Adding items that fit your style

Strategic Wardrobe Additions

guest post by Nancy in California


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I have a suggestion for wardrobe planning. Most women have items in their closet that they love and wear frequently and others that they hardly ever wear. I recommend starting with an analysis of your existing closet. This can provide some guidelines for selecting the images that go into your stylebook. Pull out the pieces you wear the most and feel best in (and get the most compliments about), and take note of key characteristics that they have in common:

  1. Structure: Is it crisply tailored with pointed lapels and square pockets? Or is it soft with gentle curves instead of sharp angles?
  2. Pattern: If there's a pattern in the fabric, is it high in contrast, regular, bold, angular? Or is it soft, muted, blended with curving lines?
  3. Texture: Is the texture fine and smooth or large and rough?
  4. Fabric: Is the fabric crisp and does it hold its shape? Or does it drape gently over your arm and swing?
  5. Color: Do you tend to like tints, tones, or shades of colors? Tints are colors lightened with the addition of white. Tones are colors softened with the addition of gray. And shades are colors darkened with the addition of black.

I did this analysis and found that I gravitate to and look best in muted color tones, fine textures, soft construction with curved edges, and blended patterns with low contrast. I'd say this adds up to a rather soft, gentle, romantic style. As a result, I have a set of guidelines to apply wherever I shop. From an online store that sells quality secondhand clothing, I was able to get a Marc Jacobs top in a dusty purple for $14 and a new Van Heusen long-sleeved t-shirt in a soft green with lace trim around the scoop neck for only $5. Both were practically new. Best of all, everything in my closet goes with everything else, so I have boundless opportunities for mixing and layering. Today I wore blue jeans, a dark steel blue v-neck t-shirt softened at the point by a light gray cami, a charcoal gray cardigan with a cowl collar and curved asymmetrical hem line, and an opera-length (30-inch) beaded necklace with a tear-drop shaped labradorite pendant.



On my clothing wish list are gray ankle boots, a neutral taupe or camel cardigan, and a soft leather handbag in a blue, green, or purple tone with silver fittings. I'll buy the handbag used from an online secondhand store.

Here's another tip I got from my daughter. When considering adding a piece of clothing to your wardrobe, think of three ways that you can wear it.


Take the Next Step:

  • Discover more smart wardrobe planning tips by visiting the Dollar Stretcher Library.
  • Shop the largest online consignment and thrift store for women's, men's, baby & kids' clothing and accessories.
  • Stop forgoing your favorite beauty treatments just because you're on a tight budget. Check out the TDS Guide to Beauty on a Budget and learn the tricks to pampering yourself for pennies.
  • Join those who 'live better...for less' - Subscribe to The Dollar Stretcher newsletter, a weekly look at how to stretch both your day and your dollar! Subscribers get a copy of our ebook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better...For Less for FREE!

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