When you can identify your daily routine, you can build a closet that is both chic and able to fit your lifestyle. Your closet should allow you to easily assemble an outfit. You can eliminate the stress and anxiety behind the statement, “I have nothing to wear.” In this post, you will learn how to build your wardrobe to fit your lifestyle.
Cotton tops with delicate details are perfect for daytime play-dates
First, let me start by saying that with two little girls, I often want to stay in the house and avoid any situation that require us to assemble into the car and pack, yes literally pack, what feels like an overnight bag. Maybe I am overthinking it, but I like to be prepared. Seriously, the idea of heading to a playdate without a proper change of clothes, the right amount of diapers, or the right snacks makes me feel like a bad mom.
Yes, as I write this down it sounds kind of crazy, but I am in the process of trying to simplify my life and make my days feel less overwhelming. Since I often feel stressed, agitated, late and one step behind, I look for ways to improve on my daily routine. I hope to instead feel the opposite: happy, patient and prepared. Doesn’t that sound amazing?!
First, I realized that this panic and agitation all starts in my closet.
I often find myself staring at my closet, thinking I have nothing to wear. How does someone who blogs about fashion for a living have nothing to wear?! I realize now, that I was missing all of the foundational elements (or the boring pieces) for building a wardrobe. So, one of the things I started doing is buying more outfits, and less one off pieces. While it sounds more expensive, it is actually worth it in the long run.
Hear me out…
One of the things that stresses me out on a daily basis is my job. Yes, I love it but I’m always afraid that someone is going to see me at a moment of weakness and say, “Hey! Aren’t you The Chic Series?!” And my response would be, “Yes. Yes, I am. Yes, I am the woman that preaches the look good, feel good approach to life. Yet, you have caught me in real life, when I have on zero makeup, hair is in an unbrushed bun, and I’m in my most comfortable pair of sweats.”
The truth is, when you edit your closet to fit your lifestyle, it’s easier to put a chic and practical outfit together. Even on your worst day.
As a result of purging my closet, I realized I had some serious holes that needed to be filled in. How was I missing the everyday essentials!? For example, denim that can be paired with sneakers, cool sneakers to pair with the denim, and tops to wear with denim that can also be worn with sneakers.
I am a corporate buyer at heart, so I get excited over the pieces that I know will pull people into the store and keep them coming back. Unfortunately, the special pieces are usually what get people excited to come in and shop, not the ones that help you create the foundation of a wardrobe. Seems like most women shop in this same manner. We walk into a store for a tee-shirt, and leave with an off the shoulder dress that is 4x the price we were planning to spend. Sound familiar?
In my mind, I was headed out to fancy dinners and attending multiple chic business meetings per week. When, in reality 80% of my time is spent with the girls, working from home, and exercising. The fancy dinners and chic business meetings are honestly more monthly than weekly.
Once I was honest with myself about where I was spending most of my time, it became much easier to create outfits and build a wardrobe. Here is a list of things to ask yourself when making your next purchase. These questions will help you build a wardrobe and edit your closet.
The Well-Edited Closet Checklist:
What do you do on a daily basis?
This was a “coming to Jesus” moment for me. In my mind, I was heading out to fancy dinners and attending multiple chic business meetings per week. Rather, in reality 80% of my time is spent with the girls, working from home, and exercising. The fancy dinners and chic business meetings are more of a monthly occurrence rather than weekly. Sigh.
What does your daily wardrobe need to accomplish? Be realistic.
Create a list of 5 adjectives . When making a purchase, ask yourself: Does this item meet my criteria?
Brights, neutrals, all black? Find a color scheme and stick to it.
This was tough for me because I love color, but in reality I can’t wear a bright blue top with red pants so I had to pull back on some of my colorful purchases. Do you notice an over-abundance of items in your closet?
Find a color scheme and stick with it. When I help people buy items for their closet this is usually the biggest problem. Once you establish a color palette, stick with it. Filter your purchases online and in stores with your color scheme mind.
If you are like me and like color, build a good foundation of bottoms that you can pair with colorful tops.
Who is your style icon?
I love Olivia Palmero and Blake Lively, but in reality when I am put together I typically look more like Jennifer Aniston or Gwenyth Paltrow. These women are equally chic but very different in terms of day to day style.
Identify what pieces you typically see them wearing. By recognizing this detail it will help you form a vision and create an outfit.
What types of items do you prefer to wear? Are you a pants or dresses kind of girl?
Dresses – look for versatility in your purchases and do an inventory of your footwear – will you actually have anything to wear on your feet with your next purchase?
Bottoms – build a good foundation of bottoms and take the time to try them on and find a brand that caters to your physique, not the other way around.
Establish a uniform
Initially, this idea of conformity sounded awful but it will help you filter your purchases and allow you to create a wardrobe instead of a closet full of separates.
By taking pictures of myself every single week (something that I still can’t believe I do) I can see what really looks good on me and flatters my figure. High waisted bottoms compliment my more muscular physique. They are also practical as a mom of two.
My chic mom uniform is high waisted denim paired with a cute top and sneakers. You can see it again here.
Scan through photos of yourself. Where do you think you look best? Why? Try to replicate that outfit again and again.
When all else fails, wear all black.
I love colorful and printed leggings, but I had to realize that they are not practical and don’t flatter my body. Plus, I often had a hard time pairing them with tops.
So, I started investing in more black leggings and black tops. While it sounds boring, it’s actually quite chic when paired together. I can select any top and any bottom and feel pulled together in an instant. No fear of clashing or mismatching here! These are my go-to black leggings. High waisted, comfortable, and available in multiple lengths.
I would say that you should have these three essentials, but a corporate attorney and a stay at home will have very different footwear demands.
My one suggestions is that every woman should have a pair of polished nude pumps that compliment your skin tone. I love this pair! They will never go out of style, go with almost everything, and elongate your legs.
You don’t need to invest a ton. Although, I just bought these Golden Goose Sneakers. My look instantly feels elevated when I put them on. I also love a pair of old school Nike Air Maxes because they are comfortable and cool. Wherever you decide to invest, keep these shoes specifically for your laid back looks. Not for working out. Worn in sneakers are only cool when created by Golden Goose not your treadmill.
The finishing touch on any look will make you go from being dressed, to looking polished.
Sunglasses, a pretty lip gloss – I just bought this one and LOVE it and gold hoops are all simple and classic ways to elevate your look.
So, who is off to edit their closet?
Should you have any questions – please email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and don’t forget to head to the Shopbop Sale to help fill those voids in your closet!