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Too little clothes - how do I work with my small wardrobe?

(11 Posts)
Openup41 Mon 22-Aug-16 22:16:32

I do my best to mix and match - struggle more in summer. I just do not buy enough clothes as there are always other priorities such as decorating the home or things for the children. I spend roughly £20-30 a month in H&M, Sainsbury's etc.

A black mac
A black blazer which I am always in
A cropped jean jacket

Four party dresses
Two casual dresses

Three black work skirts
Two floral skirts which look rather frumpy
1 pleather pleated skirt

Black slim fit trousers x2
Harem pants x3
Jeans x1
Chinos x1 - too big at the waist
Leggings x2

Vest tops x 5
Fitted t shirts x4

lasttimeround Tue 23-Aug-16 09:57:24

How about buying a few light knits for now? Zara are doing great ones just now. Slightly sporty cut. Very light £12. Would take what you have into the first part of autumn. Layer over vests then over t-shirts. Possibly even over shirts. Maybe then some merino ones from uniqlo for when it's colder. Or the cashmere that's coming out -although priceier. Neutral colours. Check that you've got the right shoes - a good boot would helo stretch your summer clothes into the next few months . Plus one of those big scarves to add warmth.
Save up for big coat you can pop over what you have.
It's actually not too few clothes just maybe a lot of black so you have little sense of variety. Maybe navy or grey for next trousers or coat

Toffeelatteplease Tue 23-Aug-16 10:13:15

tbh I think you have more or less as many clothes as I have except I have more tops and cardigans. I think it's more a question does everything match? that many clothes work fine if everything goes together.

I think you need to look at it the other way round. what are you doing that you don't have the clothes for?

lasttimeround Tue 23-Aug-16 10:24:35

Sorry I didn't read properly. You wanted ideas for summer.
What toffeelatte said.

herecomesthsun Tue 23-Aug-16 12:53:29

I think the tail end of the sales is good, especially if a shop does free returns, so you can try things on. I'd agree with looking at what you already have and what events you need to attend.

Anthropologie might be good for sale tops or a much reduced summery outfit, Boden can have good quality stuff in its clearance, American Apparel does very good basics much reduced (long sleeved cotton tees and a great, very useful navy hoodie recently). Also TK MAxx and charity shops useful, Ebay less good as can't try and return with such ease, though sometimes worth it for good quality items with clear measurements.

specialsubject Tue 23-Aug-16 14:48:15

Thats loads of clothes, although possibly the wrong ones. Replace the florals with something you like. Theres no need to have more as long as hygiene and tidiness are satisfied. Work on one in, one out.

Openup41 Wed 24-Aug-16 07:30:23

Last time round - my wardrobe is a sea of black! I need to add other colours.

Toffeelatte - I need more tops and regarding matching, I try to switch tops and bottoms to "enlarge" my wardrobe.

I am fine for work. Weekend clothes are thin on the ground.

Openup41 Wed 24-Aug-16 07:34:25

Here comes the sun - I have bought from charity shops before and the garments did not last long. I will check out those shops.

Special subject - I need to ditch the floral skirt. I only bought it as it was cheap purchase - £10 from TU Sainsbury's. I look more stylish in block colours.

Ackvavit Wed 24-Aug-16 07:41:05

Why not think about getting some striped tops? I think they look good both for work and for casual. Primark had some jersey striped slashed neck ones and I've worn and washed them loads. Three quarter length sleeve, one is navy with a white fine stripe and one is cream with a fine black stripe. Worn on own with slim trousers or a skirt they look great or with jeans and a blazer. Get a few small scarves and wear them as a clashing contrast round your neck and it looks really European. I know some primark stuff is tat but some of the tops are actually value for money and stylish. H and M tops that are material with a pattern on are great too and easy to wear.

burnishedsilver Wed 24-Aug-16 07:49:35

I don't think you necessarily have too little clothes. I think the problem might be less about the amount to have and more about not liking what you have. Try not to buy things just because they are cheap. You don't have to spend any more but only buy things that you like and that actually fit. Replace the frumpy skirts and too big chinos. They're not doing anything towards making you feel good about yourself. Also, you could do it a bit more variety of tops. £30 will go a long way in Primark.

Another option would be to reprioritise - maybe redecorating the home doesn't need to be a higher priority than you.

Toffeelatteplease Wed 24-Aug-16 09:10:46

I would lay everything out on the bed, get rid of everything you don't love. Not coats, do not get rid of coats until you have lived with your wardrobe for a bit.

Pick one or two things you do absolutely adore (anything from a top to a pair of earrings or bag) anything new you buy must match or have the same feeling as those items.

If you are working with what you have I would figure out out what you have fits in with the following. So keep one half neutral (easiest to do with tops so I will use tops for the explanation) and easy to match eg black white navy olive. for me they are variants of black generally with lace. You need at least 8 and they should work summer and winter (eg with a cardigan or jumper).

Then identify your denim basics so 2 or 3 pairs of jeans (or hard wearing, easy to wash, denim alternative like jersey tube skirt) and 1-2 pairs of shorts (or hard wearing summer basic like a dress).

Then pick 3 basic bottoms (Eg long skirt short skirt one other) or dresses. The rules that every basic bottom (even if it is patterned) must match every basic top. You should have a set of three bottoms for summer and three for winter and 3 for work, although these may be the same (eg short skirt with opaques underneath in winter and for work and without in summer).

Add in 3 cardigans or jumpers, one dark neutral (eg black, navy or olive) and one light neutral (eg white or cream). one other slightly different (eg black and white patterned, block colour etc) that matches all of your basic tops and most but not necessarily all of your basic bottoms.

Add One pair of comfortable summer sandals one pair of comfortable winter shoes.

one winter coat in dark neutral or a colour or pattern that compliments your dark neutral ,
one leather jacket/ fabric blazer/bikers jacket in dark neutral
one summer coat in denim or light neutral or much heavier cardigan/jumper/hoodie.

This is your core wardrobe. It should have a look about it (mine is a smart monochrome slightly goth feel), easy to mix and match, and look groomed.

From here in anything you buy must match or compliment your basics and have the same feel. If you are finding you are short on clothes, I would suggest you probably have too many stand out items and not enough basic items.

Now you look at your wardrobe and work out what you do that isn't covered by your basic wardrobe. Eg I go out for day trips with children often it's raining, I need a waterproof coat and/or wellies. I'm going somewhere cold I need a quality fleece I can layer over my top and lightweight cardigans and thermal underwear. I carry a laptop to work I need a smart bag large enough for a laptop

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