Finding Gold: Shopping in Your Closet

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Have you ever ventured into the depths of your closet and been amazed at the clothing options in there–some of it still with tags or other amazing pieces that you’ve long forgotten? Whether you’ve grown tired of the same old wardrobe options in your current rotation or you want to take advantage of some timeless pieces from the back of the closet, there are plenty of advantages to making use of what you have and giving it new life!

For many of us, the closet is filled to the brim with apparel and accessories, but we still deal with that age-old problem–there’s nothing to wear. Creating a cohesive wardrobe is important for many reasons, primarily to assemble a range of outfits at any given time. After closet clean-outs or changing seasons, it’s often difficult to see how these older pieces could be made into trendier outfits, but it’s possible!

Incorporating a few style tips into any closet organization allows you to easily shop in your own closet and create numerous classic or trendy looks. You might even be surprised at how versatile some of your pants or blouses might be when paired with a unique accessory or colorful statement necklace. Here are a few tips to shopping in your own closet year-round:

Organize Your Closet
At any given time, you should be able to open your closet and find seasonally appropriate apparel readily available. Remove winter or summertime clothing as necessary so it doesn’t add unwanted clutter; by removing what you don’t need, you’ll have more space to see what you’re working with in terms of classic or newer pieces. Keeping only seasonally appropriate clothing in the closet also makes the dressing process a lot less stressful–who wants to wade through piles of shorts during winter, or flip through chunky knit sweaters when it’s 90 degrees outside?

Take Out What You Don’t Like
Are you in a clothing rut or not sure why you’re still holding on to some pieces? The best way to make use of what you already have is to remove clothing and accessories you don’t want. Poorly fitting garments, clothing or accessories that don’t match anything else and outdated embellishments are all things that should be taken out of the closet. Keeping items that you absolutely don’t want takes valuable real estate in any wardrobe.

Get Creative
Chances are you have plenty of simple separates that can be easily transformed into trendy outfits with the help of brightly colored accessories or new color combinations. There are three ways to pair blouses and skirts or pants to give them new life–primary, complementary and analogous. In terms of a color wheel, complementary colors are those that sit directly opposite each other, while analogous colors sit next to each other on the wheel. Finally, primary colors include red, yellow and blue. Creating your own unique color combination allows you to take any piece and infuse your own personal style into an outfit. Are you more into neutrals? Add a pop of color to any neutral outfit with a patterned accessory; think a gorgeous red handbag with black tuxedo pants and tank for a chic night out.

Mix and Match Garments
One fun way to create new outfits out of everything in the closet is to pair each blouse with every bottom garment. This activity allows you to see new combinations that you might never have tried and gives you even more versatility! When it comes to mixing and matching, don’t neglect the accessories; adding a new shoe or handbag (even jewelry!) to an outfit is one easy way to give it an entirely different look.

Reinventing a wardrobe can be fun, but it does take a little time and dedication. Set a weekend aside to focus on the wardrobe so you really get an idea of what you have and how those pieces can be integrated into the current lineup. Are you finding it hard to be inspired by what you already have in the closet? Style experts suggest finding one item of clothing and challenging yourself to create as many outfits as possible with it, pairing it with different pants, shoes, jewelry and accessories to create various new looks. Check out your favorite fashion magazines or browse online at sites such as Pinterest to get ideas on how to style wardrobe staples!

Once you’ve created a few new outfit options with your existing wardrobe, take a photo of it for future reference; having your very own stylebook will make getting dressed even easier and less stressful! Wearing old pieces and making them new again is fun, especially if you have many upscale and classic pieces to work with. Don’t be afraid to be bold and always be willing to take some risks in the name of fashion. HLM

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