What is an “intentional wardrobe?” An intentional wardrobe is a well thought out wardrobe created with purpose, rather than on impulse. Creating an intentional wardrobe takes some self-reflection. It’s not always easy and can require a good deal of thought before each purchase. This is especially difficult in this world where we’re bombarded with new trends and lists of things we “need” to own on a daily basis. As a style blogger, I’m often frustrated by this concept that we all have to be buying new and trying out every trend. This is just simply not the case.
If you really want to create an intentional wardrobe you love, all you really need to do is follow these few simple steps…
1. CONSIDER YOUR LIFESTYLE.
The majority of my time is spent in an office, which I keep in mind when purchasing anything new, wanting my wardrobe to reflect my lifestyle. I invest in high-quality pieces that are acceptable for work and weekend, and aren’t overly trendy. If I’m spending money on clothes, I want them to last for years.
2. ASK YOURSELF IF THE NUMBER OF WEARS IS PROPORTIONAL TO THE PRICETAG.
The advice I would give to anyone looking to create a purposeful wardrobe is to consider your lifestyle before adding any new item to your wardrobe. Ask yourself how often you’ll wear the item, and whether or not the price tag is proportional to the number of wears you intend to get out of it. Be honest with yourself, no matter how cute or trendy you think it is.
3. STICK TO A TRIED-AND-TRUE COLOR PALETTE.
In creating a thoughtful and purposeful wardrobe, I find myself sticking to a neutral and muted color palette. One that consists mostly of white and ivory, along with black, navy and denim. Reason being, I don’t tire of clothing in neutral shades as quickly as I do of prints or bold colors. I used to try to talk myself out of purchasing something new in ivory or white, because I felt like I should expand my palette. What actually ended up happening was I just continued to wear my old pieces, instead of the new ones, because I preferred their neutrality. All-white outfits are often my choice in the summertime, simply because they never fail to look crisp and clean.
4. ONLY CHOOSE ITEMS THAT REFLECT YOUR PERSONAL STYLE.
I intentionally collect pieces that are equal parts feminine and classic. Case in point: these scallop shorts (which are made of a heavy cotton, so they look more put professional (if you will) than a pair of lightweight chino shorts) and this collared lace blouse. Both pieces are conservative, practical and ladylike, all boxes I’m trying to check off when adding to my wardrobe.
5. ALWAYS TRY IT ON (maybe even take a picture).
Sometimes just trying something on will help you to figure out whether or not you love it. If you feel even the least bit uncomfortable in something, you’re probably not going to wear it. It’s sometimes hard to resist pieces that are just. so. cute, even when you know they aren’t practical for your life. If you’re on the fence, take a picture of yourself wearing the item. Seeing yourself in a photo can usually let you know immediately if this is something you feel confident wearing.
To share a story of my own with you, I recently purchased this off the shoulder blouse. I thought it was totally adorable; it was one of my favorite colors to wear and had the girly-girl vibe that I gravitate to.
When I tried it on though, it honestly just wasn’t that comfortable. I felt like I had to keep my arms down at all times, or it would pop up over my shoulders. On top of that, I just couldn’t convince myself that I would wear it enough to justify its hefty price tag. It’s a trendy item, so I know it’s something I would only wear for a few seasons so despite how “totally adorable” it was, this top went back to the store. Maybe if I found something similar at TJ Maxx or H&M, I would consider giving it a try, but not for nearly $100. I’m just not willing to throw away hard-earned money on something I know I won’t wear more than a handful of times.
Instead, I’m sticking to pieces like these scallop shorts and this collar blouse. I know I’m going to feel ladylike and comfortable wearing them, and that, to me, is a win. To create a similar outfit, click the links below.
I hope this post was helpful to you. I know that creating an intentional wardrobe takes time and work, so best of luck to any of you out there trying along with me!
Top: J.Crew (similar, similar and similar); Bottom: J.Crew Factory (identical version); Shoes: Steve Madden; Watch: Kate Spade; Bracelet: J.Crew Factory; Bag: Kate Spade New York (similar); Earrings: Swarovski; Lips: Bobbi Brown