I used to think that well dressed women were naturally endowed with the ability to look amazing every day. It took me a long time to realise that no well dressed woman is that way by accident. Those well dressed women know how to put outfits together. Looking great, amazing even, is all about organisation, not luck. But the great thing is that you can learn this organisation strategy too. Imagine going to your wardrobe and looking forward to what you are going to wear. Isn’t that much better than your heart sinking and you feeling bad about yourself simply because you don’t know how to organize your clothes. So, this is the perfect article to read if you are at a loss what to wear and feel like every other woman is much better dressed than you. Take heart and read on, you can look as good as you have always hoped, but not known how to achieve. And it’s all a simple matter of how to organize your clothes and put outfits together that you want to wear.
Do you put outfits together in advance? Or leave it to how you feel?
You have many clothes in your wardrobe but each day you get up and think you have nothing to wear. It could be that you don’t have enough clothes to put together one outfit, but that is very unlikely to be the case. It could also be that you have too many clothes. Either way, each time you open your wardrobe you are overwhelmed by a large pile of disorganised clothes. It is impossible to put outfits together in a calm, enjoyable manner in a state of disorganization. If that is the case, then I recommend you read my Organise your wardrobe post. However, it is most likely the case that you have not been well trained to correctly build your wardrobe. You need to think of your clothes as a collection of items, which makes it easy to put outfits together. You should look upon each item in your wardrobe as a lovely individual piece, but as part of a whole. Each item needs to correspond and relate to the other items in your wardrobe.
This is where I can help. If you want to be organized and put outfits together from your existing wardrobe. If you want to train your brain to take control of your closet, then you are in the right place.
Put outfits together and move from a negative state to a positive one
Move from a negative state of grabbing that black dress, simply because it’s clean, to planning your wardrobe the night before, having put outfits together for the next day. Get dressed in a calm, happy state (joyful even, I mean the day has hardly started and already you’re winning!). Wear an outfit that reflects your personality, the real you. These are infinitely preferable sates of mind to the frenzied, panicky alternative. In this blog post I will show you how it’s done. Believe me, I speak from many years experience of the panicky alternative. The calm version is amazing and really sets me up for the day. It’s truly therapeutic. I love the time spent when I put outfits together. It calms my mind and makes me feel super organized.
The benefits of an organized wardrobe policy are many.
So in this post, I’m going to show you how to get your image sorted and how to look amazing with very little effort. By image I mean how you look. Your image, the outer you if you like, needs to connect with your identity, your inner you. When there is a mismatch and the two don’t connect there is a problem, but when the two do connect then you get to this zone of peace. You feel comfortable in your own skin and what you see in the mirror is good too, and this is a great place to be. So we are looking for a connection between image, the outer you, what you are portraying to the world, and identity, the inner you, how you feel, the motives from which you operate.
Putting outfits together – A simple strategy to get started
So lets get started: … the first thing to do is to employ this simple strategy and adopt it as your own.
I call it the 70,20,10 primary image rule. I recommend that you do this exercise now, and then every two years or so go through the exercise again and adjust if necessary.
Putting outfits together – The 70/20/10 rule – Identifying your primary image
So this is the exercise. What we are going to do is identify what your primary image is. By primary image I mean your primary external image. As a rule of thumb our primary image generally conforms to the role we spend most of our time undertaking. Do you spend most of your time at work, at home or in the park with the dogs?
Understandably, very few people conform to just one image: the roles that we undertake in our lives: mother, sister, wife, friend, colleague, boss, employer, employee vary. For the purposes of this exercise, it’s important to be as clear as possible though, so write down what your top three external images are. And just to remind you again, these are images which represent something that you do, eg florist, mother, nurse, lawyer, fireman, judge, journalist, carer. For the sake of argument I will choose two examples: the first is architect and the second is mother, the third is yoga enthusiast.
Putting outfits together – Implementing the 70/20/10 rule
The first example is architect. If you are an architect you will dress differently for work, most probably, than you would if you are an accountant. Generalisation I know. So your primary image is architect. Then think about the way that you dress as an earchitect. You can probably dress in a creative/arty/fashion forward way with a modern smart look for client/site meetings. So your primary image is going to be creative/arty/fashion forward/modern smart. Therefore 70% of your wardrobe needs to conform to this primary image. 70% of the clothes/shoes/accessories/jewellery that you wear needs to conform to that primary image. So, ideally, you will put outfits together from 70% of your wardrobe for work.
