How to rebuild your wardrobe in 5 steps

For a while now, I’ve been wanting to reorganize and rebuild my wardrobe. Every time I open my closet, I feel as though I have nothing to wear and even when I do manage to pick out an outfit, I feel as though my outfit is incomplete.I recently started following a new youtuber who really inspired me to revisit my wardrobe and that is when I decided that it was time for a change. I want to share the steps I took to rebuild my closet with you, in the hopes that it would help some of you out there wanting to do the same.

Step 1: Figure out what you already have

The first thing you should do is go through your wardrobe and figure out what you have. My golden rule is that if you have barely worn something during the past year then you should probably get rid of it. Put all the clothes you have not worn for a while in a big pile. I chose to give some to charity. There are also clothes that you keep in the closet for years in the hopes that you would one day fit into them again. Chances are you’re not going to lose that weight and are better off getting something you will love now (real talk). You should also get rid of worn out clothes, that have lost their color or that have stains and/or rips in them. Once you have gotten rid of all of the clothes you don’t actually wear anymore you will be left with your favorite and most useful pieces.

Step 2: Find your personal style

Now that you have your favorite items left in your closet, you can start doing your research. Find influencers, youtubers or instagrammers that inspire you. Figure out what it is you really want to look like. What is your style going to be? The reason you should do your research is because you don’t want to go shopping without a plan. You will simply end up where you started if you decide to do so. Finding a style that suits you helps you narrow down a color scheme, prints (or no prints), certain textures and shapes that suit your body type and personality. This will also help you find the right clothing items and accessories when you decide to actually go shopping.

Step 3: Make a list of what you need

You now know what you have in your closet and you found your personal style. It’s time we make a list of the things you’re missing in your wardrobe. I like making lists is because they help me focus on things that are important. I don’t know about you, but when I go into stores I impulsively buy things I don’t actually need and making a list helps me avoid that. I also make online wish lists or favorites lists. On sites like Asos and H&M, you can pick out your favorite clothes and they end up in your favorites list (duh!). By doing this you also get to see if the items you have picked out are in line with the ‘style icon’ you are trying to emulate. Another advantage this gives you is that you get to keep track of possible deals on your favorite items, but it also allows you to look around and find the best option for what you need. Tip: Basic items are what completes your wardrobe, so consider adding a ton of those on your list.

Step 4: Shopping

You have come a long way and you finally got to the fun part, but don’t get carried away. My number one tip is to be picky. Rebuilding your wardrobe is expensive, but don’t go for the cheapest option, instead find good deals on good quality clothing. Be picky with your fabrics and ask yourself these three questions:

  • Does this fabric look like it will wear well? (will it tear or pull easily?)

  • Does the fabric look cheap or does it look expensive?

  • What does the fabric feel like? (Is it a thick or thin material?)

This can be especially tricky when you are shopping online. Read the reviews and read the descriptions so you have a better idea of what your clothes will feel like and how they will fit. Also, make sure you are ordering from a site that has a flexible return policy incase you are not pleased with the quality of the clothes you got. But you can also be picky when it comes to the style of the clothes you are buying. In that case ask yourself these questions:

  • Is this something I will keep wearing or is it a temporary trend?

  • Will this style work well with my other items?

  • Does it suit my body shape and personality?

  • Does it fit well?

  • Do I feel comfortable and confident?

These are important questions to ask yourself. I have often times bought something because I thought I liked it only to never wear it again. I either couldn’t make it work in my wardrobe, or because it didn’t fit me perfectly. Don’t Settle!

My second tip would be to beware of prints

This might be a personal preference, but I have found that I get over prints quite quickly. After a while I get tired of wearing the same flowery dress, whereas I could wear a classic black dress for years without growing tired of it. So look for classics that will “age” well.

Step 5: Add Pizzazz

Pizzazz almost seems like a made up word, but it means to add an attractive combination of glamor and vitality. I know, I just told you to be picky and all, but this step comes after you bought all the items you needed. That is when you can start including some more pops of color, prints and trendy pieces into your wardrobe. Remember that your core should always be your main/classic items. Colorful and trendy items help give your wardrobe a bit more personality or you could choose to go out of the box with your accessories.

I still haven’t gotten everything I need yet, but I am already loving the current wardrobe much more than I did my previous one. I’m much pickier about my clothes when I go shopping and I spend less time trying to figure out what to wear in the morning. I now get excited about putting outfits together, because I honestly love all the pieces I own and I can see how they work together. Even if you are not trying to rebuild your wardrobe, I would recommend you incorporate some of these steps into your shopping habits. Trust me, you will not regret it!

Editor: Joshua Sakoetoe

Photography: Sharif Jacobino