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The Fall 2021 Wardrobe Challenge: Week 1

The Fall 2021 Wardrobe Challenge: Week 1
Four Weeks to a Better Wardrobe - Week 1

Ladies, today is the day you start to get your wardrobe in order!

Whether you work in or out of the home, have little kids at your ankles or grown adult children, are getting back in the workforce, or are blissfully retired and focusing on your passions, you want to look and feel great during whatever your season of life.

This four-week series is designed to help real-life women, of all shapes and sizes, with any lifestyle, within just about any budget discover their authentic style, where to find it, and how to wear it.

Be sure to go through every challenge, in order. This process was designed to build up each week. 

So, who am I?

If you are new to our site – welcome! This Wardrobe Challenge is truly the cornerstone of our community. Before we dive in, a little about me so you can better understand the perspective I bring to my work. 

Wardrobe Challenge, Week 1

I was a wardrobe stylist for the better part of my career. I started my first company Kristel Closets, Inc, in 2007, which, at its peak, had three offices and a team of stylists on the East Coast.

After more than a decade, I moved on to focus on building our online business. But the experience of working with thousands of clients continues to influence my fashion and style posts today.

I take great pride in being a practical voice of fashion reason on the internet. All of the advice I share, especially in this wardrobe challenge, is based on proven tips and techniques I created to help our clients define their style, organize their closets, and build a wardrobe that feels like them.

I’m also heavily influenced by real life. I’m a working mom to three amazing little girls. I get how busy and overwhelming life can be, how time is limited, budgets are stretched, and “me time” feels like an indulgence.

I’m 41, so I’m not looking to dress like a kid. Instead, I gravitate toward a sophisticated, classic style that works for my grown-up body and busy life. 

I navigate life happier and more confidently when I look and feel my best. Sometimes just putting on a pretty outfit or painting your nails can make a crummy day a little better.

It’s About You

Women want to look stylish and feel beautiful. But not everyone can clearly define their personal style or understand how to pull a look together.

I encourage you to use the next four weeks to focus on YOU. When this challenge is over, my goal is for you to have a clearer understanding of what you like and what will work for you, so shopping and getting dressed is easier.

Here’s How the Wardrobe Challenge Works:

Every Friday post for the next four weeks (starting today!) I will share a series of challenges to help you build a better wardrobe.

Take your time with each challenge. It’s great to do them in a week, but don’t worry if you can’t.

Be sure to finish each challenge in order before you move to the next.

You can follow along with the group (join our private women-only Facebook group to interact one-on-one), or go at your own pace. You can also see more tips and videos on Instagram

These posts will live on this site for you to reference whenever you like.                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Trust the process, commit to the journey, and do this for yourself!

Week 1: Finding Inspiration and Your Personal Style

Challenge #1

In the early years of Kristel Closets, I would arrive at an initial appointment, which took place in our client’s closet. We started by talking about her challenges, likes, and dislikes. Almost every client would have trouble describing her style. 

It didn’t take long for me to realize that we needed a visual to articulate each client’s unique personal style.

So I created a series of pre-work for them to complete before our first appointment, designed to help the process move smoothly and efficiently.

I was always aware of our private clients’ investment when they chose to work with us, so this was a way to make sure we got on the same page as quickly as possible and spoke the same language.

Pull Inspiration Pictures

A big part of this pre-work was to pull inspiration pictures. I can tell you that the clients who took the time to complete this task had the most success.

Many of you are looking to streamline and simplify your wardrobe; others mentioned that they recognize style in others but have difficulty translating for themselves. And an overwhelming majority of participants say they have too much in their closets.

Without a clear understanding of your style, it will be a challenge to edit your wardrobe correctly.

By organizing inspiration pictures, we can create a filter that will help you purge your closet and shop better.

We recommend Pinterest to help organize these images, especially for this challenge. It’s a great place to search for and share ideas. Past participants have set up a board just for outfit inspiration. 

If you’re not on Pinterest, no worries. You can use magazines or catalogs. I like InStyle and Oprah magazine for this exercise. You’ll need them for next week’s challenge. So pour yourself a glass of wine or have a cup of tea and pull as many pictures as you like but have at least 20.

For now, do not think about your body type, budget, or whether it’s appropriate for your life. You are just getting a sense of what you like.

To get you started, take a peek at my Pinterest Boards. I curated thousands of pins that you can reference and use to build your board.

Challenge #2

Our lives are continually evolving, but our wardrobes tend to stay the same.

If you have changed jobs, got married or divorced, had a baby, had another baby, left the workforce, or are just getting back into it, retired, or any number of lifestyle changes, this exercise will help you get clear on your needs.

Define your Lifestyle

To get a visual of how and where you spend your time, create a Lifestyle Diagram. It’s easy; draw a circle on a piece of paper to use as a pie chart. Now, break down your life according to percentages totaling 100%.

Include work, activities, travel, date nights, anything you spend time doing. It’s essential to see how you are spending your time.

You might find you’re buying a lot for work but have nothing to wear to your kid’s soccer game. When I first did this exercise, I didn’t have enough options for social outings and date nights. Today, I need more sporty, casual pieces for a life lived close to home with lots of kids. 

Tip!: We have had some participants take this very seriously! They went so far as to create an Excel spreadsheet and pie chart to capture their percentages. Do what works for you! Of course, a spreadsheet makes my Type-A heart happy.

Here’s a sample:

Again, post your charts in our Facebook group for everyone to see! It’s always fun to see the categories we forget about.

Complete both of these challenges before you start the next round of challenges.

I’m looking forward to connecting with all of you and walking through this process together!

Our Style Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please  follow on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

Learn about our mission to help women look and feel their very best, every day, here

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The Fall 2021 Wardrobe Challenge: Week 1

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Sunday 5th of September 2021

I love classic, dressy clothes, but I am retired and at home most of the time. It would seem sensible for me to change my wardrobe to a more relaxed, casual style, but instead last year I decided to dress most days as if I was going to work on casual day. I am a textile/fibre artist, and dressing up helps me to feel ready to create. I also feel much more confident about my appearance than if I wear typical “at home” clothes. My work is not terribly messy so that is not a factor. Because of this, I am thinking of skipping the pie chart exercise. Is there a reason why I should reconsider and do it anyway?


Saturday 4th of September 2021

My first time doing this.. thanks Megan! 14% work in gym 57% home activities 14% exercise 14% shopping/ visiting/ social My Pinterest: Ternullo/ lifestyle


Sunday 11th of April 2021

I seem to be a lot like Natalie in that I rarely wear pants (only yoga and real hiking.) Even though I dress on the dressier side than most, I never feel like I am over-dressed. Much of my wardrobe is relatively casual or at least can be used for anything from casual to lightly dressy -- depending on the accessories. On our almost daily walks, no one has ever complained that my skirt or dress looks horribly dressy.


Friday 8th of January 2021

I did your Wardrobe Challenge for the first time fall of 2020. I loved it! Please let us know what will be out of style next year. I'm disabled so I don't get out much. I tend to dress on the dressier side than most. I only wear skirts. Thank you for all the work you do for this blog!

Amy K Cornwell

Friday 18th of September 2020

70% work 15% gardening/ bird feeding 10% drinks and dinner with hubby and friend 5% reading, Forty years as a buyer for women's retail, retired for five years, retirement is very over rated! Purchased a small shop in a tourist town-work six days a week. And it is not a clothing shop! My closet would have you thinking I am classic and only wear black but I want to be colorful and wild with a few great pairs of shoes. This is my first time for the challenge.

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