A girl’s best friend are diamonds, shoes, and shopping, right? These things make us feel good, right?
Unfortunately, oftentimes, we don’t shop for what we need, we shop for what feels good in the moment. I know that myself and many of my friends have (or had) closets filled with clothes we don’t wear anymore or never did wear in the first place. In reality, there’s only so many clothes one person can wear reasonably wear.
It’s hard to let go though. Sometimes, our possessions are a source of comfort and identity. However, learning to simplify your wardrobe and shop for only what you need and use will save you peace of mind and money. Not to mention time spent cleaning and organizing your closet as well as saving time on laundry.
What might simplifying your wardrobe look like? Well, one thing that changed for me was I had to stop buying cute formal and cocktail dresses. When I became a mom, the amount of times I needed to wear a dress each year was like once or twice. However, I owned like twenty adorable dresses and kept buying more. There are so many gorgeous ones out there and who can resist when they go on sale?
I had to realize that I didn’t need nearly as many dresses as I had and start to only buy one when I actually needed to wear a dress in the near future. Instead, I focused on buying more clothes that were comfy to wear around the house since that’s where I spend most of my time these days as a work-from-home mom. The formal and business clothes that I used to love just don’t have much of a place in my life right now. It’s leggings for days now.
Another problem I had was buying random cute things without having an outfit or vision in mind for them. I had a bunch of really cute pieces that didn’t really match with anything else I had. So, I sort of had to make a wardrobe palette for myself and started only looking for pieces that worked within that pallet.
So, if you’d like to spend less time cleaning your closet and doing laundry while saving money, here are a few tips to simplify your wardrobe.
How to Simplify Your Wardrobe
1. Know Your Skin Tone
Knowing what looks good on you makes it so much easier to shop. When you wear things that compliment your personal complexion and style, you feel 100 times better.
One quick way to discover your skin tone is by finding a bright blue and a bright red paper. Take turns holding each one up to your face and have friends and family members tell you which paper makes you look the best. You might be shocked to see what a big difference in someone’s complexion these two colors can make.
If the blue paper suits you more, then you’ll want to look into a cool palette. If red suits you more, then you’re on the warmer side. Sometimes, both will suit you almost equally well and you’ll find that you are a true neutral. In some ways, neutrals have it harder because they have a whole array of colors that work well with their skin tone.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you can never wear colors outside of what matches your skin tone, but you also probably don’t want to purchase an entirely red wardrobe if you have cool skin. Also, many primarily warm or cool colors can still have warmer or cooler undertones. For example, as a cool toned person, I look for deeper blood reds when I want to wear red with blue or purple undertones. I avoid bright reds with true red or orange undertones. Red still will never be the best color on me, but with the color undertones I can still rock it every now and then.
Now that you know your skin tone, decide on two or three main colors you’d like to make your base colors. We’ll talk more about what to do with these colors later.
2. Be Real About Your Body
I love the “What Not To Wear” show. It’s not just the fabulous budget the “contestants” get (I mean come on, I would LOVE to replace my wardrobe!), but the great advice they get.
The thing about that show is they don’t just have a bunch of models on the show. They are real people off the street with real bodies. Let’s be real, if you’ve had a baby, you’ve got the “mama pouch” and even if you haven’t had a baby we all have those areas that we aren’t as confident about. Accept your flaws and work with them. Obsessing about what you don’t have or aren’t or trying to squeeze it into a size smaller only makes you more miserable.
Life is too short to feel miserable in our clothes. Learn what clothes actually look great on you and which styles are better suited to someone else. Don’t waste money on trends that just aren’t for you. Stick to the styles that you know make you look like a rockstar.
3. Pick Two or Three Base Colors
Remember those colors from above? Here’s where they come into play.
Pick two or three base colors for your wardrobe that complement your skin tone, and use these as a foundation for your entire wardrobe. If the majority of the items you buy will work with these tones, then you’ll no longer have lots of pieces that clash or incomplete outfits because your entire wardrobe will work together.
Of course, that isn’t to say that you can’t have any other colors. Sprinkle in other fun stuff. Just don’t let the fun stuff over run the foundational side. They should be more of a pop, not their own show.
4. Ease Up on the Shoes and Accessories
I once watched a celebrity reality show where they had an entire extension built on to their house just for their shoes. I was definitely jealous, but I also wondered how many of those shoes she’d ever actually wear. If you’re like most people, having an extra addition built onto your house just for your shoes is out of the question (although it’s on my dream list!). The truth is, you only need a few pair of good quality shoes to go with everything.
Get a few foundational shoes so that you’re covered in any occasion, then save the really fun shoe shopping for when you’ve got a special occasion coming up. Look at the shoes currently taking up space in your closet. I bet that you only wear a fraction of them regularly. Those are the types of shoes you should focus on buying.
So many people buy cute shoes before they have a place or reason to wear them. Yes, those six inch stilettos look amazing, but I’m past my days when I can wear them for more than like half an hour. I still think they’re cute when I pass them in the store and there’s still a part of me that wants to buy them. But I’ve just trained myself to resist because I know I’m not actually going to wear them. But hey, if you’re still able to rock those six inch heels, more power to you.
Maybe shoes aren’t your accessory of poison, maybe it’s sunglasses or bags or jewelry. Whatever it is, you probably don’t need as much of it as you have.
5. Make Your Own “Uniform”
Have you ever noticed that many celebrities have a signature look? Maybe they always wear a similar color pallet or maybe it’s a black turtle neck and jeans or maybe it’s that they always seem to have a leather jacket on them. If having a signature style works for them, why not for us?
Maybe you like to wear button up shirts, and you find one you really like and fits you well. So, buy it in a couple (or a few) different colors. Same with pants or whatever other foundational clothing you like. When I finally found a teeshirt that I actually liked, I bought two of every color. It was so nice knowing exactly which teeshirt to grab when I needed one. Before, I was always trying to remember if this was the white teeshirt I really like or if it was another one.
Some people feel like they need a completely different outfit each day or that people will judge them if they always look similar. But let me tell you the truth, most people don’t care. I bet most of your friends don’t even remember what you were wearing the last time you ran into each other or stopped by their house.
Again, these are your foundational items. The stuff you throw on day-to-day when there’s nothing on the agenda but running errands. You still want to look good, but you don’t necessarily want to waste time planning an outfit or spending money on something no one’s really going to remember anyway.
Plus, you can always dress it up and add some interest with accessories and jewelry.
6. Buy Clothes That You Like
Don’t stress too much about what you think other people like. At the end of the day, you should only be buying clothes that you like and that suit you. Don’t try to go for a particular image or get sucked into trying to look a particular way. Not everyone can pull off the Kardasian’s style, and that’s totally okay.
More often than not, when you shop this way, you will end up with clothes that only work with specific things or for particular occasions or that are dependent on what is fashionable at the time.
If you stick with quality-solid pieces, you can still buy a few trendy pieces to mix things up, and always look fabulous without having to completely trash your wardrobe and start over every few years.
What about you? Could you benefit from simplifying your wardrobe? Or are your shopping habits healthier than mine were already? Share with me in the comments below!