Yes, you can go shop all willy-nilly and pick up every fantastical one-off that fits the season's current trends, but as we’ve discussed in the past – solely investing in trends can lead to a contradictory and dysfunctional wardrobe, not to mention a dysfunctional you. If you have stood in front of a crammed wardrobe every morning screaming “I have nothing to wear!” whilst drying your tears on your Oyster Card, then heed my advice!
First comes the Science… A great wardrobe is like a well-oiled machine. There are lots of interrelated pieces that work together to make sure everything runs seamlessly, and if that's something you desire for your wardrobe then it's important to start with an end goal in mind, a clear plan you've thought through, a list to make sure everything fits together. Exhausted yet?
Well let me suppress that inner freak that's currently whispering “a can of petrol and an insurance claim” and calmly share some of my tips on setting goals and guidelines for creating a wardrobe that's going to be ANYTHING but ordinary.
So here goes...
In order to build a wardrobe that is truly unmistakably you, you need a strategy, a clear roadmap that will steer you in the right direction.
Below are my ten principles I believe are the foundation of a perfect wardrobe. Now, you don't have to take these as a written doctrine when it comes to your style. These are simply my musings and I’m sharing them in the hope that they'll help you pinpoint your own priorities and create your own foundational principles.
Reserve your closet space for things you only love 110%. If something doesn't light you up at the thought of wearing it… Ebay it, gift it or just get rid of it.
Stand strong in your definition of personal style and develop an eye for style that speaks to you. Become aware of the cut and colours that suit YOU… not what’s in every High Street window.
3. QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
Build a wardrobe of high-quality items that can last longer than a season. While it can seem counter-intuitive in the moment to spend more on a quality item to save in the long run, you’ll find your wardrobe has more staying power season after season. Plus, your day-to-day outfits will look more expensive.
Forget conventional style typologies like “BOYFRIEND STYLE” or “BOHO”. Don't box yourself in and instead, create your own definition.
Focus on form and function over trend and fashion. You should be able to move with ease in every outfit. Glitter Platforms for work may get you a lot of attention at the photocopier, but God Bless You on your two-hour train journey home when no one offers you a seat!
6. STYLE BEFORE FASHION
Play around with trends that suit your style, but ignore the rest. Make sure each purchase you make can be worn from the workplace to cocktails with friends. The more mileage you can get out of something, the better the investment.
Invest your time and thoughts into developing your style and selecting garments. Definitely invest in a designer bag, but not the ‘it’ bag of the season. Get a classic like a Chanel 2.55 or, of course, a Hermès Birkin. Sure the Chanel might cost a staggering £2000 new, but if you sport it for half a year it comes to £10 a wear! And odds are you'll carry it for YEARS after that. Simple!
Build a strong foundation of key pieces that are easy to mix and work well with one another. A great Blazer, a well cut tuxedo shirt, leather ballet flats, a superb fitting pair of jeans and all those ‘can't do without’ staples… from a cashmere sweater to a fitted T.
Really? Non-negotiable. If it pulls, itches, scratches, makes you look like you have four boobs or constantly rides up, just say no.
Stay involved and interested in the Designers that suit you, keep up to date with classic reinvention and redefine your style often. Our personality and preferences are constantly evolving, and your clothes should evolve with it, so that you feel your outfits are always an authentic representation of yourself.
Above all… Enjoy your wardrobe. Dressing should never feel like a chore and wearing it should only make you feel good.
If it doesn't, no matter how much you paid for it… in the words of Andrea Bocelli it's “Time to say Goodbye.”