5 TIPS TO BUILDING A GREAT WARDROBE + 6 SPRING OUTFITS FOR EVERY OCCASION

When I talk to women about their wardrobes, the number one most frustrating thing for them is that they just don’t know what to buy. They can certainly tell when they don’t like something, but that’s where the shopping inspiration ends. A few years ago I was totally in the same boat…I had no idea what staples I needed in my closet, or what my style was, and when I bought pieces, I bought them with no direction in mind. So I ended up with a bunch of pieces that didn’t work well together, and weren’t really my style. Super annoying.

There are a few ways to overcome this particular dilemma:
  1. Clean out your closet. Get rid of anything you don’t like, don’t wear, doesn’t fit, is worn out, etc. This will help you see what’s really in your closet, and help you determine what pieces you need. 
  2. Start with the Staples. There are a few staples that every woman needs in her wardrobe. They vary a bit for your age, but for the most part it’s a consistent list. If you’re rebuilding your wardrobe, start with these and then add more fun and interesting pieces that really reflect your style. I’ll be sharing a few of my current closet staples in a post soon, but I wrote a post about this very subject last year.
  3. Make a List. I keep an ongoing list that I add to and check off as I get dressed and go shopping. All too often I’m in the store and get distracted by a piece (usually something striped) that I don’t really need, and then I go home without the piece that I really do need. 
  4. Know what works for your body type. If you know what pieces will be flattering for your figure, you can make better shopping decisions, and come home with pieces that make you feel amazing. I wrote a piece about shopping for your body type here, which includes all the basic body types and what styles work for each one. 
  5. Have someone else do the shopping for you. Some people hire a personal shopper, but there are also some cool websites that are doing the same basic thing as a personal shopper. A recent one I discovered is Golden Tote
Let’s talk about this last one for a minute. 
If you hate to shop, don’t really know what your style is, but need some new clothes, this is a really great solution. Golden Tote sent me one of their bags to test out and I was pleasantly surprised at how fantastic it was. They asked me a few questions about my style (complete with visual guides), and then I chose two of my six pieces and they surprised me with the rest. I chose a gorgeous cream lace top, and a sporty denim and sweatshirt jacket, so the other four pieces were a mix of casual feminine and sporty-chic. Also, I should note that the other four surprise items were not in the initial picks, so they all were really a surprise. 
I love that all six pieces are unique, versatile, and a good mix of staples and other great pieces that reflect my style, and were all clearly designer pieces. None of them were just “filler” kinds of pieces. 
Here’s how I styled each of them for Spring:
top: c/o golden tote
vest: DIY (tutorial here)
necklace: c/o jewelmint
wedges: c/o lulus
bag: c/o lily jade
jacket: c/o golden tote
top: h&m
skirt: banana republic
flats: gap
bag: coach
top: c/o golden tote
blazer: old navy
jeans: gap
heels: kohls
bag: c/o windsor
necklace: c/o inpink
top: c/o golden tote
shorts: gap
converse: kohls
hat: forever 21
top: c/o golden tote
jeans: c/o dittos
boots: c/o chicwish
necklace: forever 21
bag: c/o jototes
top: c/o golden tote
leather pants: c/o sheinside
heels: c/o shoemint
bag: c/o windsor
cuff: c/o inpink
necklace: c/o inpink
So if you’re looking to revamp your wardrobe, this a good place to start. Because you give them the direction, and then they do the shopping for you. AMAZING, right? 
ALSO! Golden Tote is giving away one of their $49 totes to one reader! The bag includes 2-3 pieces and is valued at up to $200. Just hop over to Golden Tote and create an account (free, and no obligations!), browse the boutique, and then leave a comment back here telling me your favorite piece. 

This giveaway is open to the US and Canada

The giveaway will close next Monday, the 24th. Good luck, and happy closet rebuilding!
WINNER!!
  • Love the Easy Eyelet Dress!! And this seriously looks like a fun way to build my closet. Thanks for the link!

  • I love the colors of the fabulous floral top! Very cute clothes and reasonably priced!

  • Great pieces! I love the spicy spring midi skirt!

  • Great tips! Love this!

    The Style Storm
    <3, Christina

  • I LOVE the easy eyelet dress!!

  • Cant even handle how cute al t hose looks are!

  • Every single outfit here is perfect – I just love your style! 🙂

    http://www.pennypincherfashion.com

  • Open Chevron Cardigan in White 🙂

  • I liked the jersey tunic!

