While trying to find an outfit to wear for my segment on Local Memphis Live a few weeks ago, I became exasperated as I was trying on clothes because nothing was working like I wanted it to. I have a small walk-in closet that’s pretty full, and I still like a lot of the pieces but…. I realistically only wear about 25%-30% of it. Sure there are some garments that are truly seasonal, but a lot of it is filler. The items are cute, but I’ve only worn some maybe once or twice before skipping over to my tried + true go-tos.
Luckily, I found a combo that I liked for the show (the leopard top I wore was a size too big, but because it was long and blousy, I was able to do the front half tuck thing that gave it some structure), but the struggle (once again!) made me really look over my closet and decide to clear it out once and for all. I don’t necessarily want a capsule collection, but I want it to be effortless when I get dressed.
If you’ve found yourself in a similar space with your clothing, here are a few things I’m doing to curate a better wardrobe:
Create/Review a Fashion Inspiration Board on Pinterest
If you don’t already have one, create a board + start pinning/reviewing street style + other looks that you would love to recreate. If you have at least 50-100 pins on your Style Inspiration Board, you should start to notice a theme with the colors, textures, and silhouettes that you naturally gravitate to. I discovered long ago that I’m classic with a twist, so I like really clean lines and easy basics that can be switched up with accessories or small details that aren’t too trendy. I can’t afford to completely clean out my closet every time the seasons change, so I have to have foundational pieces that won’t look dated.
Make A List of Essentials
Which pieces will you always need no matter the time of year? For myself, one item I will always need is denim (though I don’t wear it during the Summer. It just feels too constricting). I try to keep a black pair and a darker rinse w/no whiskering on deck, AND I finally found a distressed pair that I love and added that to the rotation as well. I used to own 10-15 pair easily, but I cut down significantly over the last year and allow myself to max out at 5. In addition to denim, I will always need black, gray, and striped tees, simple dresses, and leopard flats. I layer with cardigans and colorful scarves, so I have to have those pieces at all times.
Try Everything On In Your Closet
Every. Single. Thing. Even what you wore yesterday. Now that you know what essentials you need and the styles/fit that you really like, it’s time to start getting rid of the filler in your closet. This doesn’t mean throw away everything that isn’t an essential, this means get rid of things that don’t fit, or don’t really work with your current lifestyle or aesthetic. If a blouse is too tight and you have to fidget with it constantly, why are you holding on to it? The same with dresses that have blah shapes (that can’t fixed with a belt). I can’t tell you how many times I hung something back up because when I tried it on, the proportions didn’t work like I wanted. Instead of rehanging it, I just need to toss it so that it will stop taking up space and giving me false hope.
The same goes with shoes. While I have a few staples that every woman needs (black and nude pumps, plus a few others), I no longer invest in trendy heels because I’ll never wear them. There may be a few pieces that I will keep for sentimental value, but taking an honest assessment of what I own and actually wear will help me curate a wardrobe that’s effortlessly stylish.
Shop With Intention
I know what I like, I know what I need, and I’m getting rid of what I don’t want, so now the fun can begin. Instead of purchasing items solely because they’re cute or a great deal (hello $3 tunic from H&M), I’m much more in-tune with what my sartorial needs are and can shop accordingly. Of course I will stumble across something that goes against the grain from time to time, but for the most part, shopping with intention will allow me to pass on purchases that are only sweet in theory, and save my coins for items that will really enhance my wardrobe for the long-haul. I may buy fewer things, but they will be better, because isn’t that what having great style is all about?
How curated is your wardrobe? When’s the last time you cleaned out your closet?