Even if you haven’t been in school for years, there’s just something about fall that triggers the desire to make a fresh start. And by starting fresh, we mean buying a slew of new fall clothes to breathe life into your been-there-worn-that wardrobe.
But these days, most of us don’t have the cold hard cash to go on a $5,000 “What Not To Wear”-like shopping spree. The good news? You can create fresh new outfits—without shelling out a dime—by shopping in your own closet.
Of course, it helps to have a professional stylist on hand to help you pull together some figure-flattering looks from your existing wardrobe (though a close friend or family member with a solid sense of style can help you, too). So we enlisted the help of New York City professional stylist Bryn Taylor, aka The Re-Stylist, since her specialty is doing exactly that—restyling the clothes you already own.
According to Taylor, you’ve got a treasure trove of clothes sitting in your closet right now. “People wear less than one-third of their wardrobe,” she says. “There’s no reason not to wear perfectly good clothes. It’s about showing people a whole new wardrobe from what’s already in their closet, and helping them get excited about it again.”
Whip Your Closet into Shape
It’s hard to know what you actually own when you can’t even see it. (Quick tip: Use the same style of hangers, rather than the junky ones from the dry cleaners mixed in with some plastic hangers. The uniformity instantly makes your closet look neater and more organized. The best ones are space-saving hangers, which let you fit more clothes into your closet). Here’s how to get organized and make it easier to shop your closet:
Do a major wardrobe overhaul every season. “That’s always a good time to go in and reassess what you have and what you should keep,” says Taylor. The best way to keep your closet from getting unrulier than a Costa Rican jungle? Follow Taylor’s “one-in-one-out” rule, meaning when you buy a new piece of clothing, you should donate (or toss) an item of clothing from your closet. “But that’s not realistic for everyone,” she admits. “See if you can get rid of at least four or five items [every seasonal overhaul] so you don’t begin cluttering your closet again.”
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