wear clothes in nontraditional ways

Step Up Your Style Game: 11 Ways to Wear Your Clothes Unconventionally

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Are you ready to step up your style game and explore the possibilities of wearing clothes in nontraditional ways? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Mastering the art of wearing clothes unconventionally is the perfect way to add a unique twist to your wardrobe. With a few easy tips, you can quickly learn how to wear clothes in ways you may not have thought of before and create looks that excite you. Read on to learn more about how to change up your style. Warning: This post may turn you into a fashionista!

1. Wear a Cardigan as a Halter Top

wear clothes in nontraditional ways

This unconventional style not only adds style to your outfit but can keep you comfortable during the summer heat as well. First, select a long sleeve cardigan with a V-neck and buttons down the front. Choose a size that fits snugly across your chest and has enough length to wrap around your neck and tie into a knot.

Next, put on the cardigan as if you were going to wear it, but leave your arms out. Twist the cardigan to the back, so the buttons are now behind you. Then, wrap the cardigan sleeves around your neck, tying it into a knot behind your head.

Adjust the length and fit as necessary. You can pair this new top with high-waisted pants, a flowy skirt, or denim shorts. You can keep it casual with sneakers and a denim jacket or dress it up with heels and statement earrings.

2. Wear a Scarf as a Skirt

how to turn a scarf into a skirt

For a fresh and fun look, try wearing your scarf as a skirt. First, choose a large infinity scarf in a lightweight fabric for the best results.

Next, slip into the opening of the scarf. Place a belt on your waist over the scarf. Keep pulling up one side of the scarf until the fabric overlays, covers the belt, and both layers of the scarf line up. Adjust the length by pulling the fabric up or down.

This look works great for a day out with friends or a beach vacation. Pair it with wedges, sneakers, or sandals and a straw hat for an effortless vibe!

3. Wear a Maxi Skirt as a Strapless Dress

maxi skirt as a strapless dress

Maxi skirts are perfect for achieving that effortlessly chic look. But have you ever considered wearing a maxi skirt as a strapless dress? Yes, you read that right! It’s a great way to switch up your wardrobe and create new outfit options. Plus, it’s really easy.

First, choose the right skirt. Look for a maxi skirt with an elastic waist that has enough material to be worn as a dress. Avoid skirts that are too clingy or too tight.

Then, simply pull up the skirt so it sits comfortably on your chest. This creates a makeshift bodice for your strapless dress. If you want to define your waistline and add structure to your outfit, cinch a belt around the waistband of your skirt/dress or add a cardigan.

4. Wear a Cardigan Backward

ways to wear clothes in nontraditional ways

One of my favorite nontraditional styling techniques is wearing a cardigan backward. It might sound a bit strange at first, but trust me – it can look chic!

To start, select a cardigan with buttons or snaps. Put the cardigan on as you normally would, but with the buttons facing the back instead of the front. Leave a few undone for a flirty twist. This simple trick can make you feel like you are wearing something new!

By the way, if you don’t have a solid cardigan in your wardrobe you are really missing out. To make the wardrobe-building process easier, I created a resource for you that includes a checklist of all the wardrobe staples you should have!

5. Wear a Blazer as a Top

blazer as a top

Blazers are traditionally worn as a part of a suit set or with a button-down shirt, but the point here is to be untraditional, right? Right! A blazer as a top might sound unconventional, but it’s a stylish way to switch things up in your wardrobe.

To wear a blazer as a top, select a slightly roomier blazer that can provide enough coverage. A rigid, cropped blazer may not work as well. At the same time, the blazer should fit snugly around your body, so it doesn’t look too bulky or loose.

To complete your look, add a belt to show off your waistline. As a bonus, this also creates a more polished and put-together look too! Try playing with different fabrics and textures. For example, a velvet blazer paired with high-waisted silk pants can be an elegant and chic party look.

6. Wear a Blouse Backward

how to wear clothes in nontraditional ways

For some back drama, try wearing your blouse backward. Yes, when it comes to wearing clothes nontraditionally, I am really into wearing clothes backward. (If you couldn’t tell.)

To achieve this look, choose a blouse with a button-down front, preferably one with a collar or a V-neckline. Begin by unbuttoning the blouse completely and then slip it on, with the back of the blouse now at the front. For an extra spicy touch, leave the buttons undone and knot the back instead.

