I received a few requests after my wardrobe editing posts to write something more specific about why I purchased certain things, how I settled on a color palette, and how I coordinated items. I hope this answers those questions sufficiently and isn't just a rehash of previous posts, but I have to say, it was sort of an accident. I didn't do a spreadsheet or employ precise methodology, I thought about what I already liked wearing and what I wanted to wear.
For spring, take colors you feel good in and wear them together, whether they theoretically match or not. Try treating favorite colors or patterns as neutrals- for instance, you can mix red, green, purple, and leopard with anything- then add a few accents and statement colors for variety. Once you figure out what colors you like wearing, you can organize a functional capsule wardrobe. Note: This is not advocating capsule wardrobes necessarily. I myself don't have a capsule wardrobe, I just don't own many clothes.
I. Select Key Pieces
Before relocating, I got rid of clothes that screamed "I'm a tourist" and weren't practical for my new life- giant heels, loud prints, fragile coats and sweaters. Later, I gradually parted with things that didn't fit my changing body or new lifestyle, keeping favorite, "signature" pieces, pictured above. Key pieces are the ones you love best. For me, these are the items that fit well, garnered the most compliments, and were comfortable, versatile, and durable. Don't fixate on a particular number, only focus on everything you truly enjoy wearing.
II. Choose Complementary Basics
Fleshing out the rest of my closet took time. My clothes were pretty drab, so working off the colors in the sunglasses, I subconsciously lightened my wardrobe over two years, countering dark pieces with blush tones. To me, basics are all the clothing and accessories you need to carry you through everyday life. Whether shopping your own clothes or purchasing new-to-you secondhand items, select things complementing both your lifestyle and existing wardrobe.
I'm not going to preach about quality or investment pieces. Sometimes, you need a pair of shoes, and don't have the cash or time to wait around for "perfect" ones. I've bought less-than-satisfactory placeholders before, and so will you. Try to buy as little as possible with the object of wearing as long as you can. Brand names don't always guarantee quality- clothes are best when they're not overly precious anyway.
If the idea of basics doesn't excite you, define your own. Not everybody needs a white shirt. Look for items with variation in texture or detailing, well-constructed pieces in beautiful fabrics and non-neutral shades.
III. Add Extras
It's nice to have some pieces that serve no purpose other than to make you look and feel good. Here's where to experiment with new trends, or indulge in impulse items within reason. People think I follow some self-imposed ban on shopping, but I let myself browse and buy things secondhand. I allow more than ten items per season, I just know I won't wear anything else. My wardrobe already feels complete.
This capsule approach isn't extreme. Many people don't have as many clothes as I do. Others have specific work clothes or outfits they wear regularly; I have friends with seemingly endless closets, who often repeat the same favorite pieces. My standard formula is a dress or t-shirts with a skirt and jeans, which I mix up by switching footwear and layering. I get the ease of a uniform, and the variety of a larger wardrobe. I like deciding what to wear every morning! To see my whole closet, click here.