10 Steps to a Perfectly Organised Wardobe

Came across this article yesterday and thought it would help quite a few of my readers. Though it is targeted toward men, it can certainly be adapted and made to work for ladies as well. If you like the gist of it, feel free to finish it up by clicking the link at the end. (By the way, I love reading the idiosyncrasies that come with British English, when compared to American English. Makes me wonder how we mis-learned so many apparently correct ways of spelling words.)

Words by Mr Dan Rookwood, US Editor, MR PORTER

Minimalism might be the smug Instagram ideal, but the reality for most people – those of us who like buying clothes anyway – is a wardrobe and cupboards that are over-stuffed at best and a precariously balanced landslide-in-waiting at worst.

If it’s a struggle to prise a hanger from the rail or a sweater from the shelf and doing so brings with it the garments either side, then you’re suffering from stuffocation and everything will end up looking creased. And all those items hidden away in the dark recesses? You never wear them. You’ve probably forgotten you even own them.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Clear away the clutter and you’ll be able to access all areas. Not only will that remove some low-level stress from your life, but you will open up exponentially more outfit possibilities, rediscover some old favourites and breathe new life into your everyday look.

And yes, OK, we will admit to having an ulterior motive. Because oh look, you can suddenly fit in more clothes. Turns out we can help with that, too.

 

Make remaining organized a priority.

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Selecting the Correct Undershirt

I don’t want to seem like a know it all but there are a few things that, once you learn them, just make sense. Today, I’m going to share one of those things with you, as well as provide reasoning behind why it makes sense.

First of all, let’s go over the practical purposes for wearing an undershirt. Undershirts:

  • provide a layer of cloth to soak up our sweat.
  • keep parts of our anatomy from being seen through thin shirts.
  • provide a level of protection for shirts against natural oils that our bodies secrete.
  • streamline our bodies, providing a slender and more toned look.

When wearing a collared shirt that is buttoned to the top button, you should have on a crew neck tee shirt underneath. A crew neck is better than a v-neck because, if the undershirt is white, its v-shape can be seen against your skin through a light colored dress shirt.

However, if you unbutton the top button of the shirt, a v-neck undershirt should be worn. I, personally, prefer a black v-neck with my white shirts because it provides a more seamless look but, white or black, as long as it’s cut low enough that it’s not seen (but not so low that it looks extra v-like), you’re good to go.

A-shirts are great undershirts for graphic tees or, if you must, v-neck sweaters. That’s about it. They provide little coverage and don’t prevent underarm sweat from staining shirts. Additionally, when worn under white/light dress shirts, they are unsightly, providing a U shape that can be seen through the shirt. All in all, they are the least functional undershirt.

Now, if you’ve been doing this wrong for years, it’s alright. For about two thirds of my life, I had it wrong too (like in the throwback cover photo for this post). The beautiful thing about tomorrow is that it’s a new day and, going forward, you can do better.

 

Make professional development a priority.

#TrendingThursday 2.0 – Num. 10

Simple Wardrobe Alterations Every Man Should Make by Grant Tillery
I’m all about getting clothes that compliment your body. This article focuses on how men can do that effectively without breaking the bank.

10 Tricks To Appear Smart In Meetings by Sarah Cooper
Even when I’m not the smartest person in the room, I want to seem intelligent. Even if I don’t feel it at that moment, the appearance that I am is important to me. This short piece is right on time, as I’m often in the room with doctors, professors, and lawyers these days.

Make professional development a priority.

Once In a Lifetime OPERAtunity

There are plenty of people I know who have not attended an opera. Even more have not been to New York Fashion Week (NYFW). On Saturday, September 9, I had the opportunity to see both at the same time. Opera Carolina, founded in 1948 by the Charlotte Music Club, is known across the nation and does a phenomenal job of maintaining the integrity of the art form.

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Opera Carolina’s presentation of “Opera Recycles” at the Crowne Plaza Time Square Manhattan hotel was not only artistic in nature, but designers Kristen Alyce, Emily Kramer, Sarah Danee McGee, Malou Cordery, Venie Tadeo, Lyndsee Hairston and Rocio Llusca brought a level of environmental awareness to the runway by creating couture fashion using its recycled printed materials. The fashion was not the only innovative component of this one-of-a-kind performance; Producer Jerome Jewetto created the runway music for Opera Recycles’ fashion show that incorporated hip hop and opera, including songs from “O Fortuna”, “Carmen”, and “The Marriage of Figaro.” Such fusion of opera, hip-hop, fashion, and recycled playbills embraces a cultural integration that, in recent history, would have been frowned upon by opera and fashion purists alike, but is now thought-provoking and impactful.

