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How To Build A Romance Ready Wardrobe.

romance ready wardrobe

What is a romance ready wardrobe, and why do you need one? To be romance ready, your wardrobe has to be functional for your love life. Having a romance ready wardrobe means you can easily dress for both planned and spontaneous romantic moments in your life because you have the wardrobe items in your closet to meet those moments. When your wardrobe is ready for romance, that means you have an updated lingerie drawer, various date night outfits for different occasions, and you can create romantic moments on your own using the clothes you have on hand.

For example, slipping into a silk dressing robe before running a bath to relax after a long day at work, burning the Josephine Luxury Candle from Harlem Candle Co. to embody your sexuality, and pinning your hair up in a pretty Eternally In Amber hair clip, are all romance ready wardrobe items that help you get into a romantic state of mind. Your wardrobe has to be functional for your love life. Your wardrobe helps you create romantic moments in your life by having something to wear for all of the romantic moments in your life. From taking a bath, to cooking dinner for two in a sexy apron and heels, or taking an evening stroll in Central Park.

Why You Need A Romance Ready Wardrobe.

Generally, most of us can agree that what you tend to grows, what you focus on expands. If you want more financial freedom, focusing on financial discipline, money management, and creating habits wealth-building habits on a consistent basis will help you meet that goal. The same thing goes for building a romance ready wardrobe. When you tend to your wardrobe, and curate it for romance, you’re ready for those romantic moments, which collectively create a more fulfilling and happy love life. Most of us can also agree that when you stop dating your spouse, or yourself, then the romance in your relationship tends to dwindle. Flowers wilt without fresh water or sunlight. The same goes for the romance in your life when you’re not tending to your garden. One of the ways to tend to your garden is to build, and maintain a romance ready wardrobe.

“Everyone should cultivate a secret garden”. ~ Esther Perel

It would also help to remember that your sexuality is for you, and not something you do for the benefit or pleasure of someone else. In her book, Mating In Captivity, Esther Perel notes, “Today, our sexuality is an open-ended personal project; it is part of who we are, an identity, and no longer merely something we do.” Think of it like dressing the part to play the lead in the rom-com of your life. Having a romance ready wardrobe is a way to express your sexuality, to be ready for romantic moments at the drop of a hat, to stay in touch with your desires, and prioritize romance in your life. And like Esther Perel says, “the quality of your life ultimately depends on the quality of your relationships.”

9 Steps For Building A Romance Ready Wardrobe. 

Before you build a romance ready wardrobe, you’ve got to start with the basics. Otherwise, building a romance ready wardrobe can be frustrating, kinda like standing in front of your closet, wanting to wear that new halter dress and not having a strapless bra to go with it. I’ve written about how to start with a solid wardrobe foundation in this blog post: Before You Build A Sexy Wardrobe, Do This. Once you have a solid wardrobe foundation, you can build a romance ready wardrobe following these nine steps.

STEP 1: Do A Romance Ready Closet Analysis. You’re gonna want to take inventory of your lingerie drawer, sleepwear, and be aware of your general wardrobe gaps before you start building your romance ready wardrobe. Ask yourself: what if I started dating the love of my life today, what would I want to have in my closet to be ready for a new, romantic adventure? Or, if you’re married, ask yourself: if my spouse whisked me away to Paris tomorrow, what would I pack? What would I wish I had? Those are your romance ready items. Make sure you’re clear on your romantic needs, but got your basics covered. Once you have the t-shirt bras, then shop for the stunners like this Blue Reign Nova K Bra.

STEP 2: Reorganize Your Closet. Let go of what’s no longer needed. Out with the old and in with the new. Make sure your closet is organized and functional for your lifestyle, but also make sure that it’s not full of business attire and leggings and you have nothing for date nights. Click here to read my post: Reorganize Your Closet In These 12 Easy Steps.

STEP 3: Make A Romance Ready Wardrobe Wish List. Separate these items into Anuschka Rees’s six wardrobe categories: at home, at work, daytime, semi-fancy, black tie, and work out. I outline more about how to categorize your wardrobe items in this blog post. Even though most of your romance ready items will fall into the semi-fancy and black tie categories, you want to also make sure you’re wearing lingerie underneath your business suits, and cozy at home loungewear. Romance ready wardrobe items like a lace bralette for at home lounging, and thigh high stockings for under your pencil skirt will be romance ready items, but will fall into different categories. But you want your romance ready items to be spread out across all categories, so indicate this in your spreadsheet when you make your list.

STEP 4: Check Your Vanity. This is where your beauty and self-care products come into play. Your vanity is typically the place you go to get ready before you put on clothes. Its your dressing time after your shower and before you start to put on clothes. Do a quick check-in on the following areas: face, body, hair care, perfume, oral care, and nail care. Do you have the makeup items you need, face wash, moisturizers, face masks etc that you need? Check your body lotion, body oil and perfume inventory. Do you have what you need to give yourself a DIY manicure at home in a pinch so you don’t have to run to the nail salon for an important event? Is your emergency beauty kit in your handbag stocked? Some items to include:

  • Travel-sized deodorant, shampoo & conditioner, travel perfume
  • Feminine wipes, panty spray, menstrual pads, Lovability condoms
  • Mini mouthwash and floss
  • Hand lotion, hair clips, bobby pins, hairties for the gym on the go
  • Fenty Beauty Portable touch-up brush
  • Nail file, emergency mani kit
  • Mini hair brush, eye glass cleaner for sunglasses
  • Compact mirror, hand sanitizer, facemask

STEP 5: Romance Starts With You. Do you have your basics covered? Need some romance ready wardrobe items? It starts with taking care of your skin and having the right beauty products on hand. Shop lavender body wash, scented candles, and luscious body butters and body oils from Inside Outer Beauty Market.

