I see curating your wardrobe much like painting a canvas. In order to create the most visually appealing artwork you can, you need to ensure a few things:
1. Choose your colour palette.
To have a fully functioning, unwasted wardrobe, what you do have needs to be able to work together harmoniously. I am lucky enough to have a friend who is a colourist, and she was able to convince me to lovingly discard all those items of clothing that I loved, yet for colour reasons, did not work for my skin tone, nor with each other (aka. colour enemies). It’s hard to say goodbye to a thread that you love, even if it’s rarely used, yet, essential to curating a wardrobe that will work hard for you. When you’ve found the palette that speaks to you, and speaks for you, curating your wardrobe will have a clear direction. My own wardrobe consists of neutral hues, with some navy, salmons and greens thrown in for good measure (I have ‘a winter skin tone). Having a palette means I am able to mix and match pieces from my wardrobe with ease, and makes dressing on those ‘ugh’ days so much more enjoyable.
2. Basics, Basics, Basics
Whenever you’re creating a piece of art it’s essential to lay down a primer. Without a primer, the painting can look messy, unfinished and is much harder to manipulate. Such are basics to any curated wardrobe. The basics for my own wardrobe include staple jeans (in black, white and blue, as well as ripped boyfriend jeans because I long for comfort always), tee shirts (long and short sleeve) in grey, white and black (when I find a style that suits my body shape, I’ll often buy multiples as it’s something that I know will be in constant use), a denim and leather jacket (I just can’t say no to denim and leather, they are my Achilles heel, but I ensure that these high price ticket items are bought ethically). Shoes are a harder one, because people prefer different styles, however my go-to shoes are my black mules, and my black and tan clogs – I wear them nearly every day, and while they were exxy, they have paid for themselves time and time again. These basics alone have provided numerous outfit options, and ones that I feel both comfortable and confident wearing. One big consideration for any basic is to ensure fit and natural material. If a basic doesn’t fit right, you’re unlikely to wear it. I stick to natural materials because they breathe (a must, must, must if you live in Australia) and they are hardy. I love my linen tee’s my Elizabeth Suzann (and a bonus is, they make all there garments ethically and sustainably). These basics can be steep, but they work hard for me and so I was ok to pay a bit more for an item of clothing I knew would be lovingly used.
3. Add your personal touch
You’ve got your canvas primed, an idea of what colours you want to use. To finish your work you need to add the element that is solely a reflection of who you are. This is when you bring the fun in. For me, it’s mixing textures and fabrics. I’m a little bit obsessed with touches of fur (nothing tacky, but the odd bit of black and natural faux fur on a beanie, on a bag – just bits and pieces here and there), patent shoes (I die for patent – it lifts almost any outfit) and unexpected leather and silk touches. I’m also a hippie at heart and this comes out in the fit of my clothes (think comfy, but a little bit sexy). This step is really the time you can get creative without overwhelming your wardrobe or your budget. If you’re not sure what to do, accessories are a great place to start for adding your personal signature to your outfit as they can be mixed and matched often.
While curating your wardrobe you might to consider a few things.
Fabric – when you buy something new, try to aim for natural fabrics – silks, wools and linens. They drape better, last longer and look amazing. Naturally fabrics will naturally (intended pun there) cost more, which is a good excuse to buy less, because you’ll be buying well.
Where does your clothing come from? – Fast Fashion Feb is a great way to open a discussion about the nature of fast fashion. Fast fashion is cheap for us, which means that somewhere down the line, someone is absorbing the cost. When you buy from a company that makes their clothes ethically, it will one hundred per cent be more expensive, but you can be one hundred per cent safe in the knowledge that as a consumer, you are making your money talk, ensuring better lives for many unseen producers in the fashion industry.
Concentrate on versatility – this means restraining yourself when it comes to impulse buys (it’s really hard at first) and succumbing to the fads which are cool today, but probably not so much tomorrow. The more you focus your attention on thoughtfully purchasing clothes that you know you love, the more your wardrobe will be filled with pieces that you will be wearing today, tomorrow and in twenty years time. Take care of your wardrobe – when you start curating your wardrobe, take care of what you have. Hand wash the fragile fabrics and line dry them. Condition your leather shoes (it’’ help prevent cracks and they will last so much longer) and resole, resole, resole rather then throw away.
If you’re unsure where to start, check out these slow fashion, ethically run companies. Their pieces are season less, beautiful, fairly made and a great placed to start!
Only Child Clothing