makeunder my wardrobe: step one

For the past month I’ve been making under my wardrobe. And since it’s been a while since I’ve tackled the basics of making under “stuff” here on MML, I think it would be a great refresher course on the four makeunder steps.

Making under is about designing an intention for our home, getting rid of unnecessary items, finding out what we need to complete the vision, and evolving as needs change. It can be a straight forward exfoliating process when there is a lot of clutter. Or it can also be a transformational shift when there is major life change as well (like from career to mommy, college to career, single to married, or even moving).

(A Soapbox Moment)

Before any action in a makeunder, I think it is most important to step back and really evaluate what the overall goals and intentions are for the makeunder. I believe that the more we can focus on the overall outcome we desire, the more we will be able to cut out the crap that isn’t serving us well and to really determine what items we may want to purchase. The more we “begin with the end in mind” (thank you, Seven Habits), the more we will truly find ourselves with the stuff that serves us best and functions positively in our lives.

Though it may seem counter intuitive, I’ve never been against having stuff, I just believe that we need to have the right stuff to improve our lives. It’s mostly a quality over quantity matter to me. I don’t advocate living extremely minimally unless it brings you joy. For myself, I find the most peace when I have a beautiful, calm space that serves the goals that I have for my life. When clutter accumulates that does not serve that ultimate purpose, it is time to get passed on to someone who needs it, tossed in the trash if it is no longer usable, or recycled if possible. It’s really that simple.

Ready to start? Let’s get going,

For this wardrobe makeunder I decided to take the first step to a new level and really evaluate the vision and overall goals I have for my clothes. I wanted to totally re-think how I looked at my wardrobe, improve my skills at putting together outfits, and better represent myself as a person and designer.

Here’s what I did to get started,

To start, I decided to read up on the art of putting together a fantastic outfit. Research is something that I did naturally for my home since I love to decorate, but I had never applied myself to the art of making an outfit in the same way. Reading Jessica’s new book, What I Wore, was a great place to start thinking about my wardrobe more seriously. I loved the chapters in the beginning where she laid out some great steps like trying on everything in the closet and sorting out the items that needed to be mended, ironed, dry cleaned, or donated.

She also drew some beautiful outfit combinations that I used as math equations. Rather than looking at each outfit altogether, I started to identify which items she paired together.

Strappy Sandals + Beige Skirt + Print Top + Belt + Blazer = A Great Work Outfit

This helped me recognize which items I owned could be mixed together to make a whole new look, and which items might be great additions.

After getting the fundamentals from What I Wore, I studied my favorite style bloggers like Kendi, Jessica, Jill, Liz, and Blair. I started to see how they put their outfit combinations together and started to compile a set of looks that I could use as inspiration.

Which led me to…

… Start a Pinterest board. My Makeunder Fall Wardrobe page was perfect to collect inspiration pictures and also to tag items that I may want to try to add to my wardrobe later in Step Three: Identifying Intentional Obsessions.

Adding product images from online stores also allowed me to cross compare via my Pinterest board. I pinned products both high-end (Tory Burch) and low-end (Target and PayLess) to find the items that matched the overall vision I was creating at a price that worked for me.

By taking these actions above, I saw how items can be put together from my closet already, which fall styles I was most drawn to, and which items I thought would work into my closet seamlessly. I had a strong vision and goal for the wardrobe overall.

Of course it goes without saying that each person should create their own vision for their makeunder in whatever way works for them. I totally understand that many people would not go to the lengths that I did in this vision step. For me, I see the payoff as twofold for myself, the better I get at dressing and style personally, the stronger the designer I will be for Jess LC products to come.

In conclusion, take some time to stop and reflect on what you’d like the outcome of your makeover to be before tackling the clutter. The steps flow together best when there is a strong foundation.


This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. ann

    I share your approach to makeunder my wardrobe and it has been tremendously helpful in eliminating unnecessary expenditure while still satisfying my need for a little update each season.

  2. Jill

    I love your fall wardrobe board on Pinterest! I’m looking for a similar pair of boots and I love to see which ones you have found. Thanks for the mention too, wow, I am in good company! ūüôā

  3. I read Jessica’s book a few weeks ago and have since cleaned out my closet and gone shopping. It feels so good! Kendi’s “working closet” tips are really great, too!

  4. Simone

    I love this post! I bought Jess’s book and was instantly inspired to also give my wardrobe a make-under.

  5. This is a great post Jess! It so clear that you are truly passionate about what you write. This makes for a good read. Thank you again for sharing! You are an inspiration to me.

  6. Liz

    Thank you for including me in your favorite style blogs! These are great steps to revamping your wardrobe – steps that I try to take every few months or so! Lets get together soon! xo

  7. Jess

    Thanks so much ladies for the kind notes about the series! And Jill and Liz, you are definitely great at what you do!! It helps me just watching your style evolve day by day.

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