Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wardrobe ReHaul: Filling in the Gaps (Part 2)

I wrote about how I cleared out my closet of a lot of items of clothing that just didn't fit right in my last post. Here's a good article on tips to update/round-out your wardrobe. Now, it's time to fill in the (gasp!) gaps in my wardrobe.

(My "Bottoms" drawer, including PJs!)

I know in terms of basics, I'm lacking:
  1. Basic, long-sleeved white t-shirt (easily fixable; what I'll probably purchase the next time I'm craving shopping)
  2. White fitted button-down (not as easily fixable because fit is crucial; I may attempt to make this, but I'm not in a hurry, because I don't foresee needing one for a while)
  3. Light-weight coat for spring/fall transition seasons that fits!
  4. On that note, I need a heavier pea-coat/knee-length wool coat, because the one I have has completely tattered lining & the outside is very very pilly. I bought this jacket from J.Crew in 2005 for $325, so I guess it's done its job, but I hoped it would last even longer.
  5. I could maybe use 1-2 more light-weight cardigans (white, blue, and black; I guess that's 3).
I'm still trying to figure out what defines my style, but I know I often throw on some jeans and a nice top as my outfit du jour. During the summer, I wear summer dresses. Since it's not really summer for much longer, I'll worry about all of the summer dresses I got rid of next spring.

After cleaning out my wardrobe, my bottoms drawer is really empty. I have 3 pairs of goal-weight pants (that I may still get rid of later), 3 pairs of wearable pants (the fit is off on all 3 but they fit for now, so I'm making do; I'd like to eventually retire them), and 3 sets of summery skirts. In reality, I have nothing to wear during the fall months while still feeling stylish except leggings and long tunics (layered with sweaters, of course). So I'm thinking I need a few pants and to fix that. I would like to make a few functional winter-appropriate pieces, that go well with the tops I have, but don't have that jeans vibe to them.

Some considerations while I'm thinking of adding to the wardrobe:

(image via

My Style:
So, what defines my style? I guess it's Americana minus the Western-ness? I really need to figure this one out. I love love love retro looks, but I feel so silly wearing them myself. It feels costumey. I have thick lips, so red lipstick always looks like too much of a statement on me. I know I'm a bit girly, but not a vixen? I know I'm slightly modern, but not trendy? I'm not a rocker chick, but I do like a hard edge to a flirty style. I don't like really baggy clothes because I feel like the look swallows my body, but I feel really self-conscious in body-con outfits, too.

I guess the 20's is definitely the time to experiment, so I want to do this more. I'd like to have a style that I can define, and isn't settling for what's readily available. I don't want to be ok with my wardrobe--I want to be delighted with it.

(image via tumblr/pinterest)

Steph had a great series of posts about figuring out a color scheme for your clothes. In my last post, you can see that I do neutrals + jewel tones with the oddball bright color. I love color, so I don't like limiting myself to a small palette. Steph argues that one should stick to small color palette to always look put-together. I see her point, but I think it's possible to have a wide variety of colors that work well together. One just has to be creative with it. Reminder to self: always wearing neutral bottoms is the easy way out of this.

I would like to create some chic pieces that have some color (though neutrals are necessary, too!) to wear with all of the tops I have. I'm thinking skirts in mustard/camel, burgundy, blue, and black, and pants in black, khaki/camel/brown, and red. Ooh! Maybe some winter shorts, too.

(image via projectwedding)

While surfing for articles about building a great wardrobe, I stumbled across this one geared towards men. Still, it's an interesting read. The argument is to own a few, quality pieces that are interchangeable. Color goes hand-in-hand with this idea. Sticking to one color palette can extend the versatility of your wardrobe. If I make/buy something, I need to make sure it goes with several other items in the wardrobe. Usually, this isn't a problem for my tops/bottoms because I have so many of them. I think I need to expand my accessories a bit (statement necklaces, anyone?), and take versatility into account. Though, that's kind of an oxymoron--people often buy accessories as a way to make their wardrobe trendy, not necessarily versatile. However, have you seen some of the prices for statement necklaces?!

Stay-tuned for Part 3: Fall Wardrobe Planning. What are some things you consider when building your wardrobe?


  1. I have no suggestions but I had to post to tell you how glad I am to have found these past two wardrobe posts. Right now my lack of style has reached the absolute most pathetic level in all of my 41-years of existance, which includes some very unortunate outfits in the 70's.

    My main problem: I have bags of clothes that clutter my room, but nothing to wear for work or play. I'm literally wearing the same sad "uniform" every week that is neither stylish or hip and certainly doesn't include high quality pieces. I also struggle to find my style, I like the flowy boho look, but also sleek modern fashions. I also want to incorporate the many shawls, scarves and cardis I plan on knitting. Not to mention I plan on learning how to sew as well.

    What your two posts have helped me realize is I need to take inventory, toss out and that if I want to change my look, it won't happen by haphazardly shopping and creating more quantity that I don't wear. I'll need to formulate a PLAN because hontestly, not really caring about how I dress myself is starting to affect my overall self-confidence and self-esteem. It's also pretty time consuming and frustrating rummaging through clothes only to find an outfit that makes me look matronly or just plain wrong!

    Ok, I've rambled enough. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

    1. Yes! Exactly! I'm so happy for you. I feel like I should change how I dress to reflect how much I (want to) care about myself. I know it will definitely help with my confidence. I needed to get rid of those clothes that I didn't feel like throwing away, but seriously cluttered my focus on what to wear/how to dress. Good luck on culling your wardrobe!

  2. I've loved your wardrobe posts, Joyatee! I waited to post until I was caught up on podcasts, but I'm in a similar place struggling to define my style.

    I'm 24 and generally a jeans and t-shirts kind of person, but since graduating college and entering the "real/grown-up" world I've gradually become more and more dissatisfied with that. It's made a little bit trickier by the fact that I have trouble accessorizing, so I tend to play it safe, which sometimes just looks... boring. Part of the problem is also that I work in a VERY conservative field (insurance/risk assessment), so trying to find clothes that are work-appropriate but can also carry over to my outside-work life can get tricky. I tend to lean towards a classic/preppy style, so it's a little easier to carry work clothes to personal life and vice versa, though.

    Anyway, just wanted to say congratulation on clearing out your wardrobe and culling so many things you just won't wear! It's so hard to do. I just moved and did it then, but it's so much nicer to feel like you're starting with a clean slate, right? I'm looking forward to your future wardrobe posts, they've been a lot of fun!

    1. I hear ya. It is tough trying to find conservative day to evening/weekend pieces. Classic/preppy is definitely the way to go. Thanks for watching & following!