I told you we’d talk about creating more purposeful wardrobes this year, and last month I started it off by writing “Why You Should Craft Your Wardrobe With Purpose & How It Makes Your Life Better.” In it, I talked about how a purposeful wardrobe makes putting outfits together easier, saves you money on dead weight in your wardrobe, and makes you feel better about yourself. If you haven’t read it, catch it HERE!
As we think about the road to creating a more purposeful wardrobe, I want to talk about the frameworks with which we make decisions when shopping. We all have underlying frameworks that inform our decisions. And our purchasing decisions are what creates our wardrobes, for better or for worse. If you make a lot of good decisions, it leads to a purposeful, easy-to-use wardrobe that makes you feel really good. If you make a lot of poor decisions, that leads to a really haphazard wardrobe full of clothes that you don’t wear, don’t go well together, and don’t make you feel your best.
So, today I just want to quickly lay out four major pitfalls that create a haphazard wardrobe. Then of course we’ll talk about what to do instead so that you can create a purposeful, easy-to-use wardrobe! I believe it’s important to identify the frameworks we might be operating from that lead to frustrating closets, and I hope that having a better sense of what frameworks lead to purposeful wardrobes will help.
Here we go!
What Creates a Haphazard Wardrobe?
1. Not having a plan when shopping. Personally, when I don’t have a great plan for what I’m shopping for, I end up buying a lottttt of stuff that I don’t wear. So much goes wrong when I don’t have a plan. I buy things that actually don’t go with anything else in my closet, so I can’t wear it—unless I buy several other pieces to go with it. Or, I end up never wearing the piece because it doesn’t work for my lifestyle. And the list goes on. When you shop with ZERO plans, how can you expect to have any sort of purpose to your wardrobe? A lack of a plan is the opposite of purposeful!
2. Getting taken advantage of by a sale (with no plan). Eeeek! Anyone guilty of this? First, let me say that SALES are not bad. Sales are awesome! They save you money! It’s when we are enticed by sales and have no plan or grid for making good purchasing decisions that sales become bad for us.
Sales are GREAT when you have a plan and you are thinking purposefully and intentionally about your purchases. Sales are terrible when the sale is the driving factor for why you are buying that piece. “Oh, it’s cute and it’s only $7.99, soooo why not?” That kind of thought means the sale is the driving factor. Instead, a statement like, “A piece like this has been on my list for a while, and oh, it’s only $7.99—AMAZING!” means the driving factor was a purposeful reason, but we scored bonus points by getting it on sale.
In one scenario, we take advantage of the sale. In the other scenario, the sale takes advantage of us. Don’t let that happen to you! Take advantage of sales, don’t let sales take advantage of you!
3. Shopping without a set of values. This is a little different than shopping without a plan, and I’ll write a post on this soon. Plans are a little more tactical, like plotting out which kinds of pieces you need and creating a list. Values are a little broader. Values are the things we care about and why we care about them, and they inform our plans. And values will be different for every person.
Like I said, I’ll write about this soon, but as a quick example, some people care about luxury items and some people don’t. So, the way each person makes purchasing decisions will look different, and each will do it according to their values. Whatever your values are, it’s important to identify them so that you can make decisions based on who you are and the things you care about. Otherwise, we might adopt other people’s values unconsciously, thinking that’s what we are supposed to do, when you really don’t need to. You should create your wardrobe based on your own values!
4. Not having regular rhythms to assess or curate your wardrobe. This one is sneaky. I know there was a time that I expected my wardrobe to be “one and done.” Like, if I could just buy the right pieces, then I’d be done forever and not really need to do much else. The truth is that wardrobes take maintenance. A lot of things change over time. Our lifestyles, roles at work, roles at home, and bodies all change, and that causes us to need different clothes. WE change over time. Our tastes change, and that’s not a bad thing. It’s part of life. But all of that means that we need regular rhythms to reassess our wardrobes, weeding out the old and reevaluating what we need for new stages. Otherwise, it becomes an overgrown, weedy garden.
Okay, while there are many more things that contribute to haphazard wardrobes, those are four that I think are really key.
So, what types of frameworks should we have in place instead? The opposite of those, basically! 😜 But, let’s list them anyway to make it crystal clear.
How to Have a Purposeful, Easy-to-Use, Make-You-Feel-Good Wardrobe
1. Operating out of a set of values. Values guide your plans, plans guide your decisions, and your purchasing decisions are how your wardrobe forms. So, having some sense of defined values for what you buy is key to ending up with a wardrobe you’re happy with!
2. Having a framework for making purchasing decisions. Do you have a set of questions that you run through when you’re considering whether or not to buy/keep pieces? If not, you should definitely watch my free class 6 Common Style Mistakes + 3 Keys to Fix Them! It will help you develop a framework that leads to less closet frustration and more EASE and joy when getting dressed!
3. Create a plan or a list of what you need. The more detailed your plan, the better. It’s not enough for your plan to be, “I just need some spring tops.” Spring tops for WHAT? Going out? Casual outfits? What color scheme? What sleeve length? Do you care if these tops need to go with more than just blue jeans? And so on. It’s important to get detailed so that your purchases serve a solid purpose in your wardrobe and help it to function smoothly. If you need help building a well-rounded wardrobe, you can start with one of my Starter Kit Wardrobe Guides. If you’re ready for more than those, move onto the Wardrobe Staples Styler. Or if you want to work on your entire wardrobe with a step-by-step approach, get on the waitlist for Simply Put Together for my most detailed tools and teaching on building your perfectly tailored wardrobe!
4. Plan regular rhythms to assess and curate your wardrobe. Anytime you feel like it’s difficult to get dressed, it’s time to reassess your current style needs and wardrobe holes and plan accordingly. I do this regularly, starting with Starter Kit Wardrobe lists since those lists are super tiny but super versatile. With those, I can easily identify just a few holes and begin refreshing my wardrobe in a small and very manageable way, and with less cost!
Alright, those are few frameworks I would highly encourage you to develop so that you can have a wardrobe that makes your life EASIER!
Which of these do you do (the good or the bad!), and which things do you want to begin doing or do more consistently?
Shop the Clothes
In case you wanted to shop any of the clothes in this post, I linked to what’s available or similar items in the widget below. Click through to shop them.
Does your wardrobe WORK FOR you or FRUSTRATE you?
Ever wish you just knew how to make your outfits work all the time?
Ever look around and wonder how others make style look so easy and effortless?
If so, I’d love to invite you to my FREE masterclass, “6 Common Style Mistakes + 3 Keys to Fix Them,” to help you out!
In it, I’m sharing:
➡️The 6 biggest mistakes people make when it comes to building a wardrobe and improving their style (This will save you so. much. time! )
➡️The 3-part style framework I (and my students) use to create our best wardrobes yet and nail perfectly put-together outfits every time
➡️Why you don’t need to change anything about your body for style to be a snap
➡️How to work with me more closely to love your wardrobe and make style “click”
Knowing these will help you stop focusing on the WRONG things when it comes to style and make REAL progress. 👏🏽
**This is FOR YOU, IF**
🙋🏻♀️You’re tired of feeling frustrated with your closet and you want to know how to create a closet you LOVE.
🙋🏻♀️You want your clothes to make you feel good, not make you feel like crap.
🙋🏻♀️You want to stop guessing when it comes to style and be able to nail put-together outfits all the time.
🙋🏻♀️You’re ready for style to be easy!
Learn more about my free class and sign up HERE!