How to Maximize Your Wardrobe by Shopping Your Closet: Part 2

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.

As I mentioned last week in part one of this series, 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.

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 outfit templates give 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 on!

Today we started the Spring Shop Your Closet Challenge! To make this easier, I’m doing this series to share 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. 

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-ish pieces, from which I create a hundred outfits. Every month I put together an outfit calendar, similar to the calendar we are using for this challenge (below). 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 may have something similar. 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 today’s Shop Your Closet Challenge outfit 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. Last week we focused on color, and today we’re taking a look at pattern, texture, shine and sheen. 


Let’s talk about pattern. Pattern can be very tricky because we all have very serious preferences when it comes to pattern. There isn’t much pattern in today’s outfit, and you either love stripes or you hate them. I have patterns that I gravitate towards and others you couldn’t pay me to wear. Nobody has to love a certain pattern, so what do you do if you see an inspiration outfit and you don’t love the pattern in it? Let’s talk about your options.

Move the Pattern

Let’s say you do like the stripes. There is a small dose of stripe pattern on the scarf in today’s inspiration outfit, but you can mix it up. If you don’t love scarves, you can move the stripes to a top, to your bottoms, a pair of shoes, your jacket, or bag.

In the first photo I moved the stripes to my top. In the second outfit it’s more of a color block look, but still reminiscent of stripes. In the third one we changed the direction of the stripes to be vertical instead of horizontal. In the next example I moved the pattern to my skirt. And in the last example, it’s not exactly stripes but I moved the pattern to my jewelry. My clothing doesn’t have pattern, but my jewelry does.

Choose a Different Pattern

The pattern also doesn’t have to be stripes! What patterns do you have and love to wear? Look at your entire wardrobe to see what patterns you have and love. It could be florals, animal print, a nature print, plaid, or anything else that strikes your fancy. 

In the first outfit I chose gingham, in the second one my scarf has a subtle leopard pattern, in the third outfit I went with a diamond pattern, and in the last two photos I went with leopard again – my other favorite!

Colorful Pattern

Last week we talked about color, and how you can change that up in an inspiration outfit. Incorporating the color palette into a patterned item is a great way to bring it all together.

In the first outfit, I went with a burgundy color instead of pink but I incorporated the navy into the pattern as well. The second one has two of the colors in the pattern. The third striped top has navy, white and pink incorporated, and the last outfit has all three colors in the scarf.

Quantity of Pattern

In this inspiration outfit, there is a very small dose of pattern, but you might want more. In another inspiration outfit, maybe you prefer less pattern. Change it up to match what you like!

In the first outfit I’m wearing leopard print on my pants. In the second outfit I have a large scale chevron pattern in my sweater. The third outfit has an all-over pattern in the dress, and the fourth outfit has a bold stripe pattern in my top. 

Eliminate the Pattern

Maybe today isn’t a pattern day and you want to eliminate it all together. Do it. Whatever feels best to you is the best thing to do. Here are some examples of outfits with no pattern at all. You don’t have to incorporate an element of an inspiration outfit if it isn’t working for you. 

Texture, Shine, and Sheen


Let’s talk about texture first. Looking back at our inspiration outfit, it doesn’t have a lot of texture. It’s fairly smooth except for the jute on the wedge of the sandal, but you can bring in more texture if you love it.

In the first example, I have texture in my shoes and in my embossed bag as well. In the second photo I’m bringing in some subtle texture in the pink bag as well as my shoes. The pants in the third example have a velvet texture where the leopard pattern is, my bag has the studded detail and my booties are suede.

In the next set of photos, Ive added a lot of texture in the fourth example with a fabulous faux fur collar, chevron quilting in my bag, and the sweater has a fuzzy texture as well. In the next photo my bag and shoes are calf hair and the chain detail on the strap adds even more texture. In the last photo the shoes are suede and the dress has a very fine ribbed texture to it.

Shine and Sheen

Shine and sheen are another element related to texture. The leather on the bag and sandal are smooth and have a sheen, and so does the scarf. There is no shine, so you can ramp this outfit up to highly reflective or you can knock it down. The top, jeans, and jacket, are pretty dull, meaning they absorb light instead of reflecting it. 

In the first outfit I want to show you how it doesn’t have to be metallic to have a shine or a sheen, I have shine in my navy jacket, my shoes and my bag. The second picture shows the difference between shine and sheen because the jacket has a sheen, while the bag is shiny. The third outfit has a lot of shine between the coat and the bag, and then the boots are more of a sheen. In the fourth picture the bag has a slight sheen to it and the shoes are very high reflective shine. In the striped skirt photo, we only have sheen from the navy leather in my bag and on the sandals. In the last photo the sandals have shine and the bag has a little bit of sheen. 

The combination of rough and smooth, dull and shiny is another element you can play with. These are some ways that you can mix it up and make it yours, and I hope you found some inspiration. 

The Shop Your Closet Challenge Is Happening Right Now!

The Spring Shop Your Closet Challenge is happening right now! For one week only, let me take the hassle of choosing your daily outfit off your plate – and best of all, it’s totally FREE to join! 

Registration is open now, and the challenge takes from 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!

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