We all have limited willpower. Mine tends to run out quickly in the arena of sweets. Ice cream? Hello, hello. Cheesecake? Be still my fluttering heart. Cookies/brownies/anyothersweetyoucouldname? Bonjour!
Seriously. We can NOT keep these things in our home because I WILL EAT THEM ALL. Not having them readily available means I have to admit I want them to the point of going somewhere and consciously spending money on them. As a result of this little system, I am much healthier.
Using your willpower to build systems that will give you disproportionate results is a fantastic way to turn what you have into something greater.
Working through this series to systematically build a wardrobe that works for your life stage, your budget, and your style will have ripple effects on your energy (when you dress well, you feel better), your wardrobe (thoughtful purchases will help curb impulse buys), and your time (less time spent shopping means more time to invest as you see fit).
If you’re just joining us, I would suggest starting at the beginning of the How to Build A Capsule Wardrobe series. Each post builds on the next, and you’ll get the greatest value and a stronger wardrobe if you go in order. Remember- we’re after disproportionate results!
Now, on to the Master Plan. (It is now appropriate to do your most evil laugh.)
Grab the notes you made during your Evaluation, and let’s create a draft of our list:
1. At the top: qualifiers.
- What are your qualifiers? (These include must-haves like machine washable care, certain fabrics, etc. as well as the no-no’s, like the items you tend to buy multiples of.) I suggest writing these at the top to serve as reminders when you start shopping.
- Write down the colors you want to add.
2. Then, move into specific pieces:
- Make a note of items that you need/want. (Again, refer to your list and/or this post.)
- Add your replacements to the list.
3. Finally, I like to separate by type (and all the OCD organizers said Amen):
- Accessories (Feel free to break this one down into jewelry, shoes, bags, belts, scarves.)
- Tops (tank, tee, blouse, long sleeves)
- Completer Pieces (I made this separate from tops because it was the area I had the greatest gaps in, and I tend to find my clients do, too.)
- Bottoms (shorts, skirts, pants, and I add dresses in here, too)
Voila! The list has been made.
If you’ve been working on building your wardrobe for a while, you may even want to go back through and get really specific. For example, my current list looks like this:
- a floral scarf
- brightly colored belt
- colored cocktail ring in a blue or green hue
- delicate, neutral colored bracelets that don’t clang on hard surfaces while I’m typing
- pointy toe leopard flats (these are a replacement and givee me a different shape than any of my current flats)
- black summer wedges
- a casual tennis-type shoe that I actually like (I’m horrible at buying good casual shoes.)
- black and white polka dot button up shirt
- replacement black and white stripe lightweight sweater
- a white or cream lightweight coco chanel-inspired jacket
- gray or herringbone winter coat with a defined waist
- a wrap or casual jersey knit dress in a print or bold color
This list shows you I’ve done a pretty good job of building a capsule wardrobe of clothing, and at this point, I’m building up my accessories. I’ve tended to shy away from spending money on them in the past because (mental barrier alert!) I didn’t feel like they created as many options as a new top or bottom. I tested that, and found it was completely the opposite once I had my capsule wardrobe base in place. If your base pieces don’t mix and match well, it does you no good to have great accessories.
Now, a crucial step:
I highly suggest coming up with a budget at this point. If you aren’t married, ask a trusted friend to hold you accountable. When you know what to add, it can be tempting to buy and hunt and search for the pieces allatoncesoyoucanjustcompleteyourwardrobeandeverythingwillbegreat. Or so I’ve found. :) Knowing you have to report to someone will keep your finances in check and expose the lie that “completing” your closet will happen with just a few more purchases. Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint.
Once you have a budget in place, go back over your list one final time. Considering how much you want to spend right now, estimate how many of the items you’ll realistically be able to purchase. Mark the items you would like to buy first.
A few things about this:
- You do not have to buy these pieces first. Taking the time to define your priorities will help you make an informed decision in the heat of the shopping moment as to whether or not you want to put a top piece on hold for something further down your list.
- Prepare mentally that it might take you a while to find exactly what you want. Planning for this ahead of time will help you be patient. It’s far better to wait and get the items you really want than continue to buy “ok” pieces that don’t really fit your guidelines. Delay the gratification and I promise it will be sweeter. (And easier on your wallet!)
Before you go shopping:
- Stay tuned Friday for a fantastic guest post about quality & its relation to cost.
- Next Wednesday, we’ll cover shopping tips (both online and in-store) as well as go over a few specific suggestions regarding where to shop.
Now, take a few minutes and tell us below- what are your top 3 pieces and why?