Friday, August 30, 2013

Dream SPECIFIC Wardrobe Dreams!

What's your dream wardrobe?

Be specific. Imagine that the first cool fall day has arrived (if you're in the Northern Hemisphere), and that you open your closet/armoire/cupboard door and you see it: the Dream Wardrobe.

How many outfits?

What are they? A grey mini-skirt with a grey tunic sweater, grey tights, and silver flats? A simple black wool dress with an amazing paisley scarf and low-heeled black suede pumps? Dream specific dreams.

And then write them down, or draw them...

A dozen dream outfits - a general guideline
This is a rough outline of what mine would be, just to give you a sense of my process.

Now distill these various outfits down to their necessary component parts and pieces.

The garments necessary to construct your dream wardrobe
It may not necessarily be a huge pile of clothing

Now figure out what you already own...

What clothes do you need to build your dream wardrobe?
In this example, you're in a very good position for scarves and skirts, but you
want a new pair of pants, a dress, some flats, a cardigan, a necklace,
and one more tee shirt...

Your shopping list then looks like this:

A very simple autumn shopping list in pictures

For me, personally, my autumn purchase plan is the following:

six garments that make up my perfect autumn shopping list


At this point, I can take my clothing budget for the next three months, and shop and plan accordingly.

You may want more, or fewer, outfits. You may want a lot of jeans and very few skirts. This is your dream! But the more specific you can be, the more you can bring your dream closer to reality...

love,
Janice

PS - If you need help creating your dream wardrobe, I've built a number of tools to help you plan your wardrobe which can be found on the Planning Documents page. These tools includes the Pantone Color Planner, Wardrobe Cost per wear calculator, 24-piece wardrobe worksheet, and more. They do cost a bit of money, but that helps me keep this website running.



28 comments:

  1. What an awesome plan for Autumn. I made my coffee, now it is time to study this new dream plan you have created with us in mind. Mistakes would be minimized, and as Winter arrives a new plan could be created to fill the gaps. This is brilliant.

    What a great wayntomstart the day?
    Karen

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  2. I agree that this is a great plan! Since I have been planning a capsule wardrobe for a trip--I have already thought of some outfits. Your plan will help me refine them. And budgeting over three months is a smart plan as well.

    I have the most difficulty with shoes and jewelry. Would you consider posting about appropriate shoes for different types of outfits--and how to choose jewelry to accessorize? I have some lovely/funky pieces of jewelry that never seem to find a place in my wardrobe.

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  3. I am pretty happy with my wardrobe at this point and should be good to go thanks to some ruthless culling of ill-fitting and not liked pieces. My clothing items shrank by about half. My dream wardrobe would include some of the trendier EF knits (asymetrical hems and such) that I never splurge on because I almost always buy items that cannot be dated so easily. But I like your thinking process and will study it some more.

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  4. Fantastic thank you!

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  5. Love those lovely grey dream-plan garments!

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  6. This is such a great idea. I like the "blacked out as place holders" concept when drawing it out. I'm set on my basics, my am using my budget to interject color...teal and burgundy. I've already found two sweaters...now I'm looking for two dresses, two skirts (which I hope one can be a print containing both colors), two scarves and a coat.

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  7. What a great idea. I am going from Alicante to Madrid by train tomorrow, so I will spend the journey planning autumn/winter outfits. Hopefully I may then be able to buy some things in Madrid that I know will work with my wardrobe, rather than random shopping!

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  8. Will grab coffee, log onto Polyvore, and begin!! There are some specific events in the fall that I can begin planning around. Thank you so much!

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  9. I love the way you made the process so accessible. Last weekend, I wrote down what I own sans shoes and accessories. I will draw them out this weekend and see how everything fits together. As well, I'll identify the gaps (what I will no longer wear and what I'd like to add).

    I've been using my Pinterest board to save images of outfits I adore. Referencing the pictures helps me focus on what I'd like to add or replace to achieve my dream autumn wardrobe.

    Thank you for all of the wonderful posts you create and the amazing information you share. You've taught me how to approach a style and a wardrobe in a thoughtful manner. It's simply amazing!

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  10. Black loafer-type shoes are on my fall list. Could you give us a link to the ones on your dream list?

    And, thanks to your guidance, I think I'm finally ready to let go of some pretty items I have that just don't fit in. I can feel the relief I'll feel looking in the closet and not feeling confused and overwhelmed, not to mention no more pressure to find items that "go with" them. Thank you for your guidance and support!

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  11. They are from Stuart Weitzman - there's a link to their online store above here, at the end of this post. I'm not sure these exact shoes are still available...sigh...

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  12. I'm confused. In the example above showing the completed outfits, are there four different pairs of black pants in the wardrobe, and three different pairs of black flats?

