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Wardrobe From Scratch





I've received many emails from readers with questions on building a wardrobe from scratch.  It can be kind of a daunting task, and often times the questions felt so big that I didn't know how to answer them in a helpful way in a quick email, short of writing a novel!  So many times I wished I had a guide that I could point people to in order to help them out, so I finally put in the time and energy to put one together!

My hope with the Wardrobe From Scratch Series is to give you a starting place in rebuilding your wardrobe so that you feel like you have some tools to do this on your own.  

Also, check out the Shopping Mistakes I've Made so that when you shop you make smarter choices.  Good luck! 

47 comments:

  1. When are you going to have more posts for this series? I am excited to follow this series and redo my closet.

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    1. Sorry, Sondra, the posts are coming out slower than I would like. They just take so much time and energy that one per week is about all I can do!

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    3. That is fine! I have loved every post so far! Thanks for putting them together!

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  2. I am so excited for this! I have so much trouble with clothes shopping, and I love your blog as a go-to guide, practically my style road-map!

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  3. First, I LOVE YOU AND YOUR BLOG! Are you going to cover shoes? Because I have a few nice clothes but they look horrible with my current shoes. I'd like to buy new ones but can only afford one at a time, maybe two at the most, I just don't know what I should get or where to start. HELP!!

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  4. I have wide feet, and don't know of anyplace where I can get cute flats for my wide feet. Any suggestions Audrey?

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    1. Also, if you want to go the budget route, Payless actually carries shoes for wide feet!

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    2. Will definitely try zappos! Payless shoes always end up killing my feet, and I don't mind a quality splurge when it comes to shoes. Thanks!

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    3. Try Clark's!

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  5. love your series! i picked out my colors today and realized my colors were a lot like hannah's! very excited!

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  6. Audrey,
    I love your site. I am totally new to fashion. I've been obese for the greater part of 33 years. This last year I've dedicated myself to improving my health. I've lost 70lbs and I'm now in a size TWELVE!!! (coming from a 24w, I'm thrilled) But I didn't have a clue how to dress for my new size now that I have the confidence to dress with style. (over sized t-shirts and jeans were my every day wear) Currently my summer wardrobe consists of one pink and one yellow tank top and a pair of black poke a dot shorts. I am literally starting from scratch. Your blog has given me confidence and I'm sure it will save me money since you're teaching me how to buy clothes that can be interchanged for multiple outfits. I've made a note card with your shopping list. It has a picture of the color wheel with my selections circled (I used my pintrest style board to help me. great suggestion) THANK YOU THANK YOU. My note card is going in my purse and will be my guide.

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    1. WOW, I'm so impressed by the hard work and dedication it must have taken to lose 70lbs! Congratulations on improving your health! Thank you for taking the time to share all of this. I'm truly encouraged by your journey and to hear that this blog has built up some of your confidence. That's one of my strongest desires for this blog, so I love hearing how it's helping you! Good luck with the wardrobe building!

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  7. I have just started working again after being home for 2 years. Of course now I have nothing to wear to the office and I need to rebuild my wardrobe without breaking the bank. This is so absolutely perfect! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this. I am on the hunt for a Mustard cardi after seeing yours :)

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    1. That's wonderful, Nina! Check out this page for mustard cardigan options: http://www.puttingmetogether.com/p/where-to-buy-my-closet-staples.html

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  8. Hi Audrey,

    Love your style and the site. I'm a single mom to one boy. I work as an Administrative Asso. in a casual office (academics)setting. Most of the time I'm busy with my son school and sport activities, occasionaly girls night out, and church. I have an electic style but would like to zone in on a more modern classic-romantic look. Hope this makes sense. Here's my style board at http://pinterest.com/alegna777/style-fashion/. Can you offer any advice?

    Many thanks,
    A

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    1. Don't know what Audrey might say, but I see a lot of your favorite pieces as being: shorts w/ feminine details, slouchy sweaters, slim cut pants, collared shirts w/ scarfs, and accessories circa 1950s (more romantic look) & 1960 (more modern look).

      You also seem to like to mix structure with flowy. As in either structured on top and flowy on bottom (or vice versa). The structured part comes off to me as menswear inspired and the flowy comes off as relaxed/bohemian style.

      Just my two cents... ;-)

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  9. I love this series! I actually took everything out of my closet and "shopped" my clothes using the colors I picked and the starter list you gave to see what I had that worked with what I wanted and what I needed to fill gaps. For the first time I feel like my closet is under control. Thanks so much!

