How to Maximize Your Wardrobe by Shopping Your Closet

How to Maximize Your Wardrobe by Shopping Your Closet

Everything you need is already in your closet

What if you had a fresh, new wardrobe, but didn’t buy anything new? It can happen, and it doesn’t require any magic.

Lately I’ve been very focused on shifting my mindset. Since the world went crazy a couple of years ago, my thoughts went from one of abundance to a negative scarcity mentality, and I’m not the only one. I see it in the conversations on social media. Yesterday I shared my journey with this and how it relates to my own style journey with the members of the Stunning Style Society.

From the very first Classic Wardrobe Guide I created, my intention was to help you make the most of what you already have, see the abundance in your wardrobe, SHOP YOUR CLOSET first by choosing classic items you likely have in your wardrobe already. Then I add a few fresh, fun items if you want a little refresh. The 100 outfit templates I give you show you new ways to wear old favorites and see them with fresh eyes!

It has never been about buying an all new wardrobe every season, but starting with what you have and working from there to curate a wardrobe you love. One of the very first Style Steps of each season is helping the Stunners shop their closets and look at their wardrobes with new eyes. It can be like getting an all-new wardrobe!

This article and the video below are taken from the Stunning Style Weekly Style Snack! Join us Wednesdays at 1pm ET on the Stunning Style Facebook page or the FREE Capsule Wardrobes for Classic Style Facebook Group.

The Shop Your Closet Challenge Is Back!

Next week we are starting the Spring Shop Your Closet Challenge! To make this easier, today I’m sharing tips to help you see how many great pieces you already have. You can practice these tips during the Shop Your Closet Challenge – or anytime you see an inspiration outfit – so you can easily adapt it to what you have and your personal preferences. 

For 6 days this month I’m giving you a sneak peek of what it’s like having an outfit planned for you every day and then helping you shop your closet and make the outfit your own. We wear the outfits based on what we have, based on our Classic Style Twists, and based on our personal preferences. 

Don’t worry, I’m not building an army of clones! In the group you’ll be so inspired by seeing the same outfit worn hundreds of different ways each day based on shopping our closets and our needs for the day. 

One of the reasons I love doing the Shop Your Closet challenge with you is to share that abundance mentality with you, inspire you to look at your wardrobe and recognize all that you DO have.

As you participate in this challenge, I hope you will join me in being conscious of all that you have to work with. One of the many benefits of the Classic Wardrobe Guides is I help you try out new combinations and share new ways to wear old favorites, and it will feel like you have a fresh, new wardrobe!

If there is anything you need to add to your wardrobe, the shopping portal is there with links to everything featured in the Guide, as well as other alternatives.

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If you are like me, you see inspiration outfits all over the place – in person, on Pinterest, on Instagram, etc. How many times have you thought, “Oh, I would love to wear that, but that doesn’t suit my lifestyle or my closet.” Or maybe you don’t have the items that are shown. I know I have many times in the past been tempted to just go out and buy the exact item in that outfit.

Shopping your closet means being able to analyze an inspiration outfit, see what elements are in it, and make it work with what you have in your closet.

The Stunning Style Seasonal Wardrobe Guides include 30-40 pieces, from which I create 100 outfits. Every month I put together an outfit calendar, similar to the calendar we are using for the challenge. Members of the Stunning Style Society use the calendar each morning to make getting dressed effortless.

They LOVE IT, but I also encourage them to shop their closets and not go out and buy every single item because they probably have something similar that works, and they’re going to get a fresh new take with it. I create the Guides around closet staples with a few special pieces thrown in to refresh your wardrobe. Neither the members nor I go out and buy all new things every season because it’s not reasonable for most people.

Break Down An Outfit Into Its Elements

Let’s look at how to shop your closet for this example inspiration outfit from last year’s Spring Classic Wardrobe Guide and give you some ideas of how you can continue to shop your closet for any inspiration outfit that you see, even beyond this challenge.

Here is our inspiration outfit. This is a pink three-quarter sleeve boatneck tee, dark wash bootcut jeans, a white denim jacket, navy blue wedges, a navy blue bag and a striped pattern scarf with a cobalt trim. I want you to break any inspiration outfit down into the elements it’s made up of so you can look for similar ones in your closet.

  • What are the colors?
  • What are the patterns?
  • What is the texture, shine, and sheen? 

Once you have identified the key elements in an outfit, look in your own closet and see what you have. Today we’re going to focus on color, and next week we’ll take a look at pattern, texture, shine and sheen. 


February is a transition month for the warmer states, and it’s still deep winter for other states. I live in the South again, and it’s 57 degrees today. Those wedges would be okay on a beautiful day like this, but where I used to live my feet would be frozen popsicles!  Below you’ll see a version of this outfit, which is pretty identical to the original, except I have a silver bag instead of the navy bag, but I have plenty of the navy going on with the dark wash jeans.  


