So how do you create a cohesive wardrobe? Well, here’s some advice from 16 years old Ally. Don’t buy things on inpulse, and never buy cargo pants. They’re horrible and should only be worn by no one.



How do you generally buy clothes? I’m not talking about if you buy online or if you go to your local shopping centre. I mean, do you buy clothes separately or in twos and threes? Do you go on a big haul and then get home and think “what the hell did I buy that for?”.

When I was a teenager I used to come to Sydney and stay with my sister for the school holidays and we’d head to Westfield and I’d spend the money from either my allowance or from extra holiday money Mum gave me. We’d spend all day and end up with a full new wardrobe and I would then try to make outfits from these pieces. The only problem with shopping in bulk like this was I would often find that my new wardrobe was not consistent. I would buy so many different pieces that they would end up competing with each other. I had no vision, or end goal in mind so I found myself left with mismatched items that are not quite right (who would have thought a pair of cargo pants and a purple velvet T-shirt weren’t a good choice?). Ultimately these pieces were pushed to the back of my wardrobe and the tags would be left on and I would fast forget about them. This had me so dissatisfied with my choices. Thus, I would again have “nothing to wear”.

Yes, the age old dilemma. It still happens to me now on the odd occasion. I think I love something, but then I wear it once and forget about it and it just adds to my apocalyptically messy wardrobe.

So how do you create a cohesive wardrobe? Well, here’s some advice from 16 years old Ally. Don’t buy things on inpulse, and never buy cargo pants. They’re horrible and should only be worn by no one.

Here’s a short-cut guide, based on what I’ve learned over the years, but before we get into it, I just want to say the success to a cohesive wardrobe is: work out what you want your style to be before you buy the clothes!!



One of my most used websites is Pinterest (this is NOT a sponsored post btw, I just love the shit out of it). Create a folder of outfits you love. Mine generally feature lots of streetstyle photos. After you’ve pinned a lot of outfits, assess what you love about each outfit a) Note what they’re wearing b) Note the type of shoes c) Note the type of accessories.

For me: I noticed from this I love 1. Denim 2. Sneakers 3. Minimal Jewellery 4. Black and White 5. Lace

Every few months do this again to see how you have evolved and to keep your inspiration fresh.


The great thing about visual inspiration is that you will quickly notice what you like and dislike when it comes to the outfits. You may love most of an outfit, but you may realise you don’t like one aspect of it. For me, I realised that I like pants, jumpsuits and shorts more than I like dresses. I like to steer clear of dressing too girly, but I still love to add a feminine touch. Pinpointing what you love and loathe about fashion is key to developing personal style and building a cohesive wardrobe. I am still narrowing down and learning about what I love and dislike, but I think that’s always going to be the case as I am not the same person I was, even a year ago. Interests change, inspirations change and styling yourself comes down to expression.

Also: When discovering what you like and dislike, focus on what works for you, not what “fashion” says you should be wearing.


When I was younger I used to look like a rainbow vomited on me. I had no idea about colours and I didn’t realise a really colourful wardrobe was harder to style. When you pin your outfits on Pinterest I suggest you pay close attention to any reoccurring colours from your outfit inspiration. I think it’s such a great way to recognise what you like and dislike. You might find that you’re drawn towards a specific monochrome palette; you may be surprised to find you’re more adventurous with colour than you previously thought.

For me, I realised I love neutrals and denim. It’s an easy palette to work with and I think it lends to a more cohesive wardrobe, because it’s easier to pair everything back. I’ve learned versatility is so important!


Prints are tricky and don’t always go with everything. Opt for simple patterns to make your wardrobe more wearable.


There isn’t any point buying all these beautiful dresses if you never have a change to wear them. Consider things like a) work restricts and b) Can you easily move between seasons with the items in your inspiration list?


Now that you have your inspiration, screenshot things you like and next time you go shopping aim to buy pieces consistent with that. Promise yourself you’ll never buy something you are having reservations about, because I promise you that you won’t ever wear it.

I think the best place to start is starting with basics and working out how to pair these pieces together and slowly work towards a cohesive wardrobe. And, before you go out, take a photo of outfit options, so you know what you’re looking for. EG: Jeans, Shoes and a Top a few different ways and then look for a leather jacket or trench.

I hope this advice helps you to make conscious purchases, so you’ll never end up with “nothing to wear.”



Topshop Jeans, H&M Shoes, Witchery Blouse, Dylan Kain Bag, YCL jewellery




Author: Ally Carey

Hi, I am Ally, a writer and creative at Substance. I have worked in the fashion industry for 6+ years as a model and now on Substance. Substance is a lifestyle blog about fashion, beauty, health and self-improvement; hoping to inspire you to live a life filled with Substance. For more: @AllyMayCarey

6 thoughts on “How To Creative A Cohesive Wardrobe”

  1. Thank you for this! Currently trying to figure out my style and purchase pieces that will work out with each other.

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