Wardrobe Deconstruction

By Tiffany - Friday, August 30, 2013

As it is now turning to more fall like weather, I'm once again reviewing my Wardrobe Plan. Whenever the seasons change, I like to look at what I have and get rid of anything I'm not wearing. I should especially get rid of any summer stuff that didn't get worn this year.

My overall goal is to have a pared-down wardrobe with stuff that I'll actually wear. There is very little storage space in my house and my closet is tiny (and shared with my husband!). I don't want to waste space on things I don't need.

I also want to make sure that what I wear is stuff that I'll be comfortable in and that will look good for the forseeable future. Fads are nice, but they really are a waste of time and money and storage space. Basically, I want to look classy and be at ease doing it.

So, I am going to share something I found out when figuring out what to wear: the deconstructed wardrobe.

I used to be terrible at knowing what to wear and I'm still very clueless in many ways. It's not completely my fault though - I had a few years of school dress code and not much money, so not much practice. Learning what looks good has always been tricky.

Like many people now-a-days, I turned to Pinterest for ideas on what to wear. Generally, I already know that I like to wear pants with a nice top and a cardigan or blazer to keep me warm. Luckily, when I searched for 'work outfits', that is the type of outfit I got.

I kept pinning and pinning until I noticed a pattern; not only in the type of things I like, but what a lot of other people were pinning, too.

Without further ado, this is the simple pattern that I found: mix neutrals with some colour and tada! Ok, so it's a little more complicated than that. Here is my explanation.

  • There are three main clothing pieces: Bottoms, Top, and Sweater/Blazer
  • The clothing are either in a colour or neutral (white, grey, black, beige, etc.).
  • One piece is in a colour and the rest are neutral.
Here is a handy matrix to show what I'm taking about:

Blazer / cardigan colour neutral neutral
Top / Blouse neutral colour neutral
Bottom neutral neutral colour

By mix an matching a handful of 'neutral' clothes with some colourful one's we can get many different outfits out of a few pieces of clothing. Here are examples of the type of outfits I'm talking about:

Option 1: Colour/Neutral/Neutral

A colourful blazer or cardigan with the rest more neutral.

Option 2: Neutral/Colour/Neutral

A colourful top with the rest more neutral.

Option 3: Neutral/Neutral/Colour

Probably the most extreme, colourful pants or skirt with the rest more neutral.

Other Points

All neutral is pretty boring. For example:

Too much colour is just too much. Some people might be able to pull it off, but I sure can't:

Denim and navy can be treated as a neutral or as a colour (if paired with everything else neutral). In the examples above, denim was used as a neutral. Here it's being used more as a colour:

The neutrals tend to be a mix of one lighter and one darker, but you do occasionally see both dark or both light. This is more common when there is a bit of a pattern. For example:

The above photo also illustrates that patterns are usually matched with the colour or the neutral. If the pattern isn't matched, you fall into the "too much colour" category. Here is another example, where the beige of the cardigan matched the beige in the pattern:

Anyways, theses aren't 'rules' just observations about what outfits come off as classy and 'put together'. I'm going to use these points to identify any garments that are all by their lonesome. I can then make the decision whether to donate it or make it a new friend. It will also help make sure that I don't sew or knit anything that doesn't fit with what I already have.

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