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Shopping My Closet

Sometimes I feel like such a materialistic person – I mean, I love buying things! I especially love buying clothes. But I am sure you knew that already. I am really bad about always wanting something new and shiny rather than appreciating what I have. To make matters worse, I am really excited about my upcoming winter in Italy. As a Florida girl, I don’t (err didn’t) own a lot of fun hats, gloves, scarves, and jackets. So let’s just say I’ve gone slightly overboard with the winter accessories.
I really need to cool my shopping jets. I keep reminding myself that I am going to be living in Europe (which is already expensive) and wanting to take advantage of being able to travel. I am going to wind up looking great but not able to afford to go anywhere! 
Last Thursday my favorite fashion blogger, Atlantic-Pacific (my style hero), tbt-ed to one of my all-time favorite outfits – a red toggle coat over a plaid shirt and black skirt, complete with tights, knee highs, and wellies (pictured above). When I saw the pic I thought, “I must wear this in London,” and immediately started shopping online to recreate the look (am I the only one who meticulously crafts their travel looks?). Then it dawned on me, “I own a red toggle coat (which I have neglected for two years and almost gave away) and wellies, I bet I could recreate this from my own closet.” Five minutes later, I had the most adorable winter ensemble sprawled out on my bed. The moral of this story, I have a lot of great clothes and I really need to learn to appreciate them (you can peek inside my closet here)!
So for the next couple weeks, before holiday shopping commences, I am going to shop my closet! I can’t give up all shopping, because there is just too much I need to get before my trip (legit items, not me being ridiculous). But, I am going to shop my closet first and keep a list of items I think I need, rather than running out and buying them. To be honest, I was really surprised at how much I love the two looks I put together from my closet while contemplating this post:

Adorable, no? I love these two outfits more than anything I’ve purchased recently (but to be fair the blanket cape is a new edition to my closet, Ann Taylor has been having ridiculous sales lately)! Also the plaid blazer was purchased a couple weeks ago from Target (and is still available)! Everything else, however, is older.

So I put together some helpful tips to help me and you shop our closets more!

Tips for Shopping Your Closet:

  1. Begin with a clean, organized, and edited closet (click here for help in that department). You need to be able to see what you have in order to maximize your wardrobe. It is also a good idea to mix up the arrangement of your closet regularly, so older items don’t get lost in the back of the closet or at the bottom of a draw.
  2. Find inspiration. I am often inspired by Atlantic-Pacific. She combines pieces in really innovative ways and inspires me to think outside the box. Go to your favorite fashion blogger’s archives or Pinterest and find an outfit to recreate with your closet. I am starting a new Pinterest board to keep track of the looks I want to recreate. But remember, it doesn’t have to be literal inspiration. You may not have every piece, but think about why you like a look. Is it the colors, layering, or proportions? Patterns, colors, and proportions are easier to replicate than specific items.
  3. Tailor old items. Turn a dress you are tired of into a matching top and skirt, or transform an item by playing around with its hem. It’s amazing how a great tailor can transform a piece of clothing. You can also inexpensively change out buttons, which believe it or not, can transform a jacket or cardigan.
  4. Do a 30 X 30 wardrobe challenge. If you really want to challenge yourself and maximize your closet, select 30 items of clothing and wear only those items for 30 days! Your creativity will surprise you. It helped me cultivate and define my style. You can read about my previous 30 X 30 challenges here and here. I am not doing one now because January to August will be its own wardrobe challenge and I don’t want to limit myself before I live out of a suitcase for seven months.
  5. Finally, keep a running list of items you wish you had. This can help you pinpoint exactly which items your wardrobe would really benefit from. For example, I have found a lot of inspiration looks with black turtlenecks. Since I don’t own any turtlenecks, it is on the top of my list! This will ensure the pieces you do buy are versatile and will integrate into your wardrobe.

Now, let’s go shopping (in our closets)!