Creating A Cohesive Wardrobe

How To Create A Cohesive Wardrobe
How To Create A Cohesive Wardrobe

We are trained, by the fashion industry, to build our wardrobes piece by piece; buying clothes separately or in twos and threes, and then trying to make outfits from these pieces. What we find is, often our wardrobe is not consistent. We have various styles competing with each other, mismatched items that are not quite right. We end up feeling uncomfortable and dissatisfied with our choices. We end up believing we have "nothing to wear."

Developing personal style becomes difficult to do when we are working with a pre-existing wardrobe full of individual pieces that we’re not certain they pair together in a cohesive way. We have to work out what we want our style to be before we buy the clothes.

Here is how to create a cohesive wardrobe you love.

Seek Inspiration

Look for outfits you like and start collecting them, whether you save them to a folder on your computer or pin them to a style Pinterest board. If you like it, make a note of it. Try not to get too hung up on whether the outfits have a specific look or style - just pick out styling ideas and keep track of them in a method that works best for you. Note what you specifically like about an outfit, whether it's the entire look or just the shoes or choice of accessories. This is something worth doing regularly and long-term to keep a perpetual source of inspiration and as a reference point when choosing what to buy.

How To Create A Cohesive Wardrobe

Notice The Similarities and Differences

Compare the outfits, notice the similarities and difference. Are there consistencies with the way accessories are used? Do you notice any preference for certain cuts or styles? Is there anything you avoided or specifically disliked? Pinpointing what you love and loathe about fashion is key to developing personal style and building a cohesive wardrobe. It gives you a real sense of what pieces you should be looking for when making purchasing and keeps you within clear boundaries of what works together and what doesn’t.

Decide On A Colour Palette

We often think the way to reinvigorate our wardrobe is to add more or less colour; what we think we need in our wardrobe isn’t always what we should be buying. Pay close attention to any recurring colours from your outfit inspiration. You might find, although you love bright colours, you chose a specific monochrome palette; you may be surprised to find you’re more adventurous with colour than you previously thought. Developing a colour palette is key to building a cohesive wardrobe and it’s worth spending a lot of time deciding on what works for you. Here is a short guide on how and why developing a colour palette for your wardrobe is essential for cohesion.

How To Create A Cohesive Wardrobe

Style It Out

A great way of testing outfit ideas is to try them in various combinations before we make a purchase. If we do this in a shop, we’re more inclined to make snap judgements. Polyvore is a fantastic tool for playing with ideas, piecing together outfits, and getting imaginative with the way we style our clothes. You can pin items from anywhere, any shop. You can collect items you already own and pair them with ones you’re considering buying to see what works and what doesn’t (here's an example.) If you save these outfits, you can refer back to them when creating outfits from your physical wardrobe and is a neat way of keeping track of potential wardrobe choices.

Make It Work

If you were to wear these clothes, would you feel comfortable? Would you feel confident? Discover a comfortable compromise between what your ideal style looks like and what’s achievable. If you have never felt satisfied with wearing certain styles or cuts but felt pressured into buying them, strike them from your shopping list entirely; make a promise to yourself to never buy something that makes you feel uncomfortable again.

Building a cohesive wardrobe isn’t just about making the clothes match, it’s about learning what works for you and your lifestyle. These things change over time and so your wardrobe will too. It’s an ongoing process yet if you’re always making conscious purchases, you’ll never end up with “nothing to wear.”