i love the idea of an 'intentional wardrobe' and it's something that i've been working on for myself for a while.
there are requirements that need to be met:
1. needs to be within 'my style'
2. has to be functional for my lifestyle
3. i cannot make my own clothes (don't know how--yet!), so i'm looking for organic, fair-trade items when replacing things that i do not use (donate) or cannot use (made into wash rags)
for the first part, i have a rather 'classic' and 'european' style according to people whom i know and my own travels in europe. i always blend perfectly in europe. my style is modest and simple with classic basic pieces (in clothing) and fun accessories (jewelry etc--now usually home-made).
the difficulty that i've been having with my personal style in the last few years is with my job. i teach yoga--but i do not like to wear athletic or yoga clothes "out" because it's not 'neat' or 'nice' enough for general wear. And, to feel 'appropriate' would require multiple wardrobe changes in a day--which made me nuts.
currently, i keep the top the same and change the pants multiple times a day--changing into jeans or a skirt throughout the day.
but, while travelling, i 'hit upon' a style that might work well for me. i found myself wearing a pair of yoga pants with a tank top and a dress over that. it was somewhat modeled after indian and muslim women's dress; i really liked the way that looked and felt--and i got lots of compliments on it. I would wear it all day while travelling--in and out of museums, hiking around in rural areas, and then out to nice dinners in the evening. I even went to a 'semi formal' event in the same outfit with slightly fancier shoes and jewelry--and people loved the look of it.
so, i think i found something that really 'works' for me.
now that my yoga clothes are wearing thin, and many things need to be replaced (i wear holes into things and then recycle into art projects--such as making banners and prayer flags), i am thinking of replacing in this direction.
the problem is sourcing. pants and tanks are simple. The dress i have will make a great over dress. it's multi-colored (brown, turquois, rust, orange, gold, grass green, cream, white, and butter yellow) and looks good with multiple tank/pant mixes. But, instead of being a pull over, i would prefer if it was a 'wrap style.'
one of my clients is going to help me convert this dress into a wrap style (if possible. if not, 'as is' is fine. and, she'll help me make a second dress that is different, but of a similar feel that will be equally colorful. I think two, maybe three, overdresses should be enough.
and then it will be:
2-3 wrap dresses
5 yoga pants
2-3 t shirts
2-3 shrug sweaters (a friend is teaching me to knit)
undergarments (bras, underwear, glad rags, socks)
3 bathing suits (2 athletic, one pleasure)
2 athletic shoes (running/rock climbing)
2 dress shoes
3 casual shoes (flats, sandals, athletic-sketcher style)
I want everything to fit in one carry-on suitcase.
and, i'd like to be able to make my own clothes someday. right now, though, i'm learning to make personal and home care products, then moving into home/family herbology for health, and then into permaculture gardening (and 'homesteading') and in that process, i might be able to learn to make clothing.
but i'm willing to rely on the talents of others. I just want my wardrobe as efficient as possible. the fewer clothes, the better.
i suppose it could be argued that i don't need that much yoga clothing--but the work is hot (sweaty) and if i wash too frequently everything wears out too quickly IME. so, having a pair of pants and tank to wear each day i teach is helpful.
things that can be taken off and worn less frequently--well, i need fewer of those.