How to Shop Your Own Wardrobe for Cute Outfits

Clothes Hanging in ClosetStressing out about what to buy for fall, or just plain bored with everything you own?  You just need to learn how to shop your closet like a stylist. Here’s how I create new outfits for my clients in 6 easy steps.

1. Research the Trends

Start with a quick search of “Fashion Trends” for the given season and year (i.e. Fall 2013) or purchase a few glossy magazines and take some notes. Trends these days have long life cycles and are often defined by certain colors, textures, and shapes, so it’s likely that you have pieces that look current.

More importantly, being in-the-know makes it much easier to feel confident about creating updated looks with what you’ve got.

2. Create an Inspiration File

While you’re researching away, bookmark, print or tear out images that really speak to you, paying close attention to the ones you think you might be able to recreate with items in your closet. I like to keep my inspiration front and center for the next steps in the process so sometimes I’ll pin them to a bulletin board or save them to my mobile phone.

3. Sort your Pieces

Simplify the process and get a better look at what you own by sorting your clothing first. I sort in 2 simple categories: A grouping of basics like solid t-shirts, button up blouses or jeans, and a grouping of statement pieces like anything with a print, really bold color, textured fabric or interesting silhouettes.

I also pull out accessories and lay them out similarly if they’re stored in boxes.

4. Try to Recreate your Inspiration Looks

Wearing your most flattering undergarments, begin to try on combinations of clothing that echo your inspiration looks. In this process, don’t worry if you don’t have exactly the same pieces, just give it a try and see what you come up with, because it’s all about trial and error.

5. Try the Rule of 3

This means building an outfit with a minimum of 3 different items of clothing and 3 different accessories. Looking stylish is really as easy as becoming a master at layering and mixing and matching your basics with your statements.

Wearing plain pants and a sweater looks a little dull- but once you layer a blouse underneath, and add a gorgeous pair of earrings, a contrasting belt, and a printed scarf- all of a sudden you’re looking far more fabulous.

6. Photograph your Favorites

Until you become a pro at styling yourself it’s really easy to fall back into wearing your wardrobe the same old way. Photograph all your favorite looks and hang the pictures inside your closet for a quick reference. As a bonus, this makes it super easy to determine what items to add to your wardrobe when you’re finally ready for a little retail therapy.

Remember, as with everything in life, practice really does make perfect. Your first shop the closet session might feel really foreign but over time there’s no doubt you can become a pro.


Have you ever re-discovered a favorite piece of clothing, or entire outfit, when searching through your closet?

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