Finding a Wardrobe that Works

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I have never pretended to be a fashionista. Back in high school, I had many things: good grades, lots of younger siblings, and a clunker of a 1979 Ford Thunderbird to drive. Neither natural fashion sense nor a sense of rhythm were things that I possessed.

I am sure that is why I didn’t make cheerleading.

I got by through imitation. If there was a cute outfit in the window of the store, I just copied it. Whatever the magazines showed, I tried to recreate. Frumpy was my middle name when I was 12 and it’s been a life-long battle.

Go with your strengths

A few years ago, however, I realized that I looked good in certain shades of green. I snatched up that hue whenever I saw it because I knew it was a sure thing. Lavendar? Not so much. Pink? Unh-uh. Green, yes.

And taking a cue from a friend, I’ve since pared down my wardrobe so that it consists of green, black, khaki, and white. I have tshirts, blouses, sweatshirts, pants, skirts, and shorts — but only in those colors, with the occasional Holiday red and a mess of blue jeans thrown in for good measure.

Go uniform

Yes, it’s a uniform in a sense. But, everything matches, no matter what. It streamlines my life a lot having my clothes mix and match so easily.

It may sound goofy or OCD or what have you. But, I know that if I look bad one day (or seven) it won’t be because I wore the wrong clothes.

Instead of being a slave to fashion, I’ve found a way to make my wardrobe work for me!

What do YOU do to make your wardrobe suit you and your needs?

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  1. I like that shade of green too. Not everyone can wear it, but I can. Yeah purple and pink not so much for me. I guess we must have the same hair and skin colors. Great tips. I have a hard time though. I like variety. I wish I could say I only had clothes in the few colors you mentioned. I get to bored with things. I have some brown, blue, and white also and a few others. 🙂 But I do try to stay with things that mix and match. If I buy something it needs to match with several things that I have. It is a good idea and tip. Thanks.

  2. I just make my friend, who has awesome fashion sense, to go with me to the garage sales and thrift stores. I always come away with a lot more than if I went to a “real” store and shopped. Plus she always says that this will work with this and you could switch out this with that. So that I have even more options with just a few pieces of clothes.

    Before that frumpy was my first name.

  3. I don’t mean to but I always gravitate toward browns, black, white, grey and only on occasion throw in some color. It is just how I shop. My girlfriend thinks I need more color, but I find my wardrobe works for me. I can always piece something together with the items I have. My shoes are another story. I LOVE SHOES!! So while the clothes made not draw attention the shoes usually do!

  4. One thing I have realized is that having a “big back porch” as my mother calls it (large derie) there are just some trends that I can not do. I like fashion, but have to “just say no” to skinny jeans, extra long or blousy tops, etc….
    And I have found that it is easier on the budget to buy some basic, classic pieces in neutral colors and to “do the trends” by adding a splash of color in the form of accesssories. This way your main wardrobe doesn’t change very often (cause its expensive) yet you can still look hip because you have on a couple interesting (and less expensive) items. For instance, I might take a pair of flat front khakis and a white top. Then I would add a colored shoe and different colored necklace. One of my favorite outfits is a pair of tan pants, a bright yellow tee and crimson red shoes and red necklace. I know it sounds crazy, but it looks good. Growing up in the 80s, it took me a long time to get comfortable with throwing on a random colored item, but that’s the way its done now. In high school your shoes, belt, earrings, headband, bracelet, and purse all had to match-HAD TO. So I think you have to learn to embrace change and not get stuck on what used to be right. Be willing to try new things. And yet as a mom, I don’t always have time to keep up with things so when all else fails, I find a cool 24 yr old in the store and ask her, “Is this ok? Do people wear this?”

  5. I stick with black tops, dresses and bottoms. Black matches black most of the time. That way you can add splashes of color with accesories. Like all black with red patent leather shoes. FUN. I do have some other colored tops and bottoms. Mix those with the alternating black item and you get a slimming effect. Love that. Do it and see how many people ask if you lost a few lbs. It’s crazy but it works.

  6. I love the show “what not to wear”. Not only is it entertaining, I learned A LOT about what I should wear. l’m not a natural fashionista either but I figured if I could learn how to cook, I could learn how to shop and dress! It really did help because they dress real regular people.