  • I love the edgy lace top!

  • I love the easy eyelet dress

  • My favorite is the Edgy Lace Top!

  • OMG…the Bold & Beautiful Blazer – I can't handle it!

  • I'm loving the spicy spring midi skirt! So cute! 🙂

  • The Classic Meets Modern Shift Dress is so cute–too bad it's out of stock!

  • Love the edgy lace top! So cute!

  • I like the bold and beautiful blazer

  • Meg

    I like the edgy lace top! Such a fun idea!

  • I'm loving the fun and funky sweatshirt!

  • Loving the lace top you're wearing! But my favorite piece on the website is the breezy blouse!

  • Love the spicy spring midi skirt! And the lace top you're wearing…I can't get enough neutral lace!

  • I love the Easy eyelet dress! So pretty 🙂

  • I love how you styled each piece! So cute. 🙂 I love the spicy spring midi skirt!

  • Loving the edgy lace top! So pretty!

  • So fun! Thanks for introducing us to this service. I just signed up & my favorite pieces has got to be the edgy lace tee! Count me in for the giveaway!!
    xx
    myhereandnowlife@gmail.com

  • You've got such amazing style, Merrick! I love how you styled each of the pieces!

  • love the edgy lace top! would be so fun to dress up or down. thanks for spreading the word about this cool business!

  • I just signed up and I love the gray shirt you are wearing that has the blue pattern on the back-love how you styled each of your outfits!

  • Loooove the edgy lace top! Thanks for the giveaway 🙂

  • I love the edgy lace top! So cute!

  • Loving the sporty denim jacket! Such a great shop! Thanks Merrick!

  • I love the pretty embroidered top! Awesome giveaway!

  • I actually LOVE the heather blue tunic you got from them. I tried to find it but couldn't. 🙂

  • Can I have two favorites?! Honestly I narrowed it down from six and I just can't decide between the Bold & Beautiful Blazer and the Easy Eyelet Dress – they are both gorg and they are perfect transition pieces to welcome Spring!

  • I love the Bold & Beautiful blazer! Such a great piece!

  • I adore the square knit cozy cardigan.

  • Love the floral top you are wearing and also the fun and funky sweatshirt online! So cute!

  • i love golden tote! i got some of the same pieces as you in my last box!!

    xo,
    Sandy
    Sandy a la Mode

  • Edgy lace top for sure or simply chic knit top!!!

  • Everything is so cute! I love the sporty denim jacket 🙂

  • I really love the Edgy Lace Top. I know I'd wear it all the time and layer it a lot this spring! Hope I win… I really need a wardrobe make over!

  • I love the Open Chevron Cardigan and the Retro Chic Jersey Tunic. I hadn't heard of Golden Tote before, but they have so many fabulous pieces online!

  • that is SO fun! I love your denim jacketttt

  • Aub

    i like the edgy lace top!

  • I love the edgy lace top & the embroidered shift dress. Beautiful pieces

  • The cute & quirky elephant dress is so much fun!

  • Would love to get the edgy lace top !

  • I completely love the retro chic jersey tunic!

  • I quite like the Edgy Lace Top, and also the grey+blue patterned top you are sporting above :).

  • Love the halter maxi dress. Bring on summer!

  • I love the Edgy Lace Top 🙂

  • They are both currently out of stock, but I love the Pretty Embroidered Top and the Spring Midday Dress! Thanks for the chance to win!

  • I love the Fun and Funky Sweatshirt 🙂

  • The Breezy Blouse would be a great spring shirt! Cute print.

  • Love the fun and funky sweatshirt!

  • I like the Classic meets Modern Shift Dress, except I made myself a dress that looks exactly like it a few months ago. 😀

  • I love the not so basic button down. I like simple, everyday clothes and this is the perfect pick. Thanks for the chance to win!

  • I like the pretty embroidered top. Very nice!!

  • It's out of stock but I love the Easy Eyelet Dress.

  • Love the Breezy Blouse- I will keep this in mind for later for sure! Thanks!

  • The Retro Chic Jersey Tunic is super cute!

  • This is a great idea and the prices for the bags aren't too bad either! I love the Edgy Lace Top you got!

  • Gosh this is great! The pieces I love most are out of stock – go figure. But I do love the Not So Basic Buttondown.

  • I love the edgy lace top and the pretty embroidered top.

  • CJ

    The floral blazer is super cute!

  • I love everything on there! And the concept of the site is great! If I had to choose 1 favourite, it would be the bold and beautiful blazer (with the edgy lace top coming a very close second!)

