I. THE PLANNING, Step 7:

Compile the basics

Now it's time to put together the master plan for your concept wardrobe.

We have finally reached the step where we can put all the information that we have so far collected together to compile the basics of your wardrobe.

At this stage you should have quite a clear idea of what kind of clothes you need for your lifestyle, the style categories you favour, what colours you like, and which fabrics fit your lifestyle and fashion style.

So let's build the core of your wardrobe!

The foundation of your wardrobe

The basics are the core or essentials of your wardrobe. These are the items that you reach for most often and with which you start off all of your outfits. Now, what these basics are and how many you need will depend on your lifestyle, personal style and preferences. For example, if you said that you worked from home, your core wardrobe might consist of lots of loungewear items.

Low use items

It is important to note that your basics do not include one-off or low use items - such as a fancy dress you only wear once a year. Rather, your basics are those items that make up your everyday outfits. As a rule of thumb, any activity in your lifestyle pie chart that is below 25% does not fall into the basics category. We will look at these activities in the next step.

Seasonal items

Your core wardrobe also does not include seasonal items that you only wear during one particular season and then put away into storage for the rest of the year - such as a heavy overcoat for winter. These are seasonal items, which we will cover in step 11. However, if you find that you are wearing an overcoat throughout the year, it might be one of your basics, so add it to your essentials list below.

How to determine your wardrobe basics

To help you determine your basics, you can think about the following questions:

Which type of clothes could you not live without? / What are your favourite items in your wardrobe?
Is it a pair of comfy jeans, a sleek dress? If you could only choose twenty items out of your wardrobe to keep, which ones would they be and why?

Which items in your wardrobe do you reach for the most?
This is more about understanding what you have now and those pieces that you get the most wear out of are the starting point of your basics list.

Which items do you use regularly to start off an outfit?
Understanding which items are the starting point for your outfits can help you determine which items you consider essentials. Do you create your outfits around a grey t-shirt? Consider this a wardrobe staple!

What everyday activities do you find hard to dress for?
If there are particular times you struggle to find something in your wardrobe to wear, it might be because you’re missing certain key items in your wardrobe. Do you have trouble putting an outfit together when it's freezing outside? Perhaps you are missing a matching overcoat or a suitable jumper. List out the activities from step 1 that you struggle with the most and consider what garments would fix that.

Creating a master plan

A master plan for your wardrobe basics will help you determine how many items you need and what kind of items you need throughout the whole year. Later, you can compare the plan with what you already have in your wardrobe and determine what items are missing. Let's create the master plan!

I. Quantities

The easiest way to create a master plan for your wardrobe is by creating a table, and splitting it into three categories - tops, bottoms, and outerwear:

Compile the Basics Master Plan Quantities Example - the concept wardrobe


This table includes examples of what types of basic garments you might need in your wardrobe. Based on your lifestyle analysis from step 1, you can now fill it in with the quantities for each item that you will need throughout the whole year. And don't worry if you don't get this right, you can always edit your wardrobe as you go along.

II. Descriptions

Now that you know how many of each clothing item you require, it's time to determine what exactly each item should look like. This is where we bring some variety into your wardrobe. Say you put down five shirts; you wouldn't want all five shirts to be exactly the same, would you? (Unless that is your style, of course, in which case own it!). For each item, select

  • the style of the item, and
  • the colour (or pattern/print).

The table below is an example of what this might look like. You can download blank worksheets at the bottom of this page to create your own master plan.

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