A Stylist's Guide to Successful Wardrobe Planning


A Stylist's Guide to Successful Wardrobe Planning


A Stylist's Guide to Successful Wardrobe Planning

I've been using this wardrobe planning method for well over ten years now. I also encourage my styling clients to adopt the exact same strategy into their lives too! Why? Because wardrobe planning is efficiency and organisation at its finest. Speaking as a professional stylist and as a normal human being, let me share with you the wardrobe planning strategy I use in both my personal and professional lives.

Wardrobe Planning

What is Wardrobe Planning and Why Do You Need It?

Wardrobe planning is the art of planning out your outfits in advance. Professionals in the fashion industry do it, celebrities (or their stylists) do it, and I highly recommend that you try it too! How many times have you complained that you don't have anything to wear? Or perhaps finding something to wear takes up a lot of your time and energy? This is why wardrobe planning is so great! We organise most areas of our lives, so why don't more people plan their outfits too? The way successful wardrobe planning works is that you allocate a set chunk of time every week or every couple of weeks to plan out a week or more's worth of outfits. I tend to use my free time on a Sunday afternoon to do this. It might be a bit challenging at first if you're completely new to the idea. However, I assure you that it will soon become second nature to you and potentially something you will learn to enjoy!
Wardrobe Planning
Wardrobe Planning

Before Wardrobe Planning Comes Wardrobe Weeding

If you plan to start this positive new habit well, I'd recommend doing it properly. Before you can begin to efficiently plan out your outfits in your wardrobe, you need to tackle wardrobe weeding. Wardrobe weeding is the process of decluttering your wardrobe and weeding out any unwearable items from your wardrobe. As the name suggests, this task is similar to the way you'd weed your garden. In order to see your pretty flowers in all their beauty, you must first pull out anything that could possibly be spoiling their appearance. There's no need to throw away too much, just the items that you know you will never wear again, that are broken, don't fit, or make you feel negative at the sight of them. Once you've weeded out the unnecessary garments and accessories that have been cluttering up your closet, the outfit planning can begin.
Wardrobe Planning
Wardrobe Planning

Getting Started With Outfit Planning

Now that you have a manageable wardrobe, full of adequate items that fit you and are still intact, you can start outfit planning. So like I mentioned before, I liked to allocate a set amount of time every week to complete this task. Usually 10 minutes on a Sunday afternoon is all it takes me to plan out a week's worth of outfits. Of course, if I wanted to plan outfits for more than a week (as I often do), it would take me longer. Once you've put your outfits together, you can either store them on hangers in your wardrobe or fold them up and stack them in your wardrobe or cupboards. If however, you're short on room or simply don't like this idea, you can create a photo diary or even your own physical style planner to keep a reference of the outfits you've planned.

Outfit Planning in Easy Steps

  1. Let's say that you want to plan outfits for one week - one outfit per day. Take out 7 bottoms, i.e. jeans, skirts or dresses. Pick out accompanying garments to go with the jeans, trousers, skirts, shorts, dresses you've picked out. You can even choose to add a couple of t-shirt or sweatshirt options to the bottom garments you've chosen.
  2. Depending on what you have planned, you might need to pick out items that you have to wear - perhaps for work or otherwise. On the other hand, you might be free to wear whatever you like whenever you like. If this is the case and one of your style goals is to get more wear from each of the pieces in your wardrobe, pick out and prioritise wearing items that you like but rarely wear. Wardrobe planning is a good way to encourage you to wear everything you own, because it allows you to get a better idea of the items you wear a lot and those you rarely wear. Wardrobe planning helps you to circulate your clothing garments so that each piece gets equal amounts of wear.
  3. Once you've paired together your tops and bottoms, your dresses with tights or leggings (depending on the time of year), feel free to add some accessories at this point.
  4. Now you have complete ready-to-wear outfits, neatly fold them up into piles and stack them in your wardrobe or hang each outfit over a hanger to hang in your wardrobe.
  5. That's it! You have 7 days of outfits ready to pull out of your wardrobe and wear as and when you choose. You will probably notice through time that you become more creative with your outfit planning. It's always fun to experiment with new looks or replicate a style using items you already own. Quite often when I flick through magazines or scroll through Instagram and see outfits that I love and want to replicate, I often find that I have a lot of these items or similar already in my wardrobe. It's the way you style your clothing that makes all the difference!
  6. You can plan outfits for a couple of days at a time, a week, a month, or even longer. Do whatever is most convenient and most suitable for you.

Wardrobe Planning
Wardrobe Planning

Wardrobe Planning Tips

  • If storing your styled outfits together in your wardrobe isn't an option, here are a few other ways to keep a reference of the looks you've created. Take a photo on your phone of the outfit. Perhaps keep a special folder of outfit pictures so that you can look to them for inspiration when you need to pick out an outfit. Keeping a style diary full of photos of outfits you've worn makes getting dressed fun and easy. The alternative is to create your own physical style planner full of sketches, notes and photos of outfits you've worn, plan to wear and looks you've admired and plan to replicate.
  • This is a practical activity but why not also turn it into a fun one?! Invite your friends over and plan your outfits together. You can share tips and opinions, or even do a clothes swap.
  • Seek inspiration from magazines or the internet. With the #OOTD hashtag, social media is full of daily outfit pictures from fashionistas from all fields. Take ideas from outfits you like and see how you can recreate the same look at home.
  • Use outfit prompts. My 30 Day Style Challenge can help you to get more creative and imaginative with your style choices, without having to leave your comfort zone.

I hope this has been helpful. Do let me know how you get on! Happy wardrobe planning!