It's the eternal problem of a closet full of gorgeous clothes: making sure that you actually WEAR them. What good are those amazing pieces if you wake up with five minutes to throw something on for class and go? How is it that some people can look so put-together no matter what?
The key to this conundrum is "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 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 Managing Your Wardrobe:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Digitalize it.
If you're more into digital photos than polaroids, the web can help you with wardrobe management. Lookbook.nu is a community where users take pictures of their outfits and post them for all to see. This site offers you an easy way to save all your outfits in one place, and also serves as a great source of wardrobe inspiration. You can always have a "saved" section on Instagram, as well!
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 dividends. With a little extra outfit planning, you too can look put-together and fashionable every day, no matter how late you sleep.
Editor's note: This post was completely updated with new images and tips in 2017.