I have a thing for lists. My boyfriend accuses me of leaving lists on little pieces of paper all over the house. True, I do this. There’s a grocery list in the kitchen, a to-do list on the coffee table, a list of blog ideas in my notebook, a list of books to read in my phone…you get the picture. I like lists.
I realize that lists are not for everyone. I admit they appeal to a person with a certain level of obsessiveness (me!). So I’m not going to say making lists is the tool that will help everyone with everything. However, I truly believe that the list is a valuable tool in building a wardrobe.
I wrote a post on brainstorming a list of words that describe your style vision – how you want your style to be. This is the important first step in wardrobe building because if you don’t have a coherent vision of where you want to go with your style, you will end up shopping haphazardly and the end result of that is always a closet full of clothes that don’t go together.
The second step in wardrobe building is to make a list of the components of your dream wardrobe. This second step is really like step one part two because it is related to the word list. First you make a word list to clarify your vision. Next, with your vision in mind, think about the actual components of your dream wardrobe. If your word list had “tailored, modern, and blue,” on it, what pieces embody that for you? A blue shirt dress? A pinstripe slim fit oxford shirt? Think of what items of clothing you love to wear that are in line with your style words. Don’t ask for anyone’s advice here. The items you put on your list should be things you love, not things someone else thinks you should love.
If you don’t first come up with a vision and then transfer it into actual clothing items you will end up with the same wardrobe as everyone else because you will be influenced by advice that doesn’t work for you. You’ve read those lists with titles like Six Essential Pieces Every Woman Should Own. They all have the same items – little black dress, black pumps, white dress shirt, pashmina, etc. Well, how many people do you think should be wearing white dress shirts? Not many. That look just doesn’t work for everyone. What if you are bohemian or artsy or avant garde or sporty or one of a hundred other things?
Vision and planning will take you to a closet full of clothes that express you, not someone else’s idea of you. And isn’t that the point? Dressing ourselves should be about expressing our own true selves. I’m not saying it’s easy. Sometimes we don’t know our true self or how to translate it into clothes. But I think that’s what the quest is all about. I certainly don’t have the perfect wardrobe. But I do have the perfect set of lists about the perfect wardrobe!