For years, I had a mismatch of clothes in my closet. I shopped sporadically and picked up an item here and a couple others there, with the end result being a collection of tops I couldn’t wear with any of the bottoms, and a collection of bottoms I couldn’t wear with any of the shoes. Not only was it practically impossible to put together an outfit, I didn’t have the pulled-together look I was after.
A year or two ago, my style changed dramatically. Basically, I grew out of the teen stores like Aeropostale and Charlotte Russe and into a more grownup and sophisticated look. Many of the items in the LC Lauren Conrad collection at Kohls fit what I was looking for, and they were generally within my price range.
I picked a color palette of white, coral pink, sea foam green, and light blue. After buying a few tops, bottoms, and pairs of shoes, my wardrobe now contains a cohesiveness that makes it easy to choose what to wear and to look stylish. I’ve been able to mix in additional colors, and I always feel good in the clothes.
If you feel like your wardrobe is a mess, here are some steps you can take to refocus it.
1. Figure out what your style is. Consider what you enjoy wearing the most, look through magazines and websites, and study types of styles, such as classic, romantic, punk, etc. When I figured out that the style I enjoyed wearing the most was romantic, I realized that I would be happiest wearing soft colors, floral patterns, lace, and bows.
2. Choose a neutral. Common wardrobe neutrals include black and white, but you can be creative and pick any color. The point is for some of your wardrobe staples to be in that color so you can mix and match. I chose white as my neutral, and besides regular blue denim jeans, I bought white pants, a white blazer, and white shoes. I don’t wear all of these together, but they coordinate with most of my colorful tops.
3. Design a color palette. What are your favorite colors to wear? Do they look good with the neutral you chose? Light blues and greens are my favorite colors to wear, and they go well with white.
4. Shop selectively. You don’t have to buy clothes from one designer, but keep your style, neutral, and color palette in mind as you shop. Something might look awesome in the store, but it might not match anything you own or fit the style you like to wear.
5. Branch out. Once you understand your style and colors and have some pieces to start with, it’s easier to see how other colors and styles might blend into your wardrobe. I bought a couple of yellow tops and two light gray sweaters, all of which I can wear with bottoms and shoes that make up the main pieces in my wardrobe.
What’s your style and color palette? How do you focus your style?