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Building a wardrobe of clothing

How to decide what clothes to include?

Picking out the right basic clothes for a smart wardrobe suitable for work and leisure needn't be tricky. We've got some suggestions and ideas on how to create a range of clothing that'll work well together.

You have to decide what amount of money you've got to spend on clothes - if you're going to add to your existing clothes range a bit at a time then this is less problematic.

You should first remove anything you've not worn for a year. Also take out anything which doesn't fit you.

Imagine you've landed on a desert island with no clothes to your name - what should you buy?

Some of your decisions will be based on where you live, what you do for a living, whether you love designer clothes, or whether you enjoy fashion and regularly buying yourself new clothes.


Which clothes first?

If you're a trousers person then being told to buy a skirt will not help you.

Decide what you're most comfortable with wearing and start with this.

If its jeans then ask yourself if you're allowed to wear them to work. If you're not, then put them further down the list.

Building a compact co-ordinating wardrobe for both work and spare time means picking things which are adaptable.

Look at clothes which you can dress up and dress down.

If you're looking at skirts buy one at a length which suits you. Don't buy something tremendously fashionable - remember Ra Ra Skirts?

Think what clothing you've already got, or are plannig to buy which will go with it.

A patterned skirt will probably need plain tops. Its harder to mix two patterns and colours.

Sensible skirts can be worn with blouses, t shirts, long sleeves and short. Dress it up with a smart jacket.

Buying the perfect jacket - you could buy a smart suit combining a skirt and a jacket. This would enable you to change the top and the look of the outfit. A large scarf can disguise a smart jacket's officialness.

Changing the top and leaving off the jacket opens up more possibilitys.

If you think of each item as being part of mix and match and you're not allowed to add an item unless it'll go with three other items to make a new outfit you'll get the idea.


Minimum suggested quanities

Skirts A couple of smart skirts for work, longer skirt for going out.
Dresses Do you like wearing dresses? Something timeless and black will cut it for all sorts of events.
Blouses Do you like blouses? Do you have to wear them for work. White are good for work as they look smart.
Coats and jackets One for summer and one for winter - a denim because we like them. You can buy some very fashionable jackets which will last a season designwise.
Shoes and boots Good quality leather shoes, flats or short heels in a neutral colour (Black works well), sandals for summer, heels for going out, boots for winter. Most women love shoes though so the temptation is to buy very high fashion shoes, look at cheaper options for fashion shoes, and spend more on shoes you'll wear more than one season.
Underwear - bras, tights, stockings, knickers and socks Bras - three minimum, one on, one off one in the wash. This rule of three applies to lots of things.
Socks - you'll need different types for trainers, and boots. They normally come in big multipacks. Throw them out when they start to wear through.
Jumpers and cardigans One of each as a minimum.
Hats, scarves, jewellery and accessories  
Casual wear - t-shirts, jeans  
Swimwear One is acceptible but two means you can wear a dry one




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