Recently, I have been seeing and hearing more about scaled-down, curated closets. As fun as fast fashion is and as exciting as having an overflowing closet can be, I am becoming more interested in quality over quantity—pieces I love that I can mix and match together. Not only is a curated closet a way to focus on your personal style, it will also save you money and prep time each morning, and it’ll have less impact on the environment.
So what exactly is a curated closet? A curated closet consists of quality pieces that are meant to mix and match with each other. If this is something you are interested in, there are so many blogs and books out there to help get you started! Check out some of my favorite tips and resources on the topic below.
1. Define Your Style
Everyone’s style is different, and it may be difficult to define yours. However, you’ll want to narrow it down as much as possible for a challenge like this. For example, my personal style has evolved from a relaxed bohemian to a relaxed minimalist look. I gravitate towards fun prints every now and then, and I’ll buy a few stand-out pieces.
2. Purge, Purge, Purge
The first step is to go through your entire wardrobe and purge the pieces that you don’t wear. As much work as this step is, it is the most important. You will get a better sense of your style and what is important to you to have for each season. Will you focus more heavily on a combination of tops and bottoms, or do you love to wear dresses? This will be important because the best way to create a curated closet is to focus on the number of items. I like the idea of a range (like 30-40 items) instead of one specific number.
After you purge your closet and are left with the pieces that you truly love, see if there are any holes in your closet that you need to fill. Are you missing a button-down blouse or a perfect pair of denim? Once you fill the holes in your closet, make a pact with yourself to hold off on shopping until the next season. Remember: the idea is to keep it simple.
Your biggest challenge will be learning to remix your now limited wardrobe to create an entire season of outfits. This may be challenging if you are used to having a higher quantity of clothing in your closet, but it will help to refine your style and really test your closet curation.
After reading these tips, if you are interested in taking on a curated closet challenge, below are some of my favorite resources for inspiration:
⋅ Anuschka Rees: This is the site of the author of The Curated Closet, and it will be one of the most in-depth and helpful resources to get you started. Anuschka gives you step-by-step instructions, worksheets, and exercises to help create your new closet.
⋅ Project 333 (Be More With Less): Featured by the Associated Press, The Today Show, and O, The Oprah Magazine, Project 333 challenges you to live with 33 items of clothing or less for an entire three months.
⋅ Unfancy: Caroline began curating her closet and has helpful tips for those just beginning. She keeps it simple, straightforward, and approachable.
Trends come and go in waves; some are modernized, revamped, and welcomed back with open arms, while others take some time to be accepted and embraced. Lately, I’ve seen some surprising statement trends slowly making their way back into stores and editorials—and they have me scratching my head a bit. Not one to judge, I am diving in and rounding up a few of the latest unexpected trends to share with our Crossroads readers.
You read that right—the hair tie of your childhood has snuck into your adult life, and you’ll more than likely be seeing it in stores again. If you’re tempted to grab a few out of nostalgia, you won’t be the first or the last. To easily incorporate it into your modern wardrobe, keep it in the same color family as your outfit’s, or wear a neutral color like white on your wrist as a fun accessory.
Denim Maxi Skirts:
The bane of my existence growing up in the ’80s and ’90s: the denim maxi skirt. We saw the return of denim mini and midi skirts this past year, so it was only inevitable that we would be seeing the maxi come back as well. I will admit that I was not a fan of its original run, but today’s cuts have been updated, and I can’t say that I’m mad about it. Details like frayed edges, layers, and high slits have really revamped the denim maxi.
Dresses Over Pants:
I rocked this look in high school and after seeing photos of myself years later, I was so happy that this was not a trend anymore… until now. This early 2000s look typically consists of a mini dress—usually with embellishments like ruffled layers—worn over low-rise flared denim. Today’s modern take on a dress-and-pants combo is a big improvement. Try a button-down maxi dress fastened a quarter of the way over high-waisted distressed denim, or a sheer dress with high slits over a slim pant.
I’ve been surprised to see shoes with fur accents taking over as much as they have. I didn’t think they were a practical shoe choice for the everyday women, but this is one surprising trend that I am definitely loving. Who says your shoe choice needs to be practical, anyway? Fur-accented mules, loafers, and heels add a bit of excitement and fun to your outfit.
We all have our favorite staple pieces that we go to again and again. They make our wardrobes more cohesive and can save us from those mornings we feel we have nothing to wear. But as much as we love those wardrobe staples, basic pieces can get a little boring and may need an update from time to time.
To help you refresh those wardrobe staples, I’ve rounded up five shopping and styling tips that’ll keep them exciting and just as easy to wear!
