How many times do we stand in front of our closets and exclaim: ” I have nothing to wear”. A statement rather ridiculous as a whole cupboard full of clothes is staring back at you. So why does nothing seem suitable?

There could be many reasons for this:

  • You have not done any proper editing, so many clothes in your cupboard are just not suitable anymore or too old.
  • Nothing really ‘goes’ with each other and you are tired of the initial outfit combination that you initially bought.
  • Your clothes don’t really reflect how you have evolved as a person. This can happen to a lot of women who are getting older and just want different things from their clothes.
  • You got tired of your old neutral colours or have recently found out that different colours suit you much better.
  • You can’t actually ‘see’ many of your clothes, because your wardrobe is in such a mess or just too full.

Remember one of Stephanie’s statement from my style series: how to look great with a minimal wardrobe, “Now virtually everything in my closet goes with everything”. How can we do this?

Creating a wardrobe where everything goes with everything?

That is one of the keys to creating a wardrobe that is very manageable, will always give you something to wear and gives you lot of flexibility. In order to achieve this, you will not need to do something as radical as Stephanie who basically sticks to black and white. You can also create consistency with a colour palette, a certain style or a signature look.

Read our ultimate guide to creating a capsule wardrobe that works best for you.

So how to achieve this. I believe there are a few key steps to take:

1. Understand your style

It is much easier to create a closet full of clothes that work for you if you understand your style. That is no easy task which is why I spend a lot of time on this site on articles that will help you to find your style. Start with how to find your style in 10 steps and 15 steps to acquiring style if are not born with it. Other articles include Can you learn style and How to gain confidence in you and your style.

2. Decide what your major cohesive element is

A cohesive element is something that makes the outfit really YOU. Here are some examples of cohesive elements:


One cohesive element could be colour. Stephanie sticks to a very neutral palette of mainly black, with a bit of white thrown in, but you could also have a colour palette of black and white with brights, or autumn colours. The huge advantage of sticking to a colour palette is that you can mix and match your clothes with everything. You can also continue to wear different styles, but your colour palette brings it all together and makes each outfit still very much ‘YOU’


If you find sticking to one colour palette too restrictive you can also opt to use a specific style as your cohesive element. For example retro, or classic, or edgy. That way you can still wear all the colours and patterns you like but the specific way in which it is worn is very much ‘YOU’. Be careful though that you don’t select too many different patterns or colours, so you can still mix and match your clothes.

Signature look

You could create a signature element to your style. For example, you can decide that most of your outfits need to be accompanied by a scarf, hat or a particular kind of jewellery. You ‘signature’ can thus become a guide for your other clothes. This cohesive element can be a bit trickier as it does not provide clear guidelines in terms of style and colour. But if your signature is a hat, you can build your wardrobe around your current hat collection.

3. Start creating wardrobe capsules around your cohesive element

If you have a good idea about your style and your desired cohesive element, you can start planning your wardrobe. The smart way to do this, is to create wardrobe capsules. Create a capsule for every part of your life (work, play, sport, evening out, etc). Of course these capsules don’t have to be rigid. Clothes of your ‘play’ capsule may very well be used for your work capsule as well. Start with clothes you already have and identify the gaps. I will give you more ideas and guidelines on how to do this next week.

I believe that this process can help you achieve a more versatile wardrobe with less clothes, while at the same time give you a very clear style that completely represents YOU.

I would love to get your feedback and any ideas that you may have!

ps. this article is part of my wardrobe editing series. Earlier we discussed a minimal wardrobe,  how to edit your clothes,  how to find out if a garment should stay in your closet) and  how to store your clothes and accessories.

If you like to find or refine your style and create a wardrobe you will love, I recommend my style course.


Sylvia is 40+style’s editor-in-chief and has been helping women find their unique style since 2011. An alumni of the School of Color and Design, she is devoted to empowering women of any age to look and feel their best. Read more about Sylvia and 40+style on this page.

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