Style. Make a (preliminary) definition of your overall look(s). [If you've done WT before or are confident in your look and mostly cleaning your closet, the definition can be a final draft!] The issues you're trying to define are level of formality, basic silhouette(s), balance of color and pattern, what you expect of your tops and your bottoms when they play together. Think in terms of how to put together outfits for your typical weekly routine.
My day-to-day style is definitely more casual. I have few occasions to dress up and thus, more than enough dress-up clothes. They just have to play together a little better, as does the rest of my closet. Basic silhouettes need volume on the bottom to balance my shoulders – boot-cut or wide-leg pants are ideal, as well as A-line skirts if I am going to wear them with flats, pencil skirts are fine with heels. Nothing avant-garde, saggy or baggy here. I am perfectly happy with my size and don't want to feel bigger or lumpier. I like lots of colors and find that while I won’t wear colored pants, I will always grab a bright skirt. So tops should play well with both the generally neutral pants and the random crazy skirts. Jewel tones seem to be the goal with tops, nothing pale to wash me out or too yellow to make me look ill. Also, I need more cardigans and layer-able items here too, and they need to be not all black. I don’t like black particularly, black pants make me look like I should be working at Radio Shack, but I am ok with black skirts and tops, oddly enough.
Boden isn't a bad representation of my idealized style, lots of color and interesting layering and patterns. They run a little to the gamine ruffly empire Audrey Hepburn look but that can be avoided.
Less avoidable, their prices. I have never purchased anything from here. I prefer the patterns to the prices.
Start securing your supply lines. Shopping is easier if you have reliable sources of flattering garments.
Thrifting is negligible here as I am not a particularly thrift-able shape. The outlets I have to be very picky at as I hate to throw away garments that have rabbited at a high rate of speed (some of the summer tops I haven’t hauled out yet may be in this state). They seem to be ok for bottoms but I have a habit of getting seduced by cute printed knit tops and it is not worth the anguish when they rabbit out too soon. Banana Republic (non-outlet) has changed their cuts in pants and thus they are no longer in contention (it was always annoying waiting for the sales and pants I can get at the outlet now). Banana and Gap sale racks are respectable for tops and sweaters as long as I am patient, and the Patagonia outlet is a good deal when they have seasonal sales so I stock up on winter layers and workout wear there. That’s about all my supply lines. I’m pretty brand-loyal when I can find decent cuts consistently. Especially if I don’t have to go to the mall. I never buy clothes at Macy’s etc. because I hate hunting for a cut that works. Basically I am lazy.
Glance at your undergarments.
Fix Velveteen Rabbits that warrant repair. If you have Rabbits from the prior week still awaiting fixes, you may now have enough garments on the heap to justify a trip to the tailor or a cozy evening with the sewing box. Or you may look at the heap, mutter an imprecation, and decide to send all your Rabbits to the Great Dresser in the Sky. Either way, progress is made!
Beloved yoga pants need a hole fixed, nice dress slacks might get taken in if it isn’t too expensive to do as now they are baggy enough to be not so dressy. Some wimpier shirts and skirts have been sent to the Great Dresser In The Sky.