#4 Planning Your Ideal Wardrobe

If you haven't worn it for more than 2 years, throw it out and start again. Have a good pruning session then really think about how you want to restyle and restock your wardrobe for the future. In all honesty, you do not need to spend a fortune on clothes in order to have a well stocked wardrobe. Women who do spend a lot on clothes usually do so out of habit which in the end means a wardrobe full of clothes that were probably impulse buys rather than a well planned and disciplined shopping spree. The best way to plan your outfits is to start with the basics and then continue grouping your clothes into categories such as the following:

  1. Work (wardrobe basics/essentials).
  2. Day wear (smart/casual/mix 'n' match).
  3. Leisure (sport/exercise/hobbies).
  4. Relaxation (holiday/weekends/short trips).
  5. Evening wear. (glamorous/formal/casual).
  6. Underwear (everyday/special).
  7. Special Occasion (dinner dates/wedding/celebration/special functions).
  8. Shoes, Handbags, Accessories.


By thinking in terms of groups of clothing, it helps you plan your new purchase of clothes in an affordable and organised shopping style. You will make far fewer mistakes because having a planned approach means you won't be tempted to impulse buy. 
You also need to think about your lifestyle and how clothes fit into your every day life. What purpose do you need certain clothes for? How do you need to look for work or going out to a special function?

Do you have a good selection of wardrobe basics, white top, black skirt or trousers and well styled jacket? What if you received an impromptu invitation to an event with only a few hours notice? Would you know instantly what to wear? Would you have the correct underwear, the right sized handbag and complimenting shoes and accessories?

Planning and buying your clothes this way will save you money and help you create a well styled wardrobe perfect for your needs and lifestyle.

Shopping on a limited budget

If funds are tight and you only have a limited budget, you can still dress well simply by planning a little more carefully. As the eye tends to be drawn more towards your face and upper body, spend money on two good black or dark coloured skirts to create your wardrobe basics, then buy a more varied collection of tops or jackets so you can change your look. People look for eye contact so they rarely look down and notice your lower body. They look upwards so plan to spend money on half a dozen mix and match separates for your upper body and a few bright coloured accessories to vary the look. Opt for plain colours or colours that will team up easily with other garments and when you shop, buy clothes and accessories to team up with what you've already got. Remember that black shoes, handbags and belts tend to go with pretty much everything plus they look smart. As soon as you start introducing a colour or pattern, it starts to get more complicated and expensive.

If you feel restricted, don't worry. Instead think about all those bursting wardrobes filled with fashion mistakes that never see the light of day. Then think how much money was wasted. Even on a limited budget, you will probably save more money than most people by planning carefully, buying wisely, wearing everything and still looking fantastic.

How to look slimmer

If you are conscious of your weight and shape, you can instantly take 10 kilos off in your appearance simply by choosing clothes carefully. Colour plays a big part in either receding or exaggerating size. Dark colours will always make you look slimmer so choose trousers, skirts and jackets in black, navy, brown, grey and other darker colours, lifting the look with contrasting paler or brighter colours. To look slimmer, the bulk of your clothes should be darker. Opt for plains or a small self coloured pattern or vertical narrow stripe. Remember that bright colours and light shades will instantly expand your size and shape. Choosing darker colours will help you to appear slimmer.  You can lighten the look with brighter accessories and carefully chosen mix and match lightly patterned items of clothing that don't dominate how you look.

The shape, cut and length of hemlines, especially with skirts, tops and jackets are all important factors when dressing to appear slimmer. In fact, when you know your body shape and you choose wisely, your clothing will transform completely how you look.

Copyright Nina Wornham.