“Minimize your closet to maximize your wardrobe.”
This is a phrase I toss around a lot but on the surface can be a little confusing. What I mean is you need to get rid of the pieces you don’t love and make better use of the ones you do. Easier said than done, right?
One of the reasons people often struggle to “maximize their wardrobe” is because they have a separate work and everyday or weekend wardrobe. (Raise your hand if that’s you!) Not to worry I’ve got an easy system to help with that:
1. First and foremost, get excited (not scared) about the trend towards Business Casual Dress Code. Most companies are leaning this way which is GREAT when it comes to maximizing your wardrobe because you’re expected to dress less formal – just like you do when you’re outside of work.
2. Focus on your tops. Having the right tops are the key to merging your work and everyday wardrobes. Your closet should be mostly filled with polyester blouses or classic sweaters because they can easily be dressed up or down. i.e. For work, you can wear your blouse with your dress slacks + heels + a statement necklace. But then on the weekends you can wear that same blouse with jeans + casual flats and a simple long necklace – one piece working for both aspects of your life.
3. Keep your bottoms neutral. By keeping your bottoms neutral and letting your tops do the talking, you can more easily mix and match what you own into many different outfit combinations while limiting the pieces you can’t wear all the time. I suggest at the very minimum you have dress pants in black, navy and gray and jeans in white and dark wash.
4. Accessories make a difference. Accessories are the other key to transitioning your looks. A statement necklace can give your outfit that dressier edge and make your look pop; Whereas a long necklace can help tone down an outfit and make it a bit more casual. The beauty is that these relatively inexpensive pieces help you take one top and make it wearable for almost every occasion.
5. Remember every piece you own should make at least 3 outfits. I say this time and time again, but it really helps you understand if a piece is too limiting in your closet. When you’re looking at a top or sweater think about how you could wear it to work, then on the weekends, and then for a date night. If the piece can transition throughout those activities and you love it- then it’s a keeper. Now granted not every single piece (like that sparkly top you only wear during the holidays) will be approved by this rule of thumb- and that’s ok! Just keep it in your mind as a general tip.