I want to share an e-mail I received from a client I worked with over a year ago. We had done a closet expedition to help her transition from stay-at-home mom to teacher. She had a nice selection of separates, accessories and shoes to which she added some basic pieces to give her a more professional look. In her e-mail, she said she had been able to make 135 different outfits by using different combinations. She took Polaroid photos of each outfit in order to keep a record of which combinations she had used. She also reversed the hangar of each garment worn so she could easily tell which she had already worn. Then, when she started through for the second time, she reversed each hangar back to its original position. She said that some of her students had even commented on her variety of outfits.
I thought this was amazing. Now, I’m sure that not everyone is as organized or creative as this lady but it shows how you can get a lot of mileage out of your wardrobe by looking at new possibilities. Let’s suppose that you have 10 different trousers and skirts and 10 different tops. If the colors and styles are compatible, you can make 100 different outfits. Now, let’s say you add a jacket and a sweater set. Then add some accent pieces – belts, jewelry or scarves. The possibilities are nearly limitless.
If you are like me, it is easy to get into a habit of wearing a certain top with a certain bottom without thinking outside the box. Or you may have many tops and bottoms but they run the gamut of the color wheel so many combinations cannot be done harmoniously. Any top and bottom that needs to be worn together, like a suit, is considered a costume and does not give the flexibility of separates. However, by building a wardrobe in modules, you can have a wide variety of different looks that will adapt to your lifestyle whether you are a stay-at-home mom or work in a business setting.
A module consists of the following:
Top – Blouse, shirt, or tank top. If you buy the same item in different colors, choose different sleeve lengths. (4 each)
Bottom – Skirt or pants (3 each)
Overtop – Jacket, cardigan sweater, or vest (2 each)
Accessories – Belt, handbag, and shoes
A module should be limited to three colors complimenting your natural coloring. Possibilities might include black, plum and a white or perhaps brown, cream and teal. If you have a module as listed above in your colors, you have 24 different looks. As you add other items, you expand the possibilities. Let your creative juices flow!