How To Prep Your Wardrobe For Your Most Fashionable Summer Yet

By Sola Onitiri

Confession time: there’s a part of my brain that just knows when an outfit is undeniably photo-worthy. Call it magic, call it intuition, call it whatever you'd like but chances are you know exactly the feeling that I'm referring to. That moment when you slip on your white patent calfskin Dior bootie look-alikes and you feel an outfit just click. That A-ha-moment is what you should always be chasing and the fastest way to make that outfit click is to plan accordingly.

For a lot of women, shopping for the upcoming season is something that gets pushed down the to-do list. I know I'm guilty of this. But I want you to use your imagination and flex your online shopping skills so that you can make your wardrobe click this summer.  

Figure Out Your “Realness”

Putting together your wardrobe is kind of like hunting - you need to know exactly what you're aiming at. When I go shopping; I think about the outfit as a whole. So, say you're out at your favorite local boutique looking for a pair of pants, that’s great, first step down, you decided to leave your house in the first place - now let's take it to the next level. What do you own that will make those pants part of a full look? Once you got that picture in your head, create a specific name for it. RuPaul's Drag Race fans you're probably picking up what I'm putting down already but for those of you who are tardy for the party, think about your look like a drag queen would. 

If you are trying to give Eccentric Upper East Side Gallery Owner Realness, then when you go shopping search for textured ponchos and earthy statement jewelry. Of if your look is Cher from Clueless meets Cher legendary singer and icon, you’re going to be mixing and matching high glam crop tops with 90s inspired mini skirts. If you need a little help cultivating your realness don’t be afraid to look to others for inspiration, but remember you are your own style icon. So even if you want to slay as hard as Leandra and Shiona remember to do you.

Creating Your Style Guide & Shopping Hacks

Some people are born shoppers. They get pleasure out of going through racks of tops, piles of pants, and aisles of shoes. If you’re like this, shopping is a walk through a well lit, perfumed department store. If you're not, chances are shopping may get pretty overwhelming for you. Instead of suffering my way through racks, piles, and displays here’s what I do. I visit at least three of my favorite stores online, go through every section of the site, and save (NOT add to cart), but save the items that I’m interested in. When saving the items to your wish list, ignore the prices.

Simply click on what you truly like and worry about the dollar signs later. Here’s what so awesome about this method. You get to familiarize yourself with the latest trends and shop from the comfort of your own home at your own pace. It's basically low-key, lazy window shopping there is.

This list of saved items will act as your Summer Style Guide, so make sure it's serving up some realness. Screenshot the items on your Style Guide so that you can refer to it when you shop. If you’re balling enough to buy everything you like from your style guide - then you bettah work girl. If not, here’s how to work around it.

If you know your size in that brand, then add a few items to your cart every other week and get them. If you are unsure of your size, you have two options. If the store you’re looking at has a brick and mortar location, visit with your research in hand and ask a sales associate to help you find some of the items to try on. If your store doesn’t have a brick and mortar location, read some reviews on how the item fits and get them. If they don’t fit, most online stores allow you to do an exchange free of charge. 

Have Fun & Be Fearless

It's so easy to give up on trying to find those a-ha moment outfits. I'm right there with you - sometimes my wardrobe makes me want to pull my hair out. But remember, above all else, fashion is supposed to make you feel confident, fearless, and (ergo) iconic. So find or keep the items that make you feel powerful.