01 June 2010

MilSpouse Closet Tips

Did you thank a service member for your extra days off?? 
I thanked my husband OVER and OVER for the work he does so that I get an extra holiday just before summer vacation!!! Yeaaa! 
[Which by the way is about 12 days away]
But, in the mean time I'm still busy.

Justin and I celebrated our third anniversary being married to the Air Force this past month and today he re-enlisted for another five! Which is exciting news, because it means that we have income!! 

Another bit of exciting news is my brothers will be making the journey to Japan at the end of this month!!! So I'm super busy getting things ready for their trip! That means coordinating the zillion trips we will be taking and making sure we have enough money to do so! Things that made the cut are a 2-day stay in downtown Tokyo, a bullet-train overnight trip to Hiroshima, a 2 day stay in the mountains, a trip to the amusement park, a Japanese baseball game, and a couple day trips to China Town and the big Buddha! Wheeww! It's going to be awesome! And this still leaves us some down time to chill and catch our breath!  

I got A LOT of feedback about my summer style post, which was very motivating! 
So Thank you for your sweet words! 
One commenter and a few e-mails were asking for tips on how to consolidate their closet as a military spouse (or ANY spouse!). 

Since I took the weekend off from blogging I came up with a few tips: 

1. Versatility. Your wardrobe has to be versatile. Why? Because military families, on average, move every 3 years! And I know that I cannot afford to re-stock my closet with every move. Therefore, make sure you can easily transition your wardrobe into any climate (of course with a few necessary purchases!). 

For example, my wardrobe could survive a move to Alaska, as long as I spent money on a parka! And, my clothes could travel with me to Hawaii, as long as I added a couple pairs of shorts! 

Bonus Tip: The best way to keep your wardrobe versatile is to buy high-quality, classic, breathable layering pieces. (That is a mouthful!). Avoid being tempted to purchase super cheap clothing, you get what you buy and unfortunately, they may not last... In my opinion, a few quality pieces go further than several cheap pieces. Breathable fabric, like 100% Cotton, is less stifling, so you can wear a short-sleeve shirt without feeling like you are going to pass out. For the record, polyester will NEVER be a breathable fabric...
Ultimately, layering is the best way to get the most out of your wardrobe! Especially if they are timeless classics that don't ever go out of style, EVER! 

2. Pack-ability: Your clothes should be pack-able. You will be packing constantly as a military spouse. Whether its for an overseas move or a quick trip back home, you need pieces that you can grab (sometimes quickly) and pack. That also means investing in some packing "accessories". My suitcase has a compartment that I can pack dresses and blazers with very little wrinkling. I make sure my shoes are in bags so they don't stain my clothes. And I use vacuum sealed bags for things I don't mind getting wrinkled (like pjs!) to make room for other things.
Pack-ability also means you have pieces that can easily be put together to make outfits. 
For me that is: 
Dark Denim-Boot Cut jeans. They have been hemmed for flats (easier to travel with) and go with just about ANY top (I promise!). 
Black Pants. Dress them Up. Dress them Down. You can't go wrong with a well fitting pair of these! It is a wardrobe stable! 
White T-shirt. Any white t-shirt that doesn't have a stain!! It could be a Hanes V-Neck, mine is a $4.00 bargain from H & M. White t-shirts are uber-pack-able! They can be dressed up easily tucked into black pants with a statement necklace and nice summer sandals. Or then can be dressed down with the dark denim and a pair of Old Navy flip-flops. 

3. Organize: You can't have versatility or pack-ability without organization. That is why I invested so much of my time into organizing my closet. Making outfits is SO much easier when you can SEE what you have! Packing is so much easier when you can visualize outfits. Shopping is so much easier when you can pick out what you need. I think you get my point..... don't stop at your closet. Organize your jewelry.... Organize your make-up..... Organize your shoes...... Organize your scarves..... 
I'm not kidding, you will LOVE life so much more when you can see what you have! 

4. Accessorize: I'm all about basics. Give me white t-shirt and jeans any day! (honestly, today I wore a t-shirt and jeans!). But accessories are what can save your time and budget! I call my accessories the "frosting station". After I'm dressed, I go over to my jewelry and help pump up my outfit. Earrings, a scarf, and a bangle will take your outfit up a few notches. What this does is add interest to an otherwise boring outfit. Belts can do the same thing, they accentuate your waist and add some color and texture to the outfit. 
Stacy and Clinton from What Not To Wear say: Color.Texture.Pattern.Shine. Those are the four things to look for in accessories! 
Bonus Tip: Your accessories don't have to be expensive either! I don't think I have any accessories, that I bought for myself, that have been over $10. That's including shoes (and excluding my running sneakers that were $30). For some people, their skin can't handle the material that the "cheap" jewelery is made of. With the eco-friendly organic movement sweeping the nation, there are many more pieces available in hypo-allergenic and natural materials. So, don't give up on finding bargain pieces! 

So here are my tips: 
Versatility. Pack-Ability. Organize. Accessorize. 
Are they applicable to your wardrobe? 
Will these tips help you with your upcoming move? 
Do you have any additional tips? 

I want to hear from you!

My friend Kim said she would gladly take the photos for me next time. So I'll be doing a part 2 on summer style soon! 

Have a Happy 4-day Week!  


  1. My big problem is accessories. I have NO skillz when it comes to accessories. My big pink purse is about as creative as I get!

    Thanks for these tips. I think I'm going to bookmark this post. :)

  2. Thank you soo much for the tips!! I am taking the next couple weeks to make sure all my belongings fit into your guidelines and I may be printing this post!! Thanks soo much for your advice!!

  3. That's awesome that you'll get to see your brothers!

    And great closet tips!!