How to start from scratch
Have you ever just wanted to throw out all of your clothes and start again? And then panicked that you wouldn't have a clue how to start again?
Whatever the reason - new baby, retirement, major lifestyle change, moving to a different climate, losing a lot of weight - sometimes what you need really is a whole new wardrobe.
Whether you're starting from scratch or simply decluttering your wardrobe and wondering what to buy to make it work for you, here's our essential how-to guide for planning your wardrobe from scratch:
- Think about how you spend your time: do you need more workwear, or mostly casual stuff? Do you socialise three times a week or once a month? Make sure your wardrobe reflects the way you actually spend your time rather than the way you vaguely imagine you might spend your time.
- Start by focusing on an even smaller range of colour than your entire palette - pick perhaps two neutrals, three basics and three accent colours to start with, then add more as you add more garments to your wardrobe.
- Don't forget footwear and accessories - a couple of different styles of footwear and an alternative scarf and bag can completely change the look of an outfit.
- Remember to buy several of whatever people will see the most - if it's like to be cold, you'll want more than one coat option, in the baking summer go for a few summer dresses or short sleeved tops.
- Don't be afraid to buy the same garment in a couple of colours (one neutral, one bright) if you know it works for you - when you're building up a wardrobe this can save shopping time and give you a good wardrobe foundation. Don't go out and buy 13 navy blue sweaters because you feel comfortable in them though!
- Add in a couple of wildcards - perhaps a patterned jacket, or a bright pair of trousers. Just because you're starting from scratch doesn't mean you need to buy all classics.
My imaginary client below has recently retired and needs a wardrobe from scratch for late spring/summer. She lives a fairly relaxed life, spending a fair amount of time at home or out lunching with friends, perhaps with the odd wedding or friend's 60th birthday party to attend.