Guide to Building a Wardrobe that Works for You

Happy October everyone! This month often officially marks the start of the fall weather and the closet swaps from the summer style to cozy fall finds. I’m kicking off the month featuring this post from guest writer, Jassica Mendez on how to curate a wardrobe that works for you. Hope you all enjoy it and find some helpful tips for your seasonal closet refresh.

Ever had that “I’ve got nothing to wear” moment? Chances are that you know that feeling all too well. News flash! You are not alone. Hardly anything can put a damper on one’s mornings like not being able to piece together an appropriate outfit. What a joke, right? Your closet is chock-full, and you still somehow end up with a run-of-the-mill look morning after morning. How can that be? The possibility is – your shopping habits and instincts may just be the thing that’s holding you back from wardrobe bliss. If you think this might be the case, check out this guide to building a wardrobe that works for you.

Girl looking through her closet.
How come your arms are always heavy with shopping bags, yet you can never piece together an appropriate outfit
Photo via

Dress for your body shape

Only a few things are better than finding a piece that perfectly flatters your figure. However, if you aren’t able to pinpoint why something looks good on you, finding new favorites can get a bit tricky. Then we – well, most of us, at least – end up chalking it up to not being skinny, the clothes being outside of our comfort zone, or some other excuse that’s “easy”. In actuality, though, it all boils down to learning how to work with your body shape rather than against it. Once you know how to dress for your body shape, building a wardrobe that works for you will become a breeze.

Dress the part

Your wardrobe could be jam-packed with fabulously stylish pieces, but if you still cannot shake off that I-have-nothing-to-wear feeling, then something must be off. One of the prime reasons you feel this way is that your wardrobe simply doesn’t match your day-to-day life. Yep. Time to get real, peeps! Let us pause for a second and peruse our calendars. 

  • How do you spend your days? 
  • What activities do you engage in? 
  • Where do you work / Is there a strict dress code? 
  • What do you do on the weekends? 
  • What do you do in your spare time? 
  • Do you travel a lot?
  • How active are you? 
  • How often do you attend events / special occasions?

Yet another detail you will need to factor in is where you live. Living in a hot country means that you’ll have a pretty sweaty time with a wardrobe full of knitwear.

The bottom line is that planning out your activities will help you visualize what kinds of outfits and how many you’ll need for each activity. This way, you’ll not only have a perfect thing to wear for each occasion, but you will also look amazing every time. And that’s what we call a functional wardrobe!

Dress for your personality

The key to looking great? Well, it’s not following all the latest fashion trends – that’s for sure. It’s figuring out what’s your personal style – and then staying true to it. 

Our outfits are our self-expression! An outfit can say a lot about a person – it speaks volumes about one’s character, habits, system of beliefs and values, likes and dislikes. But, most importantly, it can boost one’s confidence! How you feel in your clothes is essential. Why? Well, it’s pretty fair to say that nothing can make or break an outfit quite as easily as this feeling. 

Do the clothes you normally wear make you feel confident? If not, then it’s time for some changes.
Photo via

So, have a long – and honest – look at your current wardrobe. Do the clothes in there accurately express your personality? Do they make you feel powerful, independent, confident, and comfortable? Do they give you joy? If not, what kind of clothes would? Once you fill your closet with pieces that make you feel this way, you’ll start to look forward to putting them on. You will look in the mirror and smile. 

Get back to the basics

Party tops, platform sandals, and whimsical printed tees are perfectly fitting for a “revenge” shopping spree. After all, fashion is there to have fun with it, among other things. But solid wardrobe essentials genuinely are forever! Think blue jeans, a crisp white tee, good outerwear, sneakers. These are the building blocks for whatever personal style frontier you may be exploring and the glue that pulls an outfit together. So, in that sense, investing in these key pieces is probably one of the best things that you can do for your style!

No need to stop there, however. White T-shirts and jeans may be some obvious places to start, but the thing is – each person’s body, lifestyle, and personal style are different. Therefore, what is considered by essentials will significantly differ from one person to the next. You’ll just need to decide on the essentials for your unique wardrobe. The best tip for buying essentials? Purchase them in timeless neutrals.

Neutral powers and signatures

The key to building a functional wardrobe – one that makes your day-to-day dressing painless – is choosing and sticking with a few well-chosen colors: two to three neutrals and two to three signature colors. When it comes to neutrals, they not only add polish and sophistication to your closet, but they also form the basis for putting together interchangeable outfits. You can combine neutrals with each other, or they can serve as a backdrop for your signature colors. Signature colors are both the ones that look beautiful on you and the ones that you love wearing.

A woman choosing what to wear
Just like closet essentials, clothing pieces in neutral colors are one of the must-haves.
Photo via

Dress well, but within your budget 

Creating a wardrobe that works for you does not have to burn a hole in your pocket. You can easily catch the attention of everyone in the room even without that custom-fitted dress or designer suit. Truth be told, sometimes, the best clothing does not cost a fortune – that is, if you know where to look and what to look for. And, sure, you can head out and look for alternatives for the boutique fashion stores and the high prices, but, in actuality, it all starts with shopping your closet. Perhaps everything that you need is already in there.

Start by getting rid of everything you never wear, items that no longer fit, or trendy pieces you only thought were a good idea. Don’t throw them away, though. Instead, make sure to donate unwanted clothing to your friends, chosen charities, or thrift stores. Until you decide what precisely you want to do with these clothes, you can store them away in your basement, attic, or even a storage unit – if you’re rebuilding your wardrobe from scratch, it might get a bit crowded with all those boxes all around the place. Moreover, a storage unit will keep your clothing completely safe and protected from damage that might otherwise occur in areas such as the attic or basement.

The final step in your wardrobe journey

Once excess items are out of the way, proceed by taking stock of what’s left and looking for ways to reinvent outfits you already own. And, when the time comes to hit the department stores, make sure to invest in high-quality basics and essentials, and wait to buy trendy items once they go on sale. This is the key to slowly building a wardrobe that works for you and one that endures.

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