1. Look for Unexpected Details
Freshen up your basics by looking for pieces with unexpected details, like statement sleeves on your next button-down blouse.
2. Pair Them with Lively Pieces
Grasie pairs her white sneakers—a wardrobe staple every girl should have in her closet—with a fun, colorful set that is perfect for spring.
3. Mix Traditional with Modern Classics
Tonya is wearing classic block heels with one of my favorite modern classic looks: denim on denim.
4. Oversize It
A classic blazer becomes a modern piece that can be worn with any outfit when you choose an oversized fit and scrunch up the sleeves.
5. Add a Personal Touch
Use your DIY skills to add some extra flare to your staple pieces; for example, try adding a raw edge hem to your denim or embroidery if you’re feeling crafty.
We have a closet full of clothes, yet somehow, we all have days where we stand in front of those racks and say, “I have nothing to wear.” Suddenly, nothing looks good or goes together quite like how you remember, and of course, it always happens at the worst times, like when you actually need something to wear. Never on a weekend when you can get away with your favorite pair of jeans and a tee.
Luckily, solving this dilemma is as simple as preparing for it in advance. Check out my tips on how to plan for those ubiquitous nothing-to-wear mornings.
1. Use the Remix Rule When Shopping
I typically justify my clothing purchases with the remix rule: If you can think of three different outfits using the piece and clothing you already own, buy it. If not, leave it at the store and let yourself sleep on it. Chances are, you actually don’t need that new sweater. Focus on creating a closet with a wardrobe that works together, not against itself.
2. Stay Inspired
If you have a closet full of clothes, then of course you have something to wear. You may just need to get inspired to have some fun with the clothes that you have. This is where Instagram, Pinterest, and blogs come in. Take screenshots of outfits that you can recreate using similar items in your closet. When that dreaded “I have nothing to wear” morning comes, you’ll be prepared with more than enough ideas.
3. Go For Black on Black
Black is a fashion girl’s best friend. It never fails, it matches everything, and you may already have at least one of every type of item in black. If not, look for classic pieces in black for those no-fail outfits: a button-down, a high-waisted skirt, trousers, a dress, and denim. You can pump up your look by adding statement accessories or shoes, or just keep it minimal and chic.
4. Stock up on Classic Pieces
Stick to classics on those mornings you want to look good with the least amount of effort. Stock your closet with timeless pieces like a white button-down shirt, black trousers, a pair of flattering jeans, an easy throw-on dress, and a layering piece that goes with everything (like a leather or denim jacket). Trendy, statement pieces are fun, but if your closet is missing classic, key pieces to tie everything together, it will make it a lot harder to get dressed.
5. Plan Ahead
When I have the time, I like to go into my closet, create outfits for future scheduled events, and take photos of them. This makes getting dressed on the day-of a complete breeze! It also allows more time to play with different combinations I may not have thought of while stressing about being ready on time. Planning an outfit ahead of time takes the stress out of getting ready and let’s you focus on what really matters that day.
6. Purge and Organize Your Closet Regularly
Take time to go through your closet each season and ask yourself if you really need each item. Have you worn it in the last 6-12 months? Does it fit? Does it still work with your current style? If not, pack it up and head to your nearest Crossroads to sell it, or donate it to your local secondhand store. Too much of a good thing can actually make it harder to make a decision! Pare your wardrobe down to pieces you love and actually wear, and get rid of the rest.
You know the girls—the ones that throw on the first t-shirt they see before running out the door, yet somehow still look great? The girls who have perfected the effortless look that we covet but have a little trouble recreating ourselves?
The secret is to keep it simple and build your style around your favorite wardrobe staples. If you’re wondering where to start, below are my five essential pieces to add to your wardrobe for perfect “cool-girl” style.
The White Tee
How many times have you stared into a full closet and thought “I have nothing to wear”? Easy to wear and to style, a comfy white tee is the perfect solution to that wardrobe dilemma.
The Leather Jacket
The ultimate cool-girl staple, a leather jacket looks good thrown over everything from a tee to a dress.
The Ankle Boot
Ankle boots are my go-to shoe, and for good reason! They will instantly up your cool factor and pair effortlessly with any type of outfit.
Whether they’re skinny or relaxed, you’ll look and feel great when your pants fit like they were made for you. This is one piece of clothing you shouldn’t be afraid to invest your money in!
A Signature Accessory
Not everything you wear has to be basic! Adding a subtle or statement accessory—like a scarf, hat, or bag—will help you stand out and is a great way to show off your personal style.
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