how to shop your closet

Have you heard of the “shopping your closet” concept?  Instead of buying new clothes, you take stock of what you already own and try to figure out new ways to wear them. This is a fun way to refresh your wardrobe without spending any money!  You may even find your new favourite outfit in the process.

All you really need to do is start pulling out pieces and trying to find something that looks nice with it!  You can do this all at once, and remember what works together, or you can take quick photos to save for later, or you can find new outfits on a daily basis.  It’s really that simple.

Mixing prints and patterns is a fun and creative way to update your wardrobe.  To keep the outfit from being too busy, I suggest keeping the colours similar.  In the first photo below you can see that both pieces have the bright orange colour, and are grounded with a white background.  Even though both prints are large and loud, the outfit works because of the colours.  Alternatively, you can mix neutral coloured sprints of different sizes.

In this outfit I mixed two neutral toned prints.

Belting your clothes can change the look dramatically without much effort. I wore a relatively shapeless dress with a thin belt to accent my natural waist.  But then without the belt, and a couple layers added, the same dress looks more casual and relaxed.

Adding a belt over a shirt or blouse also helps create definition and/or visual interest, as shown in the two photos below.  In my opinion, there really are no “rules” for belting.  Sometimes a thin belt looks best, other times a thick one does.  Personally, I don’t believe in telling people what they should and shouldn’t wear, so if you feel happy and comfortable in an outfit, wear it anyways, regardless of how stylish it may or may not be!  You can see how leaving the shirt unbelted is more relaxed and loose, but adding a belt nips it in nicely.

Wearing clothes out of season is another easy way to extend your wardrobe and find new outfits.  Most of my dresses are sleeveless or have short sleeves, but with a few strategic layers, they can be worn all year.  I like to layer a tight fitting long sleeved top under the dress and add a cardigan or sweater over top. In the first photo, I am wearing a lightweight dress with a sweater over top, which creates the illusion of a skirt.  The second photo shows a very summery dress, worn when it was not quite warm enough for bare arms.  I put a long sleeved top underneath, a denim jacket on top, and called it a day!

Scarves are another way to add something special to an outfit, and can totally change your look.  You can use a scarf to add a bit of colour, or to echo a colour you are wearing, and you can even wear a different pattern for a fun outfit addition.


I have already shared some photos that coincide with the examples, but here are some more of my favourite outfits that I have found by shopping my closet.

This is not a particularly nice outfit, but I wore it a lot during the spring while working in the garden. It kept me cool in the heat, but also covered.

I wore so many layers here!  I had really wanted to wear this blouse, but it is so thin, so I wore it over a sweater, and then a cardigan for even more warmth.  This is an outfit I wore a lot of!

I usually wear this top with my denim pencil skirt because it is a casual top, but I decided to try it with my white skirt and a light cardigan.  This outfit was so comfy and I felt very summery in it.

Previously I only wore this dress in the cold months with a  sweater over top (it’s the same dress I showed earlier in the post), since I wasn’t sure how to style it.  My husband thought the print was too granny-esque, but approved of it worn this way.  I don’t know why it never occurred to before to wear a wide belt, but I LOVE how it turned out!

I hope you find these tips helpful!


About Christina

20-something; rural dwelling; wife to David; homeowner; pretty good cook; wearer of skirts; friend to all cats.

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