Best Personal Style and Wardrobe Development Book I’ve Ever Read

When it comes to clothing and personal style, I think I’ve tried it all. For years I did the whole “buy whatever I like on clearance” routine – only to wind up with a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear, because nothing matches or it turns out a shirt I loved for 30 seconds in a dressing room (that was on sale of course) just doesn’t fit quite right at home.

A few years ago I went with the minimalist “33 piece” wardrobe fad. That actually half-worked for me. It forced me to be far more selective and mindful about what I was buying and it pared down my choices- I really had an easier time putting outfits together.  But it only half-worked, I bought less and was more focused on versatile wardrobe-building pieces, but I got pretty tired of the style that I had developed.

Enter “The Curated Closet” by Anuschka Rees. Less focused on having a minimalist wardrobe (although that’s part of it), this book teaches the reader how to develop a personal style that works with your budget and how to be a smarter shopper.  This book filled in some missing pieces for me (no pun intended).  I had focused on developing an interchangeable, versatile minimalist wardrobe of pieces I liked, but I hadn’t ever taken the time to intentionally, thoughtfully consider my own style.

Author Anuschka Rees instructs her readers to develop a style overview.  This is actually a process that takes some time and effort.  From creating a “mood board” of pieces that reflect your style to writing down specific qualities like silhouettes, materials, colors, etc. I came up with quite a few examples of things it turns out I really DON’T like: turtlenecks, faux fur, mid length skirts, as well as things I do: square necklines, jackets, and the color black just to name a few.

Having a well-developed sense of your own style is key to being a better shopper; there’s so much you can just immediately bypass when you’re shopping. But there are other components to being a better, smarter shopper and some of these were things I really needed to learn.  One of the biggest mistakes I was making was just having a general idea of a piece I needed –say a blue shirt- and then going shopping and finding something (on sale) that more or less fit the bill. Before I knew it, I was ending up with things that theoretically should have completed my wardrobe, but in actuality were just filling my closet again.  “The Curated Closet” taught me to be A LOT more detailed and intentional about filling in pieces. “Blue shirt” is far too broad: turquoise, square-necked, mid-length sleeve, cotton blend, fitted, etc…turns the focus away from finding something I generally like on a clearance rack, to something very specific that may take some time to find. I may pay more for a high quality piece, but in the end will save a lot of money because being intentional and focused on the specific wardrobe I am building, will prevent me from making lots of cheap purchases that I’ll just toss out in the end.

I still have some shopping behavior changes to make- I know that. But I have improved a lot and so has my wardrobe!  I would definitely recommend this book to anyone that finds themselves with a closet full of close and nothing to wear, or who is ready to develop a personal style and become a smarter, better shopper.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.