Friday, August 3, 2012

What to Wear: Paring Down Your Wardrobe

How are you? Are you enjoying your summer so far? I hope you're finding some great ways to stay cool because it is definitely a hot one this year! Finding outfits that allow you to stay cool definitely helps and for me dresses are on the top of my list. One thing is for sure, the votes are coming in loud and clear for the little poll I posted in the sidebar a couple weeks ago. Since you all wanted to read more posts about classy fashion and how to dress classy, I thought it was about time to write another post for our 'What to Wear'. If you haven't voted yet for your favorite types of posts on this blog and want to, it's still available and I would absolutely love to hear from you! :) It looks like this in my sidebar to the right of this post....

I thought we could discuss the topic of paring down. This might sound scary or daunting to some but I find that simplicity in many areas of our life actually helps to reduce stress and clear the mind of unnecessary clutter. Yesterday I came across a lovely new blog called 'Greater than Rubies' and discovered a little challenge that the blog writer Caitlin put together. She has decided not to purchase any new clothing for **gasp** one.full.year. She began on Jan.1st, so she's more than half way though the challenge now. Below is a look at the main outfits she created from just a few key wardrobe staples-it's really amazing to see it all laid out in one image board.

{Click link below named 'this link' to see enlarged individual outfits}

While reading a few pages of her blog I found this great compilation of images that Caitlin created for a separate challenge called the 30-Day Challenge which she posted to Pinterest. All of the tiny images you see here are all shown individually however much larger on the site, use this link to see them all in greater detail. She used 11 pieces to create 35 outfits from Day 1 to Day 30! With just eleven clothing pieces and a few accessories to rotate through you could get by for a whole month with only those pieces just like she did! We can all live on less and I think this just proves it. I don't know about you but I'm pretty darn impressed! Thanks Caitlin for the inspiration! :)

She has also decided to do something that costs her nothing to update her wardrobe now and then-clothing swaps. I've attended a few of these and they are always so much fun. Essentially everyone brings clothing, shoes and accessories they no longer want and would consider just donating to the swap and each person gets a chance to select a few new items. Not only is it free, but it's a great way to bring girlfriends together and become a bit more creative with your wardrobe and go home with some great new pieces!

Here are some tips on Maximizing Your Wardrobe that I wrote last year which include a short video from Project Runway's Tim Gunn.

For the classy woman, the key to building a solid wardrobe is to keep only those pieces which flatter, that fit properly, are in good repair and stand the test of time. Classic pieces will never let you down, they can be mixed with more trendy garments to create great outfits and if you care for them properly and establish a wardrobe built upon them, getting dressed will be so much easier. We'll be talking more about what these pieces consist of in the weeks to come in greater detail. In the mean time, you can read about essential classic wardrobe pieces in this previous post I wrote called, How to Dress Classy on a Budget.

This summer wardrobe image above is a great example of how you can wear the same two clothing pieces two different ways. It's the color in the accessories that changes the overall look! Sometimes we get into a rut with our clothing, always wearing the same pieces with the same shoes and accessories. You'll note that the shoes, handbag and sunglasses are the same, but changing those up will add greater variety. Is this getting your creative juices flowing yet?

Each season it's a good idea to donate anything that you haven't worn in the previous 12 months, don't like how you look or feel in, clothing that is beyond repair or stained and any pieces that you no longer love. There isn't any sense in filling what limited closet space and drawer space you have with things you truly never wear. There is nothing wrong with having a smaller wardrobe, in fact French women very much live by the notion of less is more when it comes to their closets. They'll invest in great trench coats, pencil skirts, dresses and black dress pants that they've saved up for and invested in and can literally wear for 5-10 years. They enjoy quality over quantity and I think this is a great lesson we could glean from them.

Have any of your tried paring down your wardrobe or challenging yourself in this way for others areas in your life? Maybe you've participated in a clothing swap? What did you learn most during the process?

Wishing you all a Fabulous Weekend!


*Photo Credits: (1), (2), (3)


  1. I've never had a clothing swap, but that is a great idea. It's funny you posted this, because that has been my project this week: cleaning out the closet. It's still way too full of stuff I never wear, but I did make progress.
    I'm definitely in the season of life where I am mainly only buying decent quality, timeless pieces. I actually feel most like myself in classic pieces. It took me a long time to realize I'm just not comfortable in most trendy clothing.
    Have you picked up the book Parisian Chic? It's a fun little read. Pinterest has also helped start organizing my ideas for my closet and good reminder of things to save for (instead of spending on random things I'll only wear for a year).

    1. Hi Sarah! Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I'm so glad this post was timely with your closet cleaning! I'm with you on feeling like myself in classic pieces. While I enjoy trends there are many that take me a while to finally embrace (I don't like to commit to them until I feel they'll having some staying power). I haven't read Parisian Chic but I'll be sure to check it out, it sounds like my kind of read! Pinterest is a wonderful organizer of ideas indeed! :) Hugs, Karla

  2. Excellent Karla! I agree and am slowly weaning myself of a full closet and wardrobe! I do wear a lot of Classic pieces ...

    Art by Karena
    2012 Artists Series

    1. Thank you, Karena! I'm kind of in the middle-not a huge wardrobe or really small one but I'm constantly donating pieces. I give one away for every new piece I purchase. I hope you had a nice weekend! :) XO ~K

  3. Years ago I finde this basic wardrobe plan in a jounal. For me, beside of my styling-sidesteps, it still works:
    1 black (or dark grey oder dark blue) 3pcs set (= costume with trousers, same material)
    1 skirt in a colour and pattern that goes with the jacket
    1 colourful jacket, for a different style
    jeans, goes with both jackets for a more casul look
    blouses, sweaters, etc.
    1 little black dress
    The closet is empty, I know. But I wonderd, how long i could stay with this few pieces
    Kindest regards of Vienna

    1. Thanks for commenting, Sanne! :) So glad to hear you found a basic wardrobe plan years go that works for you! Having pieces that co-ordinate with several other pieces is key. For that reason it's good to have a lot of solid pieces along with some fun prints like stripes, polka dot, floral, etc.

  4. Replies
    1. Thank you, Leigh! I appreciate you always leaving a comment! :)

  5. Thank you so much for including me in your post, Karla! I love the other tips you've given and will definitely be back to check out more :) I hope you have a lovely weekend!

    1. You are so welcome, Caitlin! Thank you so much for the great ideas and inspiration! :)


Thanks for stopping by, your comments make my day! I read every single one and will answer any questions you have. I hope you'll visit again soon! :)


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