How to Diversify Your Wardrobe

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Do you feel like your wardrobe has all the surprise of a Hallmark Christmas movie? Not to worry! It’s easier than you think to add some variety to your fashion. You don’t even need to be a fashion-conscious person to do it.

Your wardrobe should be versatile; you should have clothes especially suited for business, and you should also have clothes for your casual hours. Here are a few tips on how to get the right mix of each.

Stick to the Staples

You’ll want to build your wardrobe around staple fashion pieces. That’s the easiest way to it. For men, the staple fashion pieces are generally considered to be:

  • Jeans
  • Casual Chinos
  • Sport Shirts (polos and casual button-ups)
  • Midlayers
  • Casual Jackets or Sweaters
  • Casual Shoes

For women, the staple fashion pieces are considered:

  • Jeans
  • Button-up Shirt
  • Knee-Length Skirt
  • Wrap Dress
  • Flats
  • Ankle Boots
  • Sweaters

Formal attire is omitted here, but it’s good to focus on casual and semi-formal attire when you’re just getting started. Once you have all the staples, you can start mixing in formal attire (or, better yet, snazzy cocktail attire).

Stay Neutral, But Accessorize with Color

Most of your staples—if not all—should be neutral colored. You’ll find that it’s difficult to mix and match clothing when you have clothes that are bold colors—some bright colors just repel each other. Bright colors limit the amount of clothing combinations you can make with your wardrobe. It’s best to stick with neutral colors where you can.

But just because most of your staples are neutral colors, doesn’t mean your outfit should be devoid of color (actually, you might look a little bit bland or Goth if you go completely without color). Use color to accent your outfit, and not the other way around. Colorful accent pieces could be any fashionable handbag, watch, wristband, jewelry, hat, belt, and even a pair of shoes or jackets. Point is, use color as a minimal part of your attire. Remember, at this stage you’re just trying to diversify your wardrobe. Later on down the road, it’s fine to add outfits that utilize tertiary colors. But to get the most mileage out of your staples, try and buy them in neutral colors.

Get Dual-Purpose Clothes

When possible, get clothes you can wear for both casual and formal occasions. Men can wear thermals at a formal event so long as it’s topped by a vest. Women can wear some types of skirts and wrap dresses at formal events. Both men and women can wear plain white tees at formal events, so long as the tee is topped by a dress jacket.

Shoes are a little trickier. There are some kinds of men’s sneakers that are woven with brown leather, and they’re passable enough to be used at formal events. Women can wear some types of flats at formal events as long as they have a clean and crisp look.

Don’t Break the Bank

Diversifying your wardrobe doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Always keep in mind that the price of a clothing item means nothing if you don’t integrate it efficiently into your wardrobe. You can buy all of your clothing from the thrift shop and have a dazzling wardrobe with impeccable style. Similarly, you can buy all designer clothing and have a terrible and predictable wardrobe.

Here’s a rule of thumb to keep your costs down: keep a minimal amount of clothing, but make sure it’s quality clothing. It’s better to buy 3 or 4 high-quality staples then to have dozens of different shirts that don’t look very stylish and don’t easily combine to form different outfits. You’ll be amazed at how many different combos you can create with just a few staples and a dozen accessories.

Work with What You Have

Sort through your existing clothes and see what you’ve got. If you haven’t worn anything in 9 months, it’s probably time to toss it out. Keep anything that’s considered a staple, unless you don’t like the look of it or if it’s worn down. If you have a 2 or 3 staples, and maybe a few stylish fashion accessories, you’re already in good shape!

Let’s sum it all up. If you’re trying to diversify your wardrobe, make sure to stick to staple clothing in neutral colors (although you can use your fashion accessories to accent).  The key is to be minimalist, just be sure that the few items you have are versatile and fashionable. If you’re trying to totally reinvent your style, look at some of the fashion pins on Pinterest to get some ideas!

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