The Curated Wardrobe – An Alternative To Outfit Planning


A Curated Wardrobe

For such a long time I wished I was one of those women who was organised enough to plan her outfits for the week.

I imagined stress free mornings – ones where I never ran late again. I pictured myself reaching into my wardrobe and pulling out the perfect ensemble – accessories and all. I dreamed of a world that didn’t involve trying on eight tops in an attempt to get the proportions right. I envisioned freedom from both indecision and the infuriating practice of rifling through my wardrobe looking for an item that was – inevitably – buried at the bottom of my laundry basket.

So, eventually, I chased the dream.

But it turned out that outfit planning just wasn’t very me.

Even when I was disciplined enough to find the time over the weekend to plan out what I was wearing for a week, most of the time I wouldn’t actually end up wearing the outfits I’d chosen.

You see, I really enjoy dressing to complement the mood I want to create.

Some days I wake up feeling creative and I know that I will do a stack of writing both at work and in my leisure time. On those days, I might wear something quirky (and interestingly, flat shoes, despite my corporate environment). Other days I might be needing to have a tricky conversation at work and want to feel super confident. If that’s the case, I’ll be looking for a pencil skirt and heels. Alternatively, the situation might call for the more relaxed vibe that only a monochrome outfit can fill for me.

But, pleasingly, wanting to dress for your mood or your intention doesn’t mean that you have to give up on the dream of easy dressing mornings. There is an alternative solution.

Enter the curated wardrobe, where every piece plays well with others and delights you with a smorgasbord of choices depending on how you are feeling on any given day.

Now let’s be clear. A curated wardrobe is quite different to a capsule wardrobe. General internet wisdom informs us that a capsule wardrobe – something I’ve never quite mastered – requires you to limit the number of pieces you can choose from. The curated wardrobe, on the other hand, doesn’t look to dictate a set amount of items at your disposal. But it does require discipline of a different sort (and you do still have to keep your laundry up-to-date).

My Three Step Guide To Creating A Curated Wardrobe

Step One. Know What Suits You

In order to fill your wardrobe with pieces that co-ordinate well, it is handy to understand which styles and colours suit your unique body shape and colouring best.

It will be these pieces that will see you stepping out each day with a spring in your step and increased confidence. And not that you need the external validation but you will also get more compliments when you continually wear clothing that truly suits you.

Furthermore, building a wardrobe around a colour palette that enhances your features also increases the opportunity to mix and match items. This not only cuts down on orphaned clothing but also increases the amount of wear your clothing is likely to get.

Step Two. Only Buy Pieces You Adore

In some ways, this tip is an extension of Step One. When you love every piece in your wardrobe it is a delight to get dressed every day. All you need to do is consider your desires for the day and choose a much loved piece accordingly. It also likely to get your creativity going as you are more likely to want to mix and match all of your beloved pieces.

The opposite is also true. If you stare into your wardrobe and see pieces that you only feel half-hearted about you are unlikely to feel inspired as you prepare for your day. And you probably won’t end up wearing half your clothes either – you’ll always tend to reach for a piece you really adore.

Step Three. Invest Wisely

There is nothing worse than falling in love with a piece of clothing only to have it pill or worse, fall apart at the seams. Investing in quality is a must for building a curated wardrobe. Not only will you be more likely to get years of wear from your wardrobe, generally speaking your clothing will just look better on you.

And that’s it. Easy dressing days ahead. I promise.

Are you one of those lucky women who can plan out their outfits? Or is a curated wardrobe more appealing? Either way, I’d love for you to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

And until next time – au revoir.


About Janelle

I believe that every woman can bring French style and joie de vivre to her life, no matter where she happens to live in the world. She only needs to know a secret or two to be on her way. When you join the Distant Francophile community, you’ll learn the style and grooming secrets that will help you to dress with the confidence so many French women seem to have.


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6 thoughts on “The Curated Wardrobe – An Alternative To Outfit Planning

  • Cassie

    A curated wardrobe is far more appealing to me personally. I’m actually in the process of working through the curated closet book’s exercises right now. I want to be able to go into my closet and look put together no matter what I grab. With a small munchkin at home and me going back to work soon, I don’t have a ton of idle time to think anymore.

    • Janelle Post author

      A curated wardrobe is definitely the way to go when you’ve got a lot on your plate Cassie. No one wants to spend that much time thinking their clothing choices – life’s way too short for that. Knowing that you have a wardrobe that is full of beauty and ease definitely makes life simpler.

  • Clare G.

    It’s not just what is on top but all the underlayers that need to work together. Unless you live in a microclimate I don’t see how you can plan what to wear until you know that day’s weather. At some times of year the day’s starting temperature can be many degrees below that at 3 pm and then way down again once the sun sets. So when setting off in the morning to be out all day and not home till late will require very detailed planning.

    • Janelle Post author

      It’s a very good point you make Clare. I’m a fan of layering for exactly the reasons you articulate. I try to keep my layers in consistent colours to help me maintain the look and feel of my outfit and manage the temperature changes at the same time.

  • Sandra Martinez Regan

    LOVE #2 Only Buy What You Adore! I’m a firm believer of this. I get a Stitchfix box monthly, and although most of the pieces are SUPER cute, I ONLY but what I LOVE and it must fit perfectly! Makes all the difference. Besides, why buy that dress you will fit into one day? When that day comes, I’ll buy another dress, and pants, and blouse… I’ve also been known to say, ‘at this age, I know what fits, what I like, and if can afford it – I buy it.’ Love your blog!

    • Janelle Post author

      Thanks so much for commenting Sandra, and for your feedback. I love your saying. I’m going to start using that one. There is nothing nicer than standing in front of a wardrobe filled with clothes you love.