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How to Build A Wardrobe You Love: Unlocking Your Dream Closet

So, I have to start off this post by saying that this was inspired by a lot of conversations I've had with dear friends and followers since starting Follow The Curve. I've received some really kind compliments about the pieces in my closet, and questions about adding certain items to their own wardrobes. Because we work so hard for our money these days, we deserve to open our closets and feel a resounding "YES!" about every single piece we've purchased with said money. And the more I've continued to grow Follow The Curve, the more passionate I've become about it. A closet you love should be attainable for everyone, no matter what your size, budget or lifestyle is.

So, whether you want to start totally fresh, or it's just time to swap out a few things you've outgrown, here is a four-part guide on how to create a wardrobe of your dreams.

And before I say anything else, I just need to say thank you, dear readers & friends for always inspiring me and making this job the best one I've ever had. You make everything worth it.

Part One: Do your research.

Coco Chanel herself said it best when she told us that "fashion passes, but style remains." Trends come and go, year after year, (and if I'm honest, I've hated a lot of the trends lately. I do NOT need to relive my time in Y2K. Thanks but no thanks.), but having a style that you can carry with you year after year should be the goal. With that in mind, start by researching and browsing style that you calls to you. And yes it's cheesy, but this is where I will tell you to stick to being yourself and what you like. Find outfits and pieces and inspire you! We live in a world with everything at our fingertips - Pinterest, Instagram, TikTok - so swipe open the tiny robot in your hands and start browsing. A question you might want to keep in mind when doing the research is, what kind of lifestyle do I lead? Are you in the Work From Home life? Do you have to wear professional attire in to the office every day? Are you a stay at home parent? Do you like to grab a drink with your partner or friends on the weekends? Tailor things so it works for you and your lifestyle.

Part Two: PURGE. Out with the old to make space for the new.

This is when it's time to channel your inner Carrie Bradshaw. Take a Saturday afternoon to look through what you already have in your closet. Feel free to try things on and take account of what you want to keep, donate or give to friends. And while you might hate a lot of what you have in there, I can guarantee you that once you start looking through things, you'll find some favorites that might have forgotten about. Once you're done with the purging process, you'll feel so much lighter and motivated to buy some things you'll love! You could even try selling a few things at your local consignment store to score an extra few bucks.

Part Three: Start with the basics.

Even though style is personal, I'm a believer that there are still some things every woman needs in her closet as a staple. Here's a list of my wardrobe must-haves:

  • A black dress. You can use it a million different ways, from cocktail parties to funerals, and accessorize until your heart's content.

  • A good pair of jeans. Pretty self-explanatory, they are very universal and can be worn a thousand times. Remember to find some that you really love, not just because everyone and their sister owns that pair.

  • A neutral pair heels AND flats. Yes, have one of each on hand, because you'll need them at one point or another, I guarantee you. As far as neutral goes, I'm a fan of nude, but if black or navy is more your jam then go for it.

  • A denim jacket. Buy a high quality denim jacket and you'll wear it for years. The color and style is totally your choice depending on what you love, but I promise you a good denim jacket is something that will serve you well.

  • A blazer. Whether you work in an office setting or not, a blazer can be paired tons of different ways and automatically elevates your outfit. Want to take a t-shirt and jeans to the next level? Throw on a blazer. I actually have a separate blog post all about blazers, go check it out after you're done reading this!

  • A wrap dress. Yes, this might sound weird, but I have been a believer in wrap dresses since my days as a working actor. I would wear a navy blue wrap dress to every single audition, not even kidding. Try one on and thank me later.

  • A trench coat. It's a classic for a reason. They are perfect for seasonal changes, go with pretty much anything else you might be wearing, and will also last you years. 100% worth the investment.

Part Four: Time to shop!

Now for my favorite part - shopping! I definitely recommend coming up with some sort of budget plan so you don't overextend your finances during this project. Even if you can only invest $50 a month on an item, do what works for you! There have been plenty of times in my life where I have been tight in the pockets but have still wanted to invest in my style, so I've found ways to make it work. Another thing to keep in mind - it's a marathon, not a sprint. Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither was your dream wardrobe. Even if you just swap out a piece or two here and there, it's a start. And even though we might love us some online shopping, we may have to venture out to a store to try some things on if possible. And yes, I totally recognize that for my fellow plus-sized girlies this can be tough given the fact that few very brands like to carry their plus sizes in store. But if you're able to, I definitely recommend taking the time to try things on before you spend your money on them.

Key things to remember:

- Size is just a number. Wear what you feel good in!

- Things in your wardrobe will evolve and change, just as you do, so embrace it. Don't feel the need to grow overly attached to an item, and if you didn't wear something as much as you promised yourself you would, just forgive yourself, throw it in the donation bin, and move on.

- Ask yourself when it's time to invest/splurge, and when it's time to hunt for a bargain. Somethings are 100% worth the money, but others can be found a dime a dozen.

- Bounce ideas off of people you trust, like a friend or partner. But ultimately this is about creating YOUR dream closet!

All photography credit goes to: Emily Davis Photography.

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