Updated: Feb 1, 2020
Written by Sofia Greaves Photos by Sofia Greaves
It took me a long time to curate a fully wearable wardrobe and it was not easy. I grew up in a catholic school with uniforms for a 1/2 of my adolescence. The only time I needed to think about coordinating anything other than a plaid skirt in a button-down was the weekend. When I stopped going to schools with uniform, I had all this freedom to express myself through my passion: clothing. My mom was not going to dictate what I chose outside of the silhouettes appropriate for a young teenage girl. With that freedom, came a lot of options. Too many, might I add. Before I started going to school to major in this topic, I learned about fashion and how to dress through trial and error. I was intentionally ignoring all trends because I wanted to be different. But looking back, nothing matched, and a color palette was nonexistent. That was middle school, and now I am 21. Even a year ago, I was stressing about being the most creative and coordinated, but I was losing myself in a pile of clothes I bought for temporary satisfaction.
I was never a shopaholic, but every time I walked into a fast-fashion store, I found myself overwhelmed by the amount of fabrics and colors I could choose from. Then I would get home, try stuff on, and make new outfits. Eventually, the high would wear off, and I realized that I just bought a bunch of aesthetically pleasing clothes that don’t match, compliment, or even balance out the tops and bottoms I already had.
This was where I flipped the switch and only bought neutrals. I donated the stuff that I deemed “laundry day” clothes. Eventually, whether it was super hot or freezing cold, I become bored and felt like a wallflower in even my best clothes.
I combated this by doing research. And by research, I mean making an extensive YouTube playlist dedicated to the renaissance of my sartorial journey. I wasn’t about to become a minimalist, but I was determined to only shop occasionally and frugally. And what I buy would be based off what outfits I can upgrade.
1. If I really need something themed or incredibly audacious, it will be a dress in a luxurious textile. No other clothes necessarily have to match a bold dress unless you need a jacket.
2. TEXTURE! TEXTURE! TEXTURE! Neutrals are less boring if they are in mohair, faux fur, or a simple flat fabric with embellishments or beading. Puffer jackets count now thanks to Ariana Grande and her music videos.
3. Tones: olive looks good with coffee brown. Lavender looks good with navy blue. Cool tones with cool tones. The beginner guide to this is to compare gold and silver with the item in question. If gold looks more satisfying it is warmer. If silver looks more satisfying it is cooler.
4. Buy at a MINIMUM one set of tops and bottoms in the same shade of Navy, brown, and black. This way, if you are in a rush and need an easy outfit, you can go monochrome and not worry about if your black shirt looks muddy with your blue jeans.
5. Bored of your closet even though it's packed hanger to hanger? Keep everything, and buy jackets. As long as the shoulder seams line up and you like that color on you, its worth it. No need to splurge on a new set of clothes that you may not wear in light of season changes. Jackets can and will be worn on rainy days, and definitely if its freezing indoors while its warm outside.