By Natalie Issa
Eight months after graduating from college, I finally decided to go deep diving in the dark, musty corners of my closet. Because after four years of college, I had collected a lot of clothes – half of which I didn’t even wear.
Looking through my closet, I realized that I was completely bored with my clothes. Did I really want to continue dressing like I was still a sleep-deprived college student?
The answer was an absolute, resounding no. Because I am now a 23-year-old, sleep-deprived adult.
So I hunkered down, girded my loins, and got ready to make some big changes to my personal style. And here’s how I did it:
1. De-Clutter Your Wardrobe
Before I even thought about buying new clothes, I did a heavy duty de-clutter session. In order to effectively go through your clothes, you have to be pretty strict with yourself. I ended up throwing away everything that I hadn’t worn in the past year.
So after one very sweaty cleaning day, I had donated the following: five giant bags of clothes, one huge bag of shoes, one bag of purses/scarves, and one box of random toys stashed in a corner of my closet. In total, I donated about 75 percent of my clothes.
When I first looked at almost empty closet, I totally panicked. But after taking a few calming breaths, I reminded myself that it was all part of my grand master plan.
2. Get Inspired
Shortly after the Great Closet Purge of 2016, I was offered a very adult-y internship. So not only was I looking for casual clothes, I was also looking for things I could wear to work.
Cue Pinterest. Looking at my fashion board, I realized that while my personal style was more boho, I pinned something different.
I was digging a style that was chic and feminine, but lacked the lace and frilliness associated with the bohemian style. Think trench coats, duster jackets, turtlenecks, classic button downs, and ankle boots. Apparently, this was what my heart was secretly yearning for.
Now that I knew what I liked, I began to look for style icons that fit my new style. For me, that was Emma Stone, Lily James and Lily Collins. Those ladies SLAY.
Another great resource for me was, surprisingly, YouTube. A lot of fashion bloggers have their own channels. They use them to display their seasonal lookbooks, as well as videos of their recent fashion hauls.
This was helpful because it not only showed me what to buy, but where to buy it. My favorites are Estée Lalonde, Allana Davison, Alix at I Covet Thee, and Suzie from Hello October.
3. Make a List (And Check it Twice)
Now that I knew what style I was leaning towards, I made a list of the clothes I wanted to buy. To keep myself organized, I was painfully specific. Instead of simply writing down “pants”, I scribbled “black slacks”. Instead of just “shirts”, I wrote down “turtlenecks” and “a white button down”.
Being specific leaves no room for interpretation. You’re a woman with a mission, and you gotta get it done.
4. Shopping Time
Now’s the best part! Or the worst, depending on if you actually like shopping.
To be frank, this does cost some major cash. I got most of my new clothes as birthday presents and by using money I received as a graduation gift. So if you’re planning a huge shopping trip, save up.
While I was shopping, I was extremely careful. Every time I picked up a piece of clothing, I asked myself: “Will this fit in with my wardrobe?” While I stuck to the items I had put on my list, there were a couple of other things to keep in mind. Would the color fit with the overall color scheme of my clothes? Does the style match my ~vision~?
And unfortunately, you do have to try clothes on. Yes, it’s a pain. But if it doesn’t fit, what’s the point?
It’s also important to invest in expensive, good quality pieces. Sure, it costs extra. But if you’re willing to go for it, you’ll have something that’ll last you a very long time.
By the end of the whole process, I had an entirely new wardrobe. Here’s what I got:
3 button-down shirts
4 pairs of pants
2 pairs of jeans
4 pairs of shoes
6 pairs of earrings (that came together)
If that seems like a lot of clothes, keep in mind that I basically had no clothes to start with. Also, I was shopping for workwear and casual wear. Plus, I definitely won't go shopping again any time soon.
So what can I leave you with, now that I've completed my journey and you're about to start yours? Honestly, it'd be this: buy and wear stuff that makes you happy. Put on clothes that make you think, "Daaaang, I look good!" Wear an outfit that makes you walk down the street with confidence. Slay, girl. SLAY.
Now, go forth! Get that new wardrobe. And good luck!