Do you want to know how to shop your closet the right way? This guide will teach you the best strategy for refreshing your style with items you already have in your wardrobe.
Knowing how to shop your closet is the answer to living sustainably and on a budget these days. With the cost of living going up, it’s increasingly difficult to purchase a new wardrobe each season to keep up with the latest trends.
If you love fashion as much as I do, it’s not fun being on a tight budget. Fortunately, I know a better way to update your style and it’s right in your very own closet.
You will learn my favorite method to shop your closet and update your style without spending a dime. These strategies will enable you to refresh your wardrobe season after season.
You may even convince people you rarely wear the same outfit twice.
This post is all about how to shop your closet the right way.
Best Tips to Shop Your Closet
1. Get Rid Of Everything You Don’t Love
The first step you need to do before shopping for clothes is to make room for new clothes. This rule also applies when you shop your closet.
The reason you can’t find anything to wear is that your wardrobe is full of clothes that don’t work for you. Getting rid of unnecessary clothing and accessories will create physical space in your closet and also mental space in your mind.
Start by taking out each item in your closet and reviewing it intentionally.
How does the item make you feel? For instance, items that give you a slight sense of dread at the thought of having to wear them should be discarded. Try the KonMari Method™.
How does the item fit you? Does it look good on you? Try it on if you need to and be honest with yourself. Any feeling of doubt is an indication you might want to discard the item.
How often do you wear the item and why? For example, an evening gown worn every two years is expected, but a leather jacket worn every two years might not fit your style anymore.
Does the item pair with the rest of your wardrobe? Do you know how to style it?
You need to determine whether your love for the item is simply based on the “idea of owning it” rather than a defining piece of your style.
Can’t figure it out? Might be time to discard it.
Move clothes you’re uncertain whether to discard or keep to a separate section in your closet. Allow those items to stay there until you reach a firm decision to discard or keep them. Doing this allows you to gently release items you’ve developed an attachment to.
Getting rid of clothing and accessories you don’t love will birth a new sense of freedom in you. You’ll feel more joyous when you shop your closet full of items you love versus a closet full of “meh”.
2. Create A Wardrobe Inventory To Shop Your Closet
Now that you’ve created space in your closet, it’s time to complete a wardrobe inventory. A wardrobe inventory (or closet inventory) is an organized list of all the items you own in your wardrobe.
From coats to trousers, shoes to undergarments, it’s literally every single item you can wear.
The easiest way to do this is to create a spreadsheet on the computer. List out your clothing and accessories categories such as:
I currently have 20 categories in my wardrobe inventory and I plan to add more. Create, name, and order your categories in the way that is most logical to you (makes the most sense).
After you have your spreadsheet and categories completed, pull out all the items from your closet that fall into the first category in your list. Write them under the respective category and note the following important attributes:
- Description of item (e.g. wool tartan pleated skirt)
- Season(s) the item can be worn
- Issues (e.g. missing bottom button or needs tailoring to fit)
- Toss or Replace?
Try items on when you need a deeper review. Identifying pieces you need to replace (such as Capsule Wardrobe Essentials) will assist you in creating your shopping wishlist.
Your wardrobe inventory is complete after you’ve categorized and listed every single item and its attributes. Now, you have the full picture of everything you own and can shop your closet with.
3. Showcase The Current Season’s Clothing In Your Closet
With your completed wardrobe inventory, it’s time to organize your closet so that the current season’s clothing and accessories are front and center.
The idea is to showcase all items you’ll wear in the current season; not just the clothes that are categorized for that season. For example, if you live in the northeastern United States and it’s winter time, your showcased pieces might consist of winter, fall, and a few spring items (such as a silk tank that layers underneath a sweater).
This method works extremely well if you have a ton of clothing, a small closet, or both.
My wardrobe has been pared back to the extent that I’m now missing some key wardrobe essentials (and patiently saving up for them!). I’ve also curated my current pieces so that most of them can be worn at least three seasons of the year.
Because of this, I group my closet by category and order by season. For example, all tops will be ordered left-to-right by cardigans, sweaters, long-sleeve button-downs, blouses, short-sleeve knits, short-sleeve tees, etc. Having (much) less makes it incredibly easy to shop my closet because I can see and find everything.
No matter which way you decide to organize your closet, it’s important that your clothing for the current season is easily seen and accessible, like a catalog or shop.
4. Shop Your Closet With In-Season Shoes Only
Similar to showcasing your clothing, you need to find somewhere in your closet to showcase your in-season shoes. Using your completed wardrobe inventory, determine which shoes you will be wearing during the current season.
Now, take those shoes out of any boxes or storage bags and set them out in your closet. This may be difficult if you don’t have a closet organizer or you have a million shoes, but I assure you, this works.
I was a victim of owning too many shoes that I never wore. It’s strange too because I loved each pair dearly. I wanted to wear them, but why didn’t I?
I never wore certain shoes because I stored all my shoes in boxes, so I never had a clear picture of what I owned. When it was time to get dressed, I’d forget about the same pairs over and over again. Either that or it was too much work to take four shoe boxes out and see which pair styled best with my outfit.
The problem was solved once I started showcasing my in-season shoes, ready to wear, in my closet. It makes me so happy to see my beautiful shoes getting a fair share of love, for once.
The other half of this step is to put away (in bags or boxes) the off-season shoes. So if it’s winter in the northeastern United States, there should not be a single sandal in sight.
Seriously. Out of sight, out of mind.
And no more distractions when you need to shop your closet.
5. Make New Outfits From Your Closet
At this point, you’ve discarded the items you didn’t love, completed your wardrobe inventory, and showcased your in-season clothing and shoes. The strategies above were always about creating a structure within your wardrobe to give you the freedom to be creative.
This is where the fun starts.
You can now begin to shop your closet.
Set aside time in your week to experiment with creating new outfits. Changing up one accessory or pair of shoes can create an entirely different look, so don’t neglect to play around with styling your outfits.
Do this in the days leading up to a special occasion or event, so you’re prepared and don’t stress about what to wear. Find your go-to, basic outfits you can throw on quickly when you need to run out unplanned.
Take photos of each successful outfit creation and store them in your phone or create a Pinterest board for quick reference.
Continue to perform the steps above to refresh your closet each season. This strategy will enable you to create new looks as your style changes throughout the years.
This Post Was All About How to Shop Your Closet
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