10 Pieces Yield 36 Outfits…Suggestions for Building Your Wardrobe for Fashion Friday.

The right side of my closet, which I dissected after I wrote this post yesterday. I didn’t take a ‘before’ photo, but trust me, it was a disaster until I organized it.

One of the things I can pass along as a former fashion consultant is the importance of having the pieces that you purchase mix and match with each other. The easiest way to begin this process is to start with solid colors, then gradually add in patterns and floral prints. By starting with solid colors, you have the ability for the items to be interchangeable. Women who need to dress for the workplace, this is especially helpful for you. By only buying pieces that you know will go with what you already have in your closet, you extend your wardrobe. Those of you who want to start from scratch and build a new wardrobe with the basics, here’s how to start.

By beginning with 9-11 basic pieces that can all work off each other, you will be able to create 36 outfits. I wish I had the time and energy to create all 36 outfits out of the 11 pieces I selected from my closet, but time does not allow me to do so. However, what I did for you was to photograph items that currently exist in my own closet. I picked 11 of them. Then, I offered you a sampling of how I mix and match these outfits so that they work for me. Selecting items that can be both versatile for work and then be worn out with jeans extends your wardrobe.

This is the left side of my closet; my dresses are actually hung by color, and I have quite a bit of black, as you can see. Shoes below.

I started with very basic items. I’ve included no stripes or florals or checkered fabrics. We are starting at square one, and this may give you an idea of how you can do this yourself, by choosing and buying things that will seamlessly enter your wardrobe and help it grow little by little. Additionally, accessories play a big factor in your look; versatility with choices can help you extend what you wear. Adding in a trendy belt, a scarf, or a hat can also change the look.

The principles are the same for casual careers as well as dressier careers. I happen to teach at a university in the department of Business Communication, so I usually dress professionally, unless we’re writing in the lab. In that case, you may find me in jeans and a jacket or blouse. However, you can modify this beginner wardrobe for stay-at-home moms. Get two pairs of jeans and two trousers; get a more casual jacket; add a black tee (you can never go wrong with that!) and funk it up with some jewelry. There are so many options.

Also, be kind to the images of my clothing…I was photographing these outfits on a half-hanger-dummy, so the clothes do not appear as fitted as they would be on a real person! All my clothing pictured is either size 6 or 8, and I guess I should note that I am usually a petite, as I’m barely 5’1″. And, as a petite shopper, we have our issues as well. But I will save that for another post.

Clothing is from the following stores: Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Loft, Forever 21, Old Navy, White House/Black Market, and Nordstrom.

This is a sampling of how you begin to mix and match your items. Trust me, you can yield 36 outfits. The dress can be worn with the jacket or the cardigan, you can belt it with heels or boots, or you can wear a scarf and a funky hat.

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