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    1. Yes - each silhouette represents a separate garment, in this example. But there's no hard and fast rule about how best to go about making your dream wardrobe "list" - do whatever works best for you.

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    2. I'm confused too - or may be just tired on a Friday night.

      In the "distill it down" illustration, it looks like you have 2 or 3 of exactly the same item - 2 identical black blouses with ruffles; 2 identical black turtlenecks; 3 identical asymmetrical black sweaters.....please, what am I missing here?

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    3. I just used generic "representative" garments to take the place of the precise garments in my Dream Wardrobe. For example, I would like my Dream Wardrobe to include two beautiful dressy blouses - but I don't have them clearly pictured in my mind yet, so I used the outline of the ruffled blouses as a stand-in for the garments that aren't yet clearly dreamed. I'm going to try to scare up enough appropriate images to "flesh-out" the Dream Wardrobe to show what my plan is for Autumn 2013.
      Sorry for the vagueness!

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    4. No apologies needed - ah, now I get it.....might have just been the dullard reading the blog! Thanks, Janice.

      Happy Labour Day weekend from Canada. Back to school Tuesday - so soon......

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  13. My first task will be to clear out the closet(s) to see what I have. I am hauling a clothing rack down from the attic so I can line things up to get a good look. Next, I will take out season specific items and those I didn't wear this summer. That should give me a good basis for planning. I actually found a few great basic tee's this summer that were lurking in the dark closet depths. Since I am transitioning to grey, I can get a better idea of basics that I need and what colored items I have that will mesh with grey. Thanks to Janice, I have a pretty good idea of what they are.

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  14. I have always been challenged in the wardrobe department, and now I know why. Thank you for telling me that I need a plan, and also HOW to make the plan. You have saved me from hours of haphazard shopping.

    I love your grey choices, and hope to see them in future posts along with accessories. I am never sure what shoe colors go with grey.

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    1. I'd like to know where the grey courts in the yellow and grey chic sightings post came for - I went back and checked, but there wasn't a link .....

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  15. Love this post - thanks for the great idea!

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  16. Plan first; shop later (if at all) Good advice! Thanks.

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  17. Love the idea of this. With the black silhouettes, I'm a bit confused about the mix and match aspects of this wardrobe and whether or not you have a still have a target number of items {aka project 333). A good place to start though. I will be focusing on adding more gray and chocolate brown in tops and bottoms and more tunic-length sweaters. I know I'm way late to the party, but I'd like to add some boots this year as well. I don't wear many skirts/dresses so would love to see a post on wearing boots with pants and jeans,,,both tucked and untucked.

    Also, check out insideoutstyleblog's post today for some Vivienne Files love:)

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    1. My items won't be all black, I promise! They will still mix and match quite well, because my outfits will all be driven, ultimately, by my personal taste and preferences... And I think I'm going to be coming in at something below 33 garments, but I'm not sure. Once I start getting really specific with my garments, it will be clearer.

      And thanks for the heads-up about Inside Out Style!

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  18. Thanks for this concise way of thinking about wardrobe planning. I'm still trying to decide what my dream wardrobe will look like. I've got a lot of big life changes coming up, so I'm not even sure what my future work wardrobe needs will be. This exercise can help me focus on what my very basic mix and match needs will be.

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  19. IRL I use a cross b/t this and Krisien's approach, purging the worn or no longer right first. Sometimes I can't find the dream item, at least at a price I'm willing to pay. Or I have to wait for a possible sale. It's taken me al long time to break my expectation of instant shopping gratification.

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  20. I sat down to do this last night, and I realized that the reason I follow your blog is because I feel like I have no clue how to put together dream outfits, especially when it come to accessories, and I love your ideas! I think I was trying to be too specific (didn't read your updated comment until later about some of the things just being general placeholders for the type of garment you want). I do have a Fall capsule that I put together a couple years ago from things in my closet that I love. However, I don't really like to wear the core garments of that capsule (camel corduroys and a burnt orange long sleeved shirt) outside of the Fall, even though the colors look really good on me. Snow and winter comes, and I just feel like black rather than brown, no matter how much it is not my "color." However, I think I might be up to changing up the black (of course I say this because it's the beginning of Fall).

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  21. Hi Janet,
    Can you show us what other ways you plan to style that polka dotted skirt from Eileen Fisher. I am always looking for ways to get more mileage from new purchases.
    I will post this comment on your most recent post also. Thanks

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  22. Hi Janet.
    What a great way to find out what you need. And then you have alredy combined a lot of sets.
    I Wonder if you could make a autumn wardrobe for the Northern europe for someone who drives scooter?

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