10 Wardrobe Building Projects for Sunday Afternoons
Happy Sunday everyone! If you are still looking for the perfect Sunday afternoon activity, this post is for you. 2 to 3 hours are all you need to make a serious difference to your wardrobe or your personal style, especially if you make it a point to focus on a single area only. Below you'll find 10 short projects to help you get a head start on everything from your style concept to your beauty routine. The first six projects focus on the six basic wardrobe building tasks, the last four on special topics, like colour or accessories, that run through every element of your style. Choose the project that tackles your wardrobe's weakest area or just whichever sounds the most fun to you :)
DEFINE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE
one Spend about an hour in inspiration land: Collect every single image that inspires you in some way regarding your style. Browse magazines, online shops, blogs, lookbooks and Pinterest of course.
two Now, go through your collection and dissect it into individual elements. Think specific items, colours, materials, proportions, overall moods or combinations of elements. Read this post for a quick step-by-step guide and this post for an example of the complete process.
three Pick out 5 to 7 elements and figure out how you could incorporate them into your current wardrobe. Could you create a certain colour combination with items you already own? Are there specific pieces that could go on your shopping list? Write down options and then make a plan to implement the best.
DEVELOP A SIGNATURE LOOK
one Answer this questions: If you had to explain your personal style to a stranger as 5 - 10 elements, what would they be? Consider colours, shapes, overall themes, moods, etc. Brainstorm first, then gather about 1 - 3 images to express each one of your chosen elements.
two Come up with an outfit that expresses every single one of your elements. Plan every detail from head to toe: main items, accessories, make up, hair, everything. Describe your final look in writing, as a collage or even a sketch.
three Now, check your ideal signature look for practicality: How well does it fit your lifestyle? Which of its components do you already own, which could you buy right now and which do you need to save up for? At the end, do a few test-runs and style different versions of your look.
one Using your style concept, choose about 2 - 4 proportions (specific combinations of item categories) that suit your body shape and lifestyle. Check out the Proportions Catalogue for inspiration. Then, write a list of the item categories that you need to have in your wardrobe to create your chosen proportions (ankle boots, flared skirts, knit sweaters, etc.)
two Read this post on Method Dressing and then analyze how often you use each of the four outfit-building methods. If you have a definite favourite, consider whether you could further structure your list of item categories. For example, if you are a fan of the basics+statement pieces approach, you could have two sub-groups for each item category (i.e. basic tops, statement tops, basic dresses, statement dresses and so on).
three Write a wardrobe investory, listing each one of your items organized by category (feel free to exclude underwear, lounge wear and other mini categories that are not a part of your everyday wardrobe). Note down any gaps and surpluses and reorganize your wardrobe to match your new structure.
one Select 20 items that you think could work well as a stand-alone capsule wardrobe. Include shoes, but no other accessories. Pay attention to versatility, overall coherence and how you distribute your 20 pieces across the major item categories (i.e. skirts, tops, etc.).
two Your big assignment: Use your 20 pieces to create 20 complete outfits. Aim for maximum variety and only include looks that you would wear in your everyday life. You can adjust your item selection if you need to, as long as you come up with 20 outfits created from the same set of 20 items at the end. Check out this, this and this post for examples on both how to build a 20-piece wardrobe and how to use it to create 20 different looks.
three Now refine your 20 outfits: experiment with accessories, folding hemlines, (un-)tucking shirts etc. Read this post for info on finding just the right level between dressed up and dressed down. Take notes or snap a few pics for reference. Also: Think about which hair and make up you could wear with each outfit.
one Do a quick 30-minute wardrobe detox: Put on some music, grab a trash bag and a storage box and then go through your wardrobe. Every item that is worn out, does not express your style concept or doesn't fit your lifestyle goes into the trash bag. Put things you could sell/repair/give away in the box to deal with at a later stage. If you need a little decision-making assistance, check out this wardrobe editing guide.
two Write down at least 15 of your most-worn outfits. Use that list to analyze how you build outfits: Do you start with a foundation of neutrals and then add one or two accent pieces? Do you have a uniform? Do you always wear the same two pieces together, i.e. as a set? Read this post on method dressing and see to what degree you can recognize your own outfit-building approach in either of the four methods.
three Your final assignment is to figure out a wardrobe organization system that matches not only the contents but also the dynamics of your wardrobe, i.e. how you build outfits. Shuffle item categories you wear a lot to the front of your wardrobe and special occasion pieces to the back.