Alternatively, you could also wear a bralette or a lace camisole underneath the blouse and let the straps show at the back for an edgy vibe and more coverage. Paired with jeans, this could be a great look for date night!

Related: 8 Perfectly Nice Casual Outfits to Upgrade Your Look

7. Wear a Dress Over a Pair of Pants

dress over pants

Have you ever considered wearing a dress over a pair of pants? This may sound like a strange idea, but it can actually be a stylish way to mix up your wardrobe. When it comes to choosing the right dress to wear over pants, you want to choose a dress that is not too tight or too short. A midi or maxi dress is the best option and prevents the outfit from looking too “early 2000s”.

When it comes to choosing the right pants to wear underneath your dress, you want to choose something that complements the dress. If you’re wearing a flowy, bohemian dress, try pairing it with wide-leg pants. This makes your dress work as a tunic. And when in doubt, always go with jeans!

8. Wear a Crop Top Over a Shirt

crop top over white button down shirt

Crop tops have been all the rage in recent years, but they can sometimes be a bit daunting and revealing to wear on their own. However, when paired with another shirt, they can make for a trendy and unique look.

First, start with a basic T-shirt or button-down in a solid color. This can be a plain white tee or something with a little more personality, like a graphic tee. Next, choose a crop top that pairs well with your T-shirt. This could be something with a bold print or a matching color.

To wear the two together, simply put on your T-shirt as usual and then layer the crop top over it. Make sure that the crop top hits at your natural waistline, which is the narrowest part of your torso. This will create a flattering silhouette and highlight your curves.

Finally, pair the look with some high-waisted jeans or a skirt to complete the outfit. This will balance out the proportions of the crop top and keep the look chic and stylish.

9. Wear a Button-Down Shirt as an Off-the-Shoulder Top

button-down shirt as an off the shoulder top

If you’re looking for a chic way to show off your shoulders, try wearing a button-down shirt as an off-the-shoulder top. This is a perfect example of how to wear clothes in nontraditional ways. And it’s easy too!

To achieve this look, unbutton the top few buttons of your slightly oversized shirt and pull the collar down so that it sits on your shoulders. That’s it. Adjust until it feels secure and comfortable on your shoulders.

One great thing about this style is that it’s surprisingly versatile. For a daytime look, pair it with some distressed denim shorts and sandals. If you’re going out for a night on the town, wear it with a sleek midi skirt and some strappy heels.

10. Use a Silk Robe as a Jacket

wear clothes in nontraditional ways

Looking for a way to add some luxury to your outfit? Why not try wearing a silk robe as a jacket! This nontraditional approach can instantly elevate any look and give off an effortless yet chic vibe.

To make sure your robe looks intentional and part of your outfit (and not like you just rolled out of bed), try belting it at the waist or leaving it open to show off what you’re wearing underneath. And of course, keep the rest of your outfit stylish so the robe looks more like a fashion statement than an oversight!

For a more structured look, you can pair it with slim jeans. For a glam look, you can pair it with a dress. And of course, fit is everything. Make sure your robe is not too oversized, as it can easily overpower the rest of your outfit. Look for a silk robe that has a flattering silhouette and drapes beautifully, so you can easily layer it over other pieces without adding bulk.

11. Belt a Vest Over a Coat

camel coat outfit winter with faux fur vest

Winter outfits can often feel bulky and uninspiring, but by adding a vest on top of your coat, you can transform your look! First, pick a coat that is not too thick or puffy as you don’t want to add unnecessary bulk to your figure. Next, pick a vest that complements your coat, whether that’s by texture, style, or color.

Then, button or wrap up your coat and put on the vest. Lastly, use a belt or ribbon to cinch your waist so the vest and coat are secure and tight against your body. This look works well with a pair of slim jeans and ankle boots. Or if you want to dress it up a bit, you could wear a midi-length skirt and some over-the-knee boots.

Whether you wear clothes backwards or repurpose a scarf as a skirt, these are all great ways to wear the clothes that you have. For even more helpful ideas, keep reading: Reinvent Your Wardrobe: How To Put Together Outfits With Clothes You Already Have!


Founder and editor of My Chic Obsession, Carolyn is your trusted fashion maven. Carolyn's drive to help others achieve a classic and timeless wardrobe fuels her posts, making mychicobsession.com a go-to resource for style seekers worldwide. Beyond the wardrobe, she resides in the heartland of the Midwest, dreaming up new ideas and raising her two lively boys - her biggest fashion critics.