Creating a Functional Wardrobe

A positive attitude is the most appealing attribute you can add to enhance your wardrobe:

To build an effective wardrobe all you need is some effective  planning and basic common sense.  Here are some important facts to take into consideration:


As your lifestyle changes so will your wardrobe.   When I worked in the corporate arena my wardrobe consists of pants suits, skirts, tops, simple dresses,  I followed the  “dress for success” theme since I hade to adhere to the dress code of the company,  including the office parties, lunches and social activities.

I am no longer in the work force and my wardrobe has changed drastically, the “dress for success” theme no longer apply.  I am now a full time fashion blogger/stylist and sewing instructor.  I desperately tried to hang on to my favourite pieces but they just sat in my closet and all I could do is look with nostalgia  at them.  As  much as I enjoyed wearing these pieces they no longer fitted into my lifestyle.  Reluctantly, I had to let them go.

My wardrobe now consists of more creative pieces, even my social activities have changed and I have created an entire new wardrobe to fit my new lifestyle.



I created the chart below for my personal use, which I found very helpful in planning my wardrobe.  It helps me keep track on what I have so  there will be no duplication and keeps me within budget

You can create your wardrobe chart on your phone or i-pad and take it with you when you go shopping.  It will be an excellent guide and keep you focused on what you really need to create your stunning wardrobe.

 Black, navy, brown and grey trousers, skirts and jackets are the perfect canvas to begin building your wardrobe.  These basic colours will allow you more flexibility when adding pieces and accessories to your wardrobe.  Throw in a beige or off white skirt or trousers for more mileage.  Don’t forget the little black dress that you can dress up or dress down for any occasion.

Most important, when shopping for your wardrobe basics it’s best to shop alone. The disadvantage of going shopping with your BFF is that she may influence you to purchase clothing that she likes and look fabulous on her but does nothing for you.


Building a functional wardrobe means taking inventory and making needed changes for clothing that will compliment you and your career


Eliminate the “NOTHING TO WEAR” Syndrome  by taking inventory of your lifestyle:

Wardrobe content is different for every woman.

Are you a Stay at Home Mom? Teacher, Executive Support, Management?  Are you in politics.  Do you work in Human Resources, or at a Call Center.  What are your social activities?

Your career, more than any area in your life will affect your lifestyle, including your social life, because it does play a part on your economic status and how much you can afford to spend on clothing.



If you can successfully analyze your lifestyle you will build a successful wardrobe and eliminate a closet filled of “NOTHING TO WEAR”

Some of us are opting for part time positions, work from home or through an agency which may not accommodate the budget for an extensive closet like our full time working sisters.  I recall when I worked through an agency and being a single parent my budget did not allow me to splurge on clothes, even though I made most of my clothes, I had to keep within a budget.  Making a chart similar to the one above can be very helpful.

You don’t have to be rich to dress well just sensible.

If you are on a tight budget don’t waste money on a formal evening dress that you will only wear one time.  You can wear a matching  top with your basic black slacks or maxi skirt and let the accessories do the talking.



See the page on Dress to Enhance You



Using creativity and imagination when putting different looks together is key to creating a functional wardrobe and can be a lot of fun.  Your wardrobe can be practical, yet fun.  Take life and other people seriously but have fun with your clothes, as you smell the fashion roses along the way.

You can mix this year’s trends with last year’s fads and look spectacular.

Borrow  a piece from grandma’s  closet, throw in a scarf here, a hat there and you will create your very own unique style.



Resist purchasing items just because they are on sale.

Ask yourself these questions before purchasing:

Will the item coordinate with what I already have?

Does it suit my lifestyle? Career or Social Activities

Does it enhance my body type?

Creating a Wardrobe Planning  Chart will help you answer these questions because it will give you a clear idea of what you already have in your wardrobe.

All you need is some planning and basic common sense



You can change the entire look of an outfit by effective accessorizing.

Accessories are an important part of any wardrobe. The right accessories can make an otherwise drab outfit look sensational.

Wearing scarfs will give you a more sporty look while wearing beads or pearls will give you that dressed up look.



A few words about handbags.

Handbags like everything else in your wardrobe should be in proportion to the rest of you and should be functional as well as fashionable.

There should be enough room to hold what you NEED without being cluttered or over sized. If one handbag is all you can afford invest in a good quality handbag not necessarily a designer bag, select one in a neutral shade that will go with everything you own.

This handbag  in the picture is ideal for traveling, it has separate pockets  to keep  passport and documents accessible.  It’s perfect  for shopping also, wallet and change purse  can be placed in the front pockets so they  don’t get lost in the bag.

A handbag is an indispensable item in your wardrobe. It is the best investment you can make.



One word on purchasing winter apparel:

Winter coat and boots are a major purchase. Coats should be classic and simple so they can transcend from one winter to the next without looking dated.



All through my blog I’ve placed emphasis on alterations.  Being a sewist I realized the miracles of alterations, but it can be costly.  If you love fashion learning to sew is an invaluable asset  that can save you a fortune, not to mention creating the illusion of having and enviable extensive wardrobe.

You don’t have to be an expert, just learn the basics.  There are many free online tutorial that you can tap into.  You can make simple basic items like skirts, blouses, and scarves that will  give added dimension to your wardrobe.



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