How To Shop Your Closet

“Shop Your Closet” is a buzzy phrase that has been getting a bunch of airtime recently. The concept is simple- instead of going out to shop in stores and buy new clothes you look into your closet and do some ‘shopping’…no money required. There are some obvious benefits of shopping your closet namely saving money and maximizing your closet space by not making new purchases. But it also is a great way to break out of an outfit rut, get creative with stying and generally be a little greener.

I recently wanted to re-organize my own closet to create more of a boutique-vibe featuring the pieces I already owned that align with my current style and mood. This would enable me to see a streamlined view of my closet with items that currently spark joy, excite me and align with how I am dressing these days. In this instance less is definitely more - less items cluttering up the space means more ideas and inspiration for putting them together. This helps me to easily ‘shop’ my own closet. I have so many pieces already but found that I wasn’t wearing them since they were hard to see and find. Now when I see an outfit on Instagram that I love, I can easily go to my own closet and ‘shop’ for similar pieces to create the look. A few key things I did were-

  • Incorporate graphic tees and sweaters I have been wearing lately. By combining them in the closet rather than separate drawers, I can see how they would pair with my other favorite pieces.

  • Organize shoes so I can clearly see the selected options.

  • Remove summery clothes/anything bright that I am just not wearing at the moment. These are pieces I still love I just don’t want to be wearing them in February.

To help you along in your closet-shopping journey I broke down the process into 3 key steps you can follow -

Step 1 - Get Inspired

You may already have an idea of what your current style/vibe is but if not go out and get some ideas. Create a new Pinterest board or a folder in your Instagram where you can collect images of outfits you love. Take note of which pieces you already have in your closet to recreate these looks. You may have all the individual elements already, you just haven’t thought about how to pair them together.

Step 2 - Separate Out Your Current Picks

I chose to focus on my wardrobe as a way to curate select pieces down and remove the visual clutter from the rest of clothing. If you don’t have a separate closet or wardrobe to use for this purpose, try to separate out a specific area in your closet for your current picks. This will help streamline your outfit-making and help you visually see a smaller subset of your wardrobe. I moved my picks into my wardrobe and removed any other garments that I am not currently wearing. These were placed into a separate closet or moved into storage bags until another season.

Step 3 -Shop Your Closet

Set aside a good chunk of time, an afternoon or an evening, to lay out outfits and get your creative juices flowing. Start by selecting a favorite item from your pared down closet, perhaps a blouse, and lay it on your bed. Then pull out all your bottoms, yes all of them! And start laying them out with the blouse…any new combos look good? Perhaps a pairing that you never thought of? Great start! Any time you find a pairing you love, snap a photo with your phone and add these outfit pics to an album. Next time you need something to wear you can easily consult this collection for ideas. You can also start with one of the inspiration photos you gathered before and being pulling out pieces that would create a similar look. You may find new combinations you never thought of through this process as well.

That’s it! Now go forth and shop your closet!