January is always a tough month when it comes to shopping; you’ve had all your Christmas presents, you’ve spent all you gift vouchers, you may or may not love what you bought in the sale but can’t be bothered to take it back! And along with having to spend less due to December overspend, let’s be honest this could continue into February.
So here’s my guide to ‘shopping your own wardrobe’ to wear more of what you have already…
WHAT’S IN YOUR WARDOBE?
To make this effective and feel good about what you are wearing, it’s important to put together stylish outfits. You can only do this if you know what you have, what fits you and what you absolutely hate (by the way, why is it still in your wardrobe?) and what are your potential gaps. Now that last part you may not know until you start to get creative. To help with all this you need a notepad and pencil (don’t use a pen you may get ink on your clothes) and your camera phone.
FIND YOUR STATEMENT ITEMS
This is where you take one item, like a jacket, pair of trousers or perhaps a skirt; and you start to play with other garments, accessories, shoes and bags to create more than one outfit. Every outfit you put together that you love, you take a photo to remind you of it! Start to create a library of these so that when you are panicking on a Monday morning of “what shall I wear’ take a quick look and just select.
Here’s how I styled my striped Hush skirt to get three different looks. First up monochrome, just kept it simple with black polo and black boots…
I’m still loving my berry boots from M&S – and here I’ve teamed them with a burgundy jumper for a different look.
And then I like to do the complete contrast and just add that dynamic splash of colour – and I don’t care whether colours work together or not, for this style you need to forget what compliments each other but be more of a wow factor. Love those kind of looks!
HOW TO STOP WEARING THE SAME THING OVER & OVER AGAIN
This one I think is easy to sort, don’t wash it! Bear with me here (LOL). If you find you wear the same jumper every week and you can’t stop yourself from putting it on because it’s an easy choice – then stop being Superwoman and getting all your washing done at great speed. If it’s in the wash bin, you can’t wear it and that forces you to wear something else.
ADOPT THE RULE – YOU CAN’T WEAR IT AGAIN FOR TWO WEEKS
The idea here is that you don’t wear the entire outfit again for two week, you can wear the trousers again or the jacket, but the entire outfit is a no, no. This helps you get creative with your own wardrobe, and you start to learn to mix and match your outfits. When I offer this advice to girlfriends their immediate reaction is “I don’t have enough clothes to do that” – the truth is you do, because the majority of us only wear 20% of what we have, because we wear the same things, over and over and over again – you see my point? A good tip here is to take a photo each day of what you have worn, as a quick reference and by not washing some of the items immediately, this will help you pick other items in your wardrobe.
USE PINTEREST AS A LOOKBOOK
Pinterest is not social media it’s a search engine for images, much better than Google images (I personally think). All you have to do is type into the searchbox the garment you would like inspiration for – so here’s what I got back simply by typing Black Poloneck and selecting the filter Women
Not surprisingly, it’s suggesting an all-black look with black jeans and boots – this is an easy look you can pull together without too much stress.
The next suggestion was dungarees as a possible alternative option, now I don’t own dungarees but I do own jumpsuits – so straightaway this makes me think “what can I do with them?”.
You may own a faux fur sleeveless jacket like the one below but again if you don’t you can simply copy this style and just use your faux fur coat – and you can team them with your favourite blue or black jeans and the accessories she is wearing is again a great way to jazz up a black polo.
Or finally a contrasting statement skirt – now you don’t have to have this exact same shape skirt but you may have a pencil skirt in your wardrobe which could be red or blue and you could mimic this style. And here instead of boots you could opt for shoes.
SPEND ON YOUR GAPS
Now this is not an open door to go shopping for an entire new outfit! This is where you have done your research into pulling outfits together from your wardrobe; you’ve played on Pinterest or looked through magazines, and then you find you have small gaps like needing different coloured tights or maybe a different colour poloneck to get more out of what you have. Now here’s where you use the pencil and notepad, as you try on your outfits, work out what you are missing to complete the look. Once you have a list, what common items do you need most that helps several outfits, these should be your priority on your next shop.
I purchased recently myself to get more out of my own wardrobe by investing in my H&M Biker jacket – I wanted to wear more of my work clothes at the weekend for the occasions where I don’t want to wear jeans, and so this jacket has provided me a relaxed look (as photographed above) and all the rest of the items I am wearing I have owned for several seasons or years! So sometimes you have to invest a little to get a whole lot more!
One final rule for spending on your gaps, consider the value you need to spend to get the right purchase for you. If it’s an item you will only need to wear a few times then spend less but if you think it’s an item you will wear week in, week out, then consider spending on better quality so that the item lasts longer.
I hope you find all these tips useful – if you have any you would like to put forward, then please share them by getting in touch or leaving a comment on any of my social media platforms – Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.