Image by skyseeker
There are so many things to love about the changing of the seasons especially the explosion of color and beauty at springtime. The increased exposure to sunlight and the warmer weather also immediately enhance our moods and encourage us to feel that this is a time of renewal. Plus the now longer days seem to motivate us even further to check more things off of our ‘to do’ lists. Right now is the perfect time to begin to allow ideas to percolate in your mind about what you want your spring and summer wardrobe to look like and what you need so that you can fully engage in all of the activities that you have coming up. Now is the time to start putting away that heavy winter coat and those thick knee-high leather boots and to confidently MARCH forward into SPRING!
Here are 5 basic steps to get you prepared:
STEP 1: CREATE A LifeSTYLE DIAGRAM
Decipher the main areas of your life and create categories – eg. Business, Social Engagements and Leisure Activities. And then further break it down into subcategories – eg. Business: meetings (formal/informal/location), presentations (host/guest speaker/attendee), travel (weather, customs, transportation), interviews (employment/marketing tactic), networking events (type of group); Social Engagements: weddings, parties (day/evening/beginning or end of season); Leisure Activities: adventures with kids, vacation(s), exercising, gardening, outdoor sports and festivals.
You want to take into consideration the reality of your daily life and ideally build the outfits in your wardrobe so that they are in direct proportion to the categories within your LifeSTYLE diagram. Take into account something as simple as the fact that you are probably going to be invited to several more dinner parties or barbeques this upcoming spring and summer season than usual because everyone is going out to eat less, yet they still want to socialize with their friends and family, so you want to plan your wardrobe accordingly. Take note of these types of specific details when you create your own LifeSTYLE diagram – if not on paper then at least in your mind. This categorical step will help you to move forward towards the next wardrobe planning steps.
STEP 2: SORT
Determine those outfits in your closet that will support these upcoming occasions in each LifeSTYLE category. For instance, do you have flattering and appropriate attire for your impending press junket to promote your new book? Will any of these ensembles distract from what you are saying during on-air interviews? Does your attire promote your aesthetics and professional endeavors thereby instantly communicating, enhancing and supporting your business message? What outfits in your closet make you feel like a million bucks so that you can be fully engaged during an event rather than self-conscious? If there are ‘yes’ pieces and entire ‘yes’ outfits in your closet that support your lifestyle then place them aside and move on to Step 3. If there are ‘no’s’ then perhaps it is time to reassess your closet remembering that organizing your wardrobe closet doesn’t have to feel like you’re going to get lost in a black hole.
STEP 3: DETERMINE FIT
Resolve whether the items and outfits that you selected to go into your ‘yes’ pile in Step 2, those that support various segments in your LifeSTYLE diagram, actually still fit your body properly. This is especially crucial for the staple wardrobe items. Those essential pieces that can easily be mixed and matched plus support you on a multitude of occasions. For instance, are your favored dress pants still flattering? Or are they too tight creating the fabric to be overstretched thereby showing every unwanted body bulge? Or are they too long in the rise consequently, giving them a sloppy appearance? Perhaps they need to be hemmed or are they possibly now just too short? Are the shoes that you wear with your ‘go-to’ dress really that comfortable? Do they actually support the outfit? Are the shoes still in good shape, do they need to be resoled or is it donation time? The idea is to make sure each piece in the outfit, as well as, the outfit as a whole complete look is still flattering, current, fresh, and that you feel fabulous in it. Some pieces or outfits may require minor adjustments in order to keep them in the ‘yes’ pile while others may no longer work after you follow through with this step and yet there are those that still just fit perfectly into your life and onto your body.
STEP 4: FILL IN THE GAPS
For those items and ensembles that support your LifeSTYLE categories and still properly fit you, the next important step is to make sure the outfits within each sub/category are complete and appropriately fill in any gaps when necessary. Do you have as many outfits as you actually need for all those business meetings in Seattle next month? Would a new colorful blouse be all that was required to update your navy power suit? Does your camel jacket compliment your pencil skirt, as well as, your dark wash jeans? Would a statement necklace bring the Wow! Factor back to your black sheath dress that you’ve had forever?
Does that purple silk chiffon dress work well for the presentation your giving to your colleagues next week, as well as, the reunion dinner you have scheduled with your high school friends that you reconnected with on Facebook? Does it look like there is really such a need for so many party shoes in your wardrobe?
Do you have enough cardigans stocked in your dresser drawers to layer with when it is cool in the morning walking the dog or when it gets chilly inside the office? Is your sports bra still effective? Should your favorite pair of jeans still be your favorite? Pay close attention to the sub/category an outfit goes into, those specific outfits or pieces that are interchangeable between sub/categories and the items your wardrobe might be lacking relative to your actual LifeSTYLE categories. Keep a list of essentials needed to fill in your wardrobe gaps and coordinate those with the final step, Step 5.
STEP 5: COMPLETE THE LOOK
Once you have figured out where you need to fill in the gaps in your wardrobe, the final step is to really step back and think about the image you are projecting in each of your LifeSTYLE categories and to make sure it is the image that you want to project. If it is not, then determine the specific style elements that you would like to incorporate. Be objective during this step and not hypercritical. Get some inspiration. This will get your creative juices flowing, encourage you to make more informed style choices and help you to budget accordingly. There are a variety of resources out there to provide you with a plethora of ideas – check out current issues of magazines, style sites, favorite designer websites, store fronts and online shopping sites; even pay more attention to people’s style out on the streets or at the office. Chances are that you may just need a few minor wardrobe tweaks to achieve your lifestyle goals rather than a complete overhaul. Here are some principles that you may wish to incorporate into your spring and summer wardrobe this season:
Obviously, it is impossible to anticipate and plan ahead for every conceivable event that you will want to participate in this spring and summer but, hopefully, these steps will provide you with a better understanding of the relationship between where you spend most of your time and the types of clothes that you actually need to have in your wardrobe. Also, pre-planning reduces spending – no more last minute frenzied purchases. By partaking in these 5 Steps you have instead taken the time to really think about the items you want and need to include in your wardrobe and the most economical places to get them. So, let’s confidently MARCH forward into SPRING with style!
How well does your wardrobe correlate with your LifeSTYLE diagram results? Did the LifeSTYLE diagram help you understand your wardrobe needs and organize them accordingly?