So I am not going to spend time talking about the fact that today is my birthday.  Not because I'm alarmed how quickly 43 years went by.  Or the fact that I do not feel 43.  I'm going to ignore it because I have other things to do.   I'm proud of my age, but I'm too busy to spend much time being philosophical about it.  There is laundry piling up, proposals to write, TV to watch, a pre-schooler to feed, exercise to do, sleep to catch up on.... and fun blog posts to write instead!

So I'm going to talk about something that doesn't bore me - building a better wardrobe.  I attended a workshop by Joyce Lau of  Yummy Mummy Makeovers a few weeks ago called "Playing Lego with your Wardrobe."  Her point is that you don't need a HUGE closet. You just need the right pieces that let you make the right combos. 

In the workshop Joyce took us through shopping our own closets, shopping in a store.  She gave us a 5 point check list and tips on how to mix and match.  And we got to play with some arts and crafts to help hone some of the new ideas we had been taught.  Wish shopping was as cheap as clipping items out of magazines. 

Anyways, everything really came down to the Rule of Three.   I've talked about this concept before, and showed how I wore a new dress three ways.   Everything you buy should go with at least 3 other things in your closet.  Buying wardrobe orphans is a waste of closet space and budget.   A little planning and upfront work can make shopping, and more importantly, getting dressed so much easier.

Over the next while I'm going to try and feature different items worn at least 3 different ways, cause I like visual inspiration and I suspect a few of do as well.  I recently visited The Velvet Room in Kerrisdale, with this purpose, and will post those pictures later this week.

Here are a few tips behind the idea of building a wardrobe like my son builds new creations.  He has one tub of building blocks. And assuming he has the right core pieces he can build something new every single day.  Your wardrobe should be the same.

Think about what types of transitions your clothes make.  If you buy something that works only for one occassion the cost per use is quite high.   So keep in mind items that can be mixed and matched to transition from:

  1. Work to weekend.  It is always easier to take dressier items and dress them down for weekend.  We've all seen the disaster that happens when people try to take lululemons and dress them up for work.  But a pair of black dress pants can work great for weekend if paired with a denim jacket.
  2. Day to night.   I still have trouble wearing that funky top under a blazer at the office. Or bringing a quick switch of accessories in my bag.  But I'm working on it.
  3. Blending Seasons.  In Vancouver we benefit from really only 2 seasons (summer and rain) so it is relatively easy to buy items that can be worn year round.  A little trickier in other parts of the country, but still something that can work well during transition from season to season.  For example darker accessories can make a summer dress work in fall.

The first step is always to assess what you currently have in your wardrobe.  I had planned to do this last week, when my mom was in town and would give me the straight goods.  But I got the flu instead. So I've been delayed.  But I want/need a plan for spring shopping, so I need to get that done asap.

Over the past month I've only bought accessories, except for a magneta v-neck Mexx sweater (on sale at The Bay for $16).  And I know that it will work will all sorts of different items in my closet.  So far I've worn it:

  • weekend - over a white tank, with Reitman's comfort fit jean skirt, a funky scarf and black boots. 
  • work - over a white t-shirt, black dress pants and my funky new white necklace.

I know it will be easy to wear over and under all sorts of items in my closet. I don't have a lot of magenta items, but that is okay as I have a lot of neutrals. And this will allow the magenta colour to take center stage in my outfit. And I might take just a risk and try to wear it with a red belt - just for fun.

Joyce has several other workshops coming up this month.  Check her website for information on upcoming sessions on Body Shapes and Secrets; Accessorizing like a Pro; and Playing Lego with Your Wardrobe.   It is a fun affordable way to get some style advice, and you can bring a girlfriend or two too. 

And now I better go tackle some other things on my list, cause so far that laundy hasn't figured out how to sort itself. 

Disclosure:  I attended the workshop for free as a guest of Joyce.  She made several spots in the workshop available to Vancouver Enterprising Moms Network members.  I was lucky enough to get one.   All comments/opinions are my own and I was not paid in anyway for this post.