How to ‘shop your wardrobe’ for a fresh look

Is your closet crammed with garments but still feel like you’ve got nothing to wear? Try these handy wardrobe hacks to create a bunch of new outfits and save money.

It’s often reported the average person wears only 20 percent of their wardrobe 80 percent of the time.

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“I’m not sure where this calculation originally came from, but I can attest that most (women, in particular) do not come close to wearing everything they own – even across a whole season,” Styling You stylist Nikki Parkinson says.

“Most people lead busy, full lives and it’s easier and requires less thought and planning to grab the same pieces over and over.”

Why our wardrobes have become overloaded

Perhaps when you view your wardrobe, you get overwhelmed at the sheer amount of items you have.

Many of us take advantage of the low prices of “fast fashion” and constantly buy new clothes.

According to Style Culture stylist Kerry Athanassiou, “we’ve become a nation that feels the need to have instant gratification”.

The next time you feel compelled to shop for new clothes, Nikki recommends you put down your purse and reconsider.

“(Shopping) might seem easier and more fun, but it will likely in the medium and long-term contribute to wardrobe stress,” she says.

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“It can be easy to feel overwhelmed if you can’t see clear and easy options because so much is hanging there.”

Rather than go shopping, it could be time to “shop your wardrobe” – in other words, build new outfits with all the garments and accessories you already own.

Here are some handy wardrobe hacks to help you do just that.

Cull your clothes regularly

Top of Kerry’s list of wardrobe hacks is a regular edit leaving only the best in your wardrobe.

“Cull and sort your wardrobe every season,” she says.

“It provides an opportunity to see what I have and ask myself why I haven’t worn something in a while.

“I make extra effort to try and mix and match that piece to wear it again and revive it.”

Consider wardrobe real estate

Rather than having everything hanging in the one spot, give the most wardrobe real estate to the types of clothes you wear most often, Nikki suggests.

“You want to be able to see these items front and centre to make your job easier.

“Consider space bags or other storage methods for things that get worn infrequently, as well as opposite season clothes,” she says.

Purchase extra hangers

Where possible, avoid doubling up clothes on hangers – it makes it hard to see them.

“When we add two or three items of clothing to each hanger, it creates the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ scenario,” Kerry explains.

Give every item its own hanger so you can see everything clearly.

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Nikki adds it can be useful to group similar clothes together.

“Whenever possible, aim to hang most clothes by type, then by colour within that type,” she says.

Focus on accessories

A great way to make much-loved items look fresh is by adding accessories.

“You can be wearing the same pants you always wear but if you add a new colourful belt or a bright shoe, this will make them look completely different,” Kerry says.

For example, you could pair classic navy pants with a yellow or red belt, or add an eye-catching accessory to something you often wear.

“Whether it’s a classic scarf or neon earrings with a black dress, accessorising is an inexpensive way to make over your staple items,” Kerry says.

Plan your outfits ahead

Rather than staring mournfully at your wardrobe first thing every morning, Nikki recommends taking time to plan your outfits for the week.

“Spending 15 minutes each Sunday putting together five outfits for the week ahead not only minimises morning stress, it prompts you to use more pieces in your wardrobe,” she says.

“Use this time as a personal challenge to wear something you haven’t in a while but in a different way.”

Buy hardworking pieces

If you don’t own them already, it is worth purchasing good-quality basics you can turn to again and again.

These include beautifully cut denim, a classic dress you can transform with accessories, and a blazer.

“Every retailer has a version of the blazer because it’s an item that works with everything from jeans to dresses and you can change your look by pairing it with a loose linen pant or by changing up your tops,” Kerry notes.

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Written by Dilvin Yasa.