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  10. I love this! I have never been able to look "put together" much less mix and match. I'm so excited to shop since finding you on Pinterest a few days ago. (after returning from a shopping trip with things that magically work with what your plan is!) I'm currently living in Europe (in a very fashionable city) and I really want to look like I fit in at least a little bit. Thank you for helping me with that. I have my starter list all ready to go!

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  11. Looking forward to the rest of the series! Hopefully, they'll be out soon...? ;-)

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  12. Thank you so much for the time you put into this blog! It really helped me recently. I have lost weight and had been shopping at thrift stores while I was losing. I am down 3 sizes and was finally ready to shop. So, while researching how to create a wardrobe from scratch I came across your blog. It is by far the most helpful one I found. I LOVE it! And I have started using gochicorgohome.com and love it as well. Still working on photographing my clothes but I'm having fun! THANK YOU!

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  13. I want to send you cookies someday. You seriously rock!

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  14. Love, love, LOVE this series! I have been a lurker on you blog and pinning lots of the "Remixable Wardrobe" series for a little over 1 year now, but this series on a "Wardrobe from Scratch" brought me out of the shadows.

    I recently had a change in my "standing" in life and I now have to dress appropriately day-to-day for it. I have always been a "jeans and t-shirts" girl and now with your tips I am following the steps in this series. I first cleaned out the unused stuff in my closet, and now I am following the steps in this series. Thank you for all the time you put forth! There is nothing as guided, demonstrative, and clearly written on the Internet and I surely appreciate it!

    P.S. - I think you should compile this and the "Remixable" series into a published book. For this detailed, illustrative, and quality of information, I would easily pay $15 to $20 for a book.

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    1. Great to hear from you, Kelly! Thanks for coming out of the shadows to say hello. :D I hope the wardrobe revamp goes well for you!

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  15. I would LOVE to be one of your case studies. I am a curvy girl, but you are amazing! Please consider me. :-) You can a basic look at me and some of my clothing on my blog- http://casseruoladolcedellavita.blogspot.com/
    I covered my outfits everyday in March. I have read all of your information about making a wardrobe from scratch. SO HELPFUL!

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  16. I would love to see how sophies wardrobe all comes together ie see the mix & matched outfits from items purchased. Loving the blog!

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  17. I would love to see how sophies wardrobe all comes together ie see the mix & matched outfits from items purchased. Loving the blog!

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  18. I just stumbled upon your site and, while reading your 'building a remixable wordrobe', found myself thinking 'I wish she had a from scratch guide'.
    ^.^ Imagine how excited I was to scroll to the top and see this link!!

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  19. Hey Audrey! Great blog!!! Do you have any suggestions for those of us that are post-partum with a crappy non-maternity wardrobe? I feel like my maternity clothes were so cute, and my regular ones are blah (read: jeans and a crew-cut tee from Target in every color, haha). The problem is that even though I'm back to my pre-pregnancy weight, I am planning on having more children over the next couple of years and who knows what size/weight I'll be at the end of it all, or even between pregnancies. I desperately want to feel more adult/put-together but don't want to waste/spend too much money on one size since I will be fluctuating over the next few years. Am I hopeless??? Thanks - CP

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    1. This may not fix everything for you but a good starting place might be to get a few jersey cotton dresses--the ones that feel like pajamas. They can be dressed up or down, and either way they are very comfortable and allow for a lot of flexibility in terms of activities but also in terms of body changes. Jersey cotton maxis and tops function similarly. Get dresses or tops with v-necks if you're breastfeeding, and wear a cami underneath if the V is too deep. I wear pieces like this even though I have not had kids. My jersey cotton dresses and tops tend to be v-necks with empire waists. The tops with the empire waist are excellent at hiding any extra stuff in the midsection but because they have some seaming to them (the empire waistline) they look a little more put together than a plain tee. Good luck!

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    1. So glad I found your blog! After putting my style on the back burner for several years, my lack of wardrobe has caught up with me. I'm starting from scratch and this is such a great resource to help! Thanks!

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  21. Hi Audrey,

    Thank you so much for this blog. I worked in Corporate America for many years and have followed my heart and now work for a nonprofit. I love what I do but my old wardrobe doesn't work for my new job not mention that I had a baby during the transition out of corporate america so most of my old clothes don't fit anyway. This blog has been a life saver. Question: Will you do a case study on a plus size (pear shaped) model. I love the stuff you post but I just don't think it would work on all my curves. Or better yet, how could I become your case study?

