Your closet is something you should enjoy and feel excited about. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for most people. Sure, inevitably, even the best of us will have times when we just stare into the abyss and can’t come up with a good outfit to wear no matter the circumstance.
But that should become rarer and rarer if you learn how to strategically revamp your wardrobe. It might seem difficult at first. The best part, though, is that it’s rather doable on almost any budget. In fact, you’ll get much more bang for your buck if you simply stop impulse buying, particularly of items you ultimately don’t want and won’t wear.
Of course, the biggest issue for many people who fail to think strategically is not knowing where to start. If that sounds like you, have no fear. Follow these three steps to help you affordably revamp even the most disastrous closet.
1. Dump the Clutter
Marie Kondo has taken the world by storm. Her simple philosophy on practicality speaks to so many people because it’s something we all know to be true: Having needless possessions lying around makes us unhappy. It’s hard to say why, but the solution is easy. All you have to do is get rid of things.
Kondo says to dump anything that doesn’t “spark joy” in your life. That might be a little extreme. I’m not sure most people get “joy” from every pair of socks they own. Yet we need enough to get through those times when the laundry piles up. Still, there are probably a lot of things that don’t fit, you don’t like anymore, or you just don’t wear.
A good rule of thumb is to sell, give away or donate anything you haven’t worn in the past year. You may have a great leather jacket or barely used pair of shoes that are actually worth money to someone — just not you. If so, that’s great! Now you’ll have a little bit of cash to invest in the things you actually want.
2. Assess Your Favorite Items
Now that you’ve thinned out the herd, it should be much easier to look at your wardrobe and identify the items you love, the items you like, and the items that you keep around for utilitarian or specific purposes. What is it about your favorite items that really speak to you? Why is this “your style?”
It might not be easy to pinpoint exactly, but if you take a look at all the top pieces, there should be some commonalities. Chances are there are a few classics (jeans and a little black dress), a few showy pieces (that floral jacket or big ol’ hat), and a few things with special significance (the outfit your wore to your sister’s wedding or something a partner bought for your birthday).
Whatever it is, thinking about the “why” will help you determine in the future what to buy and what to leave on the shelf. Typically, individual style is something you sense visually and emotionally, even if you can’t easily describe it in words.
3. Add to Your Collection
Now that you have some extra closet space and have thought more about your style, it’s time to make a few additions. You must do it strategically and work hard to avoid the same issues that in that past left you with a closet full of clothes you didn’t truly care for.
Shop online and at local thrift stores to save money. Look for bargains on classic essentials that you lack. But don’t buy something just because it’s trendy. If it isn’t “you,” just skip it and wait until you see something you really like. After going through this exercise, it should already be obvious that more isn’t better.
In the meantime, spend time wearing what you love. Just doing this will get you in the right frame of mind to think about quality over quantity and make sure everything you buy fits — in terms of size, a specific need and your style.
Revamping Your Closet the Right Way
How do you upgrade your fashion without breaking the bank? It may seem difficult, as many people give up because the items they desire seem so expensive.
That’s the wrong mindset, however. It really just takes a smart overhaul — not a massive investment.
Start by cleaning out your closet and getting rid of unwanted clothes. Then evaluate your style so you know what items you need and actually want to be part of your wardrobe. Finally, look at the right places, especially online, so that you only add the right things — for the right price.
If you act strategically, you can shop affordably — and elevate the apparel in your closet — without sacrificing style.