makeunder my wardrobe: step three

Once I created my vision for my wardrobe and exfoliated the items that did not match the vision, it was time to get to the fun part….

… Figuring out what items I wanted to purchase that completed my wardrobe goals.

Since I took such a methodical approach to creating my vision, it made this step fun and relatively simple. I knew from exfoliating in step two that I had some great items which fit my vision perfectly like great jeans, blazers, sweaters, black boots, and cardigans. The basics were there, but the “flavor” was lacking. So in my shopping list I made sure to focus on the fun and versatile pieces which would make my classic pieces pop.

Based on trolling through my Pinterest Makeunder My Wardrobe board I pulled these looks to add to my “intentional obsession” list:

(All sources and prices can be found on the Pinterest board. Stripe photo by See Jane.)

Once this list was created, I had a great idea of where to go for these pieces since my vision board included cross shopping high and low end stores already. I knew that I couldn’t find a comparable pair of brown boots in quality and style to the insanely expensive Tory Burch pair (which sadly sold out and I can no longer find). And that I could probably hit up Target for some of the more mainstream items like a dark plaid shirt. As shown above, my intentional obsession list included:

  • Dark Plaid Shirt
  • Silk blouse
  • Tall Brown Boots
  • Dark Winter Skirt
  • A Pop of Red
  • Printed Scarves
  • Brown Leather Flats
  • Brown Tights
  • Stripes (Trend)
  • Mint (Trend)
  • Polka Dots (Trend)
  • Fluffy Pin (Trend)

I will say that I’ve never been this focused when shopping before. It was like I could go into a store and easily sift through items and find what was or wasn’t worth my attention. Just because there was a sale on jeans didn’t mean that I needed to consider buying a pair; I already knew I had that category covered.

Also, knowing ahead of time which items I wanted allowed me to prioritize ahead of time. I got to figure out which items meant the most to me or were most wearable with my existing pieces. And I got to put some wish list items into perspective and save by getting a more generic version.

For some, this may be the perfect time to set up a budget as well and figure out what works best financially. For this makeunder, I didn’t focus so much on the total dollars spent, but just made sure that the buys I was making were worthwhile and within my reach overall. For me, items under $50 were a “save” and items over that price point were a “splurge.” But of course that splurge/save line varies person to person, so feel free to determine that point for yourself in your own makeunder.

Want to know what I got? Well, let me show you…

Intentional Obsession: Dark Plaid Shirt

Plaid Button Up – This was definitely a no-brainer for me. I loved the J.Crew or American Eagle versions, but this one has all the same features in a lower price.

Intentional Obsession: Silk Blouse / Polka Dots

Polka Dot Top (similar) – I love the sheer pattern and tiny gold buttons.

Intentional Obsession: Dark Winter Skirts and Stripes

Stripe Skirt – This was a stretch for me. I don’t usually wear muted colors, but I love having something a bit different to wear. It will look great with brown boots, too.

Gray Skirt – This pencil skirt with a little ruffle pocket detail was a great buy for meetings or to wear with black tights and black boots in the colder months.

Intentional Obsession: A Pop of Red

Flame Sweater (sold out) – This was a more expensive sweater than I usually buy, but the merino wool is great and the exact flame color I loved would be hard to find elsewhere. Since buying this sweater I have found it’s definitely been worth the extra cash since it goes with so many items and gives me a whole batch of new outfits.

Intentional Obsession: Printed Scarves and Eyelash Lace

Vintage Scarves – These scarves were a great, inexpensive way to add color and pattern to basic tops. And I even swapped one of my own vintage scarves for another, thus giving me something new to wear without spending a penny. I also loved that it was a purchase from an adorable local shop.

Eyelash Lace Trend – This scarf in particular was a great purchase because it touched on one of my other intentions, eyelash lace. The $5 scarf was a much less expensive way to try a mini trend without the financial commitment.

Intentional Obsession: Brown Leather Flats

Brown Leather Flats – These were a great buy since I don’t wear heels. They were a bit big at first, but I added shoe inserts Aldo sells and they fit much better – and are more comfortable.

Intentional Obsession: Mint

Mint Plaid Top – This was a great sale item which allowed me to get some more pattern in my clothing and try a new color I don’t already have.

Intentional Obsession – Fluffy Pin

Fluffy Flower Pin – This was from J.Crew (couldn’t find a photo, but this old Forever21 pin is similar). I knew that clips and hair pieces were a huge trend and finding this $10 polka dot pin that worked as a pin or hair clip was a great way to test the trend without much commitment.

So there you have it! I hit almost all of my intentions (except those Tory Burch boots, haven’t found a durable and good looking pair that meets all my requirements) and am so happy to create outfits now. It really does feel like a new closet in so many ways.

Going forward, I hope to do wardrobe makeunders in the spring and fall. Setting out ahead of time to figure out what items I want to add  – intentionally – will save me a lot of mindless shopping.

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. great series. i have had my eye on the BP. ‘Runway’ Boot (at Nordstrom)….all leather, tiny wedge, at $119. you can’t go wrong with the Madewell ‘archive leather boot’ either (pricier, but…made well 🙂

  2. Jess

    SEM: Thanks! I definitely am considering the Madewell option! I never saw that one before, but it does look like a good contender : )

  3. Nikell

    Thanks for sharing!!! This third part to the series let me know that I’m on track when I shop.
    BTW…you may be able to find a good cheap pair of boots here http://www.gojane.com
    I shall warn you though, there are TONS of cute shoes there ^_^

  4. Kristal

    I was just in Target today, they do have some really affordable decent looking boots. Sometimes you can also get a great steal at a Marshall’s.

    Jess, since you love scarves so much, could you do a post on how to tie them & how you make your outfits more versatile with them?

  5. Clara

    Jess- I’ve really loved this whole series. Thank you for doing this! I have a very less is more approach when it comes to my wardrobe, but you’ve given me some great ideas to help figure out what pieces I actually need for fall. Thank you!

  6. This is such a great series. I love how you said, “I could go into a store and easily sift through items and find what was or wasn’t worth my attention. Just because there was a sale on jeans didn’t mean that I needed to consider buying a pair; I already knew I had that category covered.” I made needs and wants list after cleaning out my closet. The wants can’t be purchased before the needs, so it totally helps me focus!

  7. Liz

    You did such a wonderful job with this, and your post was so fun to read and follow along! Everything you want to invest in is so timeless and I love your weight of splurge and save. Can’t wait to check out your new found wardrobe! xo

  8. Jess

    I’m so happy to hear you all liked the series! I may even make it a bi-annual thing since I plan to do it in the spring as well. : )

    Let me know how your wardrobe makeunders go as well!

  9. olivia

    I am just getting caught up on my blog reading from being so behind and this is exactly what I am looking to do!! Thanks so much for sharing this! I always strive to be more stylish but I am always interested in laying around in sweatpants. I am gonna try this for work and my occasional going-out outfits!

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