7 Tips for Building a Wardrobe You'll Love ...

Building a wardrobe you love takes time, but it's worth the effort to collect pieces that you'll wear a lot. Most of us probably don't wear half our wardrobe, so an awful lot of space (and money) is wasted. If you focus your attention on buying the right items, your clothes will work much better for you. These tips will help you work on building a wardrobe that you'll love wearing …

1. Be Realistic

The first step towards building a wardrobe you'll love is to be aware of what suits you and what works with your body shape and lifestyle. It's a common mistake to buy clothes because you love them, although they are better suited to a different body shape. The result is that you never wear them, or they don't flatter you. Similarly, there's no point buying ultra-smart clothes if you never attend functions and parties.

2. Honest Opinions

Enlist the help of some honest friends to help you work out what suits you. Try on everything in your wardrobe and ask for an honest opinion on each item. They can see how garments look from the back (it's a lot harder to twist round and see your back view in the mirror!). Also take friends with you when you go shopping so that they can critique items before you buy.

3. Know Your Tastes

Learning about your taste in clothing will help you avoid mistake purchases. It seems obvious that we should know what we like, but before buying anything think carefully about whether you really like it. Impulse purchases are likely to end up in the wardrobe gathering dust. If you go away and think about it, you may realise that you don't like the garment that much after all.

4. Circumstances

Adapting your wardrobe according to changes in your circumstances will help you feel more comfortable in what you wear. For example, if you've gone from a very formal office to a much more casual workplace, you're going to feel uncomfortable in smart business suits. Parenthood is also likely to bring about changes in your style of dressing.

5. Style, Not Fashion

Many other wardrobe mistakes are caused by being too influenced by fashion. The problem with fashion is that it's not necessarily flattering or appropriate for all of us. Aim to be stylish rather than fashionable; this will be more complementary to you personally. Fashion is far too changeable anyway.

6. Variations

This may seem contradictory to no. 3, but be aware of changes in your tastes. They can change over even a short space of time, so that what we loved wearing a year ago doesn't inspire us at all now. If so, it could be time to try something different. You may not need to buy loads of new clothes, however; try small tweaks like wearing a favorite top with a skirt instead of pants.

7. Alterations

Finally, having your clothes tailored to fit you will make your clothes much more flattering. You don't necessarily need to enlist a seamstress to do this; if you have a sewing machine you can have a go yourself. This isn't as daunting as you might think; try the garment on inside out and mark with pins where you want the new seams to be.

There's absolutely no point wasting space and money cramming your wardrobe with items you don't really wear. So think carefully before buying anything new, and be honest with yourself about what works on you. Over time you'll get a wardrobe that you really love. How much of your wardrobe do you really wear?