Q: I recently lost my favorite clothes to my apartment fire. I had collected them over the last 7 years and they were a mixture of a variety of different styles and designers. Do you have tips for rebuilding my closet after this loss?

How to Rebuild Your Wardrobe After a Disaster

A: I’m so sorry to hear about your tragedy—but out of great lost comes great opportunity. Take this as an opportunity to rebuild not only your life, but your style.

Here’s some thoughts:

1. Focus on rebuilding your wardrobe, rather than just buying pieces to get you through. This will help you save money and also start to build back your style confidence.

2. Use this horrible event as a chance to reassess your own personal style. Go through your favorite magazine ripping out all the pictures of items you like. Do you notice a trend or a particular style? Take a tape measure and measure yourself at your bust, waist, and hips to help you determine your body shape.

3. Start out by purchasing the perfect ten—ten things you should have in your closet.  These are like the building blocks of your wardrobe. Make sure you buy versions of these things that fit into your personal style. Buy the best garments you can afford. You can find these things on sale at Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Loehmanns. Also check out department stores like Macys, Lord and Taylor (who has great online coupons you can use in store), and even Bloomingdales, who all have great sales. This goes against what I usually advise, but yours a special case—you may want to even sign up for a store credit card to help you rebuild closet.

4. Add in some great accessories—make a trip to Target, Forever 21, Laila Rowe, or H&M. Also use these stores for trendy pieces to add into your wardrobe.

Again, this is an opportunity to rebuild a new you. I would also like to ask fellow readers of this site to post their tips and ideas in the comment section below.