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How to Build a Better Wardrobe


One of the best New Year’s resolutions you’ll ever make is to CLEAN OUT YOUR CLOSET!

How many times do we stand in-front of our closet and say, “I have nothing to wear,” when in fact, we have lots of clothes? Most of our closets are so unorganized and crammed full of clothes that we overlook great things. How can we curate our closets with an eye towards building a better wardrobe?


So you paid a lot of money for it… So what? You’re not wearing it. Or what about those pieces you’ll wear 20 pounds from now? Those “someday I might wear these” are keeping you from having a great wardrobe. Here are some tips for getting rid of clothes we no longer wear, or shouldn’t wear:

  • TOSS IT: It doesn’t fit.
  • TOSS IT: It’s no longer in style.
  • TOSS IT: It’s no longer your lifestyle.
  • TOSS IT: You haven’t worn it in the last six months to a year.
  • TOSS IT: It’s looking shabby.
  • KEEP IT: It fits, looks good on you and works with other things you own.
  • ORGANIZE your remaining clothes. All t-shirts together, all blouses, pants, etc. together, according to color.
  • GIVE TOSS IT items to Goodwill so you’re not tempted to put them back in your closet. Trust me. You won’t miss them.

Cleaning out our closet doesn’t give us permission to run out and buy something trendy, or expensive. First, make a list of the essentials your wardrobe is missing like a great white shirt, or a nice pair of black pants that go with everything. Next, before buying anything new, ask yourself: How do I buy clothes? Am I a sales shopper and/or an impulse buyer?

While you may think you’re saving money on sale items, you could be sabotaging your wallet and your style. Don’t confuse “On Sale” with need, or even want. Turtlenecks make you claustrophobic, and there’s a reason why you’ve never worn green. So why did you buy a green turtleneck that was on sale? Here are some tips for buying new clothes:

  • Do you have someone whose style you admire? Before you buy something, ask yourself, would “she” wear this? If not, don’t buy it.
  • Don’t look at the size. Buy what fits.
  • Don’t buy just because it’s on sale.
  • “Does this go with something I already own?” or “Is it something that fits into my lifestyle?” If you can’t say “yes” to both questions, don’t buy it.
  • Less is more. Buy one really nice pair of jeans, shoes, a bag, etc., versus lots of cheaper items. In the long run you’ll save money and build a much better wardrobe.

One of the best things I’ve learned in the past year is the way I was dressing is no longer appropriate for my current lifestyle. Gone are suits, pantyhose and pumps. My new favorites now include black leather pants, more boots than I’ve owned in my entire life, put together, and gulp… Brunello Cucinelli. Now that’s a brand I’ll buy on sale.

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5 thoughts on “How to Build a Better Wardrobe”

    • Eugenia,
      Both of your comments are so right on! We forget about some of the great stuff in our closets. Things we’d never rediscover if we didn’t clean it out and organize it. And staying the same size… That may be the best way to build a really great wardrobe, mixing and matching with new finds. My mother always said to buy less, but buy the very best you can afford, even if it’s only one or two pieces a season. That way, they last longer. Thanks for stopping by!

  1. I think the advice that resonates the most with me is, “Does it fit with my lifestyle?” Instead of mindlessly following a random “10 Items You MUST Own!” list, I’m starting to think of what fits with the life I live now. Thanks for the reminders and the push to just do it, Brenda!

    • “The BEST haircuts after a certain age,” or “the MUST own items” are so old school, don’t you think? Like everything in life, it’s all a matter of personal taste and style, and as you said, what fits with the life you live now. None of that is cookie cutter.

  2. Thanks for the inspiration! On New Year’s Day my closet and wardrobe enjoyed a detox:) Spring wardrobe planning has begun – yippie!

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