Finding your personal style and updating your closet

I’m on a journey to create my dream closet. For me that means a closet of good quality clothes I feel comfortable in that are easy to mix and match. In order to get to where I want to be I’ve been giving more thought to my personal style and slowly updating my closet. I thought it might be useful to share my process with you as it can be difficult to know where to begin.

Try on everything you haven’t worn recently

Try on everything you haven’t worn in the past few months excluding seasonal pieces. Get rid of anything that no longer fits, is in poor condition and can’t be repaired or that you don’t feel comfortable in.

For everything you decide to keep either figure out how you’ll style it with what you already or note down what you would buy to wear with it.

Figure out your colour palette

What colours are you most drawn to, do you wear on a regular basis or feel at your best in? I personally wear mostly black, blue and grey. Then followed by red, pink and a bit of green.

It’s rare that I’ll wear yellow or orange and I’m not a fan of plain white clothing. I like dark, rich, bold colours and pastel shades of pinks, blues and purples.

What items in your closet do you wear the most and the least?

Note them down and see how much of your closet is made up of these pieces. I’m big on wearing long wide trousers, cropped peg/tapered trousers, long sleeved dresses anywhere between mini and midi length, shirts and blouses slightly oversized, formal/smart jackets.

On the flipside, the clothing I wear the least is anything stretchy or tight. Bodycons and skinny jeans are things I avoid buying because I don’t like how they look on my body. If I ever wear a tight camisole or cropped top I’ll have an open shirt or lace/sheer top layered over it.

I sometimes fall into buying items that I like (e.g. a tight cherry print top) but don’t feel totally comfortable in because I try to be optimistic or experiment with something different. But what usually ends up happening is I don’t get much wear out of it so it just ends up taking up space until I decide to get rid of it.

Think about how you’d describe your style

Topshop have a cool personal style quiz thing where you answer questions and it gives you a category that your style falls into then shows outfits and items that suit what you picked. It’s a great starting point for some initial inspiration even if you don’t shop at Topshop.

I’d also recommend looking on Instagram/Pinterest and creating a personal style board based on what you actually wear not what you would want your style to be.

You don’t need to pick one word but perhaps 3-5 that sum up your everyday style. For me it would be casual, smart with a bit of androgynous, preppy and playfulness. With regard to style inspiration I like Sara crampon for her minimal palette and simplicity, Babba C Rivera and Zanita for their use of colour and Ebba Zingmark for her effortless looks. However, I don’t dress like any of them but I’m still able to be inspired.

Whilst writing some fashion content a couple of months ago I realised that at the core of my style is a need to feel comfortable. I love smart pieces but my style is very casual, I enjoy colour but prefer 80% of my clothing in black white grey and blue. I like being able to put outfits together with little effort (not having to think about whether the colours or patterns go together) and my style is fairly conservative. 

And once you’ve gathered together all your information create a list of anything you want to add to your closet and don’t stray from it. Put it in the notes section of your phone or write it on paper. Whenever you’re shopping for new clothes refer to the list until everything is crossed off.

But don’t be in a rush, take your time to find quality pieces that you can keep long term. It might take a few months or it could take a year. At first I was eager to complete my list but the more you try to rush it the more likely you are to buy things you don’t truly want.

I’ve really committed to working on my shopping habits so even when I have bought things in a rush or just because I felt like shopping once my order arrives I return it if it doesn’t align with my colour palette or the kind of things I usually wear.

My end goal is to only shop to replace items (rather than have shopping as a hobby, unless it’s just browsing and not buying) because as much as I enjoy shopping and fashion I shouldn’t feel the need to constantly buy new things when I have a closet full of clothes.

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