STEP 6: Buy What You Absolutely Need First. If this is your first time building a romance ready wardrobe, there will likely be items you’ll need to get before you start buying the sexy stuff. Make sure you don’t skip over things like a strapless bra, feminine sleepwear or a sexy satin cami to go with your cozy Sunday loungewear. Keep romance ready fabrics and cuts in the forefront of your mind as you’re making these purchases. Think to yourself: I need a bralette to lounge in on the weekends, but how can I make it sexy or more flirty? Make Building a romance ready wardrobe is like building a house. You’ve got to make sure you’ve got plates and utensils to eat with before you buy the pretty curtains and wall decor. Read this post for guidance on making sure your basics are covered: 5 Commandments Of Building A Basic Wardrobe By Betty Halbreich.

STEP 7: Update Your Lingerie Drawer. Make sure your bras, underwear, lingerie, stockings and trouser socks are all stocked and you are ready with the proper undergarments to go with your romance ready wardrobe wish list. For example, if you’re eyeing this Jenny Yoo black velvet Mari dress for your next date night, you want to make sure you have the stockings, shoes, lingerie and coat to go with it.

STEP 8: Put Your Romance Ready Wardrobe Items Upfront And Center. You want to make sure that your romance ready wardrobe items are up front and center in your closet. This is especially important if you have a tendency to work a lot, and feel out of balance with your feminine side. Putting your romantic items at the forefront will serve as a visual reminder and extra nudge to slip into something soft and sensual when you get home. You don’t want your romantic items out of sight. Because you don’t want romance to fall by the waste side. Keep the romantic items up front and center and you’ll be more likely to wear that floor length, floral chiffon dress for your Sunday stroll to the coffee shop instead of your usual leggings and cardigan.

STEP 9: Maintain Your Romance Ready Wardrobe. There are five items you’ll need to build a successful romance ready wardrobe: your signature scent, something soft to the touch (think: silks, satin, lace, and other textured fabrics), the right undergarments, perfect evening dress with proper outwear and accessories (something to slip into for special occasions), and dress shoes.

Using Costume Design To Get Romance Ready.

Costume design has been used for centuries to help get men and women into character. You don’t have to be an actor to make it work for you. When Otis Perminger initially told the beautiful, talented Dorothy Dandridge that she could not act the role of Carmen Jones because, “you have a veneer, my dear. You look the sophisticate.” She fired back, “you dissapoint me, Mr. Preminger. Very much. I thought you–being an independent producer, something of an innovator, you wouldn’t stereotype people. I’m an actress, I can play a nun or a bitch.” Provoked he handed her the script, she asked him what he wanted her to read and she’d return tomorrow. Then, the magic happened. In Dorothy Dandridge’s own words from her auto-biography: Everything And Nothing: The Dorothy Dandridge Tragedy, she wrote:

“I hurried to Max Factor’s studios and looked around for the right garb. I would return looking like Carmen herself. I found an old wig which, I was told, Cornel Wilde wore in one of his pictures. I found a shaggy but brilliant blouse; I arranged it off the shoulder. Then, I located a provocative skirt. I put on heavy lipstick, worked spit curls around my face. I made myself look like a hussy. Dressed like Carmen, I sidled around for a while feeling like a whore. Now I was ready for the next day’s interview. On the following day, I gave everything a final twist, as if to look a little disheveled. I had my own interpretation of how a lady of abandon might conceivably look. I needed one thing more: a tired look as if I had word out a bed. I went to the gym and deliberately tired myself before going to see him. As a final bit of staging I arrived a little late, late enough so that it was noticed, but not so late as to become an irritation. I arrived at his offices, passed by his secretary, and dashed inside. “Oh, Mr. Preminger, please forgive me… I just got back…. I am not dressed…..” I presented him with the most startling switch of personality he might ever have seen. “My God, it’s Carmen!”

Everything and Nothing: The Dorothy Dandridge Tragedy, The Revealing Autobiography of Hollywood’s First African-American Sex Symbol and Screen Legend, page 167.

What To Do Next.

You can do the same thing with your wardrobe. You can literally pull any scene out of a movie that inspires you and dress the part. Think of an iconic character like Carmen Jones, or maybe it’s Lupita Nyong’o’s entrance as Nakia in Black Panther as she walks down the stairs arm in arm with the late, great Chadwick Boseman, wearing a futuristic green and black gown covered in Wakanda text. Maybe it’s Jennifer Lopez’s pink pleated strapless floor length chiffon dress from the movie, Maid in Manhattan. Think about a movie scene where you kinda lost your shit and was like OMG how beautiful/sexy/pretty is that look! That’s your starting point. Now, go find wardrobe pieces to recreate that same inspiring look so you can feel like your wardrobe is romance ready. What costume did you recreate? Share your look in the comments below!

Stacy Hamm
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