  • So many cute things, but I love the Easy Eyelet dress!

  • Love the Classic meets Modern Shift Dress! The leather and stripes combo is so cute.

  • Loving the Halter Maxi Dress.

  • Love the Open Chevron Sweater & the Halter Maxi Dress

  • I love the Spicy Spring Midi Skirt! It looks so comfy and fun but in a slightly dressed-up way.

  • I love the Classic Meets Modern Shift Dress (I wish it was still in stock though!)

  • Just signed up! I love the Bold & Beautiful Blazer and the Edgy Lace Top!

  • I love the retro chic tunic…but I'd probably wear it with pants.

  • Signed up and so excited! My favorites would have to be the Spring Midday Dress and the Pretty Embroidered Top. Unfortunately, both are out of stock. 🙁

  • What a cool site! I need warm weather/spring clothes so bad, but I love the asymmetrical beaded sweater (not perfect for spring in Atlanta though), or the fun & flirty V-neck top. Really I kind of love everything.

  • I love the Not So Basic Buttondown in B/W. I registered under my work email micaiah(dot)cass(at)unishippers(dot)com though my person email is themickeyness(at)gmail(dot)com

    Thanks! 🙂

  • Can't wait for spring…2 more days!!

    Love the Edgy Lace Top at Golden Tote

  • i love the chic v-neck dress!

  • Easy eyelet dress, simple chic knit top, Or the pretty embroidered top. And more! But the cuts wouldn't work on my frame. Karen.hillukka@gmail.com

  • Easy eyelet dress, simple chic knit top, Or the pretty embroidered top. And more! But the cuts wouldn't work on my frame. Karen.hillukka@gmail.com

  • The Simple Striped Cardigan is so cute.

    I like the idea of the Golden Tote, it's like Stitch Fix, but with a higher likelihood of actually liking the pieces you get.

  • Thanks for letting us know about the Golden Tote!
    My fave piece is their Bold & Beautiful Blazer: http://www.goldentote.com/shop-the-boutique/floral-print-blazer.html
    I've created an account 🙂
    neonkatt007 (a t) a ol { d ot} c om

  • Love the halter maxi dress! Popoff.annie@gmail.com

  • Love the Spicy Spring Midi Skirt! I'd love to have a personal shopper find awesome clothes for me!

  • i like the 'classic meets modern' shift dress. and also the 'bold and beautiful' blazer.

  • I love their chic chevron sweater the most!

    jessicarwarfield at gmail dot com

  • I love the long white top with lace peeking out the bottom the best — the last photo. Didn't see it on The Golden Tote's website though — what a great idea!

  • Bold and Beautiful blazer is amazing!

  • I really like the Edgy Lace Top. I love how you styled it too!

  • These looks are absolutely beautiful!! STUNNING!

  • The Fun and Funky Sweatshirt is just that, fun and funky!

  • .

    I love the Open Chevron Cardigan!! Signed up with kiwisplit@live.com. Thanks for sharing the great site!!

  • I'm a sucker for stripes too, so I love the Classic Meets Modern Shift Dress!

  • I am loving the Easy Eyelet Dress…signed up under lisa.crookston@gmail.com. This is such a great idea and timely post! I need to revamp my closet so bad!!!

  • 1st off I LOVE the tote!!!! But my favorite pieces are the edge lace top! Its gorge! I've never heard of this site before and Im going to try it! Thanks! :*) Hope i win this tote though!!

  • I really like the button down tunic dress! Since just having a baby, I love pieces like that!

  • I'm loving the edgy lacy top!

  • I like the edgy lace top and the open chevron cardigan.

  • I love the edgy lace top and retro chic jersey tunic!

  • You look great in all of those looks!!! Oh my gosh! I'm having a tough time deciding between the NOT SO BASIC BUTTON DOWN and the SPORTY DENIM JACKET! ♥ Thanks for the opportunity!!

  • I really love the Classic meets Modern Shift Dress. That said, it's disappointing to see that so many of the items are sold out, or only available in one size. Love the idea, but it's not a lot of fun to browse images of unavailable/almost unavailable items.

  • I like the chic chevron sweater!

  • I love it all! What a great idea!

  • I love so many! However, I would probably say that the boho maxi skirt is my favorite!!!

  • I love the Sporty Denim Jacket!!

  • I love that lace top!!

  • I like a bunch of stuff on the site! I love the Classic meets Modern Shift dress but it is sold out :(.

