My sister Linda approached us about her wardrobe this spring. She has been struggling with her own style and needs for a while now. Her dream style is classy, bit preppy and quite feminine. Yet her lifestyle is physically demanding and she spends several hours per day outside. We found ways to combine her needs to her wants.
Linda feels her wardrobe is horrible and chaotic. She actually found a shirt one morning she didn’t know she owned. Linda’s closet is full of old clothes, odds and ends from high school and still nothing to wear. Sounds familiar? I think most of us has been there at one point of our lives.
Eyes on the prize
Our main goal was to give Linda a plan for updating her closet. She doesn’t have resources to make the dream wardrobe happen right away and the goal is to help her make it happen a bit by bit. When she knows what she needs, it’s easier to buy one thing at the time and build the wardrobe that way.
Secondary goal was to go through her clothes and make her get rid of things no longer needed and which don’t have place in her future dream wardrobe. For that we made a home visit. There’s no need to store unused items in a small apartment.
Linda dreams of stylish and uncluttered wardrobe with easy to combine high-quality pieces. Her visual style is classic and elegant, with a touch of southern U.S preppy combined with active Scandinavian outdoor freshness. Linda is horse person through and through so her style has a touch of equestrian in it.
As her day to day style is often sporty she likes to bring ultimate beauty and femininity to her party clothes. Also her jewels tend to be dazzling and sparkly. She likes to wear light colours like powdered nudes and greys with touch of dark blue and black.
Analysing the needs
First thing we did was asking about Linda’s normal day with the help of our post Working wardrobe: How to being. She described active and sporty day and it became clear most of her tasks need some kind of clothes suitable for sports. Her day begins with physical work at school as massage therapist, continues outside with horses and work at a stable and ends at home relaxing after long day.
Her day to day clothes need to be stretchy and easy to move with. When she works at stables the clothes should be suitable for outdoor activities and weather resistant. Her outfits need to be also easy to clean and keep smelling fresh as things can get quite sweaty and physical during a day. Clothes should he machine washable as she doesn’t have time to take things to dry clean.
Well planned is halfway done
Imagine you have an empty closet and you have infinite money and time to get just the clothes you need this year. That’s what we did with Linda as we started to plan her wardrobe. Big chunk of her clothes should be suitable for light exercise and be comfortable: long and short sleeved t-shirts, polo-shirts, tops, sweatshirt, hooded sweatshirt and plaid shirt. Some soft trousers made from jersey or other brushed cotton knits and for underneath, plenty of microfiber hot-pants or boxer shorts and sport bras.
More dabber and decent clothes include blue and black jeans, chinos, shorts, dress shirt, few knits and cardigans and about three bra-knickers sets. For more formal moments Linda’s needs are mainly one cocktail dress, well fitting jacket with trousers, dressy sleeveless blouse and suitable accessories and under things.
Colours keep the closet together
Even thought the overall needs are sporty, we wanted to keep colours light and soft as a way to bring up the femininity. The key to get everything play well together, is to stick to few colours. In this case we used lot of white and grey together with beige and dusty rose. To give the needed edge there’s going to be bit dark, navy blue and charcoal. We wanted to avoid hard black as much as we could because that colour “bleeds” easily into the closet anyway with outer clothes and shoes.
Cleaning the closet
We spent an evening at my sister’s place organizing her closet. The amount of clothes was staggering and it took hours to go through every piece. In the end we threw away six garbage bags full of ratty old t-shirts etc. Three big Ikea bags were taken to the second-hand shop and there was total fifty empty hangers to use.
Linda’s feelings afterwards were good and she’s eager to get rest of the closet together with the help of the list.