Have you ever found yourself having a mini breakdown about there being absolutely nothing to wear to that party that EVERYONE is going to be at while staring at an overflowing closet? Are you the sort of person who shops for every second occasion and then complains about not being able to save up? It’s okay, we’ve all been there, so here’s a guide to sustainable, budget-friendly, smart shopping that will help you build a more practical and comfortable closet!
- Find your aesthetic.
Fashion is a powerful tool that can boost your confidence if you know how to use it right. This begins with figuring out what styles you feel most comfortable and attractive in, whether it’s tennis skirts and tank tops or baggy jeans and oversized t-shirts. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to restrict yourself to one aesthetic or style. I personally think it’s impossible to stick to one aesthetic; this simply means that you need to find what you actually like when it comes to clothes. A great way to do this is to spend some time on Pinterest and find outfits and styles that feel like you.
- COMMIT TO A COLOUR SCHEME
A colour scheme for your closet is so, so, so important and it’s something that most people tend to ignore. A colour scheme not only helps you save time while shopping, but it opens up so many options for repeating outfits and mixing and matching different pieces of clothing. If you have a colour scheme of let’s say white, beige, green, black and brown, chances are it’s really easy to wear one pair of pants with multiple tops because all the colours complement each other, making it easier to colour-block or build a monochrome outfit. Choosing your colours can be a little intimidating and if I’m being honest, it takes some amount of trial and error. A great starting point would be to find colours that compliment your skin tone. You don’t always have to stick to your scheme, but having some sort of consistency with the colours you purchase makes it easier to wear clothes multiple times in different ways, reducing your consumption while still wearing fresh outfits.
I like to think of accessories as strings that hold your outfit together. Investing in good bags, shoes and jewellery not only helps you blend your outfit together but can change the look of your outfit, allowing you to repeat it while making it look different. A solid coloured top and jeans if worn with pearl jewellery gives a very casual and elegant vibe, but if you switch up the jewellery to golden hoops and chunky necklaces you have a whole different look without actually changing anything about the outfit itself. Like jewellery, bags and belts can step up even the most basic outfits.
- Find what styles you love (and what you don’t).
A major reason why we feel like we have nothing to wear even though our closets (and wallets) disagree is that we don’t really like the way we look in a lot of those clothes. There is a tendency to get overwhelmed while shopping because there seem to be a hundred options for the same one garment. If you want to buy a white top, it’s never just a white top – you need to choose a neckline, a sleeve length, a fit type and whatnot. I choose to deal with this by figuring out what outfits I feel the best in, and what I hate. As someone who’s always been pretty insecure about my shoulders, I tend to stay away from off-shoulder and puffed sleeve tops but I absolutely love the way I look in a V-neck. Buying clothes that you feel good in will make you want to wear them multiple times because you love the way you look in them and you’re less likely to regret something you buy according to this. Try thinking of what your absolute favourite top is and why you love how it looks on you, and shop for clothes that highlight the things about your body that you love.
- don’t. impulse. buy.
We’re all guilty of buying something that we honestly knew we wouldn’t wear more than a couple of times because it was just so cute. Keeping in mind your aesthetic, colour scheme and styles can make it easier to not shop impulsively, but the best way to do this is to sit on it for a period of time. For casual clothes, like a pair of jeans or a cute dress, I wait for a month to see if I still want it and if I really need it and if I do, I buy it. For statement pieces, like a faux leather jacket or thigh-high boots, I sit on them for a little longer as these are usually heavier investments. Bottom line, before you buy a piece of clothing, make sure you’re going to get back the value for your money by wearing it multiple times.
Lastly, don’t forget to have fun with it! Fashion is about expressing yourself and being creative, so while these tips can really help you build a more practical wardrobe, don’t let them restrict you from being your most creative, authentic self!