Building a Workable Wardrobe – Part Two

The following is a guest post from Dottie, a regular reader of this blog, who is sharing some strategies for building a workable wardrobe.  This is the second part of a two-part series (read part one here). Part One covered essentials like body type, color palette, personal style, and so forth. This section focuses on a further strategy for building a workable wardrobe. Dottie welcomes feedback from “Recovering Shopaholic” readers, especially those of you who have additional strategies that you’ve used for creating your own wardrobe.


How to Build a Wardrobe Using a Color Palette

Years ago, I had a color analysis, which helped me identify the ideal colors that I should wear. My palette consists of:  black, charcoal gray, medium gray, light gray, white, navy blue, medium blue, red (blue-red), burgundy, dark violet, icy violet, icy blue, icy pink, and a blue teal.  The colors you wear near your face should be the most flattering colors for your hair color, skin tone, and eye color. Continue reading

Building a Workable Wardrobe – Part One

The following is a guest post from Dottie, a regular reader of this blog, who is sharing some strategies for building a workable wardrobe.  In this first part of a two-part series, she focuses on personal style, color palette, and other considerations that can help in the selection of clothing for a wardrobe that “works.” Dottie welcomes feedback from “Recovering Shopaholic” readers, especially those of you who have additional strategies that you’ve used for creating your own wardrobe.


For most people, building a wardrobe that really works may take years of trial and error. A lot of what we buy for our wardrobe is driven by what’s promoted as the latest fashion – and as this is constantly changing, it can be confusing when faced with so much choice. Just think of the options available for jeans: Slim leg or skinny? Dark wash or distressed denim? Bright colors or patterns? Coated or not? Mid-rise, low-rise, or natural waist?

One approach to building a wardrobe is to buy what fits and works within your budget. But you can end up with a lot of clothes that don’t work well across your wardrobe. When I was just starting to build a wardrobe for work years ago, I bought items in pairs – a top and a skirt or pants, for example. I made an attempt to purchase clothes in a particular color palette (the wrong one, it turns out). But, looking back, there was less cohesion – less of a wardrobe than a collection of odds and ends. Continue reading

A Hard Habit to Break

I started this blog in January 2013 as a way of keeping myself honest and accountable as I worked to overcome my decades-long compulsive shopping problem.  I also hoped to potentially connect with and inspire others who struggle with overshopping.  Over the past year-plus, I’ve made excellent progress with my recovery and have been pleased that many others have followed along and shared their challenges and triumphs with me and with each other.

That’s the good news, but if you sensed that there’s a “but” coming, you’re absolutely right!  While I pat myself on the back for what I’ve accomplished thus far, I have to be honest and confess that compulsive shopping is proving to be a very hard habit for me to break.  In this post, I spill the proverbial beans about my continued struggles and what I’ve come to understand about myself and my motivations.

A Difficult Climb

Recovering from compulsive shopping can be a difficult climb…

Continue reading

What is Your Closet Personality Type?

Last week, I watched a video from style expert Bridgette Raes on fashion psychology and closet personality types.  I found the insights presented in the video so fascinating that I decided to address a blog post to this topic.   I believe that many of you will also enjoy these concepts and may learn some things about yourselves through Bridgette’s wisdom.

Window to the Soul

During her eleven years of working as a stylist and spending time in hundreds of women’s closets, Bridgette Raes has encapsulated five main closet personality types.  She strongly believes that our closets really “tell on us” as people and that how we dress, shop, and manage our wardrobes can be reflective of all parts of our lives.  Whereas many people feel the eyes are windows to the soul, Bridgette considers the closet a window to our internal realities.  In short, “messy closet, messy life.”

Closet Personality Types

“Our closets are windows to our souls.” – Bridgette Raes

Continue reading

Some Thoughts and Links on Ethical Shopping

For much of my life, I shopped almost constantly and brought hundreds of new items into my closet each year.  Over time, I came to realize some of the negative consequences of my behavior, but I thought those deleterious effects were limited to the confines of my personal closet, bank account, and relationships.  It was only after I started my recovering shopaholic project that I became aware of the ways in which my overshopping was also harmful to people outside of my inner circle, as well as to the environment.

Fashion Ethics

How much do you know about ethical shopping?

Continue reading

Looking Outside the Closet: My Jewelry Inventory

Since I started this blog last year, a large part of my focus has been on paring down my overly large wardrobe.  Until now, I’ve spent very little time and attention on decreasing the size of my accessory collection.   In fact, I didn’t even include all of my accessories in the three closet inventories I’ve done (most recent here). While I noted the number of purses and scarves in my overall count, I’ve done very little to address the excess in these two areas.

Addressing the Elephant in the Room

I now feel it’s time to make a strong effort to pare down my accessory collection, including the proverbial elephant in the room, my large assortment of jewelry.  You may know me as a numbers and statistics “junkie,” but I have a confession to make. Until yesterday, I had never taken an inventory of the contents of my jewelry box!  Seems like a glaring omission, doesn’t it?

Jewelry Inventory

Does your jewelry box look like this?

Continue reading

Project 333 Round Two Update

In early January, I wrote that I had decided to do another round of the minimalist wardrobe challenge Project 333.  Since more than a month has passed since I began my current Project 333 stint, it’s time to share an update on how things are progressing for me.  In today’s post, I share my wins and challenges, some of my favorite items and outfits so far, and what I’m learning from dressing with less the second time around.

Challenge Yourself

You can learn a lot from challenging yourself to dress with less!

Continue reading