Nine Ways to Wear Your Clothes Better
Sometimes we struggle to consistently present our best selves to the world. This happens for several reasons. First, let’s deal with the most obvious cause: We’re busy. Between navigating our work schedules, family commitments, and social calendars, we may occasionally walk out the door looking less than our best. Second, many women spend enough time shopping for the right clothes, but they don’t take the time needed to create ensembles that best incorporate those new pieces. Finally, many of us lose track of what all we have hanging in our closets and folded in our drawers. And so, we accumulate old items that should have been donated long ago or keep purchasing the same type of clothing over and over, creating a surplus of certain types of garments and a shortage of others.
The root of each of these problems is time management. If you can devote just a little extra time to wearing your clothes better, you’ll gain new confidence and enhance your style in the process. Plus, you’ll alleviate a lot of unnecessary stress from your day. Follow these tips to tackle the issues that could be keeping you from looking your best.
Embrace the concept of (fashion-based) abundance. Abundance generally involves having more of something than you need. But when your closet is overflowing, and you still have trouble choosing a great outfit, it’s time to reconsider the definition. Clothing-wise, abundance means having the right amount—no more, no less—of the high-quality items that fit you well and make you feel great when you wear them. It also means curating a collection that contains only the pieces that fit your current age and stage in life. Finally, it means devoting the time you need to keep those clothes organized and ready to wear with minimal effort.
Take a careful look at what you own. A packed-out and cluttered closet prevents you from knowing what you have to work with. Never fear, a little cleaning and reorganization will fix this problem. Remove all of your garments and look them over carefully to determine what you love and what looks great, and which pieces go well together. This is a great opportunity to revisit clothing you may have forgotten about, and it’s also a chance to locate items you want to remove. Consider getting rid of items that are redundant, outdated, or worn out. Now, not only is your wardrobe more streamlined, but you likely have room for a few selective new additions. And that’s great news, because now you also know which types of items are needed.
Organize what’s left. Next, return the remaining items to your closet and arrange them in an orderly fashion. Remember, you need to be able to see everything that is hanging up, stacked on shelves, or lining the floor. Otherwise, you’ll struggle to remember what’s inside and risk buying more of the same type of item once again. A good way to combat this is by organizing your clothing by garment and then by color. Hang all your black shirts together, followed by blue shirts, and so on. Do the same with pants and skirts. Soon, you’ll be able to locate any outfit in mere seconds.
Commit to better time management. If you’re like most women, you put the appropriate amount of time into your clothes shopping. You probably also spend plenty of time styling your hair or getting your makeup just right. Sadly, all that effort goes out the window if you rush out of the house wearing the first outfit you grab because you ran out of time. The secret is to schedule extra time to organize your clothing so you’ll never have to rush in the morning.
Either daily, weekly, or monthly, set aside some time to rehang your clothes in the proper place, declutter your dressing area, and troubleshoot any clothing that needs to be pressed, dry cleaned, or repaired. Also, make sure you’re giving yourself enough time each morning to get dressed and handle any unforeseen fashion emergencies.
Depend less on your “uniform.” It’s wise to have a standby “uniform”—say, a crisp tee worn with a black pair of trousers—for those days when you just don’t have time to plan. But if you find yourself throwing on the same basic look every day, it’s time to step outside of your comfort zone and incorporate some new options. This will keep you from falling into a fashion rut.
Put together some new looks… Remember, to get the full value of your clothes, you’ve got to actually wear them all. They won’t do you any good if they stay in your closet forever. But too often, an outfit that looked great in the store is less than perfect once you’re wearing it. That’s why it’s crucial to plan out your ensembles—fully accessorized—before you ever wear them. That way, you can troubleshoot them ahead of time until they are ready to wear. Whatever you do, don’t plan out a new outfit in your mind and expect it to look the way you’ve imaged. Set aside plenty of time to fully develop the looks that will make you shine.
…and snap some photos. By now, you should have created several outfits that you know look great off the hanger. Snap some photos of these ensembles and collect them in an album on your phone. Make sure to include the accessories and shoes in these photos to complete each look.
Keep an eye out for styles you love. Fashion inspiration is all around you, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding styles that resonate with you. Browse fashion magazines for pieces or outfits you would enjoy wearing. Or scroll through Pinterest and Instagram, where there’s no shortage of looks to explore.
Pack away off-season items. Most people can’t fit all seasons of their wardrobe in one space. And it’s no fun to dig through your winter coats, scarves, and gloves to find your sundress and your favorite espadrilles on a hot summer day. That’s why you must store off-season clothes, shoes, and accessories somewhere other than your primary closet. Move those items to a spare closet or an out-of-the-way storage area. This should make it much easier to keep your in-season wardrobe organized and tidy.
Remember that getting dressed to face the day should be a joyful form of self-expression. If you find yourself dreading it, or struggling to put together outfits that look good, it’s time to take action. Giving yourself the time and attention to address your fashion needs is a gift everyone deserves. And it truly pays off. In no time at all, you will look and feel like the very best version of you.