A well-planned wardrobe does more with less. Pieces of clothing that go well together and are worn often are better choices than spur-of-the-moment purchases that don’t match anything else in the closet and hang there unused. A good start to updating a tired wardrobe is to take everything out of the closet and examine one piece at a time. Toss or give away things that are no longer worn or no longer fit. Next, get rid of pieces that don’t go with anything else. What is left is the basis for your new wardrobe.

Cleaning Out the Old

We all make clothing purchase mistakes and they hang in the closet unworn for months. We hate to give up on them because they cost money. Change that way of thinking. Closet space is limited, so don’t waste it. If you are serious about updating that tired wardrobe, take the drastic step of emptying out the closet and dresser of all clothing. Then, make piles for giving away, keeping, repairing, and tossing. Rainy or snowy days are a good time for this job.

When cleaning out the wardrobe, consider getting rid of all clothing that has not been worn for at least one year. Get rid of clothing you no longer like. Get rid of clothing that has nothing to match it or purchase something that matches it. Clothing that is stretched out, faded, ripped, or just does not fit should go. Try on all the remaining clothing and get rid of additional pieces that no longer fit or just don’t look good on you any longer.

Building the New Wardrobe

The clothing that survives this purging will be the basis of your new wardrobe. At this point, it is important to make lists of clothing pieces that are needed to complete the new wardrobe. They don’t all have to be purchased at once. Consider the colors of the clothing that you are keeping and make sure the new purchases go with them. Do a little research to discover what clothing items are currently in vogue and go for a timeless style. Check out fillyflair.com and other online sites for ideas and deals. There are 9 pieces of clothing that every wardrobe should include to be fashionable:

1. Shoes are a really basic part of any wardrobe. A pair of good quality black pumps can be worn with everything from jeans to dresses. A basic style in mat leather with closed toes and an almond shape works very well. Then, fill in with shoes to go with casual to formal clothing. A pair of sandals, sneakers, and loafers have a place in every wardrobe. A good quality pair of riding boots is also stylish.

2. A good quality trench coat in a neutral color is a must-have. Trench coats look good with slacks or dresses and are great protection from the rain in spring through fall. Add a nice winter coat for the cold months in a classic style and good quality.

3. Jeans seem to stay in style year after year. Make sure to purchase a dark-wash pair of jeans in a style and shape that is appealing on you. Dark jeans stay in style longer than the trendy faded or distressed jeans. Black or colored jeans can add variety to the wardrobe.

4. Purchase several skirts for work and evenings out. At least one should be a pencil shape skirt in a neutral color. A knee skimming length is flattering and always in style. A-line skirts emphasize a slim waist and can be worn with tucked-in blouses and belts. The pencil skirt is best when there is a material containing a little spandex to give it a little extra shape.

5. Tailored button-up blouses look classic with either jeans or a skirt. It is important for these blouses to fit perfectly without gaps or too tight bustline. Have several different colors and patterns. Long sleeves can be worn as is or cuffed at the elbow. These blouses can be paired with blazers or sweaters.

6. Everyone should have a good blazer in a classic cut and neutral color. Black blazers are always in style. The length should be just at the hip. It is important for the blazer to have a perfect fit.

7. Every wardrobe needs a little black dress or the equivalent. This wardrobe basic should be knee-length or a little shorter and cut in a classic shape. This black dress should be the when-in-doubt-wear-this type. Other dresses can be added in different lengths and colors and patterns. That little black dress is important because it can be dressed up or down with a blazer, jewellery, shoes, and so on.

8. Add a perfect white T-shirt of good quality and cut. A V-neck or slightly rounded neck is flattering for most people. Tees can be worn alone or under blouses, sweaters, or blazers. Get several as white can stain and discolor over time. Add colored Tees for wardrobe variety.

9. The perfect purse or bag and classic pieces of jewellery go a long way to complete a stylish look. Scarves are a good way to add color. The bag should be in a neutral color and a satchel style works best if it is to be used every day.

Additional Wardrobe Choices

Once the basic wardrobe is complete consider adding a few sweaters such as cashmere crewneck sweaters. Turtleneck T-shirts in several colours for layering are good choices. Fitted, slim-fit sweatpants can be not only comfortable but flattering in black or neutral colours. A hip-length waterproof rain jacket with a zipper front and hood is another good addition.

When purchasing clothing, go for the quality. If the budget is limited, buy a few pieces at a time until the collection is complete. Shop carefully with a list of needed items and preferred colours. Don’t be distracted by flashy sale choices and spend money meant for the wardrobe basics. Do shop around for good brands at sale prices. If possible, try on all clothing purchases to make sure they fit well and look good on you.

When shopping online, look at their size charts carefully and only order from sites with generous return policies. When the basic wardrobe is complete, add a few fun pieces and accent pieces to wear with the basic clothing to jazz it up. Remember, each piece of clothing should be able to be worn with several existing wardrobe pieces.

About the Author

Hima Gandham

Contributing Writer

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A well-planned wardrobe does more with less. Pieces of clothing that go well together and are worn often are better choices than spur-of-the-moment purchases that don't match anything else in the closet and hang there unused.

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