How to Build the Wardrobe You Want

Most of our closets and dresser drawers are filled to the brim with clothes, and yet, strangely enough, a large number of` us still feel like we have nothing to wear. I’ve felt this time and time again, so I recently decided that my wardrobe needed some serious revamping. It’s still a work in progress, but here are a few things I’ve learned along the way to building a wardrobe I love.


Declutter. Declutter. Declutter.

The first step to curating a wardrobe you love is to get rid of everything you hate.

Makes sense, right?

Start by going through your closet. Pick up each item, and ask yourself the following questions:

Do I actually wear this? If the answer is no, then get rid of it! It’s just taking up space in your closet.

When was the last time I wore this? If you can’t remember, then get rid of it!  You haven’t missed it for the past 6 months, so what makes you think you’ll miss it when it’s gone?

Do I like this item? If the answer is no, then get rid of it! Why would you hold on to something you hate? That’s weird.  

Do I feel or look good in this item?  If the answer is no, then get rid of it! Why hold on to that dress that makes you look like a potato?

Does this item even fit? If the answer is no, then get rid of it! Let's be honest, you're not losing that 10 lbs any time soon. And even if you do. are you really about to start wearing those old jeans from 7th grade? Yeah. Right. Get rid of it!

Pack up these items and donate them to charity so someone else can find value in them.


Know your personal style. Get inspired.

Now that you’ve gotten rid of things, it’s time to slowly start adding items back to your wardrobe. Take note of the items that fit your personal style. These are the items that you tend to gravitate toward and look the best in.  For example, do you tend to gravitate toward neutral colors or vibrant colors?  Are you edgy, polished, or somewhere in between?

Don’t know? Find some inspiration.

I personally look to my Pinterest Style board for outfit inspo.  You can also save outfit ideas from your favorite celebs, bloggers, or influencers on social media. It’s as easy a taking a few screenshots.

Understanding your personal style will help guide you in picking out new items for your wardrobe. It’ll also make your wardrobe more cohesive, allowing you to mix and match items for even more outfits!

Make a list and stick with it. Limit impulse purchases.

So you’ve found your style inspo, now what?

It’s time to make a list!

We make lists to guide us at the grocery store, so why don’t we do the same when we shop for clothes?? Making lists prevents us from buying things on impulse that we will regret later.

Before the start of each season, visit your Pinterest board or wherever you draw your inspiration. Make a list of ALL the items you’d like to add to your wardrobe for that season. Then shop strategically.

You don’t have to buy everything in one trip. Pace yourself. Shop around for the best price, quality, and fit. Make the items on your list a priority over impulse purchases. If you haven’t found the black boyfriend jeans on your list, then it’s time to step away from that random rainbow sweater on the sale rack.

There will be times when you see cute items that you really like but that aren’t on your list. In some cases, it’ll be ok to just go for it. Finding unexpected gems while out shopping is part of the excitement. Just make sure that this item is something you REALLY like and will get a lot of use out of.  

Stop buying clothes only because they’re on sale.

I love a good sale. Who doesn’t like saving money?

One downside to sales, however, is the false sense of urgency they create, pushing us to impulsively buy items we don’t really need at the moment. You shouldn’t be buying things ONLY because they’re on sale. That’s a red flag. Sales should be the icing on the cake, not the deciding factor as to whether you should make a purchase. Buy sale items you’ve been eyeing for some time or that fill a hole in your wardrobe. If it wasn’t something you wanted in your closet before the sale, then odds are you probably don’t need it.

Resisting sales will be hard at first, but it’ll pay off in the long run when your closet isn’t filled with miscellaneous items you barely wear.


Understand your body type and dress accordingly.

We all have different body types. Some pieces flatter one body type over another.  

For example, some women look great in high waisted pants. I, on the other hand, have a relatively short torso and thus sometimes look like Steve Urkel when I wear high waisted pants. Because I’m aware of this, I’m more cognizant of how high waisted pants fit me and only buy ones that flatter me.

Be knowledgable of your body type to avoid buying clothes that don’t fit you well. If you don't feel great in your clothes, odds are you won't wear them. Instead, these items will just sit in your closet and collect dust.


Curating a wardrobe you love is a long term, ongoing project that requires patience.

Revamping your whole wardrobe may seem intimidating at first. Take your time.

Declutter at your own pace. Add new items when you can.

Don’t rush to buy any old item just to fill your newly decluttered closet. Commit to buying clothes you like and feel great in.

You might slip up from time to time and make impulse purchases you regret, but always remember that your wardrobe can be edited. You can add and subtract as you please. Don’t beat yourself up. Be patient.

It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen. Each intentional purchase you make will get you one step closer to the wardrobe of your dreams, so enjoy the journey.

Happy shopping.

Judy Oranika