with Susan Wagner
The Working Closet is your source for the best of what's hip and fresh in fashion and beauty. Susan Wagner keeps you up-to-date on trends and offers tips and tricks for making everything in your closet truly work for you.
You can also catch Susan over at Working Closet.
I’m in a style rut, you all. Ok actually, right this moment, I am in a pair of yoga pants and the universe’s most comfortable hoodie because I haven’t had time to get dressed today, but you get my point. I’m starting to feel like I wear the same things over and over again, and it’s getting a little bit boring.
I need to amp up my style. Somehow. Ideally, without buying anything new. Is that even possible?
Yes. Yes it is.
You all know that I’m the poster child for the Carefully Edited Closet. I wear everything I own and I have a genuine affection for each piece. I take extra good care of my clothes, because I don’t want to be constantly shopping for replacements. And on a normal Monday morning, I really like that getting dressed doesn’t require any huge expenditure of thought or creativity.
Except that recently, I’m starting to bore myself.
About twice a year, typically in the late winter and the early fall, I get the urge to give away everything I own and totally start over. There’s a good reason for this; where I live, both winter and summer seem to hang on for about a month longer than is really reasonable. My brain is ready to move on to a new season and a different set of clothes, but the temperature makes that virtually impossible. (For example, it’s going to be 80 degrees here today, which means that as we go into the last week in October, I’m still wearing my summer clothes. I hate that.)
Instead of donating all my clothes to charity and running up my credit card with a new wardrobe, I try to focus on reinventing what I have. This means doing two things: remixing the pieces in my closet, and rethinking my accessories.
The accessories are the easy part; I’ll put on an outfit I’ve worn a million times before (sometimes literally, yo) and then change up the details: a scarf instead of a necklace, a big necklace instead of a small one, earrings and bracelet, for a change. I don’t know how truly different my look is, but I feel different, and that’s the whole point.
I particularly like to pair really over-the-top accessories with basic outfits, like jeans and a tee and a faux-diamond cocktail necklace. I mean, why not? Monday is just as good a day as any to amp up the bling factor. Right?
The second option — remixing pieces in my existing wardrobe — is more time-consuming but has a bigger payoff. Taking the time to curate new outfits — pairing a skirt and tee that I’ve never worn together, for example — gives me one more option for a go-to, stress-free outfit. But because those pieces are in a new-to-me combination, they feel — well, new. And because they are existing pieces from my everyday wardrobe, they look like other things I wear, which means that no one is overwhelmed by the change in my look.
Because here’s the thing: I don’t really want to start dressing like someone else — I like my carefully curated style. But I want my look to feel new and different, without the stress of shopping for actual new pieces. That’s the tricky part.
Eventually today I am going to get out of the yoga wear and put on some real clothes. I’ve been thinking about what’s in my closet and how I can remake my summery duds for this last day of hot weather; I’m kind of excited to see what I put together. I think a new-to-me outfit is precisely what this Monday needs.
How do you remix your closet? What are your secrets for keeping your look fresh without running to the mall?
Photo via Stella & Dot
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