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January is the month to start the new year off on the right foot. I’m always most motivated in the first couple of months of the year so it’s important to set the right mood to keep me motivated throughout the year. One of my goals this year is to keep going with my curated wardrobe. Keep items I don’t wear out of it and be even more mindful about what I buy.
Many of you might know the term capsule wardrobe. With this concept you keep only 37 selected items per season in your wardrobe that you can make endless outfits with. It’s a minimalist approach to style that I personally think would not work for me. That’s why I created the term the curated wardrobe. It has the same goal as a capsule wardrobe has — simplifying your wardrobe — but there is no set amount of items you can have in your wardrobe. It’s much more focused on buying items that reflect your personal style and making the right choices for you. There aren’t any items that you need to have in your wardrobe because they’re classics, it’s focused on what fits in with your style. It’s personal branding but in the form of clothes.
If your goal this year is to buy less and be mindful of what you buy than these tips will help you create a curated wardrobe that reflects your personal style. I’ve been doing this for years now and thought it would be nice to give my own take on the process of creating a capsule wardrobe without limitations.
CURATED WARDROBE: SIMPLIFY YOUR WARDROBE
The number one focus of the curated wardrobe is to simplify your wardrobe. There are already enough things going on in life that can be overwhelming — style should not. The curated wardrobe has a simple formula:
Base items + fun items per season = your personal style
Create your personal style by creating a base: the classic staples that you wear day in, day out. For one person this can be a simple white tee, for others graphic tees of their favorite bands. Even within the world of simple white tees there are hundreds of different fits and necklines to choose from. You got to figure out what items need to be in your base.
But you want to keep it fun right? Per season you can add more trendy pieces. Last year I added heart shaped sunglasses to my wardrobe because I thought they were a fun accessory to spice up my summer outfits. Unless it’s an item that you’ll be wearing for more than two seasons, don’t overspend on these more fun accessories — unless you have the disposable income to do so.
INVEST TIME INTO A CURATED WARDROBE BRAINSTORM
Before you even start with de-cluttering your wardrobe and add in new items, I highly suggest to take a Sunday afternoon to brainstorm. Not only to define your personal style but also to set boundaries for yourself in terms of what to buy and how much money you want to spend.
If you don’t know what your personal style is and need help identifying what your base will be, or which colors you want to add, you can use my curated wardrobe printable. Click here to download it for free!
With these sheets you can brainstorm for which occasions you need items. If you spend a lot of time at work you may need a new workdrobe or if you spend a lot of time in the gym, than you want to spend a little more on quality gym wear.
I personally need a mixture between a workdrobe and chic casual wear. I gravitate towards blazers, graphic tees, skinny jeans and boots. Because I keep my looks pretty simple, I like to add a little bit more fun with prints. A blazer can be chic in the office and out of it — it’s a versatile item. I love to combine a blazer with a graphic tee — keeping the look playful. This Anine Bing vintage tee* with eagle print is still high on my wish list. I’ve especially been back on the dark grey skinny jeans like this pair from & Other Stories*. These leopard Saint Laurent boots* are such killer statement boots. The best part — they’re all items that can be casual chic and fit in with my workdrobe.
DE-CLUTTER YOUR WARDROBE
When ever I start streamlining my wardrobe I always start with a wardrobe de-clutter. I go through all my items and sort them into three piles:
Donate • Anything I haven’t worn in the past year goes into this pile. Tip: Have an item that has a stain in it or a tear? You can often donate — per bag — at H&M. For every bag of clothes you donate, you get a discount voucher.
Replace • Everything that needs replacing or altering can go in this pile. Make a list of the items you need to replace and throw it into your donate pile after. Gather all the items that need altering or fixing. Tip: plan a date in your planner when you going to take it to a tailor or cobbler — otherwise it’s just never going to happen.
Boxing • You need two boxes: one for the seasonal items you’re not going to wear in the current season — like shorts when it’s winter — and one for items that you’re not 100% not sure about. Sometimes you’re just not sure if you want to throw something out. We’ve all been there. It has happened to me once or twice that I found something in my clothing box that I added back into my wardrobe. However, if you haven’t thought about an item for over a year or you don’t instantly fall back in love with it when you open the box, throw it in the donate pile. Tip: set a date in your calendar so you can check your clothing box.
CREATE A WISH LIST ONLINE
One of the best ways to keep up to date on what I have on my wish list is by using a secret Pinterest board. And I tell you why this is the best way to keep a wishlist:
• Most retailers have the option of creating wish lists on their website or app but then you end up with several different wish lists in different places. By using your secret Pinterest board you have all the items you want in one place. Especially handy when the sales are going on and you want to make sure you get your hands on the items you’ve been craving after.
• I don’t know if Android users have this function as well but on an iPhone you can pin items from (most) retailer apps and in Safari. It’s quick & easy to do! And you can easily click through the pin to the retailer and click your item home.
• It’s also pretty easy to quickly remove items if they did not turn out right for you.
• You can create subboards within your secret board. I have one with items I already bought, items I will buy when they’re on sale and items that I need to save up for.
• You can create as many boards as you want so I use this to my advantage by creating one every season.
Just like with the brainstorm I would suggest to make a wish list with your favorite items of the season and pin them to your board. I personally check every week what’s new and move things around but I can imagine that not everyone has the time or is willing to do that. I would suggest to take another Sunday afternoon in the second or third week of the new season — that’s mostly when more items go live — to make your wish list and check back in when the sales hit.
To keep your simplified wardrobe in the best shape I would check it per season. Box away the items that you won’t be wearing in the current season and de-clutter what you won’t be wearing anymore. Over time you start to see yourself refining your personal style bit by bit. And after a while you won’t even feel the need anymore to add new items.
It’s also best to limit yourself when it comes to buying seasonal items. Personally I don’t need 5 pairs of shorts because two months of the year are warm enough for shorts. However, investing more in knitted sweaters is a great investment because the other ten months of the year I can easily wear them. Hence why I bought a & Other Stories Alpaca sweater* last week. But I can imagine when you live on the other side of the world, your wardrobe has more shorts than knitwear. In other words, keep in mind which seasons are more relevant to your curated wardrobe situation and reserve more budget for the seasons you will buy the most.
WHAT I'M WEARING & MENTIONED IN THE POST*
What are your wardrobe goals this year?
Buying less and creating a capsule wardrobe?
Or streamlining it to let your personal style shine through?
Photos by Jillian
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