all the fabulous new clothes you will actually wear.
The "Maybe" Stuff Need to Go Away
A good rule of thumb is to get rid of everything you didn't wear for the past year and it's just standing there in your closet. Those are usually items you are not sure they look good on you or you don't really know how to wear them. The best thing is to donate or sell those items and focus on items that you love and you know will make you feel amazing.
These are some of my tips on developing a dream wardrobe. Please share some of yours down in the comments:)!
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