I have had one too many attempts at curating my wardrobe. There was once in 2018 when we finally moved my daughter’s clothes to her own bedroom. The second attempt was in 2019 during one of my nesting phases. I had another in 2020 when I cleared our attic of five luggage pieces full of pre-pregnancy clothes. The last one was my recent summer closet purge that left me with more or less just 150 pieces of clothing, pajamas and house clothes not included. You may say that is still a lot, but if you ask my husband, that is just a teeny fraction of all the clothes I kept over the years, some of which didn’t even get to see the light of day for five to six months at a time.
So what then pushed me to finally do the ultimate closet purge and slowly embrace a well-curated wardrobe? A shift in perspective. After months of being cooped up at home, with no social events to attend, and nowhere else to go except the supermarket and a quick drive to the mountains, I found myself wanting to let go of all the clothes that I didn’t get to wear in the past year or so (this is me subtly saying that most of my clothes didn’t fit me anymore after baby number three). But it wasn’t only that, it was also the thought of my clothes “squatting” in two different bedrooms in our house, and some being kept in luggage in the attic that really drove me up the wall. It was definitely time for a wardrobe cleanse.
Truth be told, my wardrobe now—although rid of all that doesn’t spark joy—is still not a well-curated one. It is far from it actually. But I have come to slowly embrace minimalism, with sustainability playing an important role in how I shop for myself and for my family. So with that, consider this as a guide that I made for myself, one that I am also sharing with all of you.
A well-curated wardrobe consists of versatile clothing that transcends time and trends.
It focuses on core pieces that you can mix and match, and wear time and time again. More importantly, a well-curated wardrobe reflects your personal style, like a personal branding that is every bit of you than it is of the brand you’re wearing or the style icon that you look up to.
Let It Go
The first step to achieving a wardrobe that you’re most happy about is to declutter. Let go of anything that you haven’t worn in the past six months or so. If you haven’t worn it in that given time frame, chances are you’re probably never going to.
Examine Your Personal Style
From your preferred jean cut to your favorite pant silhouette, the colorways that look good on you, the type of tops that flatter your body type, and the kind of neckline that compliments your shape— and then build your wardrobe from there.
Create a Shopping Plan
When shopping, make a mental picture of the pieces that you have in your closet. Being a strategic shopper will help you cut down on shopping costs and time significantly as you already know what items are missing in your closet. In the same way, you will also avoid buying more of that item that you already have two of in your closet.
Know Your Go-to Brands and Stick to Them
I used to have a difficult time finding those perfectly fitting mom jeans when shopping for one; all thanks to my wide hips that have become even wider after childbirth. Either it’s a perfect fit on the hips but loose at the waist, or it’s a perfect fit on the waist but tight at the crotch; it was always a struggle really and I’d spend a considerable amount of time hopping from one shop to another. But when I found a brand that carried mom jeans that fit like a glove, I didn’t bother looking anywhere else and it sure did cut my shopping time in half. It also saved me from buying an item in the hopes that once professionally altered, it would already fit me just right. Sometimes, that is just not the case so don’t bank on it.
Prioritize Important Pieces
Invest in forever pieces that you’re sure will last far longer than any of those hot-selling on-trend pieces that you won’t even get to wear after six months. Keep in mind to always choose quality over quantity, personal style over random bouts of impulse buying because it looks good on the style hero you’re following. What worked for her may not work for you and this will take us back to item number three: knowing your personal style and understanding your body type.
Keep It Real
Be authentic and curate your wardrobe according to your liking. Sure, it helps to have a style icon or two but at the end of the day, your mirror should only reflect your image and not of somebody else’s. Let your wardrobe be an extension of yourself, one that fits your lifestyle, and one that lets you feel and look like you.