Have you found yourself in a mid-season style rut? Does it pain you to think of wearing galaxy leggings for another season? Did the mid-sem break leave your wallet emptier than a 9am lecture? Have no fear, you’ve come to the right place. In ten easy steps, we’ll have you looking hotter than a shirtless, Abercrombie model in the Sahara. We’ll show you how to regain sartorial creativity once more, and discover the wardrobe potential hanging right in front of you.
1. De-clutter your wardrobe
Before you can make the most of your wardrobe, you need to know exactly what you own. Sort through your closet, trying on your clothes and donating the ones you no longer wear to charity or family/friends. Don’t keep clothes because of sentimentality. If you don’t wear these clothes now, you’re not likely to wear them in the future. An excellent way to decide what clothes to keep is to use the coat-hanger trick mentioned in our earlier blog. Just turn all of your coat-hangers backwards and when you’ve worn a dress or outfit, hang it back up with the coat-hanger turned back to normal. This gives an excellent visual at the end of the month, of the clothes you’ve been wearing regularly and the ones that have barely seen the light of day. By de-cluttering your wardrobe, you’re freeing up space and making your clothes more easily accessible. With easy access comes more creative inspiration, as you are less likely to wear the same outfit simply because “it was there”. Additionally, do not keep clothes as fitspo or a reward to wear when you reach your goal weight. Instead save some money and look forward to buying a new, up top date outfit when you have reached your fitness goal.
You don’t need mountains of clothes to make a great wardrobe. Remember, quality is far more important than quantity. So get de-cluttering!
2. Tailor made
The tailor is your new best friend. Not only can a tailor repair or alter a garment, he can totally change the look of an outfit. A tailor can turn last-season’s denim jeans into summer cut-offs, and can alter clothing to better compliment your natural body shape. A tailor can turn a knee-length dress into a mini. You can even ask to have a favourite dress transformed into a crop set.
3. Organisation is key
Not to sound like a tutor around exam time, but when it comes to maximising your wardrobe, organisation is key. Sorting your wardrobe into categories (dresses, skirts, jeans, tshirts etc.), and organising by colour often helps. If you don’t sort your clothes into seasons, then the options are endless and you can use pieces all year round. For instance, teaming your favourite short sleeve summer dress with a fitted jacket, stockings and boots makes an outfit ready for autumn weather. Make pieces stand out on their own and allow your mind to create new combinations. Another tip is to put the outfits you’d love to wear more of, to the front of your wardrobe so that they are easy to see and access.
4. Get creative
Draw inspiration from friends, magazines, window shopping or Pinterest. Save images of outfits you’d like to wear and take notice of pieces you already own being worn by others. Be adventurous! Clash bold prints, team shorts with heels, wear a black biker jacket with a girly summer dress. Take pictures of your favourite combinations so that you can repeat them later. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.
5. Layer it up
Seriously, one of the best pieces of fashion advice my mother ever gave me was to layer clothing. When money is tight, the easiest way to change the look of an outfit is by adding different textures and colours. Add scarves, belts, coloured stockings, tailored blazers, biker jackets, vests, tshirts under dresses, tshirts over dresses, tshirts wrapped around dresses! You get the picture. Layers.
Admittedly, I spend way more than I ought to on jewellery. But jewellery is the answer to dull and boring clothes. Jewellery never makes me feel pale (I’m looking at you, mustard sweater) or fat (screw you “skinny” jeans). But I digress. The key to shopping your closet is to first, shop your accessories. Organise your belts, scarves, jewellery, hats, headbands and put them on display. Make them easily accessible and it will only take a couple of seconds to find the perfect statement piece for your outfit next time.
7. Be prepared
(Cue Lion King music) Choose the clothes, shoes and accessories you’d like to wear the night before. Have the outfit hanging in your bedroom or bathroom, and you’ll feel more confident to wear a new outfit combination. This makes the morning rush far less stressful and makes YOU less likely to grab clothes of the floor. Make sure your clothes are ironed and clean, ready to throw on. Hangers help to visualise the clothes you own, while folded clothes are often forgotten.
8. Get a haircut
Picture a woman in a floral maxi dress with long, golden locks. Now imagine that same woman with a cropped, pixie cut. Or ombre pink hair. In your mind, the dress didn’t change but her look certainly did. Why spend over $500 on a new wardrobe when you can spend $50 on a modern new haircut, changing your style for months to come. If you’re not that committed, Youtube different ways to style your hair. Your friends, colleagues and family will notice the change but won’t be able to put their finger on it.
9. Keep your closet organised
10. Get shopping
The whole point of this post is to encourage you to shop your closet but if, on the way, you discover you need a statement jacket or something that could create 10 more outfits then by all means go ahead! Just keep in mind how you can style new pieces with existing ones. After taking inventory and organising your closet, write a list of items you are missing. Invest in quality and cross-seasonal pieces, and take your wardrobe to a whole new level. You may be spending a little now but you’ll be saving in the future, I promise.
Happy closet shopping, and please feel free to share your own experiences!
“Change your look. not your wardrobe” – An Outfit A Day