Putting outfits together – The remainder of the 70/20/10 rule
This is a 70/20/10 rule so the next group of clothes to address is the 20% group. This is the next common activity you undertake. If you are a parent this may be being a mother. So 20% of your wardrobe should be clothes suitable for parenting, clothes that you enjoy wearing when you are with your children. If you are single this might be your leisure time, if you are a sports fanatic, or a dance fan, then it may be your hobby. Whatever it is, allocate 20% of your wardrobe to it.
And the last amount, the 10% is allocated to the remaining group of activities you undertake. So if you spend 10% of your free time in yoga classes you would expect to have 10% of your clothing devoted to great yoga wear. So, there should be 10% of your wardrobe from which you can put outfits together to wear for yoga.
Over to you: To do
Now for some practical work. Take all of the clothes out of your wardrobe that are out of season and store them away. This will leave you with everything that in theory you can wear right now. Create three piles of clothes according to the 70/20/10 principle.
If you discover that you don’t have enough clothes for your 70% allocation and that you have too many for your 20% allocation then you are discovering something interesting. Firstly it shows that you have probably struggled to find the right clothes each day, and put outfits together, for the majority of your week. Secondly it might show you that for whatever reason you are defaulting to buying for your 20% clothes group rather than your 70% and there may be a variety of reasons for that which we can discuss in more depth at a later stage.
Creating beautiful outfits that you love
Put outfits together with the 70%
At this stage we are interested in the 70% category. Out of this collection of clothes I want you to put together a number of outfits. You can reuse items, so you can have three outfits which use the same jacket. Or all the outfits can use the same jacket (although you might get bored of that). So between 5 and 10 outfits that you can put together that you like, out of this collection of 70% clothes.
Photograph and log your outfits when you have put them together
Then you are going to do two things: firstly photograph them with your phone, secondly log them somewhere. You could create a folder in your photos on your phone or laptop. If possible print off a copy, it doesn’t need to be a perfect Instagram shot, although it can be. It just should be an aide memoire that you can put up in your wardrobe to remind you of the outfits that you have created.
At this stage you may need a cup of tea or glass of water so go and have a quick break then come back for the next part of the 70/20/10 rule. But keep going, it’s well worth it.
After a quick break, it’s on to 20% and 10% – put outfits together with them
When you have finished the 70%, undertake the same tasks for the 20% and the 10%.
By the time you have finished you will have a selection of outfits that can be worn each week, in accordance with the activities you undertake each week.
Putting outfits together – The final touch….
The final part of the 70/20/10 image is this: each night before you go to bed you retrieve one of these outfits that you have put together from the wardrobe. Hang it up for the following morning. Don’t ignore this step. It might seem like the easiest and most obvious one. However it brings all aspects of the exercise and all your hard work together and makes it concrete and real. So don’t ignore it.
I hope this has been useful. For me, being organised in what I wear has been revolutionary. I don’t have the time that I used to have to spend on choosing what to wear. But I love being well dressed and well prepared for the day. I also personally love the 70/20/10 rule. I use it informally sometimes, as a check, to assess whether I’ve got the right balance in my wardrobe.
Did I help you?
Did you enjoy this post? Please feel free to share it and get the message out that a well ordered wardrobe is something we can all enjoy. The benefits of being in control of this fundamental part of our lives are so great and have an affect on all other parts of our lives too.
If you are looking for another challenge or want to read more why not check out other posts in the Wardrobe Fundamentals series. The first one in the mini series is all about organising your wardrobe. The next post in this is series is on how to work out what your own personal style is, so be sure to read that as all blog posts in this series compliment and add on each other.
Please also leave a comment ,as feedback is so important to what I am writing. How can I make it more relevant for you? What specifically did you enjoy about this post? What would you like to see more of? Please leave your comments below.
Where to learn more
Would you like to learn more? Sign up for our newest group course, “How to take the emotion out of your wardrobe and put your heart back in” here:
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