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Build A Wardrobe Of Clothes You'll Love

   By: Yolanda Keil

Do you feel like you're stuck in a rut of wearing the same thing all of the time? Feel like you have nothing to wear? Here are secrets to building a wardrobe you love. You will need to dedicate a little time, but the rewards are worth the investment.

Imagine, a closet of outfits:

  • That you like

  • You can wear in various combinations

  • Are comfortable
  • Wouldn't you like to never again feel like you have nothing to wear? The first step is to shop at home. Go through your closet to determine what you already have. Try on everything you haven't worn in over a month. Your job is to evaluate:

    Fit – Does it fit well? I'm not talking about just fitting into it. Does it flatter you? There should be no binding, tight-looking pulls on thread or material. Pockets should lie flat.

    Appeal – Do you love how the item looks? More importantly, do you love how it looks on you? Does it flatter your figure and coloring? A beautiful item is only truly appreciated if it looks great on. Otherwise it's a design and fabric waisted. Remember, the goal is to build a wardrobe of things you love, look/feel great in, and can't wait to wear.

    Comfort – Can you move comfortably? Does it itch or caress the skin? I won't wear anything that itches or sheds (shedding is a major pain with contacts or any kind of lipstick).

    Repair/Alterations – You need to decide whether to keep pieces that need repairs/alterations. If yes, make a pile and plans to do it. We all have a tendency to conveniently forget the repair pile. “Rework It” article for alteration ideas coming soon.

    Below are some additional guidelines for filtering out the clothes that are just taking up valuable closet space:

    “When I Lose Weight” Pieces – Forget it. Just let this item go if it's more than one size smaller than your current size. Why is okay to keep things that are a size smaller? We tend to fluctuate by 5-10 pounds, especially in the warmer months. Focus on replacing that piece with something fabulous that you can wear now.

    Hold Time – Now is the time to purge if you've been holding onto something forever. The rule is one year for casual/professional pieces and two years for special occasion items.

    Next, outline what you've kept. You can simply write it on paper or do it electronically (a table in Word or in an Excel spreadsheet). List your basic clothing, grouped by colors in the first column. An example is a list of skirts, dresses and pants grouped by browns, blacks, bold colors and prints.

    The next column would include all of the items you wear with each piece of the basic clothing. Then the third column outlines the pieces you think might work, but haven't yet worn with the basic clothing. You should also include things you'd like to create additional looks.

    An example; I have a pair of chocolate brown cotton twill pants listed in the first column. Additional pieces are white, cream, turquoise, pink and leopard print blouses. I also have sweaters/tops in brown, cream, pink and sky blue, plus blazers in leopard print, brown plaid, tan, turquoise and blue plaid. I'd like an apricot blouse and a butter-soft, brown leather blazer.

    The ultimate goal of developing this clothing capsule is to create a list of looks of your existing clothing, plus determine the pieces you'd like to buy to enhance what you have.

    Make Sure Those Great Buys Are Something You'll Really Wear ... A bargain is no bargain if it's in the back of your closet.

    Yolanda Keil is a certified image consultant and a confessed shopaholic. She produces two free style newsletters; Style Shopper and Voluptuous Femme. Sign up for email updates at:

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