Restyling Your Wardrobe

Girls can go through several style phases and at some point in time, a major life change.  So let’s face it, a new job or going to college can call for a serious closet revamp. Cliché spoke with Hollywood’s Elite Stylist Kimberlee Tokarz and asked a few questions about how to rebuild your closet from scratch. Read on for all the amazing tips she gave, and have fun restyling your wardrobe! By Emma Dyer


©Daniella Hovsepian

Cliché: What would you say are the three key concepts to consider when building your wardrobe?
Kimberlee Tokarz: First: who are you, and what is your style? A lot of people like a lot of different looks and styles, but narrowing that down to help you come up with your style will definitely help you figure out what is needed to complete or start building your wardrobe.
Second: quality. Choose to buy a quality piece (even if it means spending a little more) rather than a bunch of cheap items that will be out of style next season or that will end up sitting in your closet with tags for the next couple of years.
Third: be patient. A perfect wardrobe doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s never-ending. Don’t expect to find everything at one store or in one day. Take your time and figure out the right pieces for you, your body, and your lifestyle.
Why should you rebuild your wardrobe?
Your wardrobe says a lot about who you are, so if you’re not happy with how you look and are dressing that way, it can affect other areas of your life. When you look good, you feel good, and you do better! So, rebuilding your wardrobe gives you the opportunity to create a “new” or better you.
Should you change your wardrobe once a year, or per season?
I think it’s smart to consistently work on your wardrobe. Obviously budget is always a concern, but it’s hard to put a timeline on working on your closet. When I rebuilt my wardrobe from the ground up years ago, I chose to save a little out of each paycheck I received. I set a goal for myself, and once I reached that goal, I went on a “shopping spree.” The only reason I say this is because when you feel stuck in a rut with your wardrobe, buying an item here and there isn’t going to help. Not to mention you’d probably buy a new piece and then wear it out by the time you bought the next new item, so I highly recommend setting a goal and going to get a few items together. Once I did this, my basic foundation was built, and then each season I look for the fun items I can add!
Any pre-game tips to do before the big task?
The first thing I do with my clients is edit their current wardrobe. [You should] get rid of pieces that are old, outdated, or the pieces you never wear. Once you do this, you’ll have a better idea of what you have left and what you need to fill in. If you know what your style is, then it’ll be easier to go out and shop for replacement items and/or new items that work with your remaining pieces. If not, I recommend doing some looking around and figuring out what your look is and who you are in fashion. That way, you can look for items that will work for you and your lifestyle.
What category of style should you start with?
I would always start building with neutrals, like a great-fitting and quality pair of jeans, good-fitting neutral tops, sweaters, jackets, shoes, etc. Once you get this foundation, if you want to add bold colors and prints, do it! But having a solid foundation in your wardrobe will make it easier to style and create different looks with bolder colors and prints.
So, what do you hang and what do you fold?
Most of this is dependent on each person, but there are a few categories that should be one or the other. You want to hang blouses (button downs, silk, anything that could be wrinkled easily), pants/trousers, suits, skirts, dresses, jackets and blazers, and coats. You can fold sweaters (because a lot of times they grow if hung), casual tees and tanks (but these can also be hung if they’re nicer or if preferred), and jeans. But it’s alright if you also want to fold knits, skirts, or dresses.
What’s the one item everyone should have in their closet?
A great-fitting pair of jeans. Most people live in jeans and most people don’t see the benefit of having a great-fitting and quality pair of jeans. This is so important because not only will they last, but they work well with almost anything else in your closet. They’re insanely versatile in season, style, day or evening.
How many shoes does a girl really need?
That depends. For example, I’m on my feet all day long, I buy quality pieces, and I’m super picky, so I only have about 15 pairs of great “perfect” shoes. But I also have clients and friends that work in different environments and have certain events that would require them to have a wider variety. With that being said, depending on your budget, I think as long as you focus on quality and not quantity, you can go crazy!
Should we avoid statement pieces or add them?
If you have your wardrobe foundation, then there’s nothing wrong with cycling in a few statement pieces. Again, this also depends on your budget and what your lifestyle is. If you are trying to rebuild your wardrobe from the ground up, wait on the trendy pieces and focus on what you really need first.
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