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Not sure how to find versatile clothing?
It’s a good thing to know, because it’s the bedrock of a good wardrobe, capsule or otherwise. It multiplies the outfit options available to you without overwhelming you with choice and cluttering up your living space.
I personally have a few specific favourites, but rather than suggesting you buy them, I want to show you how to find versatile clothing of your own. Clothing that suits your needs, and that you love.
By the way – if you’re actively trying to cut down the amount of clothes in your wardrobe, try working out exactly how many you need with my free calculator worksheet.
So, anyway – how do you find versatile clothing to add to your wardrobe?
It’s as simple as asking a few questions.
Each time you’re looking at buying something new, ask yourself the following:
Does this fit with my style guide?
Asking this question helps to ensure that the item matches everything else you own. It also stops you from buying clothes that aren’t made to flatter you or that you don’t find comfortable and easy to wear.
If it doesn’t fit with your style guide, it won’t form outfits with your other clothes too well, and you’ll probably avoid wearing it anyway because it’s not flattering or comfy.
And if that’s the case, it won’t be very versatile.
Can I wear it with the sleeves or cuffs both rolled up AND left down?
It needs to be both, not just one. If it’s just one or the other, then you’ve only got one garment.
Rolling up your sleeves or the cuffs of your pants instantly changes your look, so if you can do both then you’ve doubled the number of outfits available to you.
Can you wear it both loose and tucked in?
Again, being able to wear the item both ways doubles your outfit options in the one garment.
Of course, if it’s something you can wear loose or tucked in, and with the sleeves down or rolled up, you’ve immediately given yourself four options in the one piece.
Can you use it as another type of garment?
Some types of clothing can easily be worn as something entirely different. For instance, a scarf can be turned into a vest very easily, or a tube top, skirt, or dress (depending on the size and type of scarf).
There are many other examples – my Pinterest board has a few ideas.
Can you dress it up AND down?
i.e. can it pass as both casual and semi-formal with the right accessories? For example, you might wear a t-shirt dress with sandals and a simple necklace for brunch with friends. That evening, you could dress it up with a statement necklace, boots, and a jacket for a dressier occasion.
This eases the pressure when you have to switch quickly between settings, and reduces the number of clothes you need to keep.
Does it have multiple configurations?
Multiway or reversible clothing can be worn in different ways for different looks. They’re an easy way to extend your options without extending your laundry and storage requirements.
I mentioned multiway dresses earlier, but there are other examples too. Some brands even offer items that can be a dress, a top, a cardigan, and a scarf, all in one!
If you’re pregnant or plan to be in the future – will the item stretch or flow over a baby bump?
It may be that flowy or stretchy clothing isn’t for you, and that’s fine. But if it is, and you may have a baby bump to cover at some point, it pays to find items that you can wear both now and when you’re pregnant.
You’ll benefit by saving money on maternity clothes, time not having to look for maternity clothes, and space by not having to store your other clothes whilst you’re pregnant.
Bear in mind that you don’t need to answer ‘yes’ to all of these questions! They just give you an indication of how versatile the item will be. The more ‘yes’s, the more versatile the piece.
For more guidance on how to find versatile clothing, or to learn how to overhaul your entire wardrobe, check out From Drab to Dream: The Complete Wardrobe Overhaul course.