Monday, March 8th, 2021

Wardrobe Planning in Five Easy Steps

By Katherine Lazaruk on Oct 19 2009 • Filed under Image Intensive

As an entrepreneur you don’t have a lot of time to think about your wardrobe, let alone shop for it. The bulk of your energy is focused on your business. As a result, you may have allowed your clothing to fall into disrepair, become a little outdated or you’ve been relying on quick, unplanned shopping trips to restock. You may also have purchased items you liked, but that didn’t go with anything else in your closet and now sit, unworn, perhaps with the tags still attached, in the back of your closet. Mignon McLaughlin (a journalist who worked for Vogue magazine in the 1940s), once said, “Women usually love what they buy, yet hate two-thirds of what is in their closets.” If this saying applies to you and you spend an average of $100 per shopping trip, you’re probably wasting anywhere from $500-1000 per year on clothing that isn’t doing the job. You make marketing plans, action plans and financial plans – why not spend a little timeon a wardrobe plan?

Here is the way to plan ahead in five easy steps:

1. Sort and purge

Remove items from your closet and drawers. As you remove items, sort them into one of four piles:

  1. “Store” (for seasonal items)
  2. “Repair/Clean” (items you enjoy, but need hemming or buttons or cleaning)
  3. “Donate” (useable items with no repairs or cleaning needed)
  4. “Toss” (items that are too worn or cannot be repaired)

No digging through the “Toss” or “Donate” piles; if you’ve put the item there on first consideration, that’s where it should stay. If you haven’t worn something for a year, definitely donate or toss it. Once the items are removed, bag them up to send to their respective places. Items to be stored can be boxed in airtight Rubbermaid containers or vacuum-storage bags and put under the bed or in your storage locker; anything to be repaired or cleaned needs to be taken immediately to the drycleaner or seamstress; donated items can be taken to the Salvation Army, Value Village or be picked up by Big Brothers; items to toss can be, obviously, tossed!

2. Shop in your own closet

Once you have finished sorting and purging, make a note of the items that are left in your closet and drawers. Group them according to type; tops, bottoms, jackets and accessories. Mix and match these items to create new outfits.

3. Make a list

As you are mixing and matching, make a list of the items you need to purchase to complement your existing pieces. This list is the basis of your wardrobe plan.

4. Set your budget

Estimate the cost of the pieces you’ll need to purchase. If you’re not sure, you can base the estimate on pieces you’ve already purchased, or do a little web surfing to find out a range of prices for the items you’re looking for.

5. Determine time and place

Decide what time of year each piece needs to be purchased and where you will purchase these items. For example, a great time to purchase a winter coat for cost savings is actually at the end of winter, but if you value selection over cost, you should shop at the beginning of the season instead. The choice of store is determined by your budget and location. Allocate time and funds from your budget as needed for shopping trips and schedule it into your calendar. Once per season is the recommended minimum for scheduled trips; a minimum of two hours should be allocated to each trip.

Now that you have followed the basic steps to create a plan for your wardrobe, you will find that shopping is much easier and far more cost effective. Next month, click back to find tips on how to organize your closet to get the maximum efficiency from your wardrobe and minimize the stress associated with getting dressed in the morning.

1 Comment


  1. Business Dressing on a Budget Entrepreneurial Woman Magazine

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