What I Wore: A Fashion and Personal Style Blog
Hi Jessica, 

I’m guessing you probably have a sizable closet now, but I’m sure there were times in the past where finances or circumstances kept you from really having that many different options to choose from.  Do you have any recommendations when you’re sick of everything in your closet, you feel like you’ve mixed & matched as much as you possibly can, but you can’t afford anything new?  I swear I open my closet doors some days and feel sad immediately.

Bree, Wisconsin

Besides majoring in Apparel Merchandising and being in the Fashion Design program, no one in college would have thought I knew anything about style. My clothes SUCKED. After working an unpaid internship at Betsey Johnson the summer between junior and senior year, I was left with something like $500 to last me the entire year. I looked horrible.  

Thankfully, I think things have turned around now.  Here are a few ideas that will help you stretch what you already have a littler further.

1. Scarves- a great way to change the focal point of your look. Also good for changing the shape of a top (make something blousy more fitted by tieing it at your waist) or covering up a stain or missing button.  Check out some of the ways I’ve worn scarves here.

2. Belts- another good way to change the shape of a full cut top or dress. Especially great if you have an hourglass or boyish shape. 

3. Dye it Up- Spend $5 on a bottle of Rit dye and an afternoon or evening transforming your old boring clothes into beautiful new (custom) creations! Instructions here.

4. Swap - Maybe you have some girlfriends, sisters or neighbors that feel a similar crunch.  Ask to borrow a top or dress and feel like a new person. (I still do this all of the time)

5. Trade - Stores like Beacon’s Closet, Buffalo Exchange and Plato’s Closet will buy your old clothes and give you cash or store credit for new ones. Plus you’re contributing to a sustainable cause at the same time. 

6. Lay It All Out- Twice a year (or more) I take out EVERYTHING from my closet and throw it on my bed. I try EVERYTHING on and sort into piles of stuff to:

  • Donate
  • Fix
  • Sell
  • Keep

I swear, its like shopping in your own closet. You get rid of the stuff that is just taking up space, out of season and making you feel blah. You find things you forgot about and maybe fit better than they did before. You can inventory what needs a new life and what’s a lost cause. Best of all, you organize yourself and lessen the likelihood of your closet blues.
Good luck!
Do you have a sewing/fashion/style related question and think I could help? Drop me a note and I’ll try my best to answer!

5 Aug 2008

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