I admit it, I love the idea of only owning 16 pieces of clothing and yet always having something to wear. The problem is I can never get such a formula to work for me. Some days I need a dress; sometimes I need something formal; sometimes I can live for days in jeans and t-shirts. The minimalist in me does not want a closet filled with clothes I never wear, but at the same time I want variety and clothes that will work for all occasions, even those that only come around once in a while. I am a little bit like Goldilocks; I don’t want too many clothes or too few, I want just the right number.
I am a compulsive list maker and, for me, the easiest way to know exactly what I need is to make a list of what I currently wear. You can create your own list by thinking about what you wear in a normal week. How many times do you wear a day dress, a skirt, a pair of slacks or jeans, or a cocktail dress? Dresses can be a little trickzy. Unlike separates like skirts and slacks, adding a blazer or cardigan does little to change the overall appearance of a dress. Therefore, if you only wear a dress once a week, depending on your comfort zone in being seen in the same outfit, you still need two to four different ones. In that case, mark down the number of dresses you need per month. Keep in mind that when the budget is lean, relying more on separates than dresses can really stretch your wardrobe and boost your creativity.
On the chart below, you will notice there is a section for shorts and capris on the Fall/Winter list. This is for those who live in warm climates or vacation in them during the winter.
It is important to remember that no list or formula is going to be perfect. It is a work in progress, much like our lives, but the main thing is to get started and to develop a game plan that takes your lifestyle and your budget into account. The foundation of designing a wardrobe is built on planing carefully, choosing wisely and enjoying always.
Next time: What You Need for a Classic Wardrobe: Part II
Download What I Need in My Closet to get started.