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How to shop in your own closet

Do you ever stare hopelessly at the sea of clothes in your closet, convinced that you have absolutely nothing to wear? I know I’ve been guilty of this a time or two. The result? A "much-needed" shopping spree that’s not needed at all.

Instead, try shopping your own closet to rejuvenate an old wardrobe for a fresh new look?

My 5 tips below are a fun way to look at your closet with a new set of eyes!

 

Recombine, re-wear, remake

Recombining clothes to remake an outfit may seem impossible at times. But creating a new look out of your existing wardrobe is not only easy, but can be fun and fashionable. The trick to re-wearing clothing is putting together a variety of outfits, all with different styles, yet still using the same pieces. Your little black dress, for example, is not just restricted to a cocktail party. Toss a blazer over it and wear it to the office. Dress it down with a pair of fun sneakers and a big hat for a brunch date with friends, or throw on a pair of tights and boots for a trendier look. The options are endless.

 

Not old -- vintage

Whoever said chambray shirts, jean jackets and jean vests would go out of style? I’m guessing we all did. So what does it tell you that these denim pieces have made their way back into today’s fashion? Old is new. Incorporating old-school style into your updated look is easy. Take the denim shirt that you swore you’d never wear again, pair it with white or a darker denim pair of skinny jeans to create a polished casual look. The trick is to mix your “vintage” piece with something new and fresh!

If the shoe fits

Not all of us can have the endless, shoe-filled closet of Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw. But we can dream, right? According to the fashion guru's here are the eight staple shoes you must have in your closet: nude pumps, black stilettos, closed-toe black kitten heels, a pair of wedges, metallic strappy sandals, flip-flops, shoes that add a pop of color and a pair of sneakers.

The shoes you choose to wear can completely change the look of something as ordinary as jeans. Wear flip-flops with your jeans rolled up one day, sneakers with your jeans rolled down the next and nude pumps to totally rev it up for the evening. Pairing your favorite sundress with flip-flops for a lunch date and then creating a new look with wedges for a summer dinner party is a quick and easy way to switch up your look. Varying the style of shoe for any given piece or outfit multiplies your options and creates a new, hip look each time.

 

Snap, crackle, pop

Like shoes, accessories can transform an outfit. The jewelry, scarves, belts and hats in your closet can vamp up any old look. Love them or not the Kardashian/Jenner clan are pros at adorning their outfits. They all have their own brave and unique style that illustrates the way accessorizing can change a look.

A large signature piece of jewelry is one of the easiest ways to remake your outfit. For instance, accessorize your little black dress by adding a bold centerpiece necklace or big chunky earrings. A fun, funky scarf can bolster and change your look; wear one with a white shirt and jeans to add freshness and zest to a classic look. Belts are a necessity not only for jeans but also for cinching up your dresses, sweaters or skirts. The secret to accessories is to add just a little pop of something bright and new to rev up your staple outfits.

Mix & match

Breaking a few fashion rules can be fun but then again are there really any “rules”? Once upon a time wearing stripes with polka dots was a major fashion No-No yet today it seems that everyone’s doing it. According to style agents Janette Ewen and Afiya Francisco, incorporating patterns is a must in your wardrobe. But they do have a few suggested guidelines. First, partner a hard pattern (think of graphics with sharp edges, like stripes or checks) with something softer (organic shapes like circles and florals work best). Second, when mixing patterns, don’t bring in too much color -- it can look out of control. Last, avoid dizzy patterns (swirls and zigzags) altogether -- they look tacky.

A fun, flirty, polka-dot skirt mixes beautifully with the timeless striped shirt. Patterns add some fun and pizzazz to your wardrobe. But as these style agents advise, “Stick with neutral (i.e., safe) colors to avoid looking like a circus clown. And definitely no more than two patterns, three colors max.”

 

So next time you are in need of a new outfit, just open your closet and take a nice looong look… with a new set of eyes!

 

XX

Maggie

*First seen on SheKnows magazine

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