How to Change Your Wardrobe from Scratch


If you have a hard time on building a good working wardrobe, you must evaluate your choice of clothes and fashion pieces. Whether you’re stuck in a style rut or getting those “I have nothing to wear” moments more frequently, keep on reading for our guide on changing your wardrobe from scratch.

Fashion Tips on a Budget

  1. Figure out your personal style.

Your clothes should be a reflection of your personal style and individuality, so you’ll be able to express yourself through them. Also, your personal style will guide you to pick the design of clothes and accessories that you need. If you have a romantic fashion personality, investing in skirts and dresses make sense, while a woman with a casual fashion personality will prefer jeans, tee, and even comfy Birkenstocks sandals.

Keep in mind that consistency makes mixing and matching your fashion pieces easier, and more personal. If your fashion choices look overwhelming, take note the style genres you feel attracted to whether it’s feminine, edgy, quirky, trendy, and such and make that your reference guide. If the characteristics of a certain style don’t reflect your personality, cross them off and continue your fashion exploration until you find the signature look you feel comfortable in.

  1. Get some style inspiration.

If you can’t find the style that resonate with you the most, get some inspiration. Though you can find some style inspirations from magazines and runway photos, street style snaps and fashion blogs will give you a more realistic and wearable look that you can incorporate into your own style.

You have to be original, but there’s no harm in copying the styles and looks you love. The key is to identify the characteristic of the style that you like whether it’s a fashion piece or accessory and incorporate it to your looks. If you feel good in it, then count it in your personal style.

Just take note the looks that you like, and break down the components of the look into a formula. You may also pay attention to details—design of the outfit, silhouette of the ensemble, or even the way they work together to create a stylish look.

  1. Pick versatile, simple pieces that can do double-duty.

It’s just easy to be carried away with statement-making pieces, but if you’re changing your wardrobe from scratch, you have to invest in basics first—they are versatile enough to create multiple outfits.

Basics are the foundation of your wardrobe—they are the timeless pieces that don’t fall into the trends of the season, and last forever. The key is to know which of them works for you and stick to them. You don’t have to shop for all the wardrobe staples that states to be classic if they don’t suit your personal style and lifestyle.

To create a good working wardrobe, opt for fashion pieces that do double-duty. For instance, a classic pair of jeans can be paired with your casual tops on the weekend and with dressy blouses for smart-casual events.

In marketing psychology, there’s a concept called as the “paradox of choice” that states the more options you present women, the more frustrated and overwhelmed they become. It simply means you have to keep your wardrobe simple so you’ll be more satisfied and happy.

Remember, a great wardrobe doesn’t have to be huge—you just need to have staples that can get you from season to season and ones that can give you a stylish look.

  1. Go for the best quality you can afford.

It might be easy to fall into the trap of shopping for “fast-fashion pieces” when you’re changing your whole wardrobe from scratch, but they’ll only cost you more in the long run since you have to buy again and again.

Many women have closets stuffed with fast fashion purchases from the past 10 years—and if you’re just building your wardrobe from scratch, aim for quality over quantity. Also, do you know that cheap artificial fabrics can make you look cheap and artificial too?

Fast-fashion items are usually less expensive because of low-quality materials. While they will give you an instant style change, they won’t last long, especially if you buy trendy pieces that are sure to be out of style next season. Natural fabrics last longer, feel better, and look more expensive, so splurging for high-quality staples is more practical since you’ll wear them for a lifetime.

For something to last, it must be made well, so think of well-made pieces constructed of high-quality materials, and you won’t have to replace them more often. Instead of comparing the price tag of a classic staple with a fast-fashion item, think of cost-per-wear instead—it will give you more savings in the long run. Also, commit to buying only the items that you really love, along with the ways you will wear them, and the number of occasions you can wear them.

  1. Take your store-bought clothes to a tailor.

When shopping clothes off the racks, going for the perfect fit is your priority. Sometimes, you can see clothes that look great on a mannequin, but when you fit them, there might be gaping at the waist that wouldn’t look great on you.

When creating a stylish wardrobe, keep in mind that your clothes should flatter your body. There’s no one-size-fits-all, so if you really love the style yet it doesn’t fit your curves well, simply take it to a good tailor. Regardless of the price tag, a piece that is custom fit to your body will always look more expensive, and makes you look more put together and confident.

  1. Consider a color scheme that works for you.

When building your wardrobe from scratch, you have to know which colors will look great when mixed together, as well as the shades that look great on your complexion. Neutrals like black, white, gray, beige, tan, nude and such are versatile enough to go with any of your ensembles—but that doesn’t mean you can’t add some pop of colors to your style.

Contrast makes an outfit more interesting, so think of adding some twist to your typical outfit with contrasting textures, colors, prints, and even styles. The key is to opt for a bold-colored piece or a printed piece that will work with all the items in your wardrobe, making them not only stylish but also functional.

  1. Coordinate your wardrobe to your lifestyle.

When you experienced a major life transition—college to career, corporate career to self-employed, moved from different cities—your clothes and accessories must change too.

The key is to adjust your wardrobe accordingly, making your fashion pieces appropriate for your current lifestyle. If you’re a student, preppy clothes, jeans, tees, sneakers, and backpacks will suit you perfectly. On the contrary, a corporate life demands more streamlined and office-appropriate ensembles. Remember, the fashion pieces you wear says a lot about you, so always dress the part or dress the next role you’d like to play in life.

  1. Think of accessories that can update your basics.

No outfit is complete without accessories, so pick ones that reflect your personal style and lifestyle. Sunglasses, scarves, handbags, shoes, jewelry and such will elevate your basic looks instantly. If you’re considering an investment handbag that can take you anywhere, opt for sturdy leather. Leather gets better with age, so you’ll get the most out of your investment.

Apart from your clothes, do you know that your accessories should reflect the season’s temperature too? You can wear leather handbags all the time, but going for a fur handbag in the winter and suede bag in the fall will make your style more season-inspired. By having the right clothes and accessories in your arsenal, you’ll be prepared for any season and switching bags won’t feel like a big deal.

  1. Mix and match, and figure out what you are missing.

To make sure every piece you have in your wardrobe is versatile enough to go well with all of your existing pieces, mix and match them to create multiple looks. This way, you’ll have an idea on how to style them creatively, and you’ll avoid a mish mash of random pieces that don’t go together at all.

Just stock your closet with classic pieces that can work for multiple occasions, outfits, and seasons, and a few trendy items that will refresh your looks. As a rule of thumb, you can have 90 percent of your wardrobe neutral and classic, and 10 percent unique and trendy pieces.

Once you created a variety of looks from the fashion items that you have, you may now figure out what you are missing and fill the wardrobe gaps. Just have a reference with you whenever you go shopping, so you’ll be a savvy shopper.

  1. Be yourself and let your style standout.

Your personal style is a form of self-expression, and everyone is different so don’t be afraid to dress for your individuality. It doesn’t matter if your style is super girly or a little risky, as long as you know what you’re trying to say. Remember, your clothes should not only represent who you are, but also reflect your goals in life, and bring you joy. Just make your wardrobe change an adventure and learn from each experience.

There’s also nothing wrong with adding some fun to your wardrobe, so be bold on experimenting on the looks that makes you feel great and confident—go monochromatic, add some pops of colors, mix prints, layer your outfits. If you want revamp your personal style, you have to step out of your comfort zone by exploring trends and looks that work for you and incorporating them into your outfits.

By heeding these tips, you’ll be able to get a practical and functional wardrobe with great pieces that will save your day.

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