Last year was the first year I put together a wardrobe plan to evaluate my closet and guide my clothing-related purchases. My plan was always in the back of my mind whenever I thought about adding new things to my closet, and I really think it helped me keep the impulse purchases to a minimum. Here’s what my plan consisted of last year:
Get rid of itchy/ill-fitting garments / I pared my closet down quite a bit for these reasons, so I count this as a success! I have a few more items that I’m likely getting rid of this year due to fit.
Repair/replace closet staples / I didn’t really need to do this, as most of my staples are still holding up well, but it’s definitely something I’m keeping in mind going forward. I did buy a new pair of black skinny jeans.
Focus on machine-washable materials / I bought more dry-clean-only items than I would have preferred.
Refresh my denim collection / I added five new pairs of jeans last year in three different styles (skinny jeans with a fun curved hem, boyfriend jeans, cropped flare jeans, olive green skinny jeans, and a replacement pair of black skinny jeans).
Figure out my dress style / Well…I bought three new dresses, but only one was in a new style (shift). I love the long-sleeve sheath-like dress I bought, but I just don’t wear dresses that much anymore! I'll probably pare down my dress collection more this year.
Add work-appropriate garments / I specifically wanted to focus on adding more sleeveless tops and tops for layering, cardigans and/or blazers, longer skirts and dresses, and summer-weight pants. Looking back through my 2018 wardrobe additions, I added a couple of tops that can be layered, but only one nicer sleeveless top for work. It’s so hard for me to find sleeveless tops I love. I also added two sweater blazers—my new favorite style of blazer since they’re more casual—and one new cardigan. I want to like cardigans, but I really only like to wear the longer/more casual versions (I’m sensing a theme here…). I did pick up three midi skirts and a couple of wide-leg pants to mix things up at work.
My wardrobe plan this year looks a lot like it did last year with a few modifications.
DON’T FEEL THE NEED TO SHOP EVERY SALE
Do you get anxious when a sale email pops into your inbox? I do. If it’s a really good sale, I usually head over to the site to browse if I don’t already have an item in mind to buy just because the sale happens to be really good. This year, I want to avoid those emails and temptations as much as possible. I don’t need to browse every sale that happens to come my way just because it’s a good deal. This is when a lot of impulse purchases end up happening, and I’d like to continue to minimize those. (So far this year, I’ve actually done a pretty good job at avoiding those emails! Woo! Hope I can keep it up.)
SHOP MORE SECONDHAND
If I do want to add something new to my wardrobe, I plan to look more at secondhand websites and platforms like Poshmark to see what’s available. I tend to only search secondhand sites when I’m looking for a specific garment that sold out or that is past season. There are so many hidden gems and items that are like new, new, and even new with tags available on those platforms! I want to try to minimize shopping “new” as much as I can.
I tend to hold onto my garments that maybe don’t fit quite right but that I love otherwise (but then not wear because of the fit), and I want to think more about tailoring those items so I will wear them. (There are a number of items that have fit issues but that I don’t love to wear regardless, and those I will continue to purge as usual.) I also sometimes order new garments that I would love if, for example, the hem or sleeves were slightly shorter…and I’d like to maybe give those a chance with tailoring. Fit is truly so important, and it would be so nice to have a wardrobe tailored just for me!
SEEK OUT MORE SMALL MAKERS/ETHICAL RETAILERS
I’m starting to get into a place with my financial security where I can stand to spend a little more on new pieces every once in a while. I really want to buy more from small makers and/or ethical retailers. I placed an order for a new bag at the end of December from a small maker, and I cannot wait to receive it! It’s literally being handmade. I love being able to support small businesses in this way. I also really want to check out the boutiques we have here in Boise. I don’t like that I don’t know what’s available right in my backyard. There might even be local small makers that I don’t know about.
FOCUS ON MACHINE-WASHABLE MATERIALS
I pulled this directly from my wardrobe plan from last year! I’m still lazy but also still bought a few too many items last year that are too delicate to be machine washed (or that I’m too scared to try to machine wash, haha). It’s so hard to find nice garments that aren’t silk or that don’t require extra care, like wool or cashmere. I also would like to avoid polyester, acrylic, and nylon if I can. I’m loving that one of my favorite retailers, Amour Vert, is releasing more cotton/cotton-blend garments and even released their own signature modal beechwood fabric. I’ll be keeping my eyes on their new releases this year.
REFINE MY SUMMER WORK STYLE
This is similar to the “add work-appropriate garments” goal I had last year. I feel really solid about my fall/winter wardrobe. Even though I get tired of the same sweaters and jeans by this time of year, I’m not struggling to put together outfits that feel like me and that I generally enjoy wearing. I struggle more with my spring/summer wardrobe, and it’s mostly because of the temperature difference between my office and the outdoors. I’m not sure what this will look like just yet, but I’m thinking I’ll want to focus my purchases on the items I wanted to focus on last year: layering tops, third pieces (cardigans? blazers? others?), midi skirts, lightweight pants. I should probably also pinpoint exactly why I don’t feel as comfortable dressing myself in the summer… Maybe summer clothes just bore me in general?
Madewell flannel Sunday shirt / Everlane cashmere sweater / J.Crew sweater blazer / Amour Vert long-sleeved tie-waist dress / Everlane wide leg crop pants / Madewell olive green skinny jeans (no longer available) / Everlane black skinny jeans / Charlotte Olympia ‘Kitty’ flats / Madewell ankle boots / Kate Spade satchel (no longer available)