Mix and Match your Wardrobe


By Cathy Neich – Colour & Style Consultant

There are many benefits of planning a wardrobe of clothes that mixes and matches with everything else (well almost everything!). A great mix n’ match wardrobe is one that:

* Makes the most of every dollar spent
* Is full of versatile clothes you will love to wear
* Gives you endless daily outfit options
* You wear all of your clothes all of the time
* You own clothes that look and feel great to wear
* Contain colours & styles that accurately portray your unique personality & intended image
* Contain accessories that can be dressed up or down to change your look
* Contain clothes & accessories that suit your budget & lifestyle

You might ask yourself the question, Why do our wardrobes end up in such a mess in the first place? There are many reasons for the chaos:

• Influenced by the likes & dislikes of others (partner/ friends)
• Fashion changes constantly (confusion)
• Changing body shapes (weight loss or gain/ pregnancy/ menopause/ ageing)
• Too busy = less time to shop
• Our lifestyles and values change
• Changes to financial circumstances
• Not taught about body shapes & dynamics of line & design
• Impulse buying
• Too much clutter (confusion)
• Nothing fits or matches anything else
• Clothes no longer suit or look good on you
• Don’t know where to shop

In order for us to organise and plan our wardrobes once and for all, there are a few things we need to do. Initially we will need to clean out the existing clutter & organise what you have left. This will allow you to see what items you need to fill any gaps, and also determine what clothes suit your lifestyle & personality. You will also need to discover what styles, brand names & stores deliver the best value for YOUR wardrobe dollars.

An effective wardrobe of mix n’ match clothes is one that suits your personality & your lifestyle, is appropriate for your age, body shape & personal colouring & has endless options for wear.

If you are serious about creating a wardrobe “from heaven”, follow these 3 easy steps:

STEP 1 – Clear The Clutter

1. Work out what items you are keeping
These will all

• Require no alterations to fit or proportion
• Be in harmony with your personality
• Be comfortable & fit you well
• Flatter your figure & make you feel good
• Be in good condition

2. Items that need attention
• Missing buttons, fallen hems, stains
• Require alterations
• Require another item/s to be purchased before it can be worn well

3. Items to be given away/ discarded
• Anything too big or small or does not fit you well
• Anything out of date
• Anything not worn for 3yrs
• Anything torn, worn out or stained
• Anything that is a bad style or colour on you
• Anything you like in theory but hate when you put it on
• Dead underwear (ie. no elastic left)
• Items that are NOT of the quality you now wear

4. With the clothes that are left
• Remove those not in season & either store or pack them away until required
• Remove clothes from wire hangers & place them on quality padded or curved hangers (so clothes can hang in their natural lines & minimise the need for ironing)

5. Make a List of what remains
This becomes the basis of your clothing needs & ultimately your Shopping List. Ask yourself, What have you got? Where are the gaps? Explore all possible combinations (include jewellery, belts, bags & shoes).

Prioritise your shopping list – focus on what you need the most (this will help your budget too). What items will create the biggest impact on the rest of your wardrobe? Buy other items as your cash flow allows.

Did You Know, A new blouse/ shirt/ jacket (top piece) will always be noticed before a new skirt/ pant/shoe (bottom piece).

STEP 2 – Budget Wisely

Consider what you need & how much to spend both annually & on each item.

If you consider what your clothes cost to wear, often, cheap items are expensive (you wear them less) and expensive items are cheap (you wear them more).

As a guide, spend 1 month’s salary per year on clothing. If you can’t afford this, spend what you have wisely. Further, 30% of your budget should be for accessories. These are important too & can “finish” your look.

STEP 3 – Lay A Solid Foundation

When you think of your wardrobe, do you feel inspired or frustrated? Hopefully after you have followed these 3 Steps, inspiration will begin to flow once more. Considering that most women wear 20% of their clothes 80% of the time, it is important to lay a solid foundation from which any new items purchased can be worn with existing pieces. This will require self-discipline to only buy items that are part of your plan. When you go shopping aim to establish a few “Wardrobe Cores”.

These are a small group of items that are in 1 or 2 colours that can be worn together or mixed n’ matched with each other. This will allow 9 pieces = 20 outfits, 13 pieces = 40+ combinations. It makes dressing easier, simplifies packing for a trip and allows you to build a mix n’ match wardrobe on a tight budget.

Look Out Wardrobe, Here I Come……………

As a qualified Colour & Style Consultant & Professional Make-up Artist, Cathy Neich is available as a workshop presenter and for group or one-on-one consultations. Please see her website for further details – www.cathysniche.com.au

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