This is the second post in a series about how to tackle your wardrobe if you’re unhappy with your clothes – or just feel like you have nothing to wear.
In Part 1, we talked about giving yourself permission to cull your wardrobe, keep only the clothes you love, and identify a neutral skirt or pants that fits, flatters, complements your personality and suits your lifestyle.
Today’s post shoes how you can use that perfect neutral skirt or pants to “anchor” an outfit and build a wardrobe around it that you like to wear and that suits your lifestyle.
The post ends with examples of an everyday top, a work top and a top for special occasions. (We’ll save workout clothes for another day!)
Because the skirt or pants that you bought (or found in your closet!) is neutral, it “should” coordinate with most – if not all – of the tops you have.
Should is the operative word here, because the next step is for you to slip on that skirt or pants and try it on with every top in your closet and drawers.
As you try on each top you will quickly realize that the bottoms look better with some tops and not so great with others. Your task is to identify the tops that look great with the bottom and separate them from the tops that look just okay – or worse. (If you still love a top that doesn’t pair well with with your new bottoms, you can use it to create another outfit.)
The Tops and Bottoms that Look Good Together Are Your New Outfits.
Take each coordinating pair and ask yourself if it suits your everyday style, your work style or your dressed up style?
If you think you will forget these outfits and how you categorized them, write them down for future reference. For example, short sleeve white v-neck top + black pants = everyday style. (An outfit may fit more than one category.)
When you’ve finished categorizing the outfits you’ve put together, do an audit. How many everyday outfits, work outfits, and dressed up outfits can you tally? Take that number and compare it to how you usually spend each day of the week and how often you socialize.
Don’t forget to take into account how often you do laundry or visit the dry cleaner.
Every Woman Should Have a Minimum Number of “Outfits” to Wear for Her Activities
Within the Time Frame of How Often She Launders or Dry Clean Here Clothes.
I will use myself as an example. Here’s a typical week:
After a trip to the gym and a shower, most days I wear a casual outfit while I work from home and run errands. On days that I leave the house for work or to socialize, my outfits are a bit more dressed up. At least once a week, dinners or evenings out are on my calendar too. With the exception of workout clothing, I launder my clothes about once a week – but I rarely visit the dry cleaner.
Here is my weekly tally:
- 7 everyday outfits
- 2-3 work outfits
- 2 dressed up outfits
After you tally your wardrobe’s weekly needs and compare it to the outfits you’ve put together with your tops and your awesome flattering skirt or pants, take a look at how many outfits you lack. If you’re amused by fancy language, we can call this your “outfit deficit.”
You may have noticed that our new tagline is “love the style that works for you.” Here’s a visual to help you figure out what kind of tops you need for your revitalized wardrobe.
Three Tops That Illustrate Everyday Style, Work Style and Dressed Up Style
Everyday Top (Left): The Long Sleeve Breton in Navy/Ivory (Sale: $30.40 from Boden, Original: $38, available in 15 color combinations) is the ultimate classic everyday top. Tucked in or worn loose, it will look good with everything from your neutral skirt or pants to prints. Lucky women who work in casual offices could also wear this top to work, but for those of you who work in offices with more traditional dress codes, save this top for weeknights and weekends. To see more examples of casual tops that Commandress profiled recently, click here and here.
Work Top (Center): The Renaissance Floral Tie Scarf Blouse ($89.59 from Talbots) epitomizes work style and is perfect for conservative offices. It also works well for entrepreneurs like me who attend business lunches from time to time. I love how this blouse combines professionalism and femininity. Another perquisite for me is that the top is machine washable. To see more examples of work tops that Commandress profiled recently, click here and here.
Dressed Up Top (Right): Kluane Midi Blouse by Panjay & Nidhi ($198 from Anthropologie) is a sophisticated top for any number of dressed up events. The sheer sleeves and the bodice’s embroidery make the top perfect for special occasions. It looks lovely with a straight or A-line skirt. Alternatively, it would dress up pants – or even jeans – if you’re attending a festive casual event.
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Let’s end today’s post with the key thing to keep in mind while you revitalize your wardrobe.
When you’re picking out new tops for yourself, keep in mind they must fit and flatter your figure, complement your personality, suit your lifestyle and coordinate well with at least one skirt or pants in your wardrobe.
Remember the tops you set aside because they didn’t look good with your new bottoms? Take a good long look at them.
Ask yourself if you want to invest in another new skirt or pants for them. If the answer is yes, tally the number of new bottoms you potentially need as well as the tops you need to fill your wardrobe. If you plan to shop in person, wear them or bring them with you to try on with prospective pieces. If you plan to shop online, keep them beside you to glance at as you visit retailers’ sites.
Disclosure – this post contains affiliate links.