Cultivating a versatile wardrobe is fundamental to dressing well. However, many people struggle to simplify their collection and find clothes that complement one another.
Carefully curating your wardrobe requires conscious effort and self-control. Of course, finding versatile pieces to complement your style takes time, but the following tips will facilitate the process and leave you feeling satisfied with your choices.
1. Embrace Minimalism
One of the best ways to create a more versatile wardrobe is to embrace minimalism by narrowing down your options. In other words, you’ll have to get rid of some clothes. This advice may seem counterintuitive. However, having fewer options will inevitably force you to keep clothes that are interchangeable and work well with one another.
Stylists call this kind of wardrobe a “capsule collection” because it can only contain so many articles of clothing. Luckily, you’ll still enjoy wearing hundreds of different combinations with the few garments you include in your collection — if you choose wisely.
2. Purge Your Closet
Of course, the first step to becoming a stylish minimalist is to purge your closet of any old or unwearable clothing. Remove everything and take inventory of what you already have. Then, separate items into three piles: keep, donate, trash.
Only keep pieces that you wear frequently and absolutely love. Get rid of everything else, especially items that have holes or stains or simply don’t fit as well as they used to. The same rules go for shoes. Have you worn them recently? Do they match practically everything you own? They’re keepers.
3. Visit Your Tailor
Maybe you discovered items with a few missing buttons or torn seams when you were purging your closet. If they are quality pieces that you’d still love to wear, consider repairing them yourself or visiting your tailor. They can often save pieces that look like they’re hanging by their last thread.
Clothing that is too big now might also be salvageable with a visit to a tailor. Have them hem, stitch, and sew until your favorite pieces fit like new again. Just remember that it’s easier to take clothes in than it is to let them out.
4. Know When to Move On
If you’ve pared down your collection to a handful of items, a quick shopping trip may be in order. Conjure up all the self-control you can muster — you’ll need it — and begin looking for pieces that will work with your current, albeit sparse, wardrobe.
If you fall in love with a shirt but can’t imagine wearing it in more than one outfit, put it back on the rack. Likewise, don’t buy something you hate just because it matches three pairs of pants in your capsule collection. You must absolutely love an item for it to earn a place in your cart.
5. Pick a Palette
There’s a time and place for neon. And unless the item is a swimsuit or a hunting vest, your capsule wardrobe is not it. Create a more versatile wardrobe by picking a color palette and sticking with it. Generally, neutral colors are the most interchangeable and will allow you to generate more outfits out of the same little collection of clothes.
Use greys, navy blues, browns, and blacks as the backbone of your palette. Then, expand your taste to include earthy tones, pastels, or brighter colors depending on your skin’s undertone.
6. Choose Quality Materials
The perfect versatile wardrobe will see you through more than a single season. However, the world of fast fashion has made finding quality materials more difficult. Now, you can easily spend a week’s salary on a shirt only to have it fall apart after a couple of washes.
Because you’ll be wearing the clothes in your capsule collection more often, you must choose garments made of high-quality materials. Look for shirts that are light, but not sheer, and jeans that are heavier and a bit stiff. These tell-tale signs indicate a higher thread count, meaning they’re built to last.
7. Consider a Motorcycle Jacket
A motorcycle jacket is a brilliant transitional piece that looks good in practically any season. Plus, if you choose one that leaves a bit more room around the waist, you can easily layer a shirt and sweater underneath it during colder months.
Are you looking to stand out from the crowd? Layer a brown bomber over an all-black ensemble. Otherwise, stick with black leather, the most versatile material of all. Keep things classy and refrain from buying a jacket with dozens of embellishments. Opt for something more simple and versatile instead.
8. Stick With Simple Prints
Typically, it’s best to minimize busy patterns and wild prints in a capsule collection because they’ll match fewer items. However, if you simply can’t resist prints, stick with the simplest ones, as they’ll prove more versatile.
For instance, you might avoid shirts with logos, slogans, and animal prints and choose ones with classic patterns like Breton stripes. Start with a few white, a few black, and add one or two more colorful options as accents.
9. Look for Transitional Pieces
Transitional clothing will almost always deserve a spot in your versatile wardrobe because it can pull double-duty. In other words, it can take you from one season to the next without having to buy a whole new wardrobe.
Chambray shirts, suede desert boots, jackets, and sweaters are just a few must-have transitional pieces. These items are easy to layer on or off so you’re comfortable no matter the temperature or weather.
10. Avoid Fashion Fads
One of the best things about capsule wardrobes is that they’re often immune to ever-changing fashion trends. Because the items within your collection are rather neutral and suit your personal taste, they’re unlikely to go out of style.
Of course, you’ll want to avoid adding pieces that bow down to current fashion fads to ensure your wardrobe’s longevity and versatility. So stay away from hand-knit bucket hats and sweater vests at all costs.
When in doubt, deck yourself out — in the coolest accessories, of course! Because your wardrobe will primarily consist of neutral colors and subtle patterns, you’ll have to rely on accessories to add visual interest and complete each outfit.
Choose colorful belts, hats, scarves, bracelets, and even sunglasses to elevate your look instantly. Remember to keep things simple, though, and only wear a few statement pieces at a time. Otherwise, your ensemble may look too busy and discombobulated.
Finding Your Style
Just because your wardrobe is smaller doesn’t mean it’s boring. Now, you can mix and match every item in your closet to create hundreds of different outfits. All that’s left to do is find your style.
How will you wear that button-up? Will you roll up the sleeves, layer a t-shirt underneath, or a jacket on top? Find a style that works for you, and you’ll be happy as a clam, albeit much more fashionable.