Building the Perfect Wardrobe
In the age of minimalism, self-expression, and the rising importance of monitoring ones’ mental health, fashion has become a major outlet for people around the world. Although fashion has seemingly become less relevant since the start of the pandemic, there is no denying how it can affect a person’s confidence and sense of identity, even if they are the only ones who ever get to see what they wear. So, here is a in-depth guide to building a wardrobe that speaks to who you are, and provides enough room for creativity, without taking up too much room in your living space.
Assessing your current wardrobe
Often times the best place to start building a wardrobe is to start with what you already have. Even if we are unsatisfied with our wardrobes and feel like we have nothing to wear, there usually are items in our current wardrobes that can point us in some sort of direction to what we like to wear, and what suits us best (and no, it is not simply what we wear because we want to be comfortable). These pieces of clothes are what we feel the most confident in, and have a specific style to them. It can be a graphic t-shirt you tend to pick up more than any other. A pair of jeans that seems to fit just right. The blazer you grab on your way to work because you feel the most confident presenting in it. It can be whatever you like. In general, you want to separate these pieces out from the rest of your wardrobe, and begin looking for new clothes similar to or compliment them. To do this, you will have to conduct a short experiment, one that I had come across created by the YouTuber Bestdressed.
- Keeping track of what you wear
To start the process of assessing your wardrobe, you must start with keeping track of what you like to wear for a period of time out of the clothes that you already own. To do this, you must write down, separate, or remove the pieces of clothing you choose to wear the most over the course of two to four weeks. This can be easily done by keeping a “wash pile,” and letting the clothes you use sit there until you have finished that two to four week period.
Now it is time to start gaining an understanding of what your personal style is. Ask yourself questions about what clothes you ended up using, and sort them into categories based on how they relate to one another. Is this a basic piece? Are they primarily darker colors? What about pastels? Do I enjoy more classic or funky prints? Is this more casual or business-wear? What occasions would I wear these clothes?
Ideally, after you have categorized your clothes, you will have a sense of the styles you like best, and you can begin your research on finding pieces that compliment the pieces you already own and love.
- Picking the most essential pieces
Following up the last step, after you have your categories, it is best to start searching for clothes within those categories. Try to find clothes that relate to your color palette (pastels, darks, neutrals, etc.) and have a silhouette that is either similar, or compliments the pieces you already reach for the most.
It is also essential for you to consider the kinds of accessories that may work best as well, because a single accessory can dramatically change up the look of an outfit. scarves, belts, hats, and bags are all excellent options. Just make sure to limit yourself to five essential pieces to initially purchase so you don’t end up filling your wardrobe with clothes you likely won’t get much use out of, or will end up disliking within a few months. After a few months of wear, you can reconsider your closet analysis, adjust it as needed, and purchase a few more pieces.
To follow up assessing your wardrobe, you should also seek inspiration outside of your wardrobe, and take notes on what aesthetics, celebrities, and influencers inspire you. Which celebrity/ influencer styles do you like the most? Do they have a more gothic, girly, masculine, or feminine style? What kind of prints do they wear that you like the most of? How about their shoes and accessories?
Other than celebrities, you can also seek inspiration from explore pages on social media such as Instagram, Tumblr, or even Pinterest depending on which social media that you prefer to use. Just make sure you save everything that you like so that you can get some ideas on what might be some good pieces to purchase.
The minimalist wardrobe
If you have ever looked up minimalism, or have had any previous interest in fashion, you have probably heard of the concept of the minimalist wardrobe. To brief this idea, the minimalist wardrobe is essentially a selection of clothes that, though small, suits all your needs. In a minimalist wardrobe, it is common for it to be based on neutral colors, versatile silhouettes, and high-quality, long-lasting pieces.
Why should you consider a minimalist wardrobe? The short answer is that it will save you time, money, and living-space. But, it can also benefit you mentally by reducing your decision fatigue because it would take less effort to decide what to wear daily, and ideally, each piece would be something authentic to you, flattering, and helps motivate you throughout the day by making you feel good.
To give you a start on creating a minimalist wardrobe, here is a list of items you could start with:
- A good pair of jeans
When considering buying a pair of jeans, you must consider a number of factors concerning the fit, rise, and color that you’d like best. Do you prefer a high, mid, or low rise jean? What color would best compliment what you already own? Blue or black wash, light or dark wash? Do you like straight leg, wide-leg, flare, or skinny leg silhouettes best?
- Basic t-shirts
The basic t-shirt goes with everything, but what colors should you buy? Considering the basic t-shirt is likely a piece that will stay in your wardrobe a long time, it is best to consider buying 2-3 colors that you like the fit and quality of. Pick a t-shirt made of a sturdy 100% cotton fabric, and pick neutral colors such as black, white, grey, and brown, but only pick the colors that will already suit what you have.
- The graphic t-shirt
A good graphic t-shirt is one that expresses who you are and makes you feel confident and proud. It can be a number of things, and here at America =’s, we make a huge selection of simple graphic t-shirts that come in a variety of four colors: red, white, blue, and black. Our T-shirts are diverse in messaging, and allows anyone to wear their voice! Here is a link to our main selection:
- A good coat
In reality, you only need one good coat to suit your needs, but in some climates, it is best to have both a light weight and heavy weight options. Peacoats and puffers are popular options that seem to never go out of style.
- Black boots
Do you like heeled booties or lace ups? Does it need to be weather-proof and/ or warm? What will be the most comfortable to wear throughout the day?
- White sneakers
Perhaps the most recommended piece of footwear out there, a simple pair of white sneakers goes with everything, just make sure it is something that is comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
- Basic button ups
Just like the t-shirts, make sure to pick button ups that fit you well and that are in versatile colors that will go with what you already own. Either black, white, grey, or brown, limit yourself to 2-3 colors if you’d like.
- Neutral pants
Depending on your profession, a good pair of neutral colored pants would be a great profession, but this is obviously an optional purchase if you do not work in a professional workplace, or if pants simply don’t suit your style.