Thursday, February 27, 2014

Building a Wardrobe that Works

At one point after having four children, I had so many clothes that they couldn't fit in my half of the closet so they overflowed into the babies room closet.  Ironically, even with all of the clothes I owned there were several items that I wore just because I owned them, not because I liked them.  I had several random styles of shoes and several things in my closet they were a little small or big, but I was sure that I would need them in the future.  With the abundance of clothes I felt like I had nothing to wear and nothing that I really liked to wear!  

I decided to build a wardrobe that works.  In the book, "It's All Too Much,"  oranizational expert Peter Walsh says,

"We wear 20 percent of our clothes 80 percent of the time.  Shocking but true!  Many of the clothes in your closets are either never worn or worn so seldom that you would barely notice if they disappeared.  In my experience, there is no such thing as a closet without some clothing that was bought on an impulse, hardly worn (if at all!), and which now has a fine coating of dust.  True?  If you recognize yourself here, then you really don't need me to tell you what needs to be done."  

I wanted clothes that cordinate and acessories that really make the oufit look great.  I didn't want to keep wearing plain colored shirts and jeans; because I didnt have thousands of dollars to redo my wardrobe it has been a process over a few years.   I have determined a few keys that make my wardrobe work for me: colors I like, styles that I prefer, key pieces that I need for a great foundation.  

The first step that I took to build a wardrobe that works was to determine what colors I liked to wear.  I looked through my closet and realized my favorite things to wear were bright bold colors (or hues: see below).  Even though I thought my pastel pink shirt was beautiful, when I wore it I felt washed out and looked tired.  I also realized that I prefer to wear black and white as my neutral colors.  I also realized I didn't really like to wear cream colored shirts.  On the other hand, my oldest daughter feels like the colors that I like to wear are too bold for her.  She builds her wardrobe around the soft colors (tones: see below).  She looks great in cream and grey as well as other neutrals.  

Slowly I started to weed out clothes that I didn't enjoy wearing and I started to purchase clothes in colors that I felt happy in.

I like this color chart because it shows that if we build our wardrobe from either the Tint, Tone, Shade, or Hue we are able to have clothes that will mix and match together.  I think it is also important to determine what neutral colors to build our wardrobe around.  

There are so many styles of clothes.  I started to pay attention to what I prefer to wear.  I love classic tailored pieces that  are more structured.  On the other hand, my daughter prefers soft flowy pieces with scarves and soft details.  It has been fun to understand what we prefer.  As we see new trends it is easier to understand if it is a trend we would like to embrace or if it is something we can do without.  

I have learned a lot about different styles and colors from Dressing Your Truth.  She has a fabulous system.  The Cartigan Empire also breaks down different styles that help determine what style of clothes you prefer (see lower left side bar on this site).  

Building a Great Foundation:

Buiding a great foundation for your wardrobe.  

1.  Start with neutral shirts to layer with:  

My favorite neutral colors are black and white.

Select two basic colored shirts to layer with.  Mine are raspberry and navy.

If you have a great outfit with a dingy white shirt underneath it really ruins the look.  Black can easily fad and look old and worn.  I try to make sure my black and white shirts look nice so that all the outfits that I pair them with look their best.  

The colored shirts are perfect for layering with a cardigan or sweater.  

(my layering shirts are from Old Navy and Downeast)

2. Pants (5-6 pairs)  I believe having a nice pairs of pants is an essential part of any wardrobe.  I don't have a lot of pants, but I have tried to select a variety that works well.  I have some skinny jeans and some bootcut jeans to add variety.  Having pants that fit makes a huge difference in how we feel durning the day.  I don't store pants that don't fit.  I just have what works now, I enjoy these pants and wear them out!  

Workout clothes

3.  Create Outfits
By purchasing clothes in similar color tones, similar style, and having great basics, I am able to have a wardrobe that will mix and match well.  The outfit possibilities are endless.  I decided that I prefer to have about 21 outfits they all come from the same 6 pairs of pants.

I print a picture or these outfits and keep it on my closet shelf so that I can quickly get dressed each morning.  

4. Buy Items that Coordinate

I buy items that will cordinate with several different pieces of clothing.  I got this royal blue pencil skirt (picture below) for my birthday.  It is a great addition to my wardrobe because so many of the shirts that I already own will easily coordinate with it.

If you are looking to buy a new skirt and it will require you to buy new shoes, a new necklace, and a new shirt to go with it, it probably isn't right for your wardrobe!   Look for something that works well and offers a variety of possibilities.

Our appearance has a tremendous effect on how we feel and how productive we are.  

My daughter's softer style

My daughter and I have enjoyed organizing our wardrobes together.

The result of wardrobe organization is:

1.  Our closets look amazing and organized!
2.  Everything in our closets fits and works for us! 
3.  It is so much more fun to get ready when you know of several great outfits that work!
4.  You feel better and work better when you are comfortable in your clothes and with who you are!


Krista said...

I know you have no idea who I am but I found your blog through power of moms I think. I love your simple clean style and have really enjoyed seeing how you simply organize things. My question is are you doing the "mom machine" (or even just parts) from POM? If so how do you organize it all and not have lots of stuff out and visible and up enough that little ones don't get into it. Basically I'm just curious as to how a busy mom like yourself keeps papers and bills and what not organized and clean? Totally understand you are super busy, just wanted to get your ideas! Thanks.

Tamara said...

Hi, I discovered your blog a few monts ago. I really enjoy it. I was so excited to see this post. When I first started reading it, I thought, "I wonder if she's heard of dressing your truth?", and you had. It's so easy to see you are a type 4. I am a type 2, like your daughter, I assume. Anyway, love how organized you are, taking pics of your outfits, love it. I need to do this. You are in inspiration.
-Tamara from Canada

Tasha said...

Krista, I really like the Power of Moms, "Mind Organization for Moms" program. I have modified it slightly to work for me. Hopefully soon I will do a post about how I have made it work without having cubbies out and visible.

Tasha said...

I am a fan of Dressing your truth!

Emma said...

Thanks for posting this Tasha. I love that you lay out your outfits and photograph them then use the pic as a reference when dressing. Genius! Thanks for the book suggestions.
Btw I just made your whole wheat bread recipe and it is fabulous. I made one loaf with cinnamon, sugar & raisins. So yummy!
Thanks for sharing ways that help your life be more organized and beautiful.

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