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  22. Audrey,

    How do you choose your candidates? I am a marketing manager for a food company but I work full time from home. I have a four year old daughter and a one year old son, and unfortunately don't put on a lot of "real clothes" during the week let alone on the weekends. I am definitely in a frumpy rut and need some help! Regardless, love the blog and that you show all the sources for your outfits-- I have a list of things I actually want to buy which is more than I have had in years! Keep up the fabulous work!!

    Colleen

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  23. Hey Audrey!(= I am so glad that I found this blog as I do sometimes have trouble putting things together.I purchased this really cool handmade shirt from a really nice women in New Zealand she called it a Bum Warmer which I thought was cute!!It is a brown rusty color shorter a bit above the knee I thought I would wear this olive cargo jacket(Blazer) because the skirt has some cool hardware on it & I also have a great pair of olive boots.I want to wear it this fall/winter so I thought I would wear a pair of tights or leggings my question to you is what color leggings/tights should I wear & what style & color top should I wear besides your basic cream?I want the outfit to have kind of a cool/funky vibe what would you wear with these items? Thank you so very much for you assistance I look forward to your reply.Have a great day!!!

    Sincerely,,Michelle

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  24. Audrey, You are genius!!!! love your tips so much, Im hooked. Thanks so much for helping me create a style!

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  25. I just found your blog and 4 hours later I have decided that there is hope for me. The way you described yourself at the beginning before the blog started is completely me. Jeans and a tee shirt and I carry around my gray cardigan like a security blanket. After being a mom for the past 6 years and not really having a style aside from clothes so im not naked im finishing school and start student teaching in January! Eeek! I do not have a wardrobe at all let alone one to carry me throught 14 weeks of student teaching:( but im not able to run out and buy alot of stuff so I have been trying to make a good plan so I can have a very versatile closet. Your blog is a life saver, honestly saving my life. THANK YOU!
    Oh and if you wanted to style a 25 year old brand new teacher id be all for it. Love your style.

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  26. I just found your blog and 4 hours later I have decided that there is hope for me. The way you described yourself at the beginning before the blog started is completely me. Jeans and a tee shirt and I carry around my gray cardigan like a security blanket. After being a mom for the past 6 years and not really having a style aside from clothes so im not naked im finishing school and start student teaching in January! Eeek! I do not have a wardrobe at all let alone one to carry me throught 14 weeks of student teaching:( but im not able to run out and buy alot of stuff so I have been trying to make a good plan so I can have a very versatile closet. Your blog is a life saver, honestly saving my life. THANK YOU!
    Oh and if you wanted to style a 25 year old brand new teacher id be all for it. Love your style.

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  27. Rakel BrynjólfsdóttirMonday, January 13, 2014

    Hi,

    Thanx for your blog and especially this series - it has been an inspiration to me. I have recently thrown out a lot af my wardrobe and next week I have a whole day in London to shop (I live in Iceland).

    Your blog has given me so many ideas that I will take with me on my shopping trip. I also joined GCOGH and have already posted what is left of my clothes :)

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  28. Amazing series, I love that you are providing such useful tips along with your personal style, definitely sets you apart from other fashion bloggers.
    Stop by and say hello :-) http://www.Lush-Fab-Glam.com

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  29. I just wanted to thank you. I searched Teacher Wardrobe and stumbled onto your site, and your tips have been SO SO helpful. I have little money to spend and mostly shop at thrift stores so this made me take a new look at what I already have for sure!

    I know this was posted last year, just wanted you to know you're awesome!

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  30. Thank you :) I've been reading this series and the remixing one, found very useful :-) Looking forward to starting on my new remixable wardrobe.

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  31. Hi,

    Could you please add shoes to this guide? I am really struggling with what types of shoes to buy and what colours they have to be to fit it all, it would be very helpfull to see some pointers in the series! Thank you!

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  32. Hi Audrey,

    I've been following your blog for a year now and i really love it.
    I have one question about Audrey's closet. as i live in the Netherlands is it still possible to order something of your closet? :) Looking forward to reading from you.
    Kind regards from Holland

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  33. I would also love to see a post on shoes. What types of shoes would you suggest for a "from scratch" wardrobe?

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  34. Great blog! Most of my clothes were stolen during a burglary, so I really am starting over from scratch! It's a bit of a silver lining when it comes to being able re-defining my style, but can also be overwhelming. This really helps!

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