Do you have a wardrobe bursting with clothes, but still revert to those same few outfits? Do you feel like you’re running out of wardrobe combinations, so much so that you stick the same thing on every time?
There is an answer: style clothes you already have.
We live in a throwaway, fast fashion society which means we buy more stuff without really enjoying what we have. The result? Too many clothes, and not enough working combinations.
But, with a little help and input, it’s definitely possible to style the clothes you already have.
1: Experiment With Colour Combinations
Gorjus London has produced some excellent articles on colour combinations, which you can find in the blog. Colours are a huge, huge part of fashion and getting to grips with different colours can greatly enhance the way you look and feel.
It’s tempting to stick to monoblock colours or pair one coloured piece with neutral colours. Instead, try and mix different colours within the same outfit. Bright, clashy clothing has a unique impact that features prominently in modern fashion. Of course, there are boundaries and some combinations will work better than others.
Also, try tonal outfits that mix similar shades together. You can also try monochromatic black and white outfits that combine plain white with plain black for a chequerboard effect.
- Mix colours that you might conventionally avoid
- Try out mixed shade outfits that use multiple shades of the same colours
- Black and whites always work, take another look at outfits you can assemble from your black and white clothes
2: Layer Up
Layering up is an excellent way to build a cool, chic and dynamic outfit without buying even more clothes. The point of layering is to actually show that your clothes are layered - if you can’t see the layers then there isn’t a lot of point! So, pair longer clothes with short clothes and similar to obtain a visibly layered look.
Keep the fabrics balanced and weighted - you don’t want to layer loads of thick clothes on top of each other. At the same time, you don’t want to layer loads of thin fabric - a blend of the two makes sense and looks best.
Some combos to try are blazers or jackets with layered jumpers, t-shirts, etc. Preppy jumpers can look great over shirts, layered with jackets on top, etc.
- Mix different weight fabrics for balance
- Make sure the layers are obvious
- Layering can look great when smarter clothes are coupled with a scruffy style to bring about a ‘just got out of bed’ look
3. Combine Accessories
Combining accessories is a cheap and easy way to breathe new life into outfits. Try combining accessories with outfits that you wouldn’t normally wear them with.
For example, how about a monochromatic, minimalist outfit with no brands, combined with some branded, statement jewellery. You can also try combining hats with outfits with which you wouldn’t normally wear a hat. Mixing odd accessories with outfits is very trendy, which might have started around when people started wearing casual sports shoes with smart or glamorous dresses.
Mixing and matching accessories to create wacky combinations can help put a fresh slant on old outfits. It’s pretty fun too!
- Experiment with unusual combos of accessories
- Add tons of statement accessories to otherwise plain outfits
- Combine different colours of accessories for dramatic effects
4. Dress Down Formal
You might have formal and informal or casual clothes. But what about blurring the lines between the two? Sure, if you have a corporate job, you might not be able to push the boundaries too far (graphic band t-shirt under a smart blazer?!)
This is exactly what we’re talking about when we say blend formal with casual. Throwing a graphic t-shirt under a smart jacket creates instant contrast, the likes of which have become very trendy in recent years.
Blurring the lines between smart and casual has become somewhat of the norm in recent years. It’s become harder to define what smart casual really is, as it can be either smart or casual!
- Combine formal clothes with casual clothes (not the same as smart casual)
- Push the boundaries of how casual and cool you can look while staying smart
- Create contrast between old or faded clothes and clean-cut elegant pieces
5. Statement Pieces
You might have a go-to outfit with a statement piece. But what about using that statement piece for a different purpose? For example, what about a really ‘scruffy’ or ultra-casual outfit with tracksuit bottoms and a beaten-up t-shirt combined with an upmarket branded bag (think LV).
Scruffy chic is really popular because it creates an interesting contrast while enabling you to wear comfortable clothes.
- Mix your statement pieces with different outfits
- Statement brand accessories with plain, scruffy clothes can look great
- Do this with shoes too, like your best heels
6. Make Eccentric Outfits
Building eccentric outfits isn’t for everyone, but for those who don’t mind being ‘out there’, the goal is pretty much to build some weird outfits out of the clothes you already have.
For example, throw a super-bright faux-fur coat or puffer jacket over some formal or fitted trousers, or wear tracksuit bottoms with heels (which Kim Kardashian did not too long ago).
Another really ‘out there’ trend is the underwear as outerwear trend, which works in the way you might imagine. While pairing some lacey bras with smart jackets is certainly not for everyone, you might just surprise yourself! But, of course, there are limits to this rather risque trend!
- Mix odd colours to create crazy outfits
- Choose odd combos, like heels with tracksuit bottoms
- Add hats to unusual outfit choices
7. Mix the Seasons
Love shorts and skirts but find yourself throwing them to the back of the wardrobe every winter?
Consider mixing the seasons by adding a heavy jacket to your favourite shorts (with tights/leggings if it’s cold), to create a top-heavy look.
On the flip side, you could wear some heavy boots or even wellingtons combined with a skimpy top. You can also mix seasonal colours, e.g. by wearing very bright outfits in winter. Check out our guide to winter colours here for more ideas.
- Mix winter coats with skirts and shorts
- Combine sturdy footwear with elegant clothes
- Mix outdoor and cosmopolitan or urban looks
8. Breath New Life Into Your Wardrobe
We’ve covered loads of ways to do this in our blog post.
Reworking old shirts is an easy place to get started for those who can sew. Don’t be afraid to customise old clothes that are otherwise sitting there unused either.
You can also consider dying your old clothes, or even experimenting with tie-dye! From cutting dresses in half to colouring in old shoes, the potential for customisation is pretty much endless and you might end up with results you can really be proud of.
- Try upcycling
- Modify old and unused clothes
- Dye old clothes with new colours, or try tie-dye or acid washes
Summary: 8 Tips To Style Clothes You Already Have
And there we have it - 8 ways to style your clothes without forking out for new stuff!
To get started, just start digging in and throwing stuff on. If you’ve got a stash of old clothes, you’ll want to get them out too - there might be some forgotten gems!
We live in a fast-fashion culture - it’s time to take back control by styling clothes you already have!