How to Build a Wardrobe You’ll Actually Use

September 17, 2012

Have you ever walked into your closet to find that you don’t want to wear anything in it? I have that problem most days, not because a lack of choices but because a lack of pieces I love. I am very excited to share with you my new process for purchasing needed pieces for my wardrobe. I have also included a free printable that will help get you on the right path. When using this process, you’ll be able to hone in on blending needs and wants.

Closet Inventory + Audit

Your first task is to get into your closet and assess the situation. It’s time to look at what you like wearing, gravitate towards in the dark hours of the early morning and what you pass by every time. If you haven’t worn that piece in six months, then…it’s maybe time to send it to Goodwill.

Now that you have a good idea of what you have, go through the checklist below to figure out your shopping list.

click to download printable

Find Your Favorite Store

Now go to the mall (not to necessarily buy anything) but to find your store. Everyone should have a store…a store they rely on to have their favorite pieces (a jean store, a top store) but also clothes that fit them well. My favorite stores are as follows:

  • Limited: Work clothes
  • Target: Classic pieces
  • Loft: Relaxing clothes
  • J.Crew: For drooling

What is your favorite go-to store?

Basics vs. Trend

Now that you have found your store(s), it’s time to get shopping. You’ll want to figure out what trends you want to embody this year. But no matter what trend you will need the basics (outlined in the closet inventory).

  • Plain Cotton Tees (navy, black, grey, white)
  • Comfortable (but elegant) dark wash jeans
  • A scarf (or a bunch)
  • A knock-out, perfect fitting blazer (if you work in an office.)
  • Work dress (for those meetings where you want to hit a “homerun”)

If you have those covered, then you can get some fun pieces that stand out and are trending.


I am not a huge accessories fan since the Nickel Debacle of 2012, but I can imagine that everyone else still loves jewelry…and why shouldn’t I help you out there, just because I can’t buy most of it (snarky, much)?

I am not a shoe girl but I love boots. Come fall, I can’t wait to bust them out. They are both comfortable and fashionable! You don’t have to spend crazy amounts of money either (if you don’t want). Target has some really good options available.

It’s quite obvious that what was carried on the runway will not be carried down the driveway (at least not at my house). While I can’t afford the Jil Sander clutch seen at Milan fashion week, I can get some of these cute do-dads.
Fall Accessories

Mix and Match

You now have a perfect wardrobe, now it’s time to play dress up. Find unique ways to use your new pieces in with the old in a fashionable way.

  • Layer classic pieces with trendy items for a unique twist.
  • Wear solid colors mixed with printed scarves.
  • Incorporate more layers into your clothing. Think button up + sweater or blouse + blazer.

It’s about quality over quantity. Remember, when shopping, if you take your time to find the right pieces for your style and body, and your wardrobe (and you) will be happy!

photo credit: jamelah via photo pin cc

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  • Reply Lynne November 17, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    Did you make the closet checklist? Any chance you know what the blue belted top in the middle top row is? I adore it!

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