Have you ever tried to put together an outfit, but it feels as if your clothes refuse to cooperate?

After trying on three or four combinations, the frustration gets to us.  Here we are, looking at a closet filled with garments, most of which we bought for ourselves, but we still yell out, “I have nothing to wear!”

We desperately want to make our wardrobes work better, but what can we do?

Unfortunately, if you do a quick search online, most of what you see are reorganizing strategies.  Space saving mechanisms and drawer organizers certainly make a closet look nicer, but they don’t do anything to make your clothes function better.

Before you begin pulling your clothes out and spending time reorganizing, you have to answer the question . . . 

What really makes a wardrobe work?

I only call a wardrobe “functional” if getting dressed is easy. 

That means every single piece of clothing and pair of shoes fits well, you enjoy wearing it, it is relevant to your current lifestyle, and . . . here’s the key . . . it belongs to a complete outfit.

Incomplete outfits are the biggest source of most of our wardrobe problems.

We would love to wear that dress, but we can’t because we don’t have shoes to match. That top would look great with those boots, but we don’t have the right kind of camisole to go under it.

These uncooperative pieces (many of which still have the tags on!) deceive us.  They fill our closets, making it appear as if we have options when we don’t.  I call it “The Wardrobe Mirage,” because it teases us with possibilities . . . until we look closer.

And the worst part is, we did it to ourselves! 

We bought these pieces and brought them home.  Why do we torture ourselves?  Why do we allow these unwearable pieces to enter our closet in the first place?

The answer is that most of us shop for clothes backward.

Think for a minute about how you shop for groceries. You look through what you already have and make a list of what you need, right?  You think of the dinner plan, figure out which ingredients you already have, and fill in the gaps.  This is shopping forward.

For some reason, most of us do the exact opposite when it comes to clothes.  

We browse around for fun.  Perhaps to take advantage of a sale?  Or just to see what there is?  Then, if we stumble upon something we like, we only check if it looks good on us and we check the price.

Sometimes we stop to ask, “What might I wear this with?” That question takes a step in the right direction, but we’re still facing the wrong direction!

The only way to improve how our wardrobe functions is to begin Shopping Forward.  Here’s how . . . 

Step 1: Separate the incomplete pieces

Sift through all of your clothes. Every time you come across something you haven’t worn because you can’t complete the outfit, then hang it up on the far left of your closet.

If there is a different reason you haven’t worn it (maybe you’re still trying to lose those last 5 pounds?), hang it up on the far right. We will focus on those another day.

Step 2: Consider the source

Look at the results and ask these questions: What percentage your wardrobe has actually been useful to you in the last year? How many garments are unwearable simply because they are incomplete? Where did these incomplete outfits come from in the first place?

You might be amazed at the insight you gain after just these two steps!

Step 3: Download the OUTFIT COMPLETER LIST

Scroll down to the end of this blog to find your FREE template! Think of each incomplete outfit as a recipe and write down the missing ingredients.

If you find your list growing longer and longer, the Wardrobe Lesson Series can help you decide which outfits are worth completing, and which should be deleted.  Scroll down to watch the free introduction video to the series.

Step 4: Start Shopping Forward!

Decide which outfit completer would help your wardrobe the most, and let the hunt begin!  Take the incomplete outfit with you to the store.  If it’s not right, don’t buy it!

Shopping Forward solves the incomplete outfit problem!

As we complete one outfit, we transform that piece from uncooperative to wearable.  Over time, our entire wardrobe slowly converts from frustrating to functional. 

Can you imagine going to your closet to get ready for you next date night and having multiple options that you love?  Wouldn’t it feel wonderful heading out the door feeling confident and beautiful instead of frazzled and frustrated?  

Make this one small change – shopping forward instead of backward – and you will feel the amazing effects, I promise!

Would you love to solve all your wardrobe frustrations?

In seven short lessons, the Home On Purpose Wardrobe Lesson Series covers everything from jewelry to laundry routines.  Discover fresh insights, helpful suggestions, and efficient strategies.  The outline note-pages, including specific task lists, and useful templates will help you stay organized.

Click the pic to watch the FREE introduction video, and get excited to finally take control of your closet once and for all!

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