August 2, 2014
Now that you have your current wardrobe arranged and looking the part, the next step is to plan to ensure that you have a versatile wardrobe for winter that will take you into 2015 and beyond.
When your wardrobe is well organised it’s easy to see what you have in abundance. (For me it’s dresses and tops, and detailed jackets in an array of colours and prints.) This will tell you something about your style and what you like wearing. You can also see what gaps there are in your wardrobe. I found it most helpful to start by building on what I already have, and developed a list of essentials for my wardrobe to ensure that I am working towards a versatile winter wardrobe that I can mix and match. Most of the items on my list are hard-wearing, timeless items and can also be worn in the warmer months.
1. Jeans – I have one pair of dark skinny jeans that I wear to death and a pair of boyfriend jeans but they no longer fit. Therefore on the list are slimmer fit boyfriend jeans and another pair of skinny jeans in a lighter wash. I also want to find a pair of flare jeans to capture that ’70s vibe.
2. Skivvies – I can layer them under tops and dresses to get more mileage out of these items. It doesn’t hurt that they are popping up on all the catwalks. They add a modern element.
3. Black Blazer – an easy throw on piece that adds instant polish to outfits.
4. Suede ankle boots – I wear my current pair with everything and as a result they are a little worn out.
5. Belt – I’m looking for a belt for my trench coat as I lost the belt.
6. Loafer shoe – I need another comfortable loafer shoe that I can also wear for work. I have Provensen’s flouro shoes but they don’t work with everything.
7. Beanie – It’s gotta have a pom-pom, no reason really.
8. Handbag – I need an everyday handbag that also works off duty. I’ve had my trusty Boyy Bag but the leopard’s worn off and think he needs an upgrade.
9. White Button up shirt – Not sure about this one as I’ve never been able to find one I like but I’m sure it doesn make it onto the “top 10 pieces to have in your wardrobe” lists for nothing.
10. Denim relaxed tee – I’ve gotten a lot of mileage from one I had from Zara that’s now looking a bit the worse for wear.
11. Stripe top – I love a breton top and have one long-sleeve stripe top that I love. A girl can never have too many stripe tops, right?
Based on this list I think the “five piece French wardrobe” approach is going to be a bit tricky. I will be applying the principles of this and making purchases that maximise the wearability of my current wardrobe. I think this will help me to be more mindful about what I am buying.
Once you’ve got your list go forth and start your search. Be broad in your search. I keep an eye out on the fashion shows for what’s coming for fall / winter, keep in touch with stores and follow their updates on social media, look to fashion blogs and magazines – I still buy Russh for some inspiration, I look online as long as the store has a good returns policy (My Chameleon, Blonde Venus, Maximillia, Net-A-Porter – at sale time) and I visit my fave boutiques and vintage stores as seeing it in person and trying it on is the best way to find things in my opinion. (I love Somebuddy Loves You, Hokey Curator, Dagmar Roussett, Monkhouse Design, The Standard Store, Pet Shop Girls, Belinda and can’t go past Vintage Garage and Chapel Street Bazaar for Vintage finds.) Chain stores, markets and op shops are also great. If you’re open to it you’ll discover great finds in the most unlikely places.
I’ve found some great denim-spiration to help me build on my denim-wardrobe.
Clockwise from left – pic by Vanessa Jackman, Rachel Comey denim marvel top, pic from Caroline’s Mode, Current Elliot Boyfriend Jeans, Frame Denim Le High Flare Jeans, Frame Denim Le Garcon Mid-rise jeans
To get the most out of your shopping experiences and to minimise buyers remorse, I like to apply the concept of cost per wear. If a piece is more expensive but will work hard in my wardrobe, provided I don’t have to get a second job to pay for it, it’s in. If you see something you love that’s not on your list, think about what you might wear it with and make sure you can wear it a few different ways. I’m a big jewellery lover, and love necklaces that are unique but versatile, especially vintage pieces, that add an interesting element to an outfit. Don’t rush decisions and ask stores to hold items for you so you can get distance and think about whether the piece works with your wardrobe and lifestyle.
Having said that it’s important to keep to your budget. You don’t want to end up with excessive credit card debt or miss out on things because you’ve overspent on your wardrobe. Keep abreast of your favourite stores on social media – sometimes they’ll offer discounts for one day or you’ll know when sales start. I’ve learned that it’s worth taking a risk to wait for an item to be reduced. if it’s a one-off or in rare supply it’s probably best to bite the bullet and pay full price.
Finally, think of your wardrobe as a long-term project. Review your purchases and wearability of your wardrobe and repeat in spring, summer or whenever your wardrobe needs a bit of tlc.