What Do You Need?

In Part Four we looked at your existing wardrobe to try and create a small capsule wardrobe of items you like and suit your shape and your style.

The next step from there is to look at the items you need to lay your sticky paws on to be able to build a decent wardrobe.

Identifying What You Need

To start with you need to look at the 3 or 4 outfits (or more if you had more!) that you came up with in Part Four and ask yourself 2 questions

  • What can I replace on this outfit to make a new outfit?
  • What can I add to this outfit to make it better?

It’s often best to think about replacing the most striking element of an outfit, as those are the elements that people will remember. If you wear the same black pencil skirt for a week hardly anyone will notice (unless you spill your dinner down it) if you wear the same bright pink jacket or studded belt for a week then someone is going to twig. You might just think the outfit would look better with different shoes. Or maybe something you still feel is quite plain could be improved by adding a lace collar or scarf.

It’s also worth going back to your lists of “basics” and identifying if there is anything that needs replacing because you don’t feel your current version suits your style.

Research these items online before committing to a purchase so that you know the kinds of styles and shapes that are available.

Write this list down! You will forget!

Getting What You Need?

Ok, lets get the easy one out of the way first. Go shopping. Either online or in the real life shops and charity shops. Don’t forget to browse eBay, if you know what you’re looking for it can still be a great source of bargains.

If you’re short of cash there are still ways of building up your wardrobe.

Throw your own swishing party. Call all your friends and get them to bring all the clothes, shoes and accessories that don’t fit into their wardrobe, are too big, too small, or they just don’t like. Open a couple of bottles of wine and trawl through it all till you find something you do!

If you don’t have a big enough group of friends near you it doesn’t mean you can’t update your wardrobe for free. Check out The Big Swish for an event coming to a city near you or try swapping clothes online through Whats Mine is Yours or The Big Wardrobe.

The key thing at this point, whether you are shopping or swishing, is to remain focused. Think about your list of things you need and the idea you have created of how you want your style. You don’t want to come out of this process with a whole new pile of clothes you never wear and don’t go with anything. Be honest about whether the things you try on suit you and if they don’t, no matter how lovely, leave them where they are.

Now, hopefully, you will end up with a “capsule wardrobe” that suits YOU, not someone elses ideas of what should be in a capsule wardrobe.

The next step, in the 6th and final part, is to look at evolving and updating your style as time goes on.

Photos by shannnnnonlowe.