The Renovated Closet: Revamping Your Wardrobe in 2 Simple Steps

When people open their closets, they usually complain they have nothing to wear…not me. My problem isn’t I have nothing to wear- it’s I always wear the same thing in the same exact way. Take my darling teaching classy dress from ModCloth: I have always worn it with the bright fuchsia-pink belt it comes with- I’ve never tried it with another color belt, never experimented with playful accessories, never tied a 60s style scarf around my neck like the unbelievably chic women in Mad Men, never tried it with a bright-colored cardigan.

Contrary to popular belief, the first step to reinventing your wardrobe isn’t buying new clothes-it’s finding inventive ways of combining pieces you already own. Why not reinvigorate that adorable black and white pinstripe dress with an edgy denim jacket and military combat boots? Or finally pair those stylish, edgy black ankle booties you never wear with your favorite party dress? It’s astounding how little of our closets we wear. I myself probably wear a third of my closet on a regular basis. Why is this? What about the other two thirds? It’s not that I dislike these little used pieces (I liked them enough to grab them off the rack at one point, after all); it’s just that I’ve gotten in the habit of only wearing particular pieces and only pairing them with particular things. Next time you feel stultified by your own lack of fashion resourcefulness, follow these two simple steps to revamp your wardrobe instead of indulge in a regrettable thousand dollar shopping spree:

1. experiment with what you already own. Do always wear that little black dress with wedges for a night out with the girls? Can you give it some casual rock-and-roll and instead pair it with herringbone tights and some military boots? What about that darling sheath you wear nearly everyday to work? Can you infuse it with new life by layering it over a button down? Or do you always wear that floral dress with your signature black flats? Can you exchange your beloved black for a less expected color? Reviving a lifeless wardrobe requires one trait and one trait only: ingenuity. You don’t need to completely overhaul your closet to renovate your look and you certainly don’t need to spend thousands of dollars-all you need is a little inventiveness and inspiration.

2. stock up on basics. The key to a functioning wardrobe is a stockpile of basics. Any fashion maven will tell you that style begins with the essentials. White tee shirts. Jeans. Denim jackets. Think about it: you can only experiment with enchanting colors if you possess a plain, white canvas. Only after you take stock of your wardrobe and brainstorm interesting ways to combine what you already own, can you assess what you actually need. Are you always pairing the same pieces because they simply don’t go with anything else? Stop frittering away money on the season’s latest “it” items and instead invest in essentials. A simple white tee shirt can yield surprisingly high returns.

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