How To Create a Shopping List for Your Closet


To create a more effective wardrobe, you need to think about what you already have in your wardrobe, and what other items will make it work even better. A few well chosen items can create multiple new outfits – so how do you decide what you might need? Here’s how you put together a shopping list for your closet.

First of all, why not get out all your favourite garments. What is it that you like about them? Do they work together or do you need basics that make them work?

When you understand what you like about your favourites, it helps you find new favourites when you shop. So if you like garments that are comfortable, make sure you never buy a piece of clothing that you find uncomfortable. If you like the garment because it makes you look ‘smart’ or ‘creative’ or any other word, look for other clothes that represent these ideals in your mind.

Then, get out all of your ‘it’ll do’ clothes – do they really work for you? Do they fit? Are they still in good condition? If there were in a thrift shop, would you buy them? If the answer is no to any of these questions, why are they still in your wardrobe? Get rid of what doesn’t work.

Start trying on all your clothes, try on combinations that you’ve never thought of before – you may be pleasantly surprised. If you find yourself thinking “if only I had a …” then write down on your shopping list what it is that you need to make the outfit work.

Hang everything in your wardrobe by type (tops, skirts, trousers etc), and colour (like a rainbow) as you may discover you’ve got lots of one colour, but if you just had another, neutral, or colour that went with the dominant colour, then you could suddenly create hundreds more outfits.

Also look at your jewellery and shoes – do they work, or would some new pieces create a different feel or make the outfits more exciting? Don’t forget to add accessories that you might need to your shopping list.

Each time you have the thought as you dress that you’re missing a particular garment (eg. for me it was a jacket I could dress up or down, for work or play, but not a classic suit jacket), then every time I went shopping, this was high on my priority list, and when I found it, I knew it was exactly what I was needing, and has been worn and worn and loved so much as it filled a gaping hole in my closet.

Do you have any tips on working out what you need to shop for?

For example if my wardrobe looked something like this:

Wardrobe Capsule Blue and Red by imogenl


then by the simple addition of


Wardrobe Capsule additions by imogenl


consider how many more outfits you could create.


I'm not sure if it's for you but how would you feel if you learned all about the colours and styles of clothing that suit your individual personality, shape and style? Just imagine what it would be like when you can open your wardrobe and pull together fabulous outfits that make you look and feel amazing every day? If you'd like to stop wasting money on the wrong clothes and accessories plus join an amazing bunch of very special women also on their style journey - then my 7 Steps to Style program is right for you. Find out more here.

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  • I love your brief list of questions. Though I have often used Would I buy this? I think your version suits me, Would I buy this IN A THRIFT STORE?
    Bingo. The perfect way to come home with “it’ll do” clothing, isn’t it.
    The take a chance items. Tossed several things today and some into a donate bag thanks to you.

  • Karen – repost your comment I want to read it!

    Vildy – the Thrift Store question is a great one – we get used to our own grottiness, but other people’s disgusts us – so it gets rid of items that are well past their prime and should be let go!

  • Was in the shops this afternoon and held back because I knew that I had to come back to read this post.

    I realize that I suffer from having my favorite colthes be the ones I wear least and my “it will do clothes” are the ones that I wear the most– makes for a really bad look believe me!

    Now that I am staying at home with the kids and not out in the world I am trying to figure out (and justify) how to dress down my favorites and child proof the beautiful DVF cream cashmere coat that I just saw on sale.


    Thank you so much for the advice.

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