How to build a wardrobe
One of our Galvan mottos is “buy fewer, buy better”. It is not about quantity but about quality, not about trends but about style and most importantly, love, joy and how clothes make you feel. We’d hope that a Galvan outfit makes you feel galvanised to take on the day, that all-important meeting, big birthday, wedding, first date or simply be a trusted wardrobe hero that you can pull out any time and you know will make you look, and feel, incredible. It is with this in mind that we have compiled some tips and tricks on how to build the perfect wardrobe from scratch. Not one that everyone else will have, or that all your friends can borrow (although they may well want to once they realise how amazing it is) but one that will fit your lifestyle, your personality and your style. Time to build that timeless yet modern wardrobe, full of investment pieces and dazzling numbers, exuding chic and personality. Read our guide to your ultimate wardrobe refresh.
How to build a wardrobe
One of our Galvan mottos is “buy fewer, buy better”. It is not about quantity but about quality, not about trends but about style and most importantly, love, joy and how clothes make you feel. We’d hope that a Galvan outfit makes you feel galvanised to take on the day, that all-important meeting, big birthday, wedding, first date or simply be a trusted wardrobe hero that you can pull out any time and you know will make you look, and feel, incredible. It is with this in mind that we have compiled some tips and tricks on how to build the perfect wardrobe. Not one that everyone else will have, or that all your friends can borrow (although they may well want to once they realise how amazing it is) but one that will fit your lifestyle, your personality and your style. Time to build that timeless yet modern wardrobe, full of investment pieces and dazzling numbers, exuding chic and personality. Read our guide to your ultimate wardrobe refresh.
No matter how small your capsule wardrobe is, how minimalist your edit, there are basics every woman needs to have. Obviously, the LBD. The little black dress is the ultimate wardrobe hero that you can pull out year after year like a treasured heirloom. Then, the LBJ — our little black jumpsuit is a Galvan icon with its signature inner corset and V neckline.
Next, invest in versatile separates. A sleek jacket, chic trousers and satin camisole in neutral tones go a long way when it comes to styling more embellished pieces. There are other, more subjective essentials for each and everyone of us: a white shirt, perfect denim, trench coat, stylish knitwear. You’ll know the pieces you just cannot part away with during your closet detox, but it’s often the ones you get the most wear out of that can justifiably be called "essentials”.
We firmly believe that casual needn’t be devoid of luxury. In fact, is there anything more effortlessly stylish than the elusive “casual chic”? Well, we think we have cracked it. It is those pieces that the wearer seems to float in, so comfortable and “just right” that they seemed to have been made for you. Often when you try these, it will be love at first sight, and hard to put a finger on why that is.
Perhaps a simple white tee with our lounge Lido trousers in loose terracotta or apple green satin. Or you’d rather opt for a cosy knit paired with a boho floaty micro-pleated skirt, with more than a nod to Seventies style. Or you’re just a cami & jeans kinda gal. Either way, whatever your casual look is, think of it as a Saturday morning brunch at your local café with your best friend. It must feature: comfort, effortlessness, instant appeal and something you can pair with sneakers or Birkenstocks.
With working from home a growing trend, attitudes to workwear have long evolved past the restrictive boardroom skirt suit days. Now it is all about elevated loungewear. Looks like a suit, feels like a cloud. But here tailoring is key, and the right blazer can elevate any outfit to the heights of smart sophistication in a split second. Find what tailoring works for your body shape and comfort levels. Perhaps you feel your best in fitted trousers, or a power shoulder, or an oversized satin blazer.
Once you have found your dreamy work uniform, the idea of workwear will never again intimidate you, and you will have built an invisible armour to lean in any power meeting and crack that glass ceiling. But don’t forget to bring your personality to your workwear. Perhaps it is tonal dressing in every shade of camel, cinnamon or chocolate. Or it could be singular jewels that have deep meaning to you and to be worn like amulets. Or it is a combination of textures, layers and accessories that will make your working look uniquely yours.
This is where the fun begins. When it comes to occasion wear, the (style) sky is the limit. If you ask us at Galvan, of course we’ll tell you there is no fun without a hint (or two) of sparkles. But you must be smart in your choices as these are special pieces that, whilst may be bought for a special occasion, you must be able to rewear in years to come. Take our Column dress for example. Available in copper or gunmetal all over sequin, it is absolutely spectacular. But you can wear it at 20 or 50 years old, now or in 15 years time and it will not date one bit.
Secondly, splurge on what sparks joy. Whether it be for a best friend’s wedding, a birthday party, an anniversary dinner, the anticipation of wearing that dream style should be almost too much to bear. So go all out with textures — sequins, satins, velvets — and/ or colours — metallics, pastels, block shades.
Finally, treat these as the investments that they are and look after them, maintain them, mend and dry-clean them as needed, and you will be rewarded by many years of enjoyment. And should your sartorial taste change over the years, with a lucrative resale or swap one day.
Trends vs style
It is sometimes hard to resist trends and experimenting with fashion is one of the best ways of finding one’s style. But even fashion butterflies tend to gravitate towards similar flowers eventually. When building a long-lasting wardrobe, the key is to build a solid foundation of essentials and much-loved classics, and then inject trends into it through the acquisition of a small and curated selection of seasonal styles. For example our Euphoria dress in its riotous print is a statement piece that is at the heart of Galvan’s Spring-Summer 2021 collection. Or perhaps if you are not a print fan, then a uniquely textured and cut-out style like our androgynous yet sexy black Prism jumpsuit will make your heart sing.
These hero looks are a fantastic way of adding flair and pizzazz to an otherwise ordinary lineup of classics. But beware of adding them too early on, when your taste isn’t fully developed yet, or you’ll soon get bored of them. The key is to establish a balance between the easy, transitional and trusted style pillars and the sculptural flashes of brilliance interspersed amongst them.
Once you have established your essentials, your workwear and your evening wear, you will get a good idea of what your personal style looks like. And that’s where you can then occasionally add to your wardrobe when something catches your eye, bearing in mind the general look and feel of your existing wardrobe and the pieces that can enhance it, pair beautifully with it and fill in the gaps. By that point, you should have also established your favoured colour palette, what flatters and best suits your body type, and what fits into your lifestyle.
Also try to stick to your style commandments: don’t impulse buy in the sale, quality over quantity, rewearing old favourites every few years, and treat your treasured wardrobe with the respect it deserves. Now to inject the final personal touch to your wardrobe, you can start playing with accessories. Whether you are a minimalist or a maximalist, there will be the special jewelled mules, tasselled clutch or rose gold earrings to add a touch of magic to your perfect wardrobe. Enjoy the process!
MORE LIKE THIS
What to wear for Valentine's day at home
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and it may well look different to any others you have ever experienced. So how do you celebrate this designated day of love in a pandemic?
The colours to wear in Spring 2021
Spring is nearly on its way and we all need a New Year wardrobe refresh. So now is a good time to revisit your colour schemes and ensure you incorporate seasonal shades alongside your much-loved classics.
Carey Mulligan in Galvan
British actress and independent cinema darling Carey Mulligan wore the Galvan Lido Dress in Apple Green, for a photoshoot in VARIETY Magazine, to promote her award-nominated new film, Promising Young...
Alizé manages communications and content at Galvan. Over the past 12 years, she has worked in the fashion, jewellery and arts worlds, following a stint as a writer for Le Monde. Born in France, she lives in London with her British husband and two toddler daughters. As well as a growing collection of slip dresses, Alizé collects embellished knitwear, vintage textiles and international magazines. Her other interests include Marc Chagall, Gustave Flaubert and periwinkle hydrangeas.