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Melanie Haid

How to Go About a Wardrobe Refresh

Getting dressed is something we have to do every day, so as much as we may want to look at fashion as a superficial and egotistical facet of our lives, somehow you have to decide what outfit to put on to match the day’s events. It’s almost as if we have an ever-growing love-hate relationship with clothing; we can’t ignore the shopaholic withdrawals, but getting dressed is the part of our routine we continue to dread. I’m sure we have all had those days where we look intently into our deeply filled closet, clothing piled ceiling-high, and still repeat the phrase “I have nothing to wear.” The goal of today’s article is to help you recognize why you may feel this way and outline the steps to assess this issue to ultimately lead you towards a more hassle-free experience when getting dressed. 

What may be signaling the need for a wardrobe refresh

When entering a new phase of life, like college or perhaps your big breakthrough into the professional world, you may begin to feel like you have completely outgrown your old wardrobe. What felt like the perfect clothing collection to you as little as a year ago may not be cutting it for you and your new stage of life. 

You may have too many impractical pieces that you just don’t gravitate toward taking up space in your closet and holding you back from looking and feeling your best. If this is the case, it may be a sign to embark on your rebuild journey — and I am here to give you the perfect guide on how to go about it. 

Remember to take this process slowly and with ease, as this should be just as fun as it is refreshing. After all, your clothing should not be burdening you, only lifting you up

Identify your daily lifestyle

As out of place as this may seem, this step is extremely important and the very first step in the journey toward your closet overhaul. List out the daily activities that normally occupy your current life. This will be different for everyone, especially depending on your life’s current state. 

For instance, if you are entering college, you may want to dive deeper into loungewear, or if you are beginning your career as a professional newbie, maybe invest in some practical office attire that will match your work environment. 

Of course, daily events vary far and wide, so never narrow down your categories. Instead, you should fixate on the ones that need the most attention. Always curate sections for off-time and fun events outside of the repeated day-to-day happenings. This process will help you narrow down your search engine and jump-start your process of building a lasting wardrobe, free of unwanted excess and built on practicality.

Create a style mood board

You can easily overwhelm yourself with all the images that may be running through your mind when you think of all the clothing you’ve just got to have in your closet. Creating a style mood board will allow you to visually identify what you like at the moment and will illustrate the entire vibe you couldn’t verbally pinpoint on your own. Apps, such as praiseworthy Pinterest, can work as the perfect tool to pour out all of your inspiration. Or, if you’re old school, you can collect print cutouts and create your style mood board that way. Through this process, you should start to notice a pattern of pieces you are repeatedly pinning. These overly pinned clothing items should point you toward the life-changing pieces your closet may have long been begging for. 

 Assess what you already own

To build your wardrobe up, you must first take it all apart. I recommend going through your closet in piles separated into single categories. For instance, go through your long sleeve tops or your trousers one at a time and send off the clothing that you’ve neglected for far too long or those you simply don’t feel compliment your current style. Bid your farewells and allow these pieces to find a new home to be donated to or even sold, which will breathe new life and purpose into them.

Curate a wishlist

Now that you have identified how you want your wardrobe to look and have eliminated what is no longer serving a purpose, you should have a clearer picture of the pieces you are majorly lacking. Maybe there’s an item you always think to reach for but has yet to exist in your closet or those repeated pins on your mood board that somehow you have been living without. These are the pieces that would elevate your styling potential and uncomplicate the process of getting dressed. The goal is to build a wardrobe that compliments your lifestyle while still reflecting your personality.

Let the shopping begin (on a budget, of course)

Unless you have a wallet that extends as deep as your life’s desires, chances are budgeting may be something you want to keep tabs on. Keep in mind that this should be a slow and buildable process — there is no need to shop beyond your means. Consider shopping second-hand, as this is an amazing way to cultivate a closet filled with one-of-a-kind gems at a fraction of the cost. Dedicate your time to thinking and planning before mindlessly spending. It may be useful to break your clothing up into the following groups: tops (long sleeve, short sleeve, t-shirts, tanks, sweatshirts, and sweaters), bottoms (jeans, shorts, trousers, comfy pants or sweats, leggings, skirts), one-pieces (jumpsuits, rompers, dresses, overalls), outerwear (jackets, coats, cardigans, blazers), shoes (sneakers, boots, sandals, heals) and accessories (jewelry, belts, hats, bags, etc.). Working in categories rather than viewing your closet as one massive project, simplifies the process and gives you the headspace to redirect your ideas.

While a wardrobe refresh may sound daunting at first, it’s key to grow and change your closet as you grow and change yourself.

Brooke is a second-year Business Administration major with a minor in Retail. Her passions lie within the realm of fashion, as she hopes to one day pursue a career in the fashion industry. Aside from absorbing excessive amounts of fashion and styling content, Brooke finds her joy in exploring her local area for the best local shops and restaurants, creating her next DIY project, and finding cathartic release through music and writing.
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