As a mom, it’s super important that you have a wardrobe you LOVE. It should both reflect your style and be full of easy-to-combine pieces. It should also be well organized and only hold the items you really enjoy wearing.
Getting your existing to wardrobe to this point just takes a bit of planning and intentionality.
Too many moms settle for less than exciting wardrobes and stay frustrated by it year after year. The New Year is a great time to change that for yourself.
It’s time to say GOODBYE to your dysfunctional wardrobe and HELLO to one that works magic.
Using the steps below, you can both improve your existing wardrobe and create an engaging game plan to make it the best it’s ever been.
Grab a cup of your favorite hot beverage and let’s get started!
5 Steps to a Better Wardrobe
Start by printing the free 2-page worksheet!
Now have fun filling out your worksheet using the instructions below!
Step 1: Discover your style
Have you ever been shopping and felt insecure about what styles you wanted to buy? Or have you come home with items that you end up returning because they didn’t go with anything in your wardrobe? If so, you may be insecure about your personal style.
Before you can create a wardrobe you love, you need to know your style likes and dislikes and feel confident about them. Women’s personalities aren’t cookie cutter and neither are their style preferences!
Here are a few exercises to help you learn and get confident about your style. Have some fun with this!
- Browse Pinterest! (I said to have some fun, right?!) Here’s how: Create a clothing idea board. Now search for “winter outfits” and start pinning the ones that you love and would want to copy.
- When you start to see a pattern such as “I really like green and navy” or “I love skinny jeans!”, do a new search with those search terms: “green and navy outfits” or “how to wear skinny jeans.” Keep pinning away.
- Take a fashion quiz. There are several available online, but here’s one to get you started. Simply google “style quiz” for more.
- Taking what you’ve noticed and learned from the above exercises, fill out the following on your worksheet:
- Your style description in one sentence.
- 5 things you dislike.
- 5 things you like.
- Your favorite 3-4 neutral colors.
- Your favorite 3-4 accent colors—make sure they complement each other.
Step 2: Organize what you own
Taking what you’ve learned about your personal style, head to your closet and do some assessment.
- Look for pieces that crash your outfits. Are there pieces in there that you only keep because you are emotionally attached to it or it’s comfortable? I call these “crutches.” I’ve held on to shoes that were super ugly just because they were comfy. But as soon as I got rid of them, I was forced to find a classier alternative (also comfy) that actually enhanced my outfits. If you’re super sentimental about it, simply take a picture with the hideous item and then get rid of it!
- Look for pieces that don’t fit you right. If you don’t feel great in a piece or it just doesn’t flatter your figure, then either donate it, throw it away, or store it to try again later. Only keep items you feel great in!
- Further comb through what’s left and pull out your very favorite pieces. Don’t forget to go through your accessories, shoes, and jewelry too!
- What’s still hanging or lying in a drawer needs to get donated, thrown away, or stored to try later.
It might feel scary to pare your wardrobe down like this. I know it always is for me. But trust me: you’ll feel so much better about what IS in your wardrobe and have a clearer vision for what you need to shop for moving forward. It’s like the weight will lift from your shoulders.
While you have fewer items in your wardrobe you’ll have an easier time deciding what to wear each morning because you’ve removed the clutter.
Speaking of clutter:
- The final piece in the organizing step is grouping your clothing: by type and then roughly by color.
Now check off those tasks on the worksheet, take a step back, and enjoy your work before moving on to the next step!
Step 3: Explore new horizons
You’ve learned your personal style likes and had a close visit with your existing wardrobe.
- Recalling your Pinterest browsing in Step 1, were there any styles or clothing pieces that you liked even though they are a bit out of your comfort zone? Write them down.
- Is there a style habit you want to break? Maybe it’s wearing yoga pants every day, or throwing on your hubby’s big sweatshirt every evening. Write these down too.
Step 4: Create a personal clothing budget
Having an allotted budget for clothes is a crucial step towards improving your wardrobe in the new year. Even setting aside $10 a month can build up over a few months and allow you the freedom to update your wardrobe with a few key pieces.
To determine a healthy clothing budget for your family, use these steps on the worksheet:
- The recommended allotment for clothes is 2-7% of your yearly income. This includes laundering costs. Multiply your income by the percentage you choose to find how much you should spend on clothes yearly, e.g. yearly income x 0.02 = yearly clothing budget.
- Divide that by 12 to discover your monthly clothing budget, or by 4 to discover your quarterly clothing budget, e.g. yearly clothing budget / 12 = monthly clothing budget.
Note: This budget applies to your entire family. If you’d prefer, you can also find how much to spend on yourself by settling on a percentage and multiplying the monthly budget by that percentage, e.g. monthly family clothing budget x 0.25 (25%) = personal monthly clothing budget.
Step 5: Plan for smart shopping
Now that you know how much you can spend on clothes, it’s important to go a step further to insure your clothes shopping is guilt-free and purposeful.
Did you notice any holes in your wardrobe that needed filling? Look for missing pieces in each of the following categories: Tops, Dresses, Bottoms (pants, skirts, shorts), Completer Pieces (sweaters, jackets, coats), Accessories (scarves, hair pieces, handbags, jewelry).
Not sure what basics you should have in your wardrobe? Simply search for “working mom capsule wardrobe” or “stay-at-home mom capsule wardrobe” on Pinterest. Capsule plans are an awesome way to get insight on essentials for your wardrobe—whether or not you use a capsule strictly.
Start a smart shopping list on your worksheet (grab another sheet of paper if needed):
- List the pieces that are missing from your wardrobe. Be specific (e.g. mustard boyfriend cardigan vs. sweater).
- Add a few pieces from your notes in step 3 “Exploring new horizons.” Think double-duty: is there a trending item you want to try that could also fulfill a missing essential in your wardrobe? (e.g. Needed: white tee, Get: Tunic white tee.)
- Number all the items by highest priority.
When you go shopping, make sure you stick with the color palette you decided on in step 1. This will insure your clothes mix and match easily!
Summary: What you’ve accomplished and how to keep the momentum going!
You’ve just optimized your existing wardrobe while creating a game plan to make it even better in the new year. You can now enjoy confident, guilt-free shopping! Why? Because you’ve found a healthy budget and created a shopping list with your highest priorities.
Getting out shopping can be difficult with kids. Plan an afternoon when your hubby can watch the kids or swap babysitting with a friend! She’ll appreciate the chance to get out by herself too. When you do go out, hit thrift and consignment stores first to save money on a few pieces. Then head to the mall for remaining items that your budget will allow.
If you can’t get out to shop, don’t despair! You can find amazing deals online. My favorite stores online are: Jane.com, Groopdealz.com, Target.com, Amazon.com, and Forever21.com. For the first two, if you sign up for their newsletters I think you’ll be amazed how many of the items on your list are being offered for affordable prices. And their clothes are super cute.
Use the free tool by Shoptagr to tag items you love. You’ll be notified by email when they’re back in stock or on sale! This tool has saved me a lot of time and money.
Along with smart shopping, you should also continue browsing Pinterest on occasion to get new inspiration. It will keep you on track with what you really want to spend your money on. Do this on repeat, two, three, or four times throughout this next year!
Now THAT you can do, Mama!
5 Steps to a Better Mama Wardrobe
Free 2 page printable to plan for a better mom wardrobe this New Year.