Not just the bi-annual wardrobe transitions from summer to winter and back again. What do you do when your wardrobe needs a major overhaul? Where to start?
You first need to define your personal style. Watch the video and discover how to transition your wardrobe to one that works for you, your lifestyle and personal style.
Why Do You Need a Major Wardrobe Transition?
Change in location or climate – moving to a different climate or country can mean a whole new wardrobe
Change in job or dress code (or from college to career) – what’s the standard for where you are working today?
Change in culture – moving to a different culture will mean that there are new “norms” that you may need to adapt your wardrobe to.
Changes in physicality– from weight loss and weight gain, to pregnancy and menopause, all changing the shape of your body. Plus medical issues that impact on what is comfortable and what you want to wear
Change in colouring – whether it’s a change of hair colour from a bottle or one that nature has brought about, this will impact your wardrobe.
Change in lifestyle – Retirement, new mother, full time to part-time work, a hobby that requires specific clothing, … the list goes on, but all these things impact on what you need in your wardrobe
Before You Throw Anything Out or Go Shopping For Anything New
1. Do a Lifestyle Analysis
Take the time to work out what your average week looks like, and then your average month. What kinds of clothes do you need to wear and how much of the time will you be wearing them?
Look at what you like to wear – do you prefer pants or skirts? Look at your favourite outfits and figure out what you wear more of the time than less. If you’re replacing items – even for a different colouring, body shape etc. You need to know what you prefer to wear and then plan to invest in the right items for your new wardrobe.
What kinds of shoes will you wear with your outfits? If you have specific footwear needs, this may impact on the kinds of outfits you put together as well.
Then you can look in your wardrobe and see what you have that still works for this and start to figure out what your gaps are.
How your lifestyle influences your clothing choices – read it here.
2. Create a New Style Recipe
This is the perfect time to relook at your style recipe and update it if necessary. Your style recipe is will give you the ingredients for your new wardrobe. It will stop you going off track and help you create a wardrobe that you love.
If you’re not sure how to create a style recipe I’ve got masses of posts about this essential wardrobe tool here.
Then with your Style Recipe in hand, start a Pinterest board and start collating images of things you love the look of – yes clothes, but also other things – when you have 30 items you will really start to see what your style aesthetic is – which will help keep you on track when purchasing new clothes for your new wardrobe. Look at what each thing you’ve included in your board has in common with others. What are the patterns you’re seeing in what you’ve chosen? How can you add this into your personal style? Can you see your style recipe in your Pinterest board? If not, what is different? Does your style recipe need tweaking?
3. Determine Your Style Values
Your personal values impact on clothing choices. Whether you have a high sensory need to make sure everything is comfortable (or you just won’t wear it) to whether you have religious reasons to wear certain garments, to the ethical impact of your clothing choices and their origin. There are 12 style values (which you can discover in my 7 Steps to Style program) and you will find that when you understand your values then it makes shopping for clothes so much easier. When you have a values conflict, you can feel very uncomfortable mentally or emotionally. So understanding these really helps you to make the best decisions for you.
4. Love it and Loathe it List
Create your love it and loathe it list. Think about your favourite clothes, what do you love about them? List every detail you can about this that makes you love them. Then think about the stuff you don’t wear (or would never wear) and why you just don’t like them. Write down those details. Your personal love it and loathe it list will help you NOT make mistakes when shopping.
5. Hot or Cold
Do you run hot or run cold? If one of these is you (and you’ll know it) this will also impact on all your wardrobe choices. You want to make sure that what you have works for you and makes you feel comfortable at all times! I’m a cold person and this really impacts on my style choices!
6. Colour Palette Changes
If your colours have changed – whether it’s a new hair colour, or you’re embracing your natural “new” colour, it’s a great time for a colour analysis update – and once you know your new best colours, new ideal value, value and colour contrasts and signature colours – then you can start to think about where to start building your new wardrobe.
You’ll get advice like “just start with neutrals” but if you’re colour contrast dominant, this is not the right advice for you! I advise you to start with hair colour as a great ‘base neutral’ and then use your signature colours – eye colour, skin enhancers as the next colours to start looking for. When wearing colours that harmonise with you, you’ll always look even more beautiful!
Start finding your new colours from the top down and make sure what is next to your face and on your upper body is what you buy first in your new palette. Then you can move down the body til you have a harmonious whole outfit. Here are some tips on how to lighten up a dark wardrobe (if you’ve been wearing way too much black and have realised it’s not flattering you anymore).
Remember you can use scarves to put great colours next to your face as you’re rebuilding your wardrobe!
7. Body Shape Changes
If your body shape has changed in some way, it’s time to reassess what works and what doesn’t work for the body you have today (rather than thinking about what you used to have). Learn your new body harmony guidelines (you can do my free body shape quiz here or get my professional opinion in my 7 Steps to Style program here.
Work out your 3-5 most important guidelines to follow (as it’s almost impossible to get everything you want in every garment). Then go through your existing wardrobe and see what works with these guidelines so that you can start figuring out your wardrobe holes.
8. Plan Your New Wardrobe
Now that you have a better understanding of what you may need in your new wardrobe you can make a plan. I always recommend looking at what you have, what is worn out that you love that needs replacing and start looking for those first and then moving on from there.
Work with the current/upcoming season first too. No point in buying for the opposite season when you won’t be able to wear it for ages and you may be struggling with finding anything to wear right now and in the coming months.
You may want to start with a Capsule Wardrobe and then expand from there. If you’re building your wardrobe from scratch it really is a great place to start (but can be totally limiting in the long run if you like more options and variety).
If you’re needing a total wardrobe transition, then starting with defining your style, getting your body and colour fundamentals under your belt will help you make the best purchasing decisions and this is why I’ve put my 7 Steps to Style program together as it helps you to identify the clothing and styles that work for you, that creates harmony with you. SO you can have a cohesive wardrobe that works well together, easily, and so that you feel confident and stylish every day. Join the program now.
9. Now Go Shopping
Only start shopping when you’ve considered all these points! It’s so easy to rush out to the stores and make more mistakes (and the average woman wastes $900 per year on clothes she NEVER wears) rather than taking the time to educate yourself and actually work out what is your best path forwards!
Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, the best wardrobes are built over time. Don’t expect to find everything on your list the first time (or second or third) you go shopping. A slow and steady approach, that is thoughtful and conscious will have you much more satisfied with your style and wardrobe in the long run, than rushing out and buying anything in your new colours just because it’s in your colours, without actually assessing if you also love the fit, the shape, the style, the fabric and whether of not it really fits with your lifestyle and needs!
How I Help Clients Shop Smarter By Making a Simple Purchasing Decision Graphic
7 Reasons Why You Have a Wardrobe Full of Clothes But Nothing To Wear and What You Can Do About It
What World Champion Gymnasts Can Teach You About Becoming More Stylish
These are really great tips for a major wardrobe overhaul. I swear with every 10 pound weight gain followed by a 10 pound weight loss and back again for infinity, my body changes shape even though the number on the scale is the same. Darn menopause! I am always reevaluating what works for me! But then, I tend to hoard everything until it fits properly again. Thanks for linking up.
This is really good advice! I’m often tempted to buy something because I love it even though I’ll have very few opportunities to wear it. I’m trying to think more carefully about that now. Thanks for linking up!
Wonderful and thorough advice! I will featuring this in this week’s Creative Compulsions.