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wardrobe basics

I love clothes. And yet my fashion is very traditional and classic. Vogue, I like to call it. I like basic pieces that can mix and match a thousand ways. I don’t claim to be an expert in fashion, but I have watched What Not to Wear enough to know the wardrobe basics! Believe Me. 😉

True story:

About two months ago, my friend Anna and I were making a day trip to see some friends in North Carolina – which made for 8 hours in the car! On the way home, we started talking about wardrobe rules – and all the do’s and don’t’s – and everything that people did wrong. By 8 pm, Anna and I were mentally purging our own closets – and we started playing What Not to Wear.

BTW, this is what I always do. If I am in public, I am playing this. Always.

Anyway, I proposed to Anna a simple addition of basic camisoles and cardigans to her wardrobe. She is a professional, and every professional woman needs a slough of cardis and camis. We got so engrossed in this conversation, that we started looking for stores. And before we knew it, we were in Belk (with me holding her baby so she could try a hundred cardigans on!) and she was buying a whole new set of tops before the store closed at 9 pm! It was pretty amazing.

MomTip: Use this hair dryer (that is taking the world by storm) to wash your hair at night, and style it in the morning! I sleep with my hair in a wet braid, and this hair dryer revives my hair and completely style it in under 10 minutes. It's a game changer.

The Plan:

All that to say, I believe we ALL need to play What Not to Wear every season in order to improve our wardrobe. Even if you don’t have a wardrobe budget, a quick purge can do wonders! Make sure to check out all my fashion posts here. This Category will hold it all. Rules. Ideas. Inspiration. Favorites!


Beginning Wardrobe Rules:

So, in order for anyone to even start thinking about their wardrobe, there must be a few rules that I want to get out there. These are the rules that guide my closet.

1. Purge

I go through my closet twice a year (when I change out my seasonal clothes) and get rid of everything I haven’t worn in two years. I keep some items for sentimental reasons, but honestly, if I haven’t worn it in two years – it’s done! A good trick? Hang your hangers facing towards you and switch the hanger every time you wear an item. After a season, get rid of all the hangers still facing towards you!

Oh, and if you are still wearing something, but it looks worn (outdated, stretched out, faded), put it in the “To Be Replaced” pile ASAP. This pile is what you attack first!

MomTip: Stuggle with journaling? I love the One-a-Day Journal to chronicle daily thoughts - without committing to a journal! Basically, every night before you go to bed, write one sentence about the day – what happened, what you were feeling – a memory. And that’s it. You do this every night – and then after a year you repeat the same process for a new year. And – you can look back on last year to see what happened “this time last year”. I am now on my third year – and I can’t tell you how precious knowing these memories has been. Start today – no need to wait!

2. Research

I RARELY buy something on the whim. I keep a CONSTANT list of things I am researching – and when I find the perfect piece, I have facts to justify my purchase!

Just to give you an idea, here are things I am currently researching: Cognac Boots, Dress Blazers, Knit Infinity Scarves, Slippers, Running Shoes, Skinny Cordoroys…(You get the idea!)

3. Splurge or Save?

I have always struggled with what items to splurge on – and which to buy on the cheap. That is, until I read an article by my favorite Jillian Harris. In response to this same question, she said, and I paraphrase:

Splurge on the classics that you will wear forever. Buy fun trendy items on the cheap.

This is opposite of everything I had ever done. I always bought (boring) staples from the cheap racks at Target – and allowed myself to splurge on the crazy pieces. Mind blown!

So, what is your rule for splurging and saving? Decide that one first!

4. Pay for Alterations

In the past four years, I have discovered the JOY of getting things altered! All my pants have been altered in some way – and that little tuck in the back waistband makes the most beautiful pair of jeans – the perfect pair of jeans. If you are a seamstress, this is an easy project. For everyone else, pay the extra $8!

5. Go Slow

It might take me three seasons to buy the one piece I’ve always wanted. Nude heels? It took my two years to finally buy them. When I wanted my designer trenchcoat, it took my a year to find a reasonable one on Ebay. This isn’t a race – just a constant life-long marathon.

Read My Other Wardrobe Posts Here

My Capsule Wardrobe

5 Tips to Never Iron Again

The Secret to make your heels comfortable all day long

My favorite basics from Forever 21

The Perfect White Blouse

Get Your Man Some Nice Jeans

How to shop sales and never pay full price

Denim for Women 101

5 Rules for the Perfect Wardrobe

Just Call me Audrey | Must-Have Items for your Wardrobe

The Classic Pencil Skirt

The Perfect Nude Heel

That Sexy White One Piece