How To Shop Your Closet!

Create a closet you love

Shop Your Closet with me!

After cleaning out our closets the last four weeks, we have just started the Shop Your Closet Challenge in my free Facebook group, Capsule Wardrobes for Classic Style (join me there if you haven’t already!), and now we focusing on creating outfits from what we have in our closets. 

To make this easier, I’m sharing tips to shop your closet during the challenge – and anytime you see an inspiration outfit – so you can easily adapt it to what you have and your personal preferences. 

For 12 days this month I’m giving you a sneak peak 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. 

STart at minute 4:45 to see the examples I shared

Today’s original outfit (below) caused a pretty big ruckus in the Facebook group, and honestly that was on purpose! I wanted you to be uncomfortable with the outfit because it helps me demonstrate how to shop your closet for an inspiration outfit that doesn’t suit you for one reason or another. For this outfit it was the white jeans, right? Objections in the Facebook group ranged from it’s snowing/raining to kids/pets getting white pants dirty to working in a preschool (and we can imagine how messy that is!).

what does it mean to shop your closet?

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.

 

Variations of the same outfit

Let’s look at how to shop your closet for today’s outfit (above) and give you some ideas of how you can continue to shop your closet for any inspiration outfit that you see.

February is a transition month for the warmer states, and flats would be perfect! I don’t live in the South anymore, and flats are not okay today – it’s been snowing all week. My feet would be frozen popsicles!  Below you’ll see my version of the outfit, which is pretty identical to the original, except I put on silver booties instead of the silver flats. 

Break down an outfit into its elements

The original outfit is a pink sweater, white jeans, silver flats, a silver bag, and silver jewelry. 

  • What are the colors? 
  • What are the elements? 
  • What are the patterns? 
  • What is the contrast, balance and proportion? 

Once you have identified the key elements in an outfit, look in your own closet and see what you have. 

Color

The colors in this outfit are pink and blue and the neutrals are white and silver. I can take the same pink sweater, change into dark-washed jeans, add a cobalt blue belt instead of the scarf, and white earrings. A silver bag or bracelet to bring in the silver or allow the silver on the strap of this cobalt bag be the silver.

In my closet I looked for things that are seasonally appropriate and match the elements. For the blue color, I can incorporate blue with any of my similar blue items, including a sweater, a scarf with some great pattern, a purse, earrings, booties that have cobalt blue on the heel and cap toe, or my dark-washed jeans. 

Dark wash jeans are another version of blue. If cobalt blue or royal blue isn’t your blue, you could choose navy instead and adapt it to what you want. See some of my favorite blue pieces below.

For the pink color, I’ve got pink flats, pink earrings, a pink bag, and my punch-you-in-the-face pink sweater in the pictures above. This is a sweater from this year’s and last year’s Winter Wardrobe Guide. 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.

For the white in the outfit, I have the white jeans, a white sweater, and the white earrings in the picture above. What do you have in your closet that you can use?

For another options wear a white sweater with a burgundy cardigan, dark wash jeans to bring in the blue, and silver jewelry. Or, if you want a little more of the cobalt blue, you could put on cobalt blue earrings or a bag instead and you can still bring in all of these elements in a way you feel comfortable.

With the silver there are so many variations. The silver booties I substituted for the flats in the original outfit fit my needs, but you may have a silver bag or silver jewelry. I have a big silver puffer jacket. This is out of the comfort zone of some people I know, but I love it. 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.

Pattern

Pattern is the same way. There was no pattern in the original outfit today, but you can mix it up. If there was a striped top, you could substitute a striped skirt or a pair of striped shoes, and if that was too much, you could let the stripe or whatever pattern be in your jewelry or a bag or something else. What do you have in your whole wardrobe that has that same element?

The annual member bonuses include a video series on how to incorporate stripes or any pattern into your outfit other than your shirt.

Proportion and contrast

My outfit proportion is fairly classic and tailored. I like my tops to be tailored and I prefer boot cut jeans, so my outfit goes out a little bit at the bottom. You may prefer blousey tops, skinny jeans or a fit-and-flare skirt. 

Substitute in different types of items to adjust the balance and proportions. That can change how you feel about the inspiration outfit, but it’s supposed to be inspiration and you take from it what you love, get what you have in your closet, and play with it. 

Contrast is another element of an outfit. The pink against the white and the silver in the original outfit is a LOT of contrast. If that’s uncomfortable to you, bringing in the dark wash jeans would be a way to bring down that contrast. 

Pull out what you have that is the same color or pattern or proportion and play with it. See where you’re comfortable. It’s all about personal preference.

Fighting the overwhelm

The Closet Clean Out Challenge and the Shop Your Closet Challenge are to help you and me with the overwhelm of getting dressed. We live in a society of overwhelm, endless options (which sounds like a great thing until the overwhelm and the decision fatigue set in), and everything is a choice. 

We’ve gone from three TV channels to thousands of channels. The grocery stores are as big as a mall now. Recipe options are endless thanks to Pinterest. You have to make so many decisions in a day from the minutia to the big things. It’s exhausting. 

The busiest people, including business leaders, have started wearing a uniform. Steve Jobs was famous for wearing a black turtleneck and jeans every single day. That’s all he wore because he was too busy to make that choice in the morning of what to put on, and I think a lot of us can relate. 

Hopefully the shop your closet challenge hopefully helped with that some, but if you still want more help reducing the overwhelm in your wardrobe, the Stunning Style Society can help! 

GEtting dressed can be the easiest thing you do all day!

The Spring Wardrobe Guide includes 30+ pieces, 100 outfit combinations, links to anything you need to refresh your wardrobe, and a monthly outfit calendar so you don’t even have to pick your outfit each day! It makes getting dressed the easiest thing you will do all day. 

I love walking into my closet, checking the calendar and saying, “Great, I know what I’m wearing today.” Grab my things, put them on and I’m dressed in just a couple of minutes during a time of day when I have six kids who want my help, I’m making breakfast, and the dog needs to go to the bathroom. 

We’re all trying to get going for our day and it takes me two minutes to put clothes on and that’s just one thing out of my day that never has to be hard. It’s a choice I don’t have to make and it’s one guaranteed easy thing each day. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that one thing would be easy in your day? 

The doors to the Society are only open a few days each season and now is that time! The cart is open until February 17th, and the Spring Wardrobe Guide will be delivered on February 18th! Members of the Society love the Guides, but the calendar is their favorite thing. Their favorite part of the membership is not having to choose what to wear every day, and look effortlessly stylish at the same time.

 

Join me in the society today!

I would love for you to join me in the Society and reduce the outfit overwhelm and have fun shopping your closet with new ideas and inspiration to use what you already have! It is a wonderful, supportive kind place. If you love the capsule wardrobes group, you will love the Society.

 

Don't miss the next live!

Join me Monday in the Facebook group to get a taste of what the Society members receive each week. I’ll be sharing one of my best shopping tips, and how it’s also one of my biggest shopping mistakes! avoid one of my biggest shopping mistakes. Join me on Monday February 10, 2020 at 11:00 AM MT, 1:00 PM ET.

For more examples of how I shop my closet from the Guides, I shared more examples from the Fall Guide.

3 thoughts on “How To Shop Your Closet!”

  1. Hi, I am curious as to why you wear boot cut pants most of the time. I am older (and have a little bit of tummy)but have a similar straight shape as you and am curious why you choose boot cut vs. Straight or skinny legs on your pants.

      1. Thank you for the response. You have learned to hide your pear shape very well with the proportion of your clothing. You look great and I was so excited when I found your blog because of your coloring and the colors that you wear…..my favorites.

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