Analyse your lifestyle & environment

Yes, your wardrobe should be stylish but it is more important that it is first and foremost functional. You wouldn't want to turn up to a formal business meeting in pyjamas and slippers, would you?

A functional wardrobe is a wardrobe that contains the right type of clothes for you to go about your day-to-day life.

An indicator that your wardrobe is not serving you well is if you struggle to get dressed for certain occasions.

Where do you live?

Where you live is just as important as what you do on a day-to-day basis. If you live in a hot country you will have a sweaty time with a wardrobe full of jumpers.Think about how many distinct seasons there are in your country. The number of seasons will determine how many seasonal wardrobe changes you will need.

For example, I live in the United Kingdom and even though it is quite chilly here throughout the year, there are four distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Therefore I will need to switch up my wardrobe four times a year to accommodate the seasonal weather conditions.

This does not mean that I have four entirely separate wardrobes - i.e. one for each season. Rather, I work with a core wardrobe that stays in place all year round and simply swap out the seasonal items (such as coats and scarves for winter) at the beginning of each season.Apart from your seasonal items, the climate you live will also determine what kind of clothes your core wardrobe should include. If you happen to live in a hot country, your core wardrobe will contain more lightweight tops and shorts rather than chunky jumpers.At this point just consider the number of seasons, the average temperature per season, and the typical weather conditions.

What's your lifestyle like?

Now for you lifestyle. What do you normally do on a day-to-day basis? What activities do you engage in? Are you often in places with strict dress codes? Similar to the climate, your lifestyle will determine what types of clothing you need and in what quantities.

Make sure you think about this thoroughly. Really analyse all of your day-to-day activities to ensure you include everything. Here are some questions you can answer to help you get started:

  • What do you do Monday to Friday?
  • Where do you work / What is the dress code?
  • What do you do on the weekends?
  • What do you do in your spare time?
  • How active are you?
  • How many events / special occasions do you attend? / What is the dress code?

By planning out your activities you can visualise what outfits and how many you will need for each activity so that you have something appropriate to wear each time. For example, if you work in a corporate office you will need formal business outfits and since there are five working days in a week you will need more than one outfit.

A good way to visualise your lifestyle is by creating a pie chart. Split out how much of your time is spent on each activity. This will make it easier to determine the quantities of clothes you need for each activity.

Even though it’s not strictly part of the core wardrobe, it’s also important to think about how active you are. Do you work out every day, once a month, never? This is optional, but if you are very active, you might want to think about incorporating activewear into your core wardrobe.

How many wardrobes?

There is no strict requirement that you have to work with only one concept wardrobe. Depending on your lifestyle you might find that your work dress code is very different from your free time fashion style.

If that is the case you might want to think about creating two separate core wardrobes - one for your work and one for your free time. You can always share some items across all of your wardrobes.One wardrobe works well when your fashion style across all of your lifestyle activities is similar - i.e. you can start each outfit with the same basics and then dress them up or down as required.


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