STREAMLINE YOUR BEAUTY ROUTINE
one First up: Your skin! Reassess your current routine and make sure it covers the four basic components of good skin care (cleansing, hydrating, exfoliation and sun protection). Then tackle your body and hair products: From the top of your head write down which products you need in one day and then compare that list to your bathroom shelves. Check out this post for more advice on streamlining your body and hair care routine.
two Your everyday make up routine is your signature beauty look. Ask yourself: Does your current look express your overall style concept? Are the products/colours you are using right for your skin type and complexion? How could you optimize your routine? Make notes, sketch out a new and improved version of your everyday make up, then: practice!
three Optimize your beauty storage system by matching it to your routine. Organize all of your products (hair, make up, body, nails, etc). according to how often you use them. First, group your everyday essentials and store them on easy-to-reach places (the front of your beauty cabinet, eye-level shelves). Products that you use about once a week or even less frequently (treatments, special occasion products, nail care stuff, etc.) can be stored out of sight.
one Introspection time! Which colours do you naturally gravitate towards? Examine your home decor and everyday objects (tiny things like key holders, note pads, desktop wallpapers) and your current and past wardrobe. Have your colour preferences changed overtime? Do a quick colour-led inspiration session, collect images with colour schemes you love and build a little mood board.
two Develop an ideal colour palette from your inspiration, using this post. First, identify the 6 - 10 most prevalent shades in your mood board. Distribute them across a framework of 1 - 3 neutrals, 2 - 4 main colours and 2 - 5 accent shades. Aim for overall coherence and make sure the final result is something you love 100%.
three Now compare your ideal colour palette to a) your current wardrobe/ make up routine and b) your recommend colour palette according to seasonal colour analysis. Decide if and how you want to bridge the differences. Brainstorm ideas (for example: replace white tops with powder-white version, buy jewel-toned accessories, find a warmer alternative to favourite red lipstick), then choose a handful to implement ASAP.
one More than any other item in your wardrobe, your bags need to be 100% tailored to your activities. Here's a quick method to help you figure out the parameters of your ideal bag collection: List all of your recurring activities and brainstorm what types of bags would be best suited to them. Compare that list to your current bag collection and make notes on how to deal with disparities.
two Take a closer look at your shoe and outerwear collections. Ask yourself two questions: a) do they represent your style concept and b) is your lifestyle, i.e. all the different activities in your life well-represented? Do you own multiple pairs of fancy high heels and only one pair of work-appropriate shoes, yet spend much more time at work than at evening events?
three Brainstorm a few ideas on how to further strengthen your style concept through details, for example nail polish, jewellery, gloves, watches, belts, layering tops ... little things that can completely change the overall look of an outfit. Refer to your seasonal style concept and your colour palette. Think patterns, single colours, colour combinations, textures, shapes. Choose five ideas to implement within the next two weeks.
one From the top of your head write a list of your ten most-worn outfits. Then: Read this post. Use your list to examine which blueprint(s) you use to build your outfits.
two To become a pro at method dressing, learn some new tricks and break out of a rut, do this: Practice each approach. Build several versions of the same uniform, pair statement pieces with basics and create several looks by mixing and matching pieces that share a similar style.
three Brainstorm how you could optimize your current wardrobe to better suit your favourite 1-2 ways of dressing. Consider which new additions would have the greatest impact: Some simple pieces to expand your foundation of basics, a couple of pieces in your colour palette's main colours to increase coherence or perhaps a few more versions of uniform components?
one Go through your entire wardrobe, section by section, and examine every single item. Ask yourself: Does it express my personal style, suit my body shape and fit my lifestyle? If not, put it in a separate pile.
two Now comes the hard decision making: Dealing with your pile of no-good items. Anything that you feel super sentimental about can stay, but not in your closet. Things you NEED but that aren't quite right (like a washed-out nude bra) can also stay for now, until you have replaced them. Put items you are not sure about in a 'maybe box' underneath your bed for a trial separation. Sell, give away or throw out the rest.
three Examine the items left in your wardrobe: What do they have in common? Do you gravitate towards certain colours, materials or fits? Make notes to improve your hit rate in the future and prevent bad buys. Click here for more advice on how to improve your shopping strategy.