Color is what seems to trip people up the most. The colors in this outfit are pink and cobalt blue and the neutrals are white and navy/dark wash denim, and there is some silver hardware in the bag. I will take each color of the outfit and go to my closet and ask myself what I have in those colors. I also look for things that are seasonally appropriate and match the elements. 


For the pink color, I have a lot of options. I have pink flats, pink earrings, a pink bag, pink pants, pink scarf, a jacket, a cardigan, and plenty of tops. It doesn’t have to be that exact pink. I’m wearing an icy pink sweater today, so any pink that you have in your wardrobe works. If this pink is too bold, you could choose something like burgundy, which is on the same color gradient scale with pink because they both have a foundation of red.

Dark Wash Denim/Navy

Then we have the dark wash denim and navy. Instead of denim you could wear navy, and it’s already one of our neutrals. Maybe you prefer black, gray or any other neutral over navy. I would stick with the same saturation, so if it’s a dark neutral go for another dark neutral, because the contrast is really going to affect the inspiration outfit.


For the white in the outfit, I have white jeans, a white sweater, and white earrings. My white denim jacket disappeared a couple of years ago, and I only recently replaced it and I’m very excited about this. I also use silver as a substitute for white, and with silver I have so many options. I have silver booties, flats, bags, jewelry, and I had a big silver puffer jacket. This can be way out of the comfort zone of some people I know, but I love it. It’s fun to me and it’s a fun way for me to bring metallic silver, but you can definitely do it on a smaller dose like the jewelry.

The whole point of this is to think outside the box. It doesn’t have to be a punch-you-in-the-face pink three-quarter sleeve boatneck t-shirt. You can mix up anything you have in your closet. What do you have in your closet that you can use?

How To Shift The Elements

Let’s look at some other outfit combinations that I’ve worn based on this inspiration outfit.

Less Pink

You can go with less pink if there’s too much pink for you in the inspiration outfit. In the first photo, I’m wearing a pink scarf. In the middle there is a little bit of pink brought into the pattern, and I have a pink bag. On the right I have my pink bag and pink wedges. The great thing about a bag is that you can put it down and walk away from it if it starts to feel like too much color throughout the day. 

Colder Weather

Here is how you can use color to adapt this outfit for colder weather. The thing about spring that is so challenging is the weather. If you need to warm it up, here are some ideas. In the first outfit, I’m wearing a very warm sweater and I brought in the pink with the bag and the flats. I could also put on booties if it was still too cold. The next one I’m wearing a down jacket and a pink wool sweater, plus the cap toe on my booties has that cobalt color brought in. And in  the last photo I’ve kept the color palette fairly similar but adapted it to be even warmer with a winter coat. 

A Different Color

What if you don’t like pink? That’s okay, you don’t have to like pink. You can substitute for a color that you do like. In the first example, I substituted for purple and instead of the white denim jacket I’m wearing a silver leather jacket. The second picture is another purple-ish color and I switched out the white for an icy gray as my neutral and I also have silver in my shoes and bag. In the third one I’m wearing my icy pink sweater and I have added more burgundy instead of the bright pink. In the last photo I substituted the pink for icy blue, and added a silver jacket instead of the white denim. It’s also a much warmer outfit than the inspiration outfit. 

If you want to stay true to the inspiration outfit, I would choose something that has a red base. The more red it has in it, the better. Red, berry, and burgundy are more in harmony with the actual inspiration.

Dress It Up

In these outfits I’ve dressed it up. For the first example, I moved the pink to the pants and changed my neutral to be black along with the silver. In the second photo I substituted for burgundy and also went with black for my neutral. In the third photo I moved the color to my accessories and changed it to an oxblood color. 

You really can change up the color however you want to. It can be as little or as much as you need, and as long as it makes you happy that’s all that matters. It’s all about wearing what you love, shopping your closet, and seeing the abundance and blessings you have in your closet already.

Next week we’re going to be talking about pattern, texture, shine and sheen and how you can focus on those elements within an inspiration outfit. 

Join the Shop Your Closet Challenge!

The Spring Shop Your Closet Challenge starts next week! For one week, I will take the daily hassle of choosing your outfit off of your plate and help you see how much you already have in your closet and how you can mix it up to see some of your old favorites in new ways! It’s totally free to join, this is just something that I do because it’s so much fun.

Registration is open now, and the challenge takes place next Wednesday, February 16th – Monday February 21st. I know so many of you look forward to this each season, and it’s so fun to have others join in to get a glimpse into what the Society is like. If you need a refresh on how it works, head over to the registration page to join in the fun!

2 thoughts on “How to Maximize Your Wardrobe by Shopping Your Closet”

  1. Sounds like fun, but I will ve on vacation that week and unable to participate but would like to follow along if possible.

  2. I’m glad you mentioned using colors other than pink. Some people who look better in warmer colors might also want to consider rust, orange, peach, mustard, or other colors that can contrast in a similar way that pink contrasts to the dark neutral.

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