I’m sure many of you will have heard of the concept of “shopping your closet”; looking at how you can re-style pieces you already own in new ways as opposed to making a new purchase your first port of call. It’s a concept that I love. It’s creative, helps me to reserve my fashion budget for pieces I really want or need and is better for the planet by reducing fashion consumption.
On that topic, this outfit really makes a case for shopping your closet and getting creative with styling pieces that already exist in your wardrobe. It’s amazing how a few minor adjustments to the way you style an item can make a big difference to its overall look and feel. This outfit was one I stumbled across earlier this year when getting ready to go out for drinks (the good, ol’ pre lock down days). As it was a chilly evening, I didn’t want to wear a dress but still wanted something dressy with a bit of a statement. These trousers usually have a tie belt detailing (as you can see here). It’s a design feature I love about them but it just wasn’t working with this top. However, by removing it and turning over the hem of the pants over once, it ended up being a look that I loved and one that I absolutely plan on wearing again post lock down.
In case you’re after some inspiration, here’s a list I’ve put together of ways to re-style pieces you may own in new ways. I don’t use all of these re-styling techniques in my wardrobe, and I don’t expect that you will either. After all, we all have our own personal style and some will appeal more to you than others. However, I hope that this list helps you get the re-styling, creative juices flowing. Fashion is all about exploring you personal style so let your imagination run wild.
- Rolling up the hems of pants or sleeves
- Adding or removing a belt or tie
- Adding statement accessories (eg. jewellery, a watch or a statement bag)
- Experimenting with different shoes to change the vibe from casual to dressy
- Adding a pop of colour
- Tucking in, half tucking or leaving a shirt or top untucked
- Styling two contrasting items together (eg. a silky slip dress with a chunky knit or boots and feminine dress)
- Playing with outfit proportions (eg. an oversized blazer with skinny jeans)
- Wearing a wrap dress or wrap top around the way around so that the v neck faces toward the back instead of the front (This would work better with knitted fabrics or ones which have some stretch to them so that they sit better at the neckline)
- Knotting the front of a simple tee or white shirt
- Mixing up contrasting outfit textures (eg. Lace and leather or wool and lace)
- Styling two contrasting colours together
- Pick two colours you wouldn’t normally wear together. Is there a way you can make them work? Can you tie in a third complimentary colour or accessories to bring the look together?
- Creating a monochrome look with different shades of the one outfit (for example, this look which styles blue jeans with a navy coat)
- Styling a dress you usually reserve for special occasions down, say with converse or runners or by adding a cardigan over the top.
- Wearing a t-shirt or long sleeve knit under a strappy dress.
- Some one piece swimsuits can sometimes double as tops (this depends upon the type of swim suit but say for example a classic black swim suit can sometimes look quite like a body suit)
- Tying a sweater around the shoulders of an outfit for a classy, chick look
- Styling pieces you normally wear for the office down for a more casual look
- Styling a crop top under a blazer for a date night look.
- Wearing a sweater over a dress to turn it into a top and skirt combination
- Cinching in the waist of a sweater, blazer, cardigan or coat with a thick belt
- Using a scarf tied in different ways as a summer top
- Can the straps of an outfit or halter neck be tied in a different way (eg in a cross over at the back instead of just up and around the neck)
- Some voluminous balloon sleeves have elastic wrists which could be pulled up towards the shoulder to allow the fabric to drape over them like petal sleeves (just make sure the elastic isn’t too tight so that it doesn’t affect circulation)
- Styling a sweater off one shoulder
- Mixing summer dresses with cardigans or knits to help them turn into transitional pieces that cross seasons.
- Adding a statement hat
- Styling a shirt dress with trousers for a loose tunic style dress
Do you love to shop your closet? Have you ever transformed an outfit which you didn’t think worked into one that you loved by making a few styling tweaks?
Photos: Sara Eshu