How to Create Your Perfect Summer Wardrobe
I can guess you and I have something in common. We both at one point have uttered one of the most annoying phrases, “I have nothing to wear!”
These five words have the power to rile us up, create a mess out of our closet, and potentially ruin our day. What is it about not having anything to wear that brings out our frustration and tests our patience? They are just clothes, right? Wrong!
The clothes we wear have the potential to change our mood, make us feel confident, and turn a mediocre day into an amazing one. With the perfect outfit, you feel like you can take on the world and look stylish while doing it.
Clothes have such an impact on our lives and happiness. It’s not superficial, it’s a part of our life that we need to pay attention to and shouldn’t brush off.
So how do you go from a closet full of okay pieces and never having anything to wear to always have the perfect outfit? It’s not as hard you might think. Let’s review some important details needed to get you there.
Define Your Personal Style
Do you know how to describe your style? Classic? Preppy? Minimal? Do you think you even fit in a “style category”? For many of us, knowing how to define our style is one of the most difficult things to determine. We often feel like we have no style or we like too many styles and putting ourselves into one particular box feels constraining.
So where to begin?
Start by evaluating the clothes you wear day to day. Do you like lots of color or stick to black and white? Do you love wearing prints and patterns or do you prefer solids? How about fabrics, cuts, and shapes? Once you start evaluating your closet as a whole you’ll begin to see a pattern. Look at the items you wear over and over again. Why do you love them so much? What is it about them? The color, fabric, shape, or fit?
If you see a lot of paisley, florals, maxi dresses, floppy hats, and slouchy bags in your wardrobe then your style is most likely Bohemian. If you find mostly black and white pieces with more attention paid to structure and fit, then you might fall into the category of Minimal.
There are four general styles: Classic, Bohemian, Minimal, and High Fashion. Within these predetermined styles are sub-categories, and for many women, you will find that a mix of two styles suits you best.
So why should you define your personal style? What’s the purpose and how will it help you?
By knowing your personal style you’ll know what you like and don’t like when you go shopping. It will help you build your dream wardrobe and prevent you from spending money on things you’ll never wear.
Build Your Dream Wardrobe By Season
If you’re like me, looking at a entire year can be a little overwhelming, so one trick that you can do when putting together your dream wardrobe is to break it down by season. Focus on one season at a time and buy essentials that you can mix and match for maximum use.
This is something I did last summer. I bought 14 pieces at one time and used them throughout the entire summer. In this summer wardrobe I bought items that I knew I could mix and match to create a lot of outfits. I was able to assemble 31 different outfits from just those 14 pieces and all fit my personal style. This example shows you that you don’t need a ton of clothes to feel stylish and confident.
This summer capsule wardrobe is made of:
1 Pair of Shorts
1 Pair of Sandals
1 Pair of Wedges
1 Pair of Sneakers
Here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for a seasonal capsule wardrobe:
Find YOUR magic number. Some people can build a seasonal capsule wardrobe from just 14 pieces, like I did, while others may need 40. Take into consideration your lifestyle requirements and adjust accordingly. The idea is to do more with less and not buy anything else for the rest of the season. (And don’t forget you may have a a few things in your closet that will work with your new items.)
All items MUST work together. This won’t work if you can’t mix and match every item. All colors and patterns need to look balanced and harmonious.
Fit is KEY. You can’t have a capsule wardrobe if some items don’t fit correctly. The idea is to get rid of the clutter and only own pieces that you love and know look amazing on you. When you only have a few items to work with you’ll have to pay more attention to fit.
Change up the items depending on the season. If it’s winter you’ll add a coat and boots, for spring you might want a cardigan and cropped trousers.
Add flare with the shoes. If you decide to keep your wardrobe mostly basic, add some flare and color with your shoes. Again it depends on your personal style, but in my example I decided to go with bright embellished sandals, metallic cutout sneakers, and wedges for my summer shoes.
How do you always have something to wear? By setting yourself up for success.
Buy items that fit you perfectly, fit your personal style, and work with the rest of your clothing and accessories.
This is just the first step in finding what works for you style-wise. My blog, stylishlyme.com, is a great resource for style guidance and advice—from how-to’s, tips, and everyday tools—and I invite you to check it out.
I’ve also gone one step further and recently published You Can Be Stylish: A Practical Guide for Improving Your Outfits and Making the Most of the Clothes You Own, a 120-page illustrated e-book that covers color theory, wearing patterns and prints, must-have essentials, accessorizing and so much more. It takes you from A-Z in finding the style and clothes that will work for you in a painless fashion, one step at a time. So what are you waiting for? You can live a stylish life, I’ll show you how.