CSO Blog: How to Shop Your Own Closet

How to Shop Your Own Closet

Before you hit the stores, follow these tips and you might be surprised by what you can find in your own closet. By wearing the clothes you have in new ways, in new combinations, or with new accessories, you can refresh your look and feel like you have new things. By reworking what you already have, you save money by not buying new items, and you save time by not going to the stores. Going through your clothes might also help you rediscover pieces you have forgotten about and help you to see them with new eyes. So give it a try! Your wallet will thank you.

Wear Things a New Way

  • The Button-Down Shirt
    • Wear it buttoned-up with a statement necklace
    • Wear it open as a light jacket
    • Tuck it in and add a belt for a preppy, clean cut look
    • Let it hang out for a relaxed classic or just tuck in the front
    • Wear a long or short-sleeved sweater on top so just the collar and cuffs are showing
  • The Classic Blazer
    • If you have a black or navy blazer that you think is just part of a boring work uniform, try wearing it casually with a t-shirt and jeans, or dress it up for evening with heels and a silk tank.
  • The Basic T-Shirt
    • As long as it’s a good fit, a basic T can do a lot of things in your wardrobe. Cuff the sleeves if they’re long enough for a sporty casual look, tuck a T in and add a belt for a crisp classic, or just tuck in a bit of the front for a more casual style.
  • The Shapeless Dress
    • If you have a dress in your closet that doesn’t do anything for your figure, simply adding a belt can make a new flattering shape. If the dress is longer, use a thicker belt, if it’s a shorter dress, I like a thin belt and tuck in the end. You can also use a thin silk scarf and tie it in the back. If you want to wear a cardigan or other sweater over a dress, you can put the belt around both to keep your waist defined.

Try New Combinations

  • Mix Patterns and Prints
    • Don’t be afraid to mix and match your prints. So your patterns don’t clash, stick with similar scales, neutral colors, or pick prints that share at least one color.
  • Dress It Up
    • Make casual clothes dressy by wearing heels with your jeans, adding a necklace or a blazer over a T-shirt or a tank, or simply do your hair and add a bold lipstick color to spice up an otherwise casual outfit.
  • Dress It Down
    • Wear a dressy dress with casual boots like cowboy boots or with sandals in the summer to bring it down.
  • Try New Seasons
    • See if you can wear an item that you usually only wear in the summer in the winter by adding layers to it for warmth, or wear a cozy sweater over a sundress or shorts to make your clothes work all year round.
New ways to wear a basic T shirt - add a necklace or a scarf

Mix Up Your Accessories

  • Add a Little Something
    • Tie a scarf on the handle of your bag, add a broach or a pin to your coat lapel, or experiment with a hat or hair accessory.
  • Don’t Let Basics Be Boring
    • Take a neutral T-shirt and use it as a blank canvas for your accessories. Add a necklace or a scarf and suddenly it’s dressier and more interesting.
    • Try to add color to every outfit, even if it’s just a bold-colored ballet flat, a colorful cuff, or some artsy earrings.
  • Double Up
    • Layer small, thin, gold necklaces together or a short and a long necklace in the same metal together for a little extra sparkle.
    • Same goes for bracelets, stack several on your wrist for a new and bold jewelry look.
    • Put a ring on a chain and wear it as a necklace, that way you if you aren’t wearing it on your finger, it can double as a new pendant!

Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment!

The most important thing is to be playful in this process. Think about playing dress up when you were a kid and channel that creativity to your adult wardrobe. Try a bunch of things on to see what works together. If you feel stuck, get inspired! Look online or in a magazine for some ideas of how to mix and match pieces together, then try them in your own wardrobe. Take pictures to see how an outfit looks, and if you like it you can use the picture as a reference to recreate the outfit again later. Invite a friend over! They might see something with new eyes that you wouldn’t see yourself. Offer to do their wardrobe as a trade. If you experiment with wearing your clothes in a new way, with putting new things together, and with having some fun with accessories, you’ll feel like you have a whole new wardrobe, without ever picking up your purse and leaving home.