As we ring in the new year here, it's a season of desiring change. This is normal. We set resolutions for ourselves and things that we want to be different this time around. Sometimes people think this also means starting over your wardrobe. It's completely healthy to change, but starting fresh doesn't have to mean getting rid of all your old clothes. I'm here with tips to make you fall in love with your closet again and cater to your re-inspired sense of style without spending a lot of money or hurting the earth. We all have those days when we look into our closets and just feel...uninspired.
Creating something new out of what you have is not as difficult as it seems. Your closet is just waiting for you to make some adjustments so it can lend you some brand new outfit ideas that you never thought of before. When you're disorganized or uninspired, it can be impossible to envision them. Therefore, I am hoping that a few of the tips I will provide below will help you in the process.
tip #1: clean and organize your wardrobe
You simply can't do anything with your wardrobe until you have a clear sense of what is in it. I recommend going through your entire closet. Refold and reorganize. This should be tremendously cathartic and allow you to also become reacquainted with what you have.
tip #2: identify your staple pieces
After you've reorganized, take a look at your closet and decide out of all your items which ones you wear most. There's something called the 20/80 rule, which basically states that our wardrobe is decided exactly like that: we only usually wear about 20%. So, chances are, once you go through your items it might end up being divided like that. There isn't anything inherently wrong with this! It's just good to have an idea of what the 20% actually is. It helps you to better understand your own personal style and make outfit decisions which accentuate that style and build around it, thus making you feel like your best and most confident self.
Personally, in my room I have both a closet and a clothing rack. I kind of divide my 20/80 this way: my favourite 20% on the rack, the other 80% in the closet. I love this because I also love the way my clothes look and contribute to my identity and personal brand, so displaying them like this is beneficial to me.
tip #3: pinterest is your best friend
Okay, chances are, if you've got a Pinterest, you've got a clothing-related/style inspiration board. Personally, I totally have this. You can check it and me out here.
We often think about the things we're pinning here as "for the future", but we actually usually end up having pieces that can allow us to recreate the outfits we're crushing on. I recommend you try and identify the overarching theme within your board, because this will further cement what your style identity is. Then, go through your newly-organized wardrobe and try and create new looks that reflect that style.
tip #4: take your staple piece and build something new around it
So now that we've talked about the idea of staples and the 20/80 wardrobe, you should know and recognize what these aforementioned staples, or "main characters" of your closet are. Since you wear these items so much, I'm assuming you often also wear them with the same things.
Well, why not do a bit of remixing? You love these items and feel good in them. So, consider the options. A favourite sweater? Try it tucked into a circle skirt instead of boyfriend jeans. A favourite cardigan? Try it over a t-shirt dress instead of a blouse! These seem like obvious combinations, but I find all the time that there are ideas that I've somehow skipped over just because I never stopped to think of them.
tip #5: invest in accessories
This is the last tip I'd like to offer! I find that a scarf, a bandana, a necklace, a gorgeous pair of earrings, cool socks, or different shoes will instantly improve an outfit. I rarely leave the house without at least one of these things (the socks/shoes thing is obvious but you know what I mean)!
One of my favourite accessories is a vintage cameo necklace I picked up at a flea market for probably $3 about four years ago. I get compliments on it every time I wear it and I plan to have it forever. This example just goes to show one way that a simple accessory can help an outfit along in ways you never thought of before.
Hopefully at least one of these tips has inspired you to take another look at your wardrobe and work with what you already have rather than going out and purchasing something new. You will be thankful that you did because of the money you'll save, and the way you'll avoid contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and unfair labour.
I promise you that, at any rate, cleaning out your closet is going to do wonders and make you feel better - so even if this article gave you nothing else, at least do that.
With love and sustainability,