  • Love the fun & flirty v-neck top!

  • I love the edgy lace top! (And I love the style ideas I always get from your blog. Thanks!)

  • Kat

    I really like the midi spring skirt 🙂 cute idea!

  • The Pretty Embroidered Top is a fave! I can just see it with a pencil skirt for Sundays. Or maybe I'd branch out and try it with jeans and heels for date night. : )

  • The midi spring skirt is adorable!!!

  • Love the pretty embroidered top

  • I love the Edgy Lace Top – thanks for the giveaway!

  • I love the sporty denim jacket! So cute to wear to a baseball game!

  • Love the sporty denim jacket – super cute!

  • Love the boho maxi skirt!

  • I'd go for the bold and beautiful blazer.

  • The Asymmetrical Beaded Sweater is fun!

  • wow, love the pieces you got! my favorite item is the halter maxi dress

  • Liz

    The edgy lace top wins with me!

  • I love the spicy spring midi skirt!

  • Val

    Thanks so much for introducing me to this awesome site! My favorite piece right now is the Fun and Funky Sweatshirt.

  • I like the breezy blouse or not so basic blouse in blue/white. the lace top is also really cute!

  • I signed up and my favorite piece is the Halter Maxi Dress. Very cute stuff!

  • What a great idea!! I am in love with the Classic Meets Modern Shift Dress! So perfect!

    xo Ashley

  • Love the edgy lace top! <3

  • Adore all your outfits, especially the first! I also love the Bold and Beautiful Blazer from Golden Tote! What a neat idea!

  • I was immediately drawn to the Edgy Lace Top (I think it's the one you got!), but I have soooo much of that color in my wardrobe…. I choose the Embroidered Shift Dress.

  • Hard to choose a favorite. Love the Open chevron cardigan, Fun & Funky sweatshirt, Breezy blouse, and Edgy lace top.

  • Ooooooo, I love the "simple striped cardigan". I love bold, but functional looks.

    -Amanda Knowles

  • I really love the Sporty Denim Jacket in blue that you're wearing! But it must be out of stock because it's not showing up on the website.. *sigh*… I also love the Edgy lace top though 🙂

  • I'm a little stuck between the Edgy Lace Top, and the Not So Basic Buttondown. Love them both.

  • Love the edgy lace top

  • I love the "Not so basic buttondown"- http://www.goldentote.com/not-so-basic-buttondown.html in Black & White. It's hard to find a good plaid shirt!

  • I am IN LOVE with the Asymmetrical Beaded Sweater. It's so unique!

  • I like the edgy lace top. Thanks!

  • Oh by far, the Bold & Beautiful Blazer!!

    what a cool idea!!

    xo, Nina
    afterthe40barfinish

  • The funky sweatshirt is my fave

  • Edgy Lace top! I love the idea that they do the shopping for me!

  • LOVE the Retro Chic Jersey Tunic in Navy & White!

  • LOVE the edgy lace top!

  • I like the pretty embroidered top or the breezy linen top. I think it's a great idea but I always have a problem shopping for my size. Especially shoes. Any suggestions on what to do if you can only fit into kids' shoes? No joke.

  • Love the retro chic jersey tunic in navy/white!

  • I love the edgy lace top, as well as the breezy linen top!

  • I really like the Simple Chic Knit Top, this is a great idea for those who are fashion challenged (like me, haha). I hope everything is going great in CA. We miss you here in UT.

  • Love the edgy lace top! 🙂 Great tips too!

  • I have been wanting to add a lace top to my wardrobe and am in love with the edgy lace top!

  • Seriously, the edgy lace top is gorgeous!

  • Seriously, the edgy lace top is gorgeous!

  • I loved the lace top! I've been looking for something similar! Cute styles.

  • Love the edgy lace top and the sporty denim jacket! Thanks for this post, it was just what I needed as I am in the throws of my frumpy mom wardrobe.

  • I love, love the chic chevron sweater and I love the lace top you're wearing!!!

  • I love the sporty denim jacket!

  • I love the fun and flirty v-neck top. What a great way to shop! I definitely want to try this sometime.

  • I'm so glad you shared this! Cant wait to try it and share with my friends and family! I love edgy lace top and the not so basic buttondown.

  • LOVE this idea! Hoping they have Large and XL at the beginning of the month, I could see myself wearing the chic chevron sweater everywhere

  • It's out of stock, but the Classic meets Modern Shift Dress – so cute!

