How to Build an Angst-Free Wardrobe

woman on sofa with shoes

If you love the way you look every day, read no further. If you can reach into your closet and create a perfect ensemble in 60 seconds, move on.

If you’re like the rest us, with a closet full of designer deals that don’t get worn, or super-cool separates that don’t play well together, stick around.

The answer is not a credit-bending shopping spree. More definitely does not mean better. What you want is a wardrobe that is user-friendly and projects the image you want the world to see. Follow our four-step process for building a collection you love.

Begin by gathering inspiration. Browse Pinterest and street-style blogs, rip pages from magazines. Pull any photographs that appeal to you, regardless of how much the clothes cost.

Review your materials, noting at least one thing you like in each shot. (A shade of red, that English country feel.) Scan for themes. Maybe you clipped a lot of rich-lady neutrals—or bohemian brights. Do you see experimental lines or classic cuts? Note any items that make repeat appearances, whether they’re ballet flats or leather leggings.

Make a list of what you’d need to create the core looks you love. We’re talking a half-dozen items, not J. Crew’s spring collection. Maybe it’s a gray pencil skirt, a couple of bright sweaters and oversized sunglasses. A gamine blazer to mix with cropped pants and a leather satchel. Choose a limited color palette so you can always grab and go.

Start investing in perfection. Make a budget and shop your list over time, buying the best quality you can afford. You’ll be surprised at how much you can save by focusing on what you need.

Close the style gap. What items would make your wardrobe complete?

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