Ever opened up your closet doors before getting dressed and thought, “I literally have nothing to wear?” Us too—we’ve all had those moments. Even if you do have a full rack of items. So how do we move on and re-inspire ourselves and our closets? We’ve rounded up a few ways to get started.
First, go through and find out what’s really in your closet. Sometimes we simply have too many choices, which can be overwhelming. Spend a few hours looking at each item and ask yourself, does this item fit me right? Get real about what looks good on you—and if an item doesn’t fit quite right, consider giving it to a friend or doing a clothing swap. It’s important to clear the clutter, but do it the sustainable way.
Another thing to consider: is there an emotional component to why you may be feeling like you don’t want to wear something? Often, we attach memories to clothing, which can often hinder our ability to see it in a new way. For example, I remember wearing a bright orange sweater to school in eighth grade and a classmate asking me why I chose to wear such a bright color. It took me almost a year to unravel the emotional feelings attached to that memory and eventually wear the sweater again. The first step is to identify the emotion and then detach it from the item. Find a new way to wear that item out in a new setting—you might just wear it out and receive endless compliments. However, if you still feel triggered by the emotion when you see the item, it may be a good idea to donate it to a clothing swap or other sustainable shop.
So now you’ve gone through your closet and feel good about everything that’s in there–what’s next? Let’s begin with how to find daily inspiration for outfits. One great way is to make a list of blogs or favorite Instagram accounts that inspire you. You can create a folder on Instagram and start saving potential outfits that you may want to recreate. (If you’re super organized, you can even create folders for different types of outfits or upcoming events)!
Another fun tip: there are a few Instagram bloggers who create weekly or daily wardrobe challenges—like “Secondhand Spring”—as a method to find new ways to wear old items in your closet. The wardrobe challenges typically list out specific items to identify in your closet and then once you create your new outfit, you can log this away as a new go-to hack.
Next tip: have you ever thought of wearing an item in a brand new way? It can be fun to re-imagine pairing styles that are already in your closet together in an unexpected way—for example, think about wearing a button-down shirt as a dress or tucking a minidress into shorts. When you give new life to an old item, your everyday outfit options become limitless.
As a future tip, it’s important to be mindful as you shop and navigate the endless sea of fast fashion trends. Try to think of the entire outfit(s) before you buy an item—for example, how many ways can you wear it? Can you wear it cross-seasonally? Does it double up with pants, shorts, and more? It’s also helpful to prioritize wardrobe staples over trendy styles.
These are just a few helpful tips to keep you shopping within your own closet and help resist the urge of buying something new (just because). There are so many ways to wear and re-wear the items we already own—and revamp our closet and ourselves in the process. In the end, we often find that we already have everything we need at home or within ourselves. It’s so easy to look outside of what you already own (and yourself) for answers—but we promise you’ll almost always find what you’re looking for within, if you take the time.
Blog by Allison Duncil (@allisone84)
Allison Duncil is Opus Mind's Content Guru with a background in Costume Design and Member of the New York Fair-Trade Coalition.
Cover photo by Nathan Dumlao via Unsplash