Are you the sort of person who likes having just a few tried-and-true outfit combinations? Do you ever wish you could wear your favorite ensemble, or a slightly different version of it, every day? Do you generally like to maintain a small wardrobe with nothing more than a few workhorse pieces? If your answer to any of these questions is “yes,” then you’re probably saving lots of valuable money and closet space. What’s more, you’re definitely doing your part for the planet by limiting the amount of shopping you do and keeping your personal styling choices more sustainable.
As beneficial as it is to buy fewer new clothes, however, even your most beloved outfits can feel stale and boring if you’ve worn them out just one time too many. If you find yourself peering into a closet full of clothes and exclaiming that you have “nothing to wear,” you may want to start thinking about how to reinvent your style. The good news is that, contrary to popular belief, there are lots of ways to refresh your wardrobe without splurging too much at the store. Apply the following simple but effective styling tips to your favorite outfits, and they’ll look totally different in no time:
Layering is a near-universally recommended fashion tip that tends to be trotted out for almost every season and occasion you can think of—and with good reason. Layers add versatility and flair to even the most basic, neutral outfits. Moreover, they also have plenty of practical value. If you’re bracing for tricky weather changes or running from one engagement to the next, shedding or adding layers as needed may be enough to keep your look on point throughout the day.
One of the best parts of layering up is that there are so many ways to do it. Weather permitting, the right coat, sweater, or jacket can elevate any of your favorite ensembles. Try wearing skirts and dresses that are just a bit too short for you over a pair of stylish tights or leggings for women. Pull your go-to sundress over a button-up shirt or a pullover to transform it into a pretty pinafore. Whatever your layering needs and preferences are, feel free to experiment until you find some winning combinations.
Change Up Your Accessories
You’ll be amazed at how some eye-catching accessories can refresh old outfits. Experimenting with accessories like jewelry, hats, and scarves can completely change the way your clothes look and feel. If you’re used to wearing your favorite white button-down with dainty accessories like pearl earrings and slim watches, for example, switching these out for a statement necklace can help you rock a bolder vibe.
Accessorizing is also more fun the more you allow yourself to play around. Love wearing bangles? Pile a whole bunch of them onto your wrists instead of settling demurely for just one or two. If you love pendant necklaces and have lots of them in different lengths, try wearing several of them at once. You can also string chains or cords through interesting items you find at home, like too-small rings, antique keys, and other knick-knacks, and wear them around your neck.
Find Different Ways to Wear Old Favorites
There’s no law that dictates that you have to wear your clothes exactly as you see them on the mannequin in-store, and only that way. Allowing yourself to think beyond how your clothes “should” be worn, and imagining other creative ways to wear them, will open you up to a whole new world of sartorial possibilities. For example, that flowing maxi skirt you’ve loved for multiple summers now would probably look just as cute as a tube-style midi dress. All you need to do is pull it up, cinch it at the waist with a belt, and you’ll have a whole new outfit ready just like that.
Don’t be afraid to get extra creative with your accessories as well. Cute scarves can be threaded through your belt loops or tied around your head as headbands. Brooches and pins are great for holding well-loved coats and jackets closed once these have started losing their buttons. The only limits are those imposed by your imagination, so make it your goal to think outside the box.
Don’t Be Afraid to DIY
If you’re not afraid to find more permanent ways to reinvent old, well-loved clothes, or if you’re trying to find ways to recycle items that are nearing the end of their lives, don’t hesitate to alter them yourself. Got holes in the toes of your favorite thick tights? Cut the feet off, and you’ll have a new pair of leggings in a snap. Ripped jeans that have begun to wear out can be similarly repurposed into denim cutoffs. Cutting the sleeves or necklines off old oversized T-shirts, meanwhile, can turn them into stylish tanks and off-shoulder tops that are perfect for summer. With a little well-orchestrated creativity, your old workhorse pieces will transform into new clothing pieces entirely.
As you can see from the advice above, there are many ways to change up your style using the wardrobe you already have. Sometimes a little playfulness and willingness to experiment are all you need to give your favorite items of clothing a new lease on life.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website’s content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra’s expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.