Here is the thing.
Your creative / workspace is not the only area you should concentrate your Get Your Act Together energies on. We’ve got that grey area of troublesome creative flow covered in the Part 1 : Organization. Think wider. Our goal is to cover ALL aspects of our day-to-day life that make us feel unfocused, unreasonably stressed and simply not right. Cover, sort out and simplify. Of course, all of these tips and observations are strictly subjective and represent my personal point of view, but if you’re already here, I assume you’re siding with me at some level.
Today we’re going to meet our best friend / worst enemy, face to face. Get ready, as we’re entering
Get Your Act Together. Part 2 : Wardrobization
That’s right. There is an uncommonly thin ice between being pals with your own wardrobe (and things you own in general) and breaking your once close friendship into pieces. Experiencing coma every other morning in front of your closet while trying to decide what to wear? Things don’t fit right? Or just, don’t feel right? Let’s get to the source of the problem, and fix it.
Here are 5 WARDROBIZATION steps to take in order to get your clothes work for you, and not the opposite.
Our goal : stress-free capsule wardrobe.
1. Sort it out. Be still, my heart, but it’s time to let go. By now you may have a vision of how your ideal wardrobe looks like in terms of color palette and style direction. <!> Let me offer you a collection of my personal style inspiration on Pinterest to help you out. Make your vision as clear as possible and proceed to clearing out your closet (everything must be OUT!). Sort your clothes into three sections : TOSS everything that is off your color scheme, everything that doesn’t fit you anymore, everything that is off your ideal style, KEEP the basics, the signature pieces, the never dying classics, SAVE FOR LATER pieces that you feel hard separating from (think twice).
*Personal note : I know for sure that time for a second chance for bleached coral jeans will never come (so TOSS). I also aim to get back to my best shape one day so I would fit in a few pairs of great denim (so SAVE but off the sight, stress-free you remember?). I am doing this process almost every season and keep on refining my idea of a capsule wardrobe, so my KEEP section is getting into a better style-wise and more color-coordinated shape.
What to do with the TOSS : there is a handful of options for donating clothing in the US. From your neighborhood clothing drop boxes (some donate clothes, some recycle) to clothing donation centers like Goodwill, Salvation Army, local shelters and other local communities (we have a little store called Assistance League of Glendale on our street that sell donated items and benefit local charities, if you happen to live in the same neighborhood). Another option to consider is to trade your old clothes at Crossroads – they are quite picky in what they buy from you and they often update their seasonal guide on what they’re currently looking for. This is a great option to update your wardrobe without a splurge, you can either take cash or store credit (they always have great stuff to score, so store credit is definitely more reasonable if you’re in for a closet refreshment). Crossroads got locations in California, East Coast, PNW, Midwest, see all locations here.
2. Know your strengths. So we’re building a neutral wardrobe here. But there are neutrals and there are neutrals. Don’t underestimate your personal features (skin tone, hair color, eye color) and let it be your strength, not the opposite. Important note : neutral wardrobe in my personal interpretation is not only black / white / beige / gray. I love to add color, but right color. I love to mix palettes, and adapt them into seasons.
*Personal note : My ideal neutral wardrobe has all sorts of earthy tones (terracota, olive green, khaki, mustard, burgundy), denim and indigo shades, but also several shades of neutral-ish colors that complement MY features. I know that blush pink matches my skin tone especially good, and emerald green makes my eyes look like shiny gem stones. On the other hand, I know that some shades of beige make me look a little bit sick. Keep / toss, mix and match.
3. Train your habits. This is a tough one, but we can do it! Raise your hand if you work from home. Based on my experience and some obvious observations, PJs don’t set your mood exactly on it’s highest productivity level. Not only you feel too comfortable you may roll back to bed at any given moment, it doesn’t make you feel professional (which results in too many blank spaces on your to-do list). Basically, working from home doesn’t mean you should neglect basic dress code. You’re your very own boss, so create one that feels right (and comfy).
*Personal note : soft denim + basic tees, relaxed cotton shirt + jersey pants / good looking sweatpants are my go-to daily items for studio work. I may add some simple accessories (a necklace and couple rings). + always a bit of make up essentials. My work day is not ON without a good bowl of coffee and BB cream.
4. Wardrobe networking. Now when you’ve sorted out your wardrobe, you’re able to see the ‘zone of action’. Start exploring by matching different colors together, you’ll shortly discover that for example olive green works same good with denim, grey, beige, black and oh, blush pink too! Now when you see your true capsule wardrobe colors, it’s easier to understand what works best together. Additionally, make a clear list of what you are missing in order to keep your getting dressed process as hustle free as possible. Think of one or two items that would tie together a wide range of potential outfits and purchase that first. Is it a blazer (how about this one?)? Or a pair of neutral flats? Or a stock of simple basics?
*Personal note : that one item that was stressing me out so badly lately was a pair of good fitting jeans, that would go with the majority of my tops, sweaters, shirts. It sounds so simple, but before I actually got this problem fixed I’ve experienced a lot of unnecessary wardrobe pain. No seriously, there’s nothing more painful that jeans that (temporary) don’t fit right. One quick trip to Zara and I am here with my medium rise, perfect vintage denim shade cigarette jeans, ready to hit the errands / meet clients / have drinks with my husband etc etc (now I know I have a quick option of getting done in 5 mins).
5. Best of the best. Play, mix, match, observe. Try out new combinations of old things, old combinations with new things. Have 2-3 winning outfit combos in mind for a chance of event / meeting emergency and stick to them. Loose the stress and go with the proven scenarios.
*Personal note : well, capsule wardrobe proficiency is like any other skill. Like, Photoshop. The more work you do, the more experienced you become. You don’t know how these tools work before you experiment, erase, experiment again till you receive the result you love. Come up with your go-to shortcuts, your go-to tools and use them wisely.
Here’re a few other things that you may want to explore:
- Get Your Act Together. Part 1 : Organization (how to organize your space, your head and your masterplan and start accomplishing your goals)
- series of Vintage Style Tips (to inspire you to shop small and add character to your wardrobe)