Going Shopping in Your Closet

I first heard the expression "going shopping in your closet" from a lady I worked with. She complimented me on a blouse I was wearing, and it was really an older item. I just hadn't worn it in a while because I'd gotten little bit of blue ink on the hem of the mint green silk blouse, and it was meant to be worn untucked. I loved the blouse so much that I finally tucked it in, put a jacket on over it, and wore it to work. When she complimented me on the outfit, I realized that she'd seen it many times before, but because I was wearing it in a new and unexpected way, it made it seem new. That to me is the essence of the expression "go shopping in your closet."

I thought of that expression this morning as I got dressed. I've been dying to go shopping and splurge on some vintage inspired fashion, but I don't have the budget for it right now - and as my husband is quick to point out, my closet is brimming with skirts! It might be brimming with skirts, but I'm tired of them and lately I've felt as if nothing was "right" or matched.

I decided to go shopping in my closet and put together a new outfit today. It was similar to this one I wore while leading a workshop last year, except I put on a navy blue sweater and a belt over the sweater.

I wish I had a full length mirror and a small camera so I could snap a new picture today. You'd see what I mean about how changing a few things - in this case, the sweater color (it's the exact same sweater style and manufacturer, just the color is different) and adding a belt really helped.

  • I'm wearing a navy blue sweater today with the black corduroy skirt. The dark colors form a single, unbroken line, making me look slimmer, but the blue keeps it from looking too dark and gloomy.
  • I added a belt. It's a simple braided black leather belt worn around my waist, and it transformed the sweater into a tunic. It took about 10 pounds off, instantly. Belts are amazing for that. My waist is still fairly slender despite a weigh gain elsewhere so it works!
  • Silver accessories. I'm wearing a silver chain I bought in Mexico years ago and silver and crystal earrings I picked up in New York City. They're cheap costume jewelry but the glittery effect along with the blue sweater perked up the outfit.

I never would have thought of adding the belt over the sweater except for some photos on ModCloth, a favorite website. ModCloth offers customers an online photo gallery where they can post images of themselves wearing their purchases. Many women use belts to add definition to the waist, and to give the outfit a more pleasing shape. I tried it today and it works! I hope to pick up more belts over time.

I liked "shopping in my closet" and hope for some new outfit inspiration this week as I try to pair other sweaters, skirts and shirts in new and different ways. How about an outfit challenge? Can you shop in your closet this week and try to come up with some ways to refresh your wardrobe?