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How to Manage Your Wardrobe

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Nicole Richie's Closet

It’s the eternal problem of a closet full of gorgeous clothes: making sure that you actually WEAR them. What good are all those amazing pieces if you wake up with 5 minutes to throw something on for class and go? How is it that some people can look so put-together no matter what?

It’s all about “wardrobe management”, or knowing exactly what you have and how to work it.

Learning to manage your wardrobe can be beneficial in a number of ways. It can save you time, money, and can make you look far more stylish and put-together. It’s an absolutely essential skill to master if you plan to invest in quality pieces, or if you just want to make the most of what you already have.

My Top Tips For Wardrobe Management:

  1. Spend time coming up with new looks.
    I know you might hate to hear it, but it’s true – looking fashionable isn’t always effortless. If you want to take full advantage of what you have, you need to spend some time planning outfits. Whenever you get new clothes, shoes, or accessories, try them on with different stuff you already own! Once you know what goes with what, getting dressed will be a snap.
  2. Get a second opinion.
    Go through your closet with your most fashionable and honest friend. Try things on and get her opinion. Your friend might also help you come up with new outfit combinations that you would have never thought of on your own.
  3. Take photos of the looks that work.
    If you really need help with your style, you could create your own “look book” of outfits. After you spend time going through your clothes and creating outfits that work, lay all the pieces down on the floor with matching shoes, handbag and other accessories, and snap a photo. Polaroids are the quickest, but regular or digital photos are fine too.
  4. Write it all down.
    You might also find it helpful to write down the names of which pieces you chose on the back of each photo, just in case you’re in a hurry. And it’s good to keep all the photos together too, so it’s like an archive of your style. Any time you need to get dressed fast, just turn to your personal look book and a great outfit will be all ready to go.
  5. Digitalize it.
    If you’re more into digital photos than polaroids, there are tons of great site that can help you with wardrobe management. Lookbook.nu and My Style Diary are communities where users take pictures of their outfits and post them for all to see. These sites offer you an easy way to save all your outfits in one place, and also serve as great sources for wardrobe inspiration.

Ultimately, wardrobe management is not a one time only deal, but rather an ongoing process that you will need to repeat whenever you get new clothes or accessories. It may seem like a lot of work, but the time you put in will pay off in a big way. With a little extra outfit planning, you too can look put-together and fashionable every day, no matter how late you oversleep.

Posted on on April 17, 2007 / Filed Under: College Life / Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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34 Responses to “How to Manage Your Wardrobe”

  1. 1
    April 17th, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    Yeah you’re right. I would say that looking neat and clean is not that effortless. I have always problems with my apartment, and especially with the wardrobe, and I’m lazy to manage things there, thats the reason, i always push everything inside the wardrobe and just try to close. hehe. anyway very nice topic, i would keep this in mind,

  2. 2
    April 17th, 2007 at 7:21 pm

    Yeah, there are always those people that seem to pull it off effortlessly! Before I started keeping track of my outfits, I was always jealous of them. It feels like work at first to manage all your clothes, but it really feels great to do it!

  3. 3
    April 18th, 2007 at 4:18 pm

    Great tips–I especially like the idea about taking photos of looks that work!

  4. 4
    April 18th, 2007 at 7:08 pm

    Hey, I love your tips! Check out Dress assistant, it’s a sweet program a la Cher in clueless that lets you catalog your closet. It’s pretty sweet. http://www.dressassistant.com/index_win.html

  5. 5
    April 19th, 2007 at 12:00 am

    this is a great, great article.. thank you for the tips – I’ll definitely have to try out the look book idea ^_- I’ve become a regular visitor over the past 2 weeks and I love the constant updates.. keep up the wonderful posts!

  6. 6
    April 19th, 2007 at 11:32 am

    Erinsays – Ooh! Dress assistant looks awesome! I may have to get that.. Thanks for the tip!

    Michelle – Thanks so much for your comments! :) Glad you enjoy the posts!

  7. 7
    April 23rd, 2007 at 2:16 am

    I don’t do the formal “look book” thing, but I do try on new clothes with old to see what works. I always work out what I’m going to wear ahead of time and make sure the whole thing hangs together. I’ve gotten a lot better at it over the past few years.

  8. 8
    April 23rd, 2007 at 10:48 am

    Wonderful post!

    I end up using my blog as somewhat of a “lookbook”. Especially the Month of Sundays posts (Sunday mornings can be the most challenging).

    My biggest trouble is that, although I know all this stuff, I’d rather be blogging. ;)

  9. 9
    April 23rd, 2007 at 1:18 pm

    Icy – Yeah, I didn’t use to take pictures of my outfits until I got to college. I’m always in a rush to go somewhere and it’s so much more helpful to have everything in one place so it’s basically brainless in a hurry. I like your idea about putting outfits hanging together though. That must keep you really organized.