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The ability of trained opera singers to not only sing but to properly represent the artistic views of the designers was awe-inspiring. As one who has been intrigued by fashion since my early days of undergraduate studies, but who also is constantly gaining an understanding of the need for sustainability, this performance illuminated both the right and left sides of my brain. I was able to appreciate the beauty in the designs as well as the musical selections while realizing the need for more sustainable sources of fashion. Will I be wearing all of my used bill envelopes to work tomorrow morning? Probably not. But why not, going forward, start patching up a hole in a pair of pants as opposed to going out to buy a whole new pair? I already thrift but could I do it more? Certainly. Sustainability in fashion set to a soundtrack of classic melodies and unconventional rhythms made an indelible impact on me.

When fashion, sustainability, and music intersect, they etch a memory into one’s mind and that memory creates dreams of what is possible if we think outside the box. It is not every day that you hear something that changes the world but, on September 9, 2017, I did. Opera Carolina’s “Opera Recycles” presentation was not only one of artistic excellence; it was a call to environmental action. That is certainly a melody that I will dance to.

 

Make having experiences and sustainability priorities.

Barely Making It

Always keep a basic outfit ready to go in your wardrobe. Clean, ironed, and shoes decently polished. Days that you are just barely making it out of bed, you’re going to need it.

That was me this morning. The weather change had me feeling pretty crummy on Tuesday morning (which is why you all are getting my Tailored & Tapered Tuesday as well as my #WorkingWomanWednesdays post today). Luckily, I keep a pair of chinos, a polo, and some shoes to match ready to go. That allows me to hop out of bed, shower, shave if you absolutely must, and get in the car with my already made coffee.

Every day, you’re not going to look like the guy in the photo above. Some days, you’ll look like you’re lucky to have made it into the office. And you are.

Make looking like you weren’t hit by a bus a priority (even if you feel like it).

Breaking Monotony

Everyone has a style. I encourage and respect that (even if I don’t always like certain people’s). Do what works for you.

But, sometimes, you have to try something new. We’re not Amish (unless you are, in which case I’m assuming someone printed this post for you). Therefore, you have wardrobe options. If you’re always bright and colorful, try some earthy fall colors in the coming months. If you’re constantly wearing black, go buy a crimson tie or canary skirt to add a bit of flare to your wardrobe. You never know how a different look will make you feel until you try it.

And that doesn’t just go for color schemes but grooming as well. For months at a time, I’ll let my hair and beard grow. Then one day I’ll get bored, cut both off, and start fresh. The beautiful thing (right now) is that it’ll all grow back. Or, ladies, if you’re thinking about trying a different hairdo, look at some folks who have a similar head shape, bone structure, and complexion and, if you like the way they wear their hair, go for it. The worst that can happen is you hate it and, in 3 months, you’ll be able to move back toward what you had before.

While we’re talking about switching up styles, know that different outfits serve different purposes. It is a must that I tailor some of my clothes because of the caliber of event they’re regularly worn to. Others can be worn right off the rack. And the accessories change with events too. If I’m shooting for a night on the town, I may don a suit and v-neck with loafers and earrings if I want to sauce it up. But, when I feel like looking smart but stylish for a meeting with a client, I’m throwing on cosmetic frames with a suit and well-polished hard bottoms (Note to myself and you: Polish shoes tonight). Either way, it’s about looking confident and comfortable in whatever you wear. And you don’t have to step out of your comfort zone daily but you should do it frequently enough to shake things up.

You never know what you’ll need to look like in your next work environment, so developing versatility and comfort now should be the game plan. Whether your employer, your significant other, or that barista at Starbucks that has been giving you the eye for the past few months, it’s nice to see that you can try something new and still look (and perform) like a winner.

All in all, no matter how old you are, you’re too young not to have fun and enjoy life.

Make being well-dressed and well-groomed priorities.

Oh, by the way, I’ve got a crazy post coming for next week’s fashion post. Make sure you’re subscribed to the blog so you don’t miss out on #TailoredAndTaperedTuesdays.

The Creative’s Dress Game

Do I wear a flannel and cut up jeans or a fly suit with a lapel flower? Should I be in hip chinos with a pocket watch and a vintage polo or shorts, a v-neck, and chucks? What are the rules for how a "creative" ought to dress?

There are no rules. There is only one rule and it is to not be stiff.

Being creative is all about being comfortable and intentional. If you can look at peace and stylish in a suit, go for it. If overalls and a tank top are your thing, you've got it. No matter what you're in, be inspired. Certain mornings, some framed glasses, a v-neck and jeans are what I'm in the mood to wear (the way my M-F is set up these day, I am required that I trade in those jeans for chinos but that's cool because the bills must be paid). Other days (especially soon after a haircut), I like to sport a suit or some slacks and a tie. It's all about what makes you feel like this may end up being one of the best days of your life.

Whatever your look, let it be inspired and let it inspire. We're all here to make one another better. Borrow a part of someone else's style and help someone else when they're trying to borrow an aspect of yours. Push the envelope (sometimes slowly, but push it, nonetheless).

 

Make inspiration a priority.