Whether you are actively pursuing a new look this season, or you are just considering the purchase of key pieces, taking inventory of what you already own is the perfect place to start. Before you hit the shops, spend some time in your own closet – you may be surprised just how much of your current wardrobe can be transitioned to the next season. (Hint: It’s more than you think!) By disassembling your closet and then re-formulating its contents, you might find that you already own everything needed to step out in style this fall (or at least trim down your shopping list). Keep reading for an easy 5-step guide to reconstructing your closet and recycling outfits to stay on top of this season’s fall fashion trends:
- Start with the Basics:
First, pull out all of your neutral-colored essentials (such as basic tees, layering tanks, ankle pants, leggings, jeans, and light jackets). Set aside pieces that are basic colors, such as black, grey, navy, taupe, cream, and camel. Add to the pile your denim jeans, skirts, and jackets. Take a look at what’s left and pack up any items that are purely for summer use (this includes bathing suit cover-ups, brightly-colored or neon tops, shorts, and sundresses). Consider keeping all jewel-tone basics on-hand as layering pieces, even if they are sleeveless or lightweight – many of these pieces can crossover easily into fall.
- Identify Lightweights/Heavyweights:
Now that you’ve separated out the basics, begin categorizing what’s left into lightweight and heavyweight materials. Examples of lightweight pieces may include a slip dress, a sleeveless button-up, and cotton t-shirts. Heavyweight items can include sweater dresses, thick knit tops, and cardigans. Sort through your lightweight clothes and pack up items that are unable to be layered comfortably (for example, flutter sleeves) or else comprised of fabrics that are identifiable with spring/summer (for example, seersucker or eyelet patterns). Pack away anything that screams “summer,” but hold onto items that could double as a light under-layer. Keep in mind that many lightweight items can be useful for layering – don’t discount them just because they are sleeveless or airy.
- Strategize Your Layers:
Take a look at your pile of neutral basics, lightweight items, and heavyweight items and then begin building new, layered outfits for fall. Focus in on pieces that are the colors of the season: dark grey, mustard yellow, navy, burgundy, turquoise, camel, and ivory. Next, take one “basic” piece or “lightweight” pieces, and match it with one or two bulkier items. For example, a lightweight simple slip dress could be paired with tights, a cargo jacket, and an infinity scarf. The same slip dress could be worn underneath an oversized cardigan or wide-knit sweater, and then paired with canvas street shoes. A sleeveless, belted, shift dress could be worn over a basic stretchy turtleneck and paired with flats.
- Survey Your Shoes:
Once you have scoped out a few recycled outfits, start sorting through your shoes. Separate out any shoe that is intended completely for spring/summer fashion (for example, white strappy sandals and thongs). Organize what’s left into categories: boots, closed-toe shoes, open-toed shoes, flats, and sling-backs). Keep in mind that open-toed shoes and sling-backs will be useful for another month or two, and then you will be relying primarily on your collection of boots and closed-toe heels and flats to get you through the winter months. Be sure your collection includes both riding style boots and booties that hit your leg by the ankle. Plan a few outfits around the shoes that reflect autumn’s patterns and colors, such as grey suede booties, leopard print flats, and navy pumps.
- Add Accessories:
Jewel-tone colors and warm textures make up the foundation of fall accessories. Whether it’s the addition of a leather cross-body purse or a bronze cuff bracelet, accessories inject color and interest to your overall look. When recycling accessories for the next season, pay particular attention to your scarves. Separate them in categories similar to your clothing – first by neutral color, then by weight. Keep patterns that may seem out of season only if the color palate is on-trend for fall (for example, a navy and green floral scarf may seem meant for spring, but could add that necessary pop of color when paired with a denim chambray shirt and camel leather jacket.)
Getting creative with the clothing you have can be both fun and practical. By keeping in mind the basic color palate of the season and playing with layered looks, you can recycle several pieces from your closet and use them as a jumping off point to create a new fall look.