Image: Pinterest/teetharejade

Image: Pinterest/teetharejade


Do you love shopping but still getting dressed overwhelming? Do you have a wardrobe FULL of clothes but still feel like you have nothing to wear? Are you ready to Kon-Mari the crap out your wardrobe but worry that you really won’t have anything left to wear once you’re done with it?

Well I am here to let you in on a secret. In fact, a style formula that will unlock a whole new way of thinking and dressing:

You only really need 20 pieces in your wardrobe.

Yes, I know, I know, it would seem as though I am committing a cardinal sin against style, when I, me, a self-confessed fashion lover, a stylist, a shopping queen at heart is breaking this news to you.

But it’s true – you actually don’t need A LOT of clothes, you just need clothes you can wear in A LOT of ways.

Let me tell you why…

You Will Feel More “Effortlessly Put Together”

Feeling “effortlessly put together” is the most common request I get from my personal styling clients. And this is actually really simple to achieve if you use the KISS theory (KEEP IT SIMPLE SISTER) when it comes to your wardrobe - as well as business and life in general! 

I think one of the reasons we become so overwhelmed when it comes to style is that we buy on the run – or perhaps on the scroll thanks to IG shopping links! We end up with too many trend-driven pieces in our wardrobes that don’t work together. This makes it hard to get dressed quickly, meaning often – and most likely with kids hanging off our legs! - we’ll throw on something we don’t particularly love in the attitude of “this will just do”.  

The problem with that is that wearing an outfit that doesn’t make us feel great can really affect our mindset, confidence and the attitude we approach our day with.

But I also understand that taking drastic action because you’re at the point of DONE with your wardrobe, can feel daunting and like it might cost a million dollars to start all over again! But once you realise how much you can do with less, you will understand the principle of quality over quantity.

Back To Basics

When I work with my clients, I always start by decluttering their wardrobe of the items that they don’t love, or in the famous words of Marie Kondo, “don’t spark joy” anymore. Then it’s back to basics first. When it comes to rebuilding their wardrobe, I only replace with some key items that will help them create what I like to call A Classic Core Wardrobe.

When you think about some of your favourite minimalist Instagram accounts they often stick to a very basic colour palette and simple silhouettes and yet look so effortlessly stylish.

That’s the aim when creating a classic core wardrobe, choosing timeless pieces that work from season to season, can be easily replaced when needed and that will always feel “in fashion”.

So What Makes Up A Classic Core Wardrobe?

A tight capsule of pieces that can be mix-and-matched in so many ways, for some many different occasions. The 20-piece capsule collection I have created in my Style Guide includes:

  • 3 styles of jacket

  • 3 styles of tops

  • 3 styles of pants

  • 1 skirt

  • 2 dresses

  • 3 pairs of shoes

  • 5 accessories including bag, sunglasses, belt and jewellery

 A Few Sample Outfits:

Let’s take The Classic Trench, here are a few looks you can create for the office, weekend and a night out with some other core classic wardrobe pieces. 

  1. Trench + white shirt + tailored trousers + belt + pump + sunglasses + gold accessories + bag

  2. Trench + stripe top + tailored trousers + belt + white sneakers or pump + sunglasses + gold accessories + bag

  3. Trench + printed dress + belt + boots + sunglasses + gold accessories + bag

3 Tips For Making Your Outfit Look Different

Getting dressed can still be fun even if you choose to keep your outfit simple! Here are three simple ways to amp up a minimal look or add touches of a new season trend. 

1.     The Shoe Swap

Changing up your shoes is the easiest way to make the outfit look different each time. Swapping a statement high-heel for a sleek white sneaker will easily dress down a pair of trousers or cocktail dress. And adding a coloured or patterned shoe allow you to play with seasonal trends. 

2.     Experiment with styling

By tying a white shirt in a knot and showing a bit of skin instead of tucking into the trousers, you instantly put a playful spin on the entire look. Or even completely buttoning up a white shirt versus leaving the buttons undone will completely change look of a shirt and how you wear it for different situations. Some other little tricks I love is giving the sleeve of your t-shirt a bit of roll, or only half-tuck your top to add a bit of street cool fashion edge. Simple little tweaks like this can change the whole look without you needing to buy anything new.

3.     Add a new season accessory 

Adding on-trend piece of jewellery or bag is a really easy way to keep your style fresh. For example, teaming a classic white tee with a shell choker and layered gold pendant necklaces will make it feel really current. Or incorporate a new bag shape like the top handle bag or woven circle bag.

Now before you pick up that bright yellow dress with cactus all over it, think about whether you will still love that next week or in a month. Ask yourself, can I wear this piece at least 3 different ways? If the answer is no, save your pennies and put it towards buying a quality staple item like an amazing blazer, leather pants or simple and stylish LBD that that will always feel current and effortlessly cool. 

Rosie McKay is a Sydney-based stylist and founder of My Virtual Stylist, a personal styling platform that offers a range of digital styling and personal shopping services. For more information on her new Style E-Guide and styling services, please click here. Good coffee and good shoes are non-negotiable!