Your Perfect Closet

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Is it too outlandish to say that a carefully constructed closet can last through fads and trendy hardships? See, I, like you, constantly “commit” to a budget, saying that I will go the month without spending on anything other than food—no budget can form a barrier high enough to keep me from my favorite burger—only to reason with myself halfway through the long, strenuous, reasonably priced month that I really do need a gray pair of jeans. I mean, they’re on trend for Fall 2014 and are practically a basic essential! Which brings me back to my first point: if I actually committed to constructing the perfect closet, I wouldn’t need to make exceptions, now would I?unnamed-4

So what goes into your ideal wardrobe? Imagine a pie chart and personalize it to your taste and style. Are you a bold, fiery patterned gal? In that case, “trend pieces” would probably take up a good percentage of your pie chart.

As an example, here’s what I would depict my pie chart of fashion to equal out to:

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40% Basics; I’m a firm believer that a basic doesn’t have to be basic. It’s so easy to dress up or down a plain white tee, and that variation leads others (and yourself!) to believe your closet is worth more or more jam-packed than it actually is. These are pieces that you don’t have to feel bad about splurging on, but really shop around! Get an idea of how you want it to hang on your body and don’t settle for anything less. Some basics worth investing in would be:

  • That plain white tee and a few T-shirts in colors that really compliment you.
  • A striped shirt (classic black and white never goes out of style).
  • A good pair of jeans that you love as much as your butt does in blue, black, and another wash of your choice.
  • A button down in a color that you consider versatile or uniquely you(could be white, colored, or patterned).
  • Plain sweaters to carry you through the autumnal season.
  • A good coat. I recently paid $30 for a nice tweed-looking one that I’m confident will get its money’s worth. No buyer’s remorse!unnamed

15% Accessories; Yes this counts as a sub-category. Curb yo’self. As I said before, I like to stretch my basics as far as they can go and create as many outfits as I can out of the same pieces. This is a challenge without statement necklaces, scarves, and even some outerwear like kimonos. My favorites include:

  • About three statement necklaces (We all have a favorite metal, mine is gold. So I would probably get two gold pieces and one silver).
  • A nice watch that you can wear everyday (Who wears watches anymore? I do! This is something that is an essential on my list but you may choose to forgo).
  • You really only need about two scarves. Get a good basic one in a color you love and that you feel would match a lot of your clothes as well as one in a pattern you absolutely adore. No cheap prints or patterns here, we both know you won’t get as much use out of it.
  • One or two pieces like a kimono or a beanie that you know you’re going to want to eventually buy on impulse anyway.unnamed-1

25% Trend pieces; I’m a sucker for trendy patterns and cuts (I made a bad decision in regards to an asymmetrical cut skirt that I knew would not flatter my short stature) but I’m learning to really be more selective of my impulses. No specifics for this category, this includes patterned pants, bold textures, detailed cuts, and the like. Much like the scarf, just make sure you really love the pattern or whatever trend the piece encompasses. This is where your personal style really comes into play!unnamed-2

20% Other; I really don’t know what to call these miscellaneous accents that we all have to our wardrobes. These are the graphic tees, the cardigans, and anything else that you really, truly couldn’t part with at check out. I’m not going to lie to you or myself while writing this and say that you don’t need these. These are the gap fillers! But I will say, maybe keep this category open for those unique finds instead of rushing to fill the final space. The whole point of this exercise was to stop yourself from impulse buying, but if you gotta do it, keep it in this percentile.unnamed-3

Now break out a pen and paper and break down your closet’s components. This is a great system for those who want to re-imagine their wardrobe or essentially start from scratch. Decide what’s important to you and how you like to express yourself through your clothes, then sub-categorize from there. Ideally, one day, you’ll open your closet and realize you have achieved closet bliss.

…We’ll just have to save footwear for another day.

I'm Alexea Malaletkin, currently residing in Southern California where I waste weekends either on my couch or at concert venues. I currently work as an editor for my school newspaper and will be majoring in either journalism or English language this fall. I am a food, internet, and rainy day enthusiast with a fervor for makeup and fashion. I draw a lot of inspiration from art, music, and movies-- all of which will most certainly make an appearance in my work here. Keep up with me on Instagram (malaletkin7) and Tumblr (throughanindielens.tumblr.com)