If I were to start my wardrobe from scratch

starting a wardrobe from scratch

Lately I’ve been feeling really un-inspired with my wardrobe.

In fact, I’ll be honest: I’ve been daydreaming about throwing it all out, and starting again from scratch. (Well, OK, maybe not ALL of it. And I’d obviously have to donate it, rather than throw it out completely, because that would just be a waste, wouldn’t it?)

Do you ever do that? Do you ever think about starting over : just getting rid of everything and basically re-inventing yourself through clothes? It’s an interesting idea, and while it’s not something I’m in a position to actually do, unfortunately, thinking about what you’d do if you were starting again from scratch can be a useful way to re-define your personal style and work out what your closet essentials really are.

The answers to this question would be different for everyone, obviously, but if I were to start my wardrobe from scratch, I’d go out and buy…

building a wardrobe from scratch: what I'd buy and why


Possibly even all in the same cut and colour. Jeans are my go-to: they’re what I wear when I don’t know what to wear, and I almost always feel good in them. They’re basically the building blocks of my entire wardrobe, so they’d be the first thing I’d buy if, say, I lost all my clothes in a fire and had to start over in a hurry.


I think from looking at my blog, a lot of people would assume I’d rush out and buy a bunch of dresses in the fictional scenario outlined above, but lately I’ve been finding I hardly wear the ones I have. It’s not that I don’t like them, it’s just rarely warm enough for bare legs here, and I hate wearing tights (Yes, I know this shocks most people, but I find them really fussy and uncomfortable, and I don’t really like the way they look with my clothes – or they way my dresses always ride up when I wear them with tights, either. Sure, I can wear a slip to stop that, but that’s even MORE layers and more fuss, and I’m a big fan of keeping things as simple as possible…), so the dresses are mostly unworn, and black trousers are what I reach for instead, if I need something smarter than jeans, but don’t want to wear a dress.


I’m always cold. Even in summer, and on days when everyone else is in short sleeves, I’ll be complaining about the cold, and looking for a sweater to wear with those jeans /black trousers. A crew neck sweater in every colour imaginable (v-necks don’t work on me either, unfortunately), would make it really easy to get dressed every day: OK, it wouldn’t make it interesting to get dressed every day, but that’s not really the point of this exercise, is it?


I could easily live the rest of my life wearing nothing but ballet flats and pointed stilettos. If I was starting from scratch, I’d buy a couple of pair of each, in neutral colours to go with everything, and then build up the rest of my collection from there.


One coat to rule them all? Well, not quite: I’d need one for cold weather, and one for slightly less cold weather, so I’d buy a classic trench, and an equally classic camel wool coat- some other options would obviously be nice (if I really wanted to push the budget, I’d add a denim jacket and leather biker), but those would be a good start, and, if I had to, I’d be able to get by with JUST those two for as long as necessary.

I’ve deliberately kept this list as short as possible, because the idea here isn’t to create a whole new wardrobe – or even a capsule wardrobe, in this case – but to  try to imagine what my absolute essentials would be if I woke up tomorrow, discovered my existing wardrobe had completely vanished (the horror!) and to buy some basics in a hurry. I think I could get by with this selection pretty well, although I’d obviously want to keep on adding to it (and would have to if I had to go somewhere a bit dressier than “jeans and a sweater” would allow!) over time.

I’m curious: what would YOU rush out and buy if you had to start your wardrobe from scratch?


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