Sometimes overbuying results not from a love for shopping, an obsession with trends, or internal struggle. You may simply be uncertain about how to craft a wardrobe out of all the pieces you own. If your wardrobe is filled with pieces that don’t easily mix and match, your only choice in a fashion emergency is to buy something new that will work in that moment.
Closets can be filled with purchases from “I’ve got nothing to wear” emergencies that often do not work with other items in your closet. This shopping habit has a self-reinforcing effect. The more you buy in the heat of the moment, the more you will need. According to Gestalt theory, the whole should be greater than the sum of the parts. Even if your closet includes fabulous pieces, the whole of your wardrobe will fail if the pieces are disjointed from each other.
Learning to craft a cohesive wardrobe out of multifunctional pieces can cure anyone of the impulse to over-shop under pressure. Some of the best tips for creating a wardrobe can come from home decor. The workhorses of a home—the chairs, tables, and couches—should be proportionate to the dimensions of the space, should have a simple classic form, should fit the general style of the other items, and should have a color scheme that works with the other pieces.
Accessories like pillows, artwork, and rugs should make the room pop and can more easily be changed to reflect trends. The main furniture pieces should serve as the canvas, while accessories serve as the paint on that canvas. As a general rule for your wardrobe, choose classic “workhorses” such as a black or camel suit, dark straight-leg jeans, a sheath dress, or tweed pants in a flattering cut and solid color. Steer clear of crazy patterns and embellishments of glitter, rhinestones, tassels, and so forth.
Avoid the trends when buying wardrobe staples and get creative instead in buying accessories, such as shoes, belts, scarves, and jewelry. Here is where you can experiment with color, fabrics, beading, and patterns.
When you have chosen your classic wardrobe items thoughtfully, you’ll see that they can easily transition between various occasions, be adjusted for the time of day and the temperature, and accommodate any level of dress. Recall that we categorized Tessa’s wardrobe into four levels: