Creating A Mix & Match Wardrobe

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Admit it, you've stood in front of your mirror and thought, "I have nothing to wear," even though your closet is packed so tightly there's barely room to add another hanger. It may be time to start building a minimalist and more versatile wardrobe that will get you more wear out of your clothing, and make getting ready easy again.

Pass along anything you don't wear to a friend
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Pass along anything you don't wear to a friend

Clear Out Clutter

Get rid of anything you haven't worn in a long time that just takes up space in your closet. Leave only what you wear on constant rotation. This will be hard, but it's necessary to figuring out what clothing you actually need. 

(Tip: Take your unworn clothes to consignment and save the money for a wardrobe you'll actually wear.) 

Next remove anything that isn’t seasonally appropriate. Everything that is left over should have room to hang without crowding. Take a nice big breath and enjoy that airy space you just created -you've come a long way!


Figure out your favourite colours and patterns.
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Figure out your favourite colours and patterns.

Focus On What You Like

Examine what's left in your closet. Maybe you have a lot of blue jeans and black dresses, or a repeating colour or pattern. You've just identified all of the things you are naturally drawn to.  Make a list of these pieces.  

Now consider what is missing from your wardrobe. Maybe you need a tailored blazer, or a few more work  skirts. Add those items to your closet list. This is your guide to closet sanity and wardrobe happiness. Keep it with you when you shop as a reminder of your end goal - a mix and match wardrobe! 

(TIP: Take a photo of your list with your phone so you always reference it when you are shopping.) 

Now that you’re ready to shop, a few things to keep in mind:

Classics Over Trends

Don’t get distracted by trendy pieces in bold patterns or colours. Keep your focus on buying classic pieces that you can see yourself wearing for at least a year, or longer.  

Choose one or two colours to accent your wardrobe, such as burgundy or navy, (or a colour that most flatters your skin tone).  This will pull together your wardrobe and make it easy to pair tops and trousers quickly. 
Opt for neutral bottoms in black, grey and dark navy. Accent your wardrobe with one or two other colours to maximize mix
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Opt for neutral bottoms in black, grey and dark navy. Accent your wardrobe with one or two other colours to maximize mix

Quality Materials Only


No matter what you are buying, be sure to choose quality fabrics. Cheap materials will mean having to buy more clothes in the end. You want pieces that will last. A few durable fabrics you might want to consider, include denim, leather, tweed, wool and cashmere.
Read the labels of the fabrics before you buy. Go with higher quality rather than cheap for a longer lasting wardrobe.
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Read the labels of the fabrics before you buy. Go with higher quality rather than cheap for a longer lasting wardrobe.

Neutrals Are Your Friend

Neutrals maximize wearability with other pieces in your wardrobe. Stick to a neutral palette and you'll be able to mix and match nearly everything in your wardrobe.  
While keeping a mainly neutral palette, have fun with the different textures.
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While keeping a mainly neutral palette, have fun with the different textures.
Neutral grey + texture = cozy stylish comfort.
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Neutral grey + texture = cozy stylish comfort.

Stock Up On Classic Shirts

Go for classic cuts, and patterns when choosing tops and  shirts  (remember the list of pieces you are drawn to).  These could include simple patterns such as chambray, stripes, or polka dots. Add a top or two in the colour you love to wear most that flatters you. 
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Chambray is a classic element to add to your closet.
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Chambray is a classic element to add to your closet.

Stock Up On Tank Tops and Plain T-Shirts

Make sure you have plain tank tops and long sleeved shirts to layer under blouses, sweaters, and cardigans.
Stock a lot of black, white and grey tank tops for layering.
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Stock a lot of black, white and grey tank tops for layering.

Choose Quality Accessories

Hats, scarves and gloves can transform a plain outfit. Keep quality in mind. It's worth it to spend more on items you can get more use out of. For example, a nice pair of leather gloves may be more expensive than cotton gloves, but will last you for many more seasons.
Texture is key when choosing accessories like hats, gloves and scarves.
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Texture is key when choosing accessories like hats, gloves and scarves.
Neutral accessories in varying textures give you more outfit combination possibilities.
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Neutral accessories in varying textures give you more outfit combination possibilities.

When In Doubt, Go With Black


If you are stuck when deciding on a colour of something in your wardrobe, always opt for black. It keeps your wardrobe professional and sleek looking, and it goes with anything.  
Splurge where it counts, such as on cashmere or leather, for a luxurious touch to your wardrobe.
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Splurge where it counts, such as on cashmere or leather, for a luxurious touch to your wardrobe.
Black boots are an outfit staple.
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Black boots are an outfit staple.

It may be hard to shop following such strict guidelines, but once you accumulate a number of classic, quality basics, you'll be on your way to having a wardrobe you can throw on at a moments notice and look sophisticated. Once you have this base, you'll  be able to mix and match nearly all your pieces, and easily build on your wardrobe over the years.

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