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How to Shop Your Own Closet

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2020 was undoubtedly one of the most unexpected years of them all. As jobs decreased and monthly budgets slashed, many people were left trying to learn how to be resourceful in all areas and figure out how to use what they have to still have some sort of life. I don’t think the wardrobe was exempt from that either as shopping for a new outfit was at times the last thing on everyone’s mind.

Though I would never wish a pandemic upon anyone, I think knowing how to shop your own closet is a very valuable skill to have, and it’s not a bad thing if we learned that continually shopping and buying new clothes is not the answer! Take these tips on how to shop your own closet with you as we head into 2021 for a new outlook and appreciation of what’s already in your wardrobe!

How to Shop Your Own Closet

1. Take stock of what you have
In order to shop your own closet, first, you have to see what’s in your closet. The first order of business is to take everything out of your wardrobe. This particular post is not going to dive deep into the cleaning out your wardrobe stage (I have a whole ebook for that!), but you can use this time to purge your wardrobe if you want.

The idea behind this first step is to be reminded of what you have so you can see what you’re working with.

2. Try things on + experiment
This step is the key to how to shop your own closet! To me, shopping your own closet means using what you have to put together new looks. If you don’t try anything new, then you’re not coming up with any new looks! If you don’t have any new looks, then you’re stuck in the same old pattern of feeling bored and wanting to shop to get that thrill and feel inspired- even if it doesn’t last.

But it’s time to feel inspired by the things that have been lying dormant for a while. Start trying things on that you’ve neglected and then start putting outfits together. Don’t worry about if anything goes or not. We’re just having fun, trying new things, experimenting, and maybe getting a little crazy!

It could be as simple as pairing a cardigan over a t-shirt that you’ve never paired together before, or it could be as unique as:
putting a skirt over a dress
wearing a sweater over a dress
wearing a cardigan as a top


Layering always makes a difference in an outfit. Try adding 1-2 layers to everything you try on and see how you like it.

Go ahead and do an opposites thing too. Pair a pantsuit with sneakers. A vintage tee with a dressy skirt.

Try something outside of your comfort zone. Do you usually wear leggings and oversized cardigans? Then try on jeans and blouses!

Check out these posts below for additional resources on this step!
How to Create New Outfits From Your Closet by Mixing Styles
5 Style Tips to Make Old Outfits Feel New Again
7 New Styling Tips and Tricks to Try

3. Add a statement or something unexpected
To every combo you try on, consider adding a statement or something unexpected (if the outfit needs it). This can easily make old outfits feel new again!

Something unexpected could be a motorcycle jacket over a flirty dress. A statement could be bright red lipstick, a shiny accessory, or a leopard print scarf.

4. Take note of the winners
During this try-on sesh, you’re bound to find some new outfits and combos you like that you haven’t tried before. Find a way to remember these so you can try them again! If you like to write things down then get a notebook and write down the pairings. If you’re visual, then take a photo of the outfits you love on your phone and create a separate album of go-to’s or print them off and put them next to your closet!

What good are new outfit ideas if you never wear them? You can also keep these ready-made outfits on a clothing rack to make your life easier. Pick a day and set up your whole outfits for the week!

On the note of making life easier, check out this post on how to make getting dressed in the morning easier. Let’s make 2021 as simple as we can, shall we? 🙂

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shop your own closet
Carolyn Arentson
Carolyn is the founder and creator behind My Chic Obsession. When she's not dreaming up new content, you can find her watching a funny tv show with her husband, raising her two boys, or planning her next trip to Paris.