Wardrobe Principles That Works For Me

If you’re following our blog, I’m sure you’ll know that we’ve just launched our first online course: “The A-Z Wardrobe”. The course was specially designed to help women purge, curate and organize their closets so that henceforth, every time when they open their wardrobes to select an outfit, they’ll have full confidence that it’ll be spot on style, and make them look and feel amazing.

When I started working on the course, I thought that I’d lots of experience and training to draw from, since I’ve been in the fashion industry for more than 2 decades, but what I’ve discovered is that one learns even more as one teaches; one receives as one learns to give. There is always new learnings, discoveries, knowledge to be acquired - especially in the fast-paced world of fashion as new trends and designers are budding everywhere all the time.

Back to our course creation story, I learnt a whole lot more about myself and my wardrobe than what I actually set out to teach. So in today’s blog, I thought I’ll share some of those personal insights. Since I was working on a wardrobe course, my wardrobe naturally became my first test specimen. I purged, curated, organized my own wardrobe and in the process, I actually clarified my own wardrobe principles that I’ve never seriously thought through or articulated before. Anyway, here is a short summary of my principles to create an awesome wardrobe:

1. LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT

Only reserve wardrobe space for items that you love 100%. I had some pieces that were “so-so” hanging in there and technically there was nothing “wrong” with them. But every day, I’ll pass over them and select some other outfit. It was never going to be their turn because they didn’t inspire me at all. Eventually, I gave them away and I never even missed their presence. Lesson learnt, next time raise the bar on what deserves a spot in my wardrobe. Don’t comprise - good enough’s and ok’s should not make the cut.

2. DEFINE YOUR STYLE

I love the wide and varied spectrum that fashion affords. I love trying new trends (that’s why I’m in the fashion business!) but collecting too many trends into one wardrobe makes it harder to hone in on developing a strong personal style or perfect a signature look. If you want every single thing in your wardrobe to reflect your personal style, you first need to carve out the exact parameters of your style. So set aside time to expand and explore your visual taste buds, go over to Instagram and Pinterest to check out styles and outfits that resonate with you and create a more defined style concept for yourself.

3. QUALITY OVER QUANTITY

I wonder if its an age thing, but now more and more, I’d rather build a wardrobe with less pieces of high-quality key pieces that I know will last more than one season, than indulge in bargain hunting and impulse shopping for one-season pieces that I know will get thrown out after a couple of wears. If you subscribe to the “LESS IS MORE” adage when it comes to your wardrobe, it’s best if you carefully select each new addition to your wardrobe and pay special attention to the fit, fabric, color and cut of every piece. One perfect pair of jeans is always better than five imperfect ones.

4. AUTHENTICITY

This one is a big deal for me. There is no single perfect wardrobe, that fits your individual style and lifestyle. So stop reading and believing articles in the lines of: “10 things to do to discover your personal style”, or waste your time trying to figure out whether you are the "bohemian" or the "preppy" type. You can be preppy today and boho tomorrow, or you can wear a preppy top with a boho skirt and come across completely legit too! I don’t think we should play so small where our style is concern and pigeonhole ourselves into such tiny little spaces. Create your own unique look and build your wardrobe around it. Forget conventional style typologies like “classic” or “bohemian” and give yourself permission to explore, create and evolve your own unique style.

5. FUNCTION

I always wondered how Cinderella walked or danced in her glass slipper. Must have been heavy, cold and no cushion support! In real life, let’s aim for BOTH - form AND function before you give up precious wardrobe real estate for the new piece. You should be able to walk, run and dance in every outfit.

Your A-Z Wardrobe not only needs to be tailored to your aesthetic preferences but also be fully functional, ie your jeans should fit well, your hoodies should keep you warm, your bags should carry your stuff without dislocating your shoulder, and your shoes should not be made of glass!

6. CHOOSE STYLE OVER FASHION ALWAYS

By all means, get excited about the new fashion trends you see on the runways and select the ones that suit your own style. By the same token, feel free to ignore the rest that don’t strike your fancy, no matter what other people are raving about. Personal style is all about expressing yourself, so have fun with your outfits - experiment and get inspired by new trends, but – NEVER EVER follow trends blindly. Instead, carefully evaluate how well a trend fits your individual style concept and whether it deserves a long-term spot in your wardrobe.

7. INVESTMENTS

Investing time and thought into developing your own style and selecting the perfect garments for you is absolutely worth it. Honestly (and not because I have created a wardrobe course), the time and thought you put into building the perfect wardrobe is far more valuable than an unlimited budget (which in my opinion only zaps creativity). Invest in your wardrobe by putting in the work: actively define your style concept, figure out a versatile wardrobe structure and hunt down the perfect garments for your body shape. The ROI (return on investment) is in your favor!

8. VERSATILITY

When you’re out shopping, select mixable items, pieces that are easy to mix and match, so that you build a strong foundation of key pieces. Your wardrobe should be more than the sum of its parts. Aim for coherence, versatility and a range of “go-with-everything” basic pieces that allow you to express your personal style and create an outfit for every occasion.

9. COMFORT

I am a champion comfort queen so for me, comfort is a non-negotiable. If an item scratches, itches, tugs or rides up - out it goes! Take as much time as necessary to find items that express your style AND feel good, and never compromise on fit or fabric. You should feel comfortable in ALL of your clothes, from your sleepwear to your evening gowns. It can be done.

10. EVOLUTION

Stay inspired and redefine your style often. Your personal style can be defined, stable and coherent but it is never static and will continually evolve, alongside your lifestyle and aesthetic preferences. I recommend that you schedule a style reminder on your mobile to revisit your style intentions and wardrobe at least twice a year, preferably at the beginning of every new season.

I honestly didn’t think I had so much to say about wardrobe principles, but the more I did my research for the course, the more I clarified and consolidated my thoughts about the process of curating a fully functioning and effective wardrobe, I discovered that these were my guiding principles about what to include and what to let go when it came to my personal  “A-Z Wardrobe”.

If you want to find out more about “The A-Z Wardrobe” online course, CLICK HERE to register your interest and we’ll let you know as soon as doors are opened.

Meanwhile, I’d love to hear from you. Leave your comments below. Which ones of these wardrobe principles resonated with you? Which ones will you employ to improve the state of your wardrobe right now? You don’t have to do all at one go, you just have to start. Take things one step and at time, and I’m sure we’ll all be progressing towards more grace, more gladness and definitely, more style!

Cheers,

Elsie