    Rebecca – Thanks so much! I like the idea of using your blog to post your outfits. I’m not sure if I’d be that brave or if I’d want the whole internet to see what I was wearing every day, haha

  10. 10
    April 11th, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    This site is very useful!!!! especially where, like me i got like a lot of clothes but don’t have enuff time to plan. Started planning outfits like at the beginning of the yeah and yeah, it really helps!!!

    Oh and taking pictures will be helpful too!!

  11. 11
    August 7th, 2008 at 7:44 pm

    i think taking pics is a great idea! when i get new clothes, i take pics of my self wearing different outfits that include it using my phone..and sumtimes in the morning i can just look thru my phone to pick wat im going to wear! however…i’ve taken so many pics LOL that i dont think my phone will be able to fit it all..i’ve had to upload a few on my computer. i wonder if theres an electronic device whose soLE function is to store and display pictures? of course..theres always the ipod..

  12. 12
    January 5th, 2009 at 10:47 am

    Hi!

    I love this article also! I’m not in college, but have to go to work every morning so I have the same problem :)

    cindy.. you can use a digital photo-frame for that, it’s sole function is to display pictures (from memorycard).

    I have my own profile on yourfashionassistant.com where I put as many of my clothes as possible and where I create outfits. i’s really cool and I can recommend it to all people like us who struggle with their clothes every morning.

    Here’s my profile and my clothes/outfits:
    http://www.yourfashionassistant.com/profile.php?user=FashionChick

  13. 13
    February 3rd, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    I love this article so much. I’ve been having this problem for ages; I have a closet full of expensive, trendy clothes but somehow I just can’t look right. Your tips have been really helpful and sound fun. I can’t wait to start managing my wardrobe properly! Thank you sooo much and keep up the great work, lovely blog :)

  14. 14
    May 17th, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    I use color-coded index cards in those bins that people use for recipe cards.

    Like:
    Red: Summer

  15. 15
    June 10th, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    I discovered your site a few days ago and I have to say it is AMAZING!! this article was also very helpful!! I will definately start taking photos of different outfits..as finding an outfit every morning is really fun but sometimes exhausting if I do not like what I came up with..:/….:P

    thanks a lot for these helpful articles!!:D keep up the great work..:)

  16. 16
    July 12th, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    I was thinking I needed serious help with my wardrobe when I stumbled across this post,thanks.I’m going to start taking photos of outfits now.Great article!

  17. 17
    July 14th, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    My main problem with looking put-together is that my clothes don’t all go together!! I moved schools three years ago from a hellhole comprehensive to a girls’ high school and instantly had a style makeover – from my juvenile surfer-tomboy look to someting a whole lot more feminine (I discovered the meaning of ‘hourglass figure’ and never looked back!!) – and yet I still have loads of clothes left over from my mid-teens that go with NOTHING in my current wardrobe. I have gazillions of t-shirts/trousers/dresses/skirts/shoes, but none of them match each other.

    That’s why it’s important to buy clothes with outfits in mind, as well as keep track of outfits once things are in your wardrobe – otherwise, you end up with loads of clothes, some of which you like and some you don’t, and they only make ten decent outfits. Plan ahead and keep track of what goes with what!

    I do like the look-book idea and will probably use it when I’ve filled my currently measly wardrobe with clothes I like, all ready for university next year…:-)

  18. 18
    July 21st, 2009 at 2:30 am

    my GEEEEEEEEZ!
    i have been looking in all the wrong places for help on my style,ive wasted my time on sites that were a complete waste of my time buuuut since i found this website i have now saved it to my favorites on my computer. yaaaaay this year for school i have a great feeling and confidence in myself and style thanks to your tips <3

    love Marian :)

  19. 19
    September 4th, 2009 at 8:36 am

    Great tips.I was looking for help with my wardrobe when I stumbled across this post.

  20. 20
    November 10th, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    lookbook.nu is a much better website to get outfit inspiration from in comparison to mystylediary.

  21. 21
    December 27th, 2009 at 8:02 am

    Love your blog! You’re doing a great job getting girls outside their fashion comfort zone and develop their own style beyond Juicy Couture and A/F.

  22. 22
    November 12th, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    In my spare time (or when I’m just bored in class) I like doodling outfits that I come up with. Often before I buy something, I’ll sketch it out as well, pairing it with other items in my closet! I find this has been really helpful! I get to plan out my wardrobe for weeks in advance, that way when I wake up in the morning I can just throw on the outfit and go. Before sometimes I’d wake up in the morning and just be waaay too tired or rushed, so I’d just wear a hoodie and jeans or (gasp) sweatpants. But I never have a bad day anymore!

  23. 23
    November 30th, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Thank you for the helpful article! FYI “digitalize” isn’t a word (the proper word is digitize).

  24. 24
    October 1st, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    I am sure this piece of witing has touched all the internet viewers, its really really
    nice paragraph on building up new blog.

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