Why You Should Rebuild Your Wardrobe (and How to Do It)

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Hi, I'm Chelsey

Welcome back to the blog! Last week, we talked about healthy habits for the new year. This week, we’re tapping into changing your style by rebuilding your wardrobe for the new year. In years past, I would create style resolutions to either:

  • Get out of a style rut
  • Create a fun outfit challenge for the year
  • Try new fashion trends

This year is different for me regarding my fashion resolutions because I usually am about reusing and reinventing my style with what I already own. So while my style philosophy is still all about building a versatile foundation and using trendier pieces to further elevate your wardrobe, my fashion resolution is big but pretty simple:

This year, I will completely rebuild my wardrobe from scratch. 

I want to end the year feeling like I have curated a closet that feels refined, current, accurate for my lifestyle, and comfortable to wear. Before we get into how you can completely rebuild your wardrobe, let’s get into WHY you may want to do this alongside me.

Why It’s Time to Rebuild Your Wardrobe from Scratch

I know what you’re thinking. Do I really have to start from zero? Can’t I just add to what I already have in my closet? It depends on your scenario! Maybe you aren’t at the point where you need to overhaul your wardrobe, and that’s okay! However, there are several reasons to take part in this journey, so it may be time to rebuild if any of the following apply to you:

  • You went through a significant life change and want a fresh start. 
  • You can no longer comfortably fit into your older clothes due to weight gain or loss and want your wardrobe to accentuate your current body better.
  • Your closet doesn’t accurately fit your lifestyle.
  • You have barely shopped since the early days of COVID, and looking at your current closet feels like your past self.

Did any of those reasons resonate with you? If you’re curious why I’m rebuilding my wardrobe, it’s a mix of the first and last reasons. When I moved last summer, I wanted to start over with home decor and clothing. I pretty much accomplished that with furniture and got rid of literally everything except my tv stand (since it was pretty new) and my office desk. Still, my clothing took a backseat. While I purged a lot of clothes I knew I wouldn’t wear anymore, I still held on to some things I felt unsure about so I could have more time to decide if they fit my style. 

On the pandemic side, I barely shopped for clothes over the past 2-3 years because I didn’t need to refresh my wardrobe and wasn’t interested in buying clothes to see something new in my closet. Fast forward to now, when I’m spending more time outside the house and am in the office more regularly. 

My wardrobe feels incomplete when I open my closet to get dressed for the day. There are a few pieces here and there that I reach for, but most of my wardrobe no longer accurately reflects my style. Not to sound dramatic, but it feels like a past version of myself. When I put those clothes on, I feel a disconnect between what I wear and who I am. I’m not the same person I was when I first purchased that graphic tee or that printed romper 5-10 years ago. My taste has evolved each year, but that pause in buying clothing during the pandemic accelerated my next evolution. Fashion is my favorite form of self-expression, so feeling like myself in my clothes is super important. If you are reading this section of the blog post and feel similar to me with your current style, now is a great time to rebuild your wardrobe.

How to Redo Your Closet to Match your Lifestyle

To successfully rebuild your wardrobe, you need to go in with a plan. It doesn’t have to be a literal play-by-play of creating quarterly style goals with a timeline of how you will get from point A to point B. Still, you may want to go into the rebuild with a blueprint in mind. Ask yourself these questions to point yourself in the right direction:

  1. What is your budget? 
  2. Where will you shop?
  3. What are the priority things you need in your wardrobe right now?
  4. What items reflect your current style that you don’t already own?

Once you answer these questions, the fun can begin! Since you’ll be spending money instead of doing the usual closet refresh by restyling what you already own, rebuilding your wardrobe will not be complete overnight. It will be a slow and steady process that may take you the entire year. This is intentional and will benefit you in the long run. 

Over the years, buying a piece here and there has worked better for me than doing a significant haul all at once. My wallet is happy, my selection quality is better, and my ROI for each piece is greater. Being financially responsible throughout this rebuild journey is priority number one since I am incredibly proud of how I have transformed my relationship with money over the past decade. Gone are the days of 20-year-old me dropping my entire part-time paycheck on an excessive clothing haul from Forever 21 that I would grow tired of a few months later. I am much more intentional about shopping now, so I want to go into this journey with two things:

  1. A specific list of essentials and basics that my closet needs to include.
  2. Pinterest boards that reflect the overall vibe of my current style.

The former will help me rebuild a strong foundation in my closet that I can mix and match easily. The latter leaves the door open for trying out trends throughout the journey. Hence, my quickly bored mind will still find excitement in curating a practical wardrobe. 

This blog post will feel unfinished because, as I said at the top, we’re on this journey together! I don’t have all the answers yet, as I’m just now kicking off a complete overhaul of my closet. I will continue to share tips along the way (like what exactly will be on my specific list) that will help guide you but remember that style is very personal. Feel free to take what works for your lifestyle and leave the rest at the door. 

I hope this introductory post was helpful and motivated you to kickstart your redefined style journey. To recap, here are the first things to do to rebuild your wardrobe:

  • Find your WHY. What is the reason for the overhaul? 
  • Set a budget. What can you comfortably afford to spend, and where can you shop? 
  • Prioritize the basics. Create a list of essentials that fit your lifestyle and will become the foundation of your closet.
  • Leave room for inspiration. Prevent style ruts by creating Pinterest boards of outfits that use both timeless and trendy pieces you could see yourself wearing.

You can always keep up with what is in the style cards for me over on Pinterest and LTK! Also, be sure to join my newsletter so you can remain inspired each month with a mood board and get the roundup of blog posts straight to your inbox!

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The Capsule Wardrobe Challenge

the capsule wardrobe challenge

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