How to Shop Your Closet

“I have nothing to wear.”

Girl, we’ve all been there but I promise you – you do. As a fashion blogger, I feel like it’s assumed that I get a ton of clothes for free or I’m always shopping for new clothes. Surprise – that is SO not the case. I actually have transitioned from being solely fashion + style because there’s a 90% chance I’m really just wearing sweatpants. But every now and then, I do love to switch things up and look a little put together.

When I do decide to put on real clothes, I feel like I’ve mastered the “shop your closet” mentality. Don’t get me wrong. I still shop every now and then (ASOS and JLUXLABEL are my favorites!) but nine times out of ten, you’ll find me in the same clothes I’ve had for years. Matter of fact, a lot of my style videos feature the same pieces – can you tell?!

Whether you’re trying to save some coins or despise going to the mall to shop or just need some tips for shopping your own closet, check out a few of my go-to tips below.

Three Tips for Shopping Your Closet

No. 1 Identify Your Essentials

Essentials are the building blocks for any wardrobe. Think the “basics” that serve as a blank canvas and compliment the trendier pieces you purchase throughout the year. While everyone’s style is different, I think it’s safe to say a lot of us have these key essentials in our closets. If not, I’d consider purchasing these before you start to shop for the more fun/trendy pieces that don’t translate season to season.

For a really great base wardrobe that will give you some variety when you’re putting infinite outfits together, you should aim to have at least 1-3 items in each of these categories.

  • Black jeans
  • Light wash jeans (cut of your choice: skinny, jegging, bootcut, wide leg, etc.)
  • Dark wash jeans (cut of your choice: skinny, jegging, bootcut, wide leg, etc.)
  • Boyfriend/oversized jeans
  • Faux leather/leather pants or leggings
  • Wide leg trousers/pants (neutral color: tan, black, brown, grey, beige, white, etc.)
  • Black leggings
  • Grey/tan/black sweatpant joggers
  • Sporty leggings like a pair of adidas 3-stripes
  • Satin midi skirt (leopard and/or a neutral color)
  • Pleated midi skirt
  • Leather pencil/midi skirt
  • Lightweight maxi or midi skirt (linen, cotton, chiffon)
  • White button-down shirt
  • Chambray/denim button down shirt
  • Neutral blouse (white, cream, beige, black, etc.)
  • Black and/or white camisole
  • Graphic t-shirt
  • Faux leather jacket
  • Suede moto jacket
  • Jean jacket and/or oversized denim jacket
  • Plaid blazer
  • Midi slip dress
  • White maxi dress
  • Printed shirt-dress or maxi dress
  • Neutral t-shirt style midi dress
  • Little black dress

  • Black turtleneck
  • Neutral cardigan
  • Oversized chunky knit sweater
  • Lightweight sweater (great layering piece)
  • Black heeled booties
  • Tan low/flat booties
  • White sneakers (i.e. adidas, Converse, Vans)
  • Tan heels
  • Tan ankle strap sandals
  • Black or tan mules/loafers
  • Black heels (pumps and/or ankle strap sandals)

No. 2 Create Ten “Favorite” Combinations

Now that you’ve identified the essentials in your closet, it’s time to create a few outfits using just those pieces. Let’s pretend that these essentials are the only thing in your closet. You should be able to create at least ten outfits out of just these pieces. But let’s be real, with at least 2 pieces from each category that means you have 16 pieces to work with. Basically endless possibilities. Creating these ten easy outfits is a great way to have a list of options for any occasion. Then, when you add in trendy pieces or other pieces in your wardrobe to spice things up – you have even more outfit combinations and you haven’t had to purchase one single thing.

As an example, here are a few of my favorite combinations using the following list of essentials:

  • black jeans
  • boyfriend jeans
  • faux leather pants
  • satin midi skirt
  • slip dress
  • lightweight sweater
  • faux leather jacket
  • denim jacket
  • white blouse
  • graphic tee
  • adidas
  • black booties

Pro tip: snap a few photos of your favorite combinations to save in your phone. OR, channel your inner Cher Horowitz and print the photos out and hang somewhere in your closet for easy reference.

No. 3 Do Your Research

One of the reasons I wanted to create my Ways to Wear video series is because I want to remind people that they can get a lot of wear out of their favorite pieces. If you’re feeling stuck and not sure how to rock these essentials, head to google or the ‘gram and search for #plaidblazer or how to style a plaid blazer. In this case, the internet is your friend! Use it up to get all of the inspiration and outfit ideas you need.

Photo by Naomi Hopkins