How to Shop Your Closet
As the seasons roll throughout the year, fall is the time when farmers harvest their crops and we all settle in to feast upon the abundance around us. And in the winter time it brings the holidays, the happy festivities, the time when we can celebrate with our families, and that also means a weather change. We go from falling leaves to possibly falling snow, frigid weather, and darker shorter days.
As the seasons change, so do our wardrobes and in the Stunning Style Society this week we are focusing on our wardrobe evaluation and cleaning out our closets from the fall season. It is the perfect time to reflect and pick the best options, and clear out what isn’t fitting in with the rest of your wardrobe, what you haven’t worn and what you don’t really love.
Once you know what you have in your closet, choosing your outfit each day goes from overwhelming to easy and fun! Today we 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 all week long we are focusing on creating outfits from what we already have in our own closets, focusing on our abundance, and looking for new ways to make it feel fresh and wear it in a new way that will make old favorites feel new again.
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.
What Does It Mean To Shop Your Closet?
If you’ve been around here, you know I talk about shopping your closet a lot. If you’re new here, maybe you don’t know what it is. If you’re 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 I don’t know where to begin. I don’t own those pieces. I have to go shopping!” Maybe you don’t have the items that are shown, or maybe it doesn’t suit your lifestyle. I’ve been tempted so many times in the past to just go out and buy the exact item in that outfit. But realistically that just doesn’t work with our budgets or our time.
I’ve shifted my thinking from a scarcity mindset of “oh no I don’t have that exact thing!” to one of abundance by realizing I have so much in my closet to work with in my closet. Shopping your closet means analyzing an inspiration outfit, seeing what the elements are, and making it work with what you have in your closet.
To make this easier, I’m sharing tips that you can use to shop your closet during the 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 I’m giving you a sneak peek of what it’s like to have an outfit planned for you every day and showing you how to shop your closet and make the outfit your own. You can wear the outfits based on what you have, your Style Twists, your mood, your personal preferences, your weather, your lifestyle and so much more.
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.
The Stunning Style Seasonal Wardrobe Guides include about 40 pieces that I personally curate, and then I create 100 inspiration outfits each season. Every month I put together an outfit calendar for members of the Stunning Style Society to use 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. 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 our closet for today’s outfit and give you some ideas of how you can continue to shop your closet for any inspiration outfit that you see.
Today’s outfit caused a 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 could be the pink pants, or the double large dose of color. I like giving you a challenge, and if you’re feeling stuck here is a simple process that can help.
Break Down an Outfit into Its Elements
The original outfit is a white top, pink bottoms, a blue layer, silver flats, a silver bag, and silver jewelry.
- What are the colors?
- 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. I tell the Society members to zoom out, stand back away from your closet and scan to find any item with those elements.
The colors in this outfit are pink and blue and the neutrals are white and silver. I can take the pink pants and change into a sweater, move the blue to my dark wash jeans, add a cobalt blue belt and bag instead of the cardigan, and white earrings. A silver bag or bracelet could also bring in the silver .
In my closet I look 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.
For the pink color, I’ve got pink flats, pink earrings, a pink bag, and my punch-you-in-the-face pink sweater, a pink skirt, and even pink pants. This is a sweater from a previous 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, and I saw a lot of people leaning burgundy in the group this morning.
For the white in the outfit, I have white jeans, a white sweater, and white earrings. What do you have in your closet that you can use?
For another option, wear a white tee 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. I can substitute for silver booties or sneakers, 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 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?
Proportion and Contrast
The inspiration outfit is fairly classic and tailored, and the proportion of the amount of color between the blue and pink s almost even.
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. I personally dialed down the contrast in my outfit today because I’ve been traveling and I need a quieter outfit.
There are a lot of ways to mix this up. 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.
Let’s look at two examples from the group this morning.
Dawn went for it and was spot on with the inspiration outfit, she looks fabulous! I love that she shared that her pieces are different from the featured items, because she shopped her closet! I especially love how she mentioned she’s been building this wardrobe over time, because this really isn’t a sprint, it’s a journey. Thank you, Dawn for sharing this fabulous outfit and letting us share it today.
Jennifer showed us three different ways she could have worn this outfit and she mixed it up in all of them. These are all such great outfits, and a great example of how to make this outfit work for your day, your preferences. There’s a little less color in each one of these outfits and on any given day she might need more or less. Thank you to Jennifer for being part of this community and allowing us to feature your post!
Fighting the Overwhelm
The Shop Your Closet Challenge is to help you (and me) fight 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 Stunning Style Society includes the Winter Wardrobe Guide with 30-40 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, and they’ll be opening very soon! You can be the first to know when the doors open by joining the waitlist at StunningStyle.com/Society.
Members of the Society love the Guides, but the calendar and the new outfit portal 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.
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.
Stunner of the Week
Each week we like to share more about a member of the Stunning Style Society so you can hear their story.
This week we’re featuring Christine C. from Michigan, she joined the Society in 2019 and is passionate about looking great and feeling comfortable in what she wears.