How To Create A Wardrobe Mood Board For Intentional Shopping
Wardrobes Change With The Seasons
It’s never a bad time to take a look at your wardrobe, though it’s particularly effective at the turn of a new season. Transitions are naturally a time of reflection, perfect for evaluating what we have, what we want, and what it’s time to get rid of.
We’re quickly approaching the end of summer, and that means it’s time to start thinking about fall wardrobes. While spring and summer seem to be the seasons of decluttering, fall lands in the opposite category. I’m not endorsing mass consumption, yet now is a great time to plan for what wardrobe essentials you may need in the next six months or so. On The Good Trade, I’ve talked about finding a personal style, exploring capsule wardrobes, and closet organization. A wardrobe mood board takes each of these topics to a new level. Although it may appear difficult and scary to cultivate an effective wardrobe mood board, it’s more fun, helpful, and satisfying than you think.
1. Find inspiration
First things first, just like finding your personal style, creating a mood board must start with finding inspiration. My good friend and I have started a somewhat consistent tradition of collecting seasonal wardrobe images and posting them to Twitter. Most of the time, they are either extremely nostalgic or aspirational, but once in a while, it yields helpful results. This is how I realized my fall style icon is Antoni Porowski from Queer Eye, and that I will always love stripes.
2. Make it fun & social
Let yourself enjoy this experience by dreaming big and editing later. I suggest inviting your friends over for a collaging and pinning party. Tell them to bring their computers and any magazines they have lying around. Without any rules or restrictions, collectively pore over the physical and digital pages of fashion. Give yourself ample time to search the web and glossy publications, because it’s worth the wait to find the right images for you. Having friends over is also helpful once you begin having “aha” moments about items you’re longing for, but having trouble locating.
3. Mix and match sources
Mix together runway photos, street style pictures, Pantone color swatches, pieces from your favorite brands, and general silhouettes you know work for you. Take what you know to be your personal style and set that in the context of the coming season. In the background, you can play your favorite songs or watch a beloved movie, because those are amazing sources of inspiration as well.
Right now, I’m obsessed with the band The Aces so I, of course, added a photo of them to my Pinterest board, even if every single outfit doesn’t align with my personal style. Not all of the images which excite you have to be realistic for your wardrobe right now; if the overall “vibe” of a picture entices you, save it. Cast the net wide now, and get specific later.
4. Identify the themes
Once you’ve exhausted yourself with internet rabbit holes and scraps of paper, take a step back and look at your findings as a whole. Pull out common themes within the group of images. This can be recurring colors, styles, fabrics, or silhouettes which you gravitated towards. Identity and note these themes. Through my mood board creation, I realized that I’m particularly excited by the late-60s skirts and am suddenly committed to finding the perfect vintage 70s zipper-front denim jumpsuit. (I told you we were getting specific!)
5. Evaluate your closet + calendar
Once you feel satisfied with your findings, you can turn your attention to your current wardrobe. If you are going ahead with a seasonal capsule wardrobe, pull out the seasonal items which align with your newly-created mood board. Set aside pieces that don’t fall under the categories you’ve identified, unless it’s a consistent staple of your wardrobe or you think it will complement the rest of the group.
The next step is to match up your wardrobe with your calendar for the coming season. Find and note any gaps in your closet, or events or trips you might need to thoughtfully shop for. While I’m lusting after that jumpsuit still, my mood board has revealed that what I really need is a versatile jacket.
Consulting your calendar for the next several months may seem odd, because most don’t know their plans that far in advance, but if you can get a general sense of what your fall, winter, spring, or summer will be like, it will help you curate a killer seasonal wardrobe. Maybe you’ll be attending a slew of weddings, or hoping to switch up your holiday wardrobe; whatever it is, make sure you feel prepared sartorially.
6. Make a list
Finally, collect your clothing wants and needs into a list and be as detailed as possible here! Use this list to help you efficiently and effectively discover pieces online or in stores. Having trouble finding what you’re looking for? Along with general internet searches and scouring your favorite brands’ collections, peruse curated shopping lists like those right here on The Good Trade. If you want to get crazy-organized like me, create a spreadsheet or online wishlist with different categories for easy product comparisons before making a purchase. Just me? Okay, cool.
This process may come easier to those with fashion or design backgrounds, but it can easily be enjoyed by all. Think of exploring your personal style as a form of self-care. Indulge yourself in dreaming up the best expression of you! Don’t take yourself too seriously and relish this sartorial journey.
Audrey Stanton was born and raised in the Bay Area and is currently based in Los Angeles. She works as a freelance writer and content creator with a focus in sustainable fashion. Audrey is deeply passionate about conscious living and hopes to continue to spread awareness of ethical consumption.