  • Love the edgy lace top and chic chevron sweater, and thanks for commenting help!

  • The halter maxi dress looks like it would be perfect for a casual spring day paired with some cognac sandals and a jean jacket!

  • I love the edgy lace top! So cute.

  • I love the hooded knit sweater!

  • What a fun idea! Love the white lace top : )

  • Asymmetrical beaded sweater. Thanks for the opportunity to win this bag!

  • Love the shift dress!

  • I love the "Not So Basic Buttondown" in black/white. A cute staple that would be easy to style!

  • The Classic meets Modern Shift Dress is perfect!

  • The halter maxi dress is my jam.

  • What a unique idea! You look fab in all. I am eying that embroidered shift dress.

  • My favorite piece is the edgy lace top.

  • Love the not so basic buttondown 🙂

  • What a fun company! I have been doing Stitch Fix for a few months which seems similar. I have a question about Golden Tote. If something doesn't fit or you don't like it, can you send it back and do you get a refund? In any case, I just signed-up for e-mails 🙂

  • I love the Simple Chic Knit Top.

  • I really liked the sporty denim jacket.

  • The pretty embroidered top was my favorite. This seems like such a fun idea!

  • Love the retro chic jersey tunic!

  • I love the not so basic button down!

  • I love the edgy white lace shirt. So cute!

  • So many cute choices!! My favorite would have to be the Halter Maxi Dress-you can throw it on over a t-shirt during the summer, warm it up with a oversized sweater in the fall, and dress it up with a cardigan and belt for sundays! So cute!!

  • I like the not so basic button down. Definitely something I have been looking for this spring!

  • I like the simple chic knit top. Too bad its out of stock!

  • They have amazing clothes. I love everything you got. Just browsed their site and fell in love with the Cool Rider Jacket and the bold and beautiful blazer.

  • I like the pretty embroidered top. What a fun idea, to be surprised!

  • I love the pretty embroidered top! Gorgeous!

  • I love the chic V-neck dress! Great for work or off time!

  • Love the maxi dress!

  • Love the Step Into Spring Creme Dress! (used a different email to register than my Google account)

  • Such cute clothes! I love the open chevron cardigan.

  • Their herringbone shell dress is amazing.

  • My favorite piece is the Edgy Lace Top. I just submitted my order and can't wait to see what I get! 🙂 This could become a new fav place to shop. Thanks!

  • I absolutely LOVE how you styled every single piece, Merrick! I am loving the brocade pullover sweater. Thanks for the giveaway! 🙂

  • This is a great giveaway! I love the Chic V-Neck Dress, too cute!

  • Love the top you have paired with the shorts here. But, didn't see it in the shop. I also liked the fab floral blouse.

  • I like the not so basic button down. I really love how you styled the pieces. You've got talent

  • I love the Retro Chic Jersey tunic and the Pretty Embroidered Top. I've officially become obsessed with Golden Tote now! What a neat idea, I'll definitely have to do some shopping there now

  • I love the Edgy Lace Top!

  • I love the Edgy Lace Top!
    http://www.goldentote.com/shop-the-boutique/edgy-lace-top.html
    Thanks for introducing me to Golden Tote!

  • I chose the basic button down in pink & white.

  • I love the sporty denim jacket and edgy lace top!

  • The Open Chevron Cardigan looks incredibly comfy, but so cute at the same time! I love the concept behind Golden Tote. Thanks for sharing!

  • I love the edgy lace top. Too cute!

  • Um, I am so excited to learn about this company. I am loving everything on their site! I wish a bunch of things were not sold out but I love the Fun and Funky Sweatshirt and the Floral blazer. Sooo cute! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  • I signed up and I love the chevron sweater and the midi spring skirt..

  • I love the edgy lace top!

  • Love the floral pieces!!

  • Love the floral pieces!!

  • How fun! I love the edgy lace top- very versatile.

  • Looks like the maxi dress is sold out right now, so I'd say the jersey tunic. I like the green/blue print–it looks like it would make for some fun outfits.

  • I love the Edgy Lace Top. 🙂

  • Wow! It was so helpful to see the way you styled these items! I saw a few images floating around the FB Trading Group and wondered how some of them could be worn. They all look great on you! I did my first tote in March and went with the Basic Button Down. I really like it, but now wishing I had done the larger tote and also selected the denim hoodie. It looks so great on each person I've seen style it!

    Do you do Golden Tote each month or do you pick and choose if you will participate?