Restyle Your Wardrobe-Without Spending a Dime!

Restyle Your Wardrobe-Without Spending a Dime!

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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.”

Know when to let go.

 You’re not alone if you’ve developed an emotional attachment to some of your clothes. It can be hard to part with certain garments, either because they were your go-to item for years, like your chewed up black pumps that are way past their prime, or because you paid good money for that outfit and still hope to wear it someday (we’re talking to you, leather mini skirt impulse buy with the tags still on it).

MORE: How to control your impulse shopping urges

“A lot of my clients have some guilt about getting rid of things that may have been expensive or still have tags on them,” says Taylor. “I remind them that if they keep it, it’s staying in your closest on the hanger serving as a daily reminder that you’re not wearing it. By getting rid of it, you’re not beating yourself up over it every day.” Let someone else get some use out of that outfit by donating it or by bringing it to a consignment shop so you can get some cash back, taking the sting out of the money you’d spent on it.

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Rachel Grumman Bender
Rachel Grumman Bender is an award-winning freelance health and beauty writer and editor. She writes regularly for The New York Times and has written for Women's Health, Yahoo Health, Everyday Health, the New York Post, Cosmopolitan, and many more publications. Rachel has held Health Editor positions at and Cosmopolitan magazine. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism at Boston University and her master’s degree in journalism at New York University. She lives